Buyers Under Pressure as Homes Continue to Sell Quickly – According to realtor.com®’s Monthly Housing Trends Report, house hunters who see a home they like should consider making an offer quickly or risk losing out. Homes in October sold 13 days faster than a year ago, an unseasonable trend. This also marks the first time since 2011 that the pace of sales has accelerated from September to October, “signaling buyers continued to face tough competition in this anything but normal year”. Among the nation’s 50 largest metro areas, homes spent an average of 45 days on the market. “In the fall, we normally see homes sell more slowly and prices pull back from peak levels,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “But this October, we saw a drop in the time it takes to sell a home even while home prices remain at their summer peak. Drawn in by low mortgage rates and the hope of more space, buyers have stayed in the housing market this fall, keeping prices high and pushing time on the market to unseasonable lows.”
Source and link to the full article: realtor.com®
Nearly 16 Million People Have Moved During the Pandemic – Based on a new survey by the Pew Research Center, the pandemic has sparked Americans to relocate in large numbers. From February through July, more than 15.9 million people filed change-of-address requests with the United States Postal Service. Twenty-eight percent of nearly 10,000 adults recently surveyed said the most important reason they moved was to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19. Another 23% said they moved because their college campus closed; 20% wanted to be with their family; and 18% cited financial reasons for their move, including job loss. Many of these moves may be temporary, however. Temporary change-of-address requests were up nearly 27% from February through July compared to last year, according to an analysis from MyMove.com. A temporary change of address reflects consumers who forward their mail to a new location but plan to move back to their old address within six months.
Source and link to the full article: “Coronavirus Moving Study: People Left Big Cities, Temporary Moves Spiked in First 6 Months of COVID-19 Pandemic,” MyMove.com (Oct. 12, 2020) and “About a Fifth of U.S. Adults Moved Due to COVID-19 or Know Someone Who Did,” Pew Research Center (July 6, 2020)
Home Sellers Stand to Gain More Equity This Winter – According to data from the National Association of REALTORS®, with low housing inventories and high buyer demand, home sellers are expected to continue to command higher home prices this winter. “Sellers will have the ball in their court, so to speak, as there are more buyers than sellers,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “This means seller-friendly trends like rising home prices and quick-selling homes.” In September, home inventory was 39% lower compared to a year ago. But buyers are out in force trying to lock in record-low mortgage rates to help them save on financing costs. Seventy-one percent of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month. Properties typically stayed on the market for just 21 days in September, an all-time low. That is down from 32 days a year ago. The median existing-home price for all housing types sold in September was $311,800, a 14.8% increase compared to a year ago. Indeed, home prices are on the rise. The national median home listing price climbed 11.1% in September compared to a year ago. It’s now at $350,000. Price per square foot has increased 13.9%, realtor.com® data shows.
Source and link to the full article: “Wow! How Home Sellers Can Make a Bundle in the ‘Best’ Winter Sales Season in Years,” realtor.com® (Nov. 4, 2020)
How Lenders Rate on Customer Satisfaction During Pandemic – Based on J.D. Power’s newly released 2020 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Study showed rates at all-time lows have helped drive U.S. home sales to a 14-year high. Existing homeowners also are rushing to take advantage, prompting a 200% annual increase in refinancing. Mortgage lenders have faced a hectic business during the pandemic as many systems were quickly forced to go remote. “It’s been a complicated year for the mortgage industry,” says Jim Houston, managing director of consumer lending and automotive finance intelligence at J.D. Power. “Between surging customer volumes on the origination side, an influx of customer inquiries on the servicing side, and a workforce that has been completely displaced by the pandemic, resources have been stretched to their limits. That strain is showing up in slower loan processing times, missed opportunities to communicate, and unreliable self-service tools.” Houston said that while some of these “shortcomings” may have been viewed as opportunities in prior years, current market conditions and customer satisfaction metrics indicate that “mortgage originators need to look hard at fixing them if they want to stay viable.” Still, customer satisfaction with primary mortgage originators rose 6 points this year, which was largely driven by competitiveness over offered interest rates. The average refinancing processing time rose to 42 days from application to closing, up from 39 days in 2019. J.D. Power also found a notable increase in the number of customers using self-service channels for loan applications and approvals.
Source and link to the full article: “U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study,” J.D. Power (Nov. 9, 2020)