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Posted by: | Posted on: October 27, 2020

Struggling Rental Market Could Usher in Next American Housing Crisis

A housing crisis centered on the vast apartment and home-rental markets is emerging in the U.S., threatening to send millions of renters into eviction and leave landlords short billions of dollars.

A large number of renters have been unable to pay some or even all of their rent since March, when the pandemic temporarily shut down most businesses. Many businesses remain closed or only partially open, pushing renters into unemployment and draining their savings.

Federal and local eviction moratoriums have protected many of them from losing their homes if they missed payments during the pandemic. But the national eviction ban and some state and city protections are set to expire by January or sooner. Renters will then be on the hook for months of missed payments, which even those who have jobs could struggle to pay.

Estimates of total outstanding rent debt vary widely. Yet by any measure, the fallout

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Posted by: | Posted on: October 27, 2020

New Home Sales Dip Slightly in September, but Remain Strong Going Into Fall

The numbers: Sales of new single-family homes fell in September, but the housing market remains poised to buck seasonal trends nonetheless.

New home sales occurred at a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 959,000, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday. That represents a 3.5% drop from an downwardly-revised pace of 994,000 homes in August. Compared with last year, new home sales are up 32%.

Last month, the government had reported that new-home sales had exceeded an annual rate of 1 million for the first time since 2006. The government uses a small sample size to produce the new-home sales report, which makes it prone to significant revisions like this.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected home sales to increase to a median pace of 1.033 million.

What happened: New home sales fell a staggering 28.9% in the Northeast, followed by much smaller declines in the Midwest and the South. Comparatively, the

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Posted by: | Posted on: October 23, 2020

Existing-Home Sales Soared in September—7 in 10 Homes Sold in Less Than a Month

The numbers: Existing-home sales increased for the fourth consecutive month in September, as the U.S. housing market benefitted from low interest rates.

Total existing-home sales rose 9.4% from August to a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 6.54 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Compared with a year ago, home sales were up nearly 21%.

“Home sales traditionally taper off toward the end of the year, but in September they surged beyond what we normally see during this season,” Lawrence Yun, the trade group’s chief economist, said in the report. “I would attribute this jump to record-low interest rates and an abundance of buyers in the marketplace, including buyers of vacation homes given the greater flexibility to work from home.”

Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected existing-home sales to rise to a median rate of 6.36 million.

What happened: The fast pace of home sales has quickly dwindled the

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Posted by: | Posted on: October 21, 2020

New-Home Construction Rises Modestly in September, Driven by a Northeast Building Boom

The numbers: U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.42 million in September, representing a 1.9% increase from the previous month’s downwardly-revised figure, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday. Compared with last year, housing starts were up 11%.

Permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.55 million, up more than 5% from August and 8% from a year ago.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected housing starts to occur at a pace of 1.45 million and building permits to come in at a pace of 1.52 million.

What happened: The modest increase in housing starts was fully driven by an 8.5% uptick in single-family starts, as multifamily construction activity dipped once again. Multifamily starts dipped nearly 15% on a monthly basis in September. And while single-family starts were up 22% from last year, multifamily starts were down 17%.

Home

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Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

Coronavirus Tanked the Economy. Then Credit Scores Went Up.

Millions of Americans lost their jobs and skipped debt payments this year. You wouldn’t know it looking at consumer credit scores.

While the coronavirus was pummeling the U.S. economy, Americans’ credit scores—a metric used in nearly every consumer-lending decision—were rising. The average FICO credit score stood at 711 in July, up from 708 in April and 706 a year earlier, according to Fair Isaac, the score’s creator. Early estimates suggest the average score has held steady through mid-October at the July level, which is the highest since FICO began keeping track in 2005.

The increase is largely thanks to the unprecedented financial assistance the government and lenders rolled out to consumers after the pandemic took hold in the U.S. Stimulus payments and expanded unemployment benefits helped many borrowers keep up with their bills and, in some cases, even pay down their debt. Widespread payment holidays on mortgages, auto

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