As New-Home Sales Rise, Builders Watch Their Prices – Based on Commerce Department reports, sales of newly built single-family homes increased slightly in July as material costs to build continue to surge. Single-family new-home sales rose by 1% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000. “New-home sales have leveled off this summer after a period of rising costs and strong demand,” said Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. New-home sales were down 27% in July compared to a year earlier. Strong buyer demand persists, but builders say the rising costs of material, labor, and lots have stretched out timetables and prompted them to limit their projects. “Builders will need to watch local home prices relative to incomes, given recent gains in building materials and other construction costs,” said Robert Dietz, the NAHB’s chief economist.
Source and link to the full article: National Association of Home Builders
Economists: Sales Momentum Will Carry Into Fall – Based on realtor.com®’s recent update, economists are optimistic about the market’s direction considering its unpredictability since the beginning of the pandemic. For the most part, they agree it won’t be a return to the usual slowing pace of sales in the fall nor will prices slide to the extent typical of the season as families settle into a new school year. The fast-spreading delta variant of COVID-19, however, remains a wild card for the housing market. But at the moment, “I expect an unusually busy fall season,” said George Ratiu, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Sellers are putting homes on the market. Normally, this activity happens early in the spring.”
Source and link to the full article: “The Housing Market Continues to Cool. What Will This Fall Be Like?” realtor.com® (Aug. 25, 2021)
FHFA Proposes New Affordable Housing Goals– According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency proposal, it sets new housing goals that target assisting low- and moderate-income families, minority communities, rural areas, and other underserved populations achieve homeownership. FHFA outlined the goals for the mortgage financing giants it regulates, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for 2022 to 2024. Its new minority census tract is aimed at improving access to fair and sustainable mortgage financing in communities. A mortgage qualifies if it is located in a census tract where the median income is below the area’s median income and where minorities comprise at least 30% of the population. “The new subgoal for minority census tracts was designed to help preserve and support affordable housing in communities of color,” says Sandra Thompson, FHFA’s acting director. “The subgoal benefits families at or below area median income, allowing them to stay in the communities they helped build. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s housing goals over the next three years should support equitable access to sustainable affordable housing opportunities in a safe and sound manner that bolsters the health of communities.”
Source and link to the full article: Federal Housing Finance Agency
Dip in Contracts Signals Opening for More Buyers – According to the National Association of REALTORS® recent report, the housing market took a slight dip in contract signings in July, but that could potentially mark an opening for home buyers who have been shut out by fierce competition over recent months. Pending home sales dropped 1.8% in July compared to June, the second consecutive month for declines. Only the West saw contract signings increase last month. But all major regions across the country posted year-over-year declines. Contract signings dropped 8.5% nationwide annually. “The market may be starting to cool slightly, but at the moment there is not enough supply to match the demand from would-be buyers,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “That said, inventory is slowly increasing, and home shoppers should begin to see more options in the coming months.”
Source and link to the full article: National Association of REALTORS®