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Home sales set new records… again

Quick Fix Mortgage Refinancing
Posted at 8:18 PM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-02 23:18:27-04

Fifty-nine percent of homes on the market are in contract within two weeks, setting a record, according to data released Friday by Redfin.

Home prices are also listing at record levels: $353,000.

Why?

Scarcity.

Redfin said that active listings are down 42% from this time a year ago. That has caused house prices to jump 17% in the last year.

The data from late March also showed that 47% of homes listed are in contract within a week.

The demand has simply priced out a number of consumers.

"Some homebuyers have reached their limit on bidding wars and soaring prices," said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. "Add to the mix a dwindling number of homes for sale and rising mortgage rates, and the typical family that is still searching for an affordable house may have missed the boat.”

But Fairweather said there may still be options for those who are trying to find affordable housing.

“First-time homebuyers who were already stretching their budgets will have to make bigger compromises on size and location or resign to renting for another year,” Fairweather said. “However, those who are flexible should look to the condo market where there's still a bit less competition. Looking ahead, Biden's infrastructure plan aims to incentivize zoning for multifamily homes, which could increase the supply of affordable homes and provide even more people a path to homeownership, but there is no guarantee the incentives would be enough for local governments to change their zoning practices."

There could also be a surge of foreclosed homes hitting the market in the coming months. That is because moratoriums on foreclosures are slated to be lifted this summer. The result could be millions of homes going on the market.

The other side to that is millions of home owners could be looking for new housing.

In response, the federal government told lenders on Thursday to be better prepared to assist home owners who are delinquent and facing foreclosure when the moratoriums lift.

Data from servicer Freddie Mac indicates that fewer Americans are struggling to make mortgage payments than early in the pandemic, suggesting programs have helped keep people in their homes.

“Freddie Mac is focused on understanding how consumers are thinking about their current and future financial situation amid a pandemic,” said Donna Corley, executive vice president and head of Single-Family Business at Freddie Mac. “While the housing market appears to be healthy and has recovered faster than the rest of the economy, many segments of the population are still struggling. To date, we have helped hundreds of thousands of borrowers get and stay current on their mortgage, and we continue to work with our conservator and industry partners to offer ongoing support.”