U.S. House Gross sales Are Surging. When Does the Music Cease?

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U.S. Home Sales Are Surging. When Does the Music Stop?

When storing home items, keep an eye out for the trendy google search.

In the first week of April, US search interest in the term “When will the real estate market collapse?” Rose by 2,450 percent compared to the previous month and has been more popular than ever since 2004, according to Google. The search terms “should I buy a house” and “sell my house” also met with record interest.

Market watchers are rightly cautious. The median sales price of an existing home in the US was $ 313,000 in February, an increase of nearly 16 percent year over year, when an annual increase of 3 to 5 percent is considered healthy. This comes from a report by the National Association of Realtors, a trade group.

"I think it's what everyone thinks," said Jonathan J. Miller, a New York appraiser who analyzes markets across the country. "How long it will take?"

The answer largely depends on where you live and how the pandemic continues to re-prioritize shoppers, but it depends on two Trends: Rising mortgage rates and incredibly tight inventory levels in some markets likely to keep demand strong through the end of 2021, even if price growth slows, several analysts said.

What awaits him at the end of this hectic period may not resemble the 2008 housing bubble that caused a protracted crash when it finally burst, they said. Today's charged market was caused by pandemic forces that have challenged other assumptions about the market. Even if the pendulum has swung in the direction of increased demand in the suburban markets, cities are also rising.

Nationwide, the housing stock at the end of February was at a record low of 1.03 million units, which corresponds to a decrease of 29.5 percent compared to the previous year. This is a record decline, according to the National Association of Realtors.

As a result, homes sold in an average of 20 days, a record rate if 60 days is typical, said Lawrence Yun, the group's chief economist.

"It feels like a bubble," Yun said, recalling the lead-up to the subprime mortgage crisis that crunched prices after 2008. "But the fundamental factors are different."

Unlike the last major housing crisis, which saw sales prices plummet and many buyers faced with risky, adjustable-rate financing, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remains near record lows today, lenders rely on tighter underwriting requirements, and homeowners have done so more Liquidity.

"We don't have the reckless lending we have before," said Mr Miller, and even if market conditions turn foamy, some may find they overpaid for their property, but the ups and downs will be more consistent with regular Business cycles.

For the fourth quarter of 2021, Mr. Yun predicts a 10 percent decline in U.S. home sales volume year-over-year as mortgage rates climb closer to 3.5 percent, down from about 2.7 percent in early 2021.

He also assumes that property prices will continue to rise in the short term due to more than ten years of sluggish housing construction, which is affected by restrictive zoning and high labor costs.

Still, the pandemic has affected markets in different ways. In New York City, where commercial real estate has suffered and home buyers invaded the surrounding suburbs in search of affordability and more space, the market fell at the start of the pandemic but appears to have turned the corner.

"The rate at which homes are being sold nationally isn't sustainable, but New York is just getting started," said Nancy Wu, an economist at StreetEasy, a listing website.

In the week leading up to April 11th, there were 783 new contracts signed across town. This was the highest value since the weekly sales tracking began in 2019, when the peak was 491 contracts, she said.

Unlike much of the country, New York had a deluge of luxury inventory prior to the pandemic, and prices had been falling since around 2017. From 2018 through the end of 2019, Manhattan sales prices fell by around 15 percent, Miller said. Overall, prices have fallen another 5 to 7 percent since Covid's arrival to an average of $ 1.075 million last quarter, and sellers are finally getting more realistic, he said. (One bedroom apartments, the largest proportion of apartments sold, closed for an average of $ 760,000.)

The price cuts have been a boon to a wider range of people. First-time buyers made up 41.9 percent of Manhattan sales last quarter, the highest percentage in at least seven years, Miller said. And the percentage of cash buyers fell to 39.3 percent, a seven-year low that could reflect both cheap interest rates and a turn away from investment buyers.

Even the city's luxury stocks, which have seen some of the biggest price drops, are booming, said Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty, who is tracking the market at $ 4 million and up. As of April 18, the city had 11 consecutive weeks of 30 or more contracts signed at this stage, the longest such streak since at least 2006.

"It has the potential to last a while as results are only based on half a tank of fuel," Ms. Olshan said, citing the fact that most of these signings from domestic and local buyers as international-based buyers mostly remain with travel restrictions Edge.

Sentiment is already changing in town as vaccinations advance and shoppers anticipate the benefits of the federal stimulus package, said Mark Chin, agent and co-instructor at Keller Williams New York City.

"The people who signed contracts two months ago are absolutely thrilled because the low point is over," he said.

The New York revival also calls into question one of the early assumptions during the pandemic – that the suburbs would benefit at the expense of big cities where shoppers who are not bound by the commute could choose to live further away from work .

Instead, a new analysis of postal service address change requests shows that migration patterns have not changed as much since Covid-19 as some had predicted. New York has seen an increase in churn, but that trend started before the pandemic.

"The simple answer was, the city is down, the suburbs are up," said Mr. Miller. "And now it turns out that both of them are up."

Thanks to the limited supply, many suburbs have so far been in high demand. Fairfield County, Connecticut, had 3,045 sales in the most recent quarter, its highest in that period in more than 16 years, along with its lowest inventory in 25 years, according to a report by broker Douglas Elliman.

With prices rising nearly 20 percent in some outlier markets, Miller doesn't think profits will last long, partly because the appeal of many suburbs compared to big cities lies in their affordability. To what extent remote working will remain a feature of life after the virus is also still unclear.

"Manhattan finally joined the party," he said, referring to the city's turnaround in sales. "But we're not sure if this is the party we want to be in – because there is uncertainty about how this will work out."

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