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Posted by: | Posted on: July 4, 2020

Foreign Home Buying Dries Up, Easing the Way for Domestic Buyers

Foreign buying of U.S. homes was a driving factor in markets from California to Florida, helping prices reach new highs. Now, the pandemic, reduced travel and immigration restrictions are further undermining already weakening international demand.

Overseas residential real-estate purchases climbed steadily between 2011 and 2017, peaking at $153 billion in the year ended March 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors. About 60% of foreign buyers are recent immigrants or foreigners who live in the U.S., while others buy U.S. homes as investment properties or vacation homes, according to NAR.

Foreigners represent a tiny percentage of overall buyers. But because they have tended to cluster in coastal cities like New York, Miami and the Los Angeles area, they sometimes have had an exaggerated influence in these markets, especially at the higher-price end. Foreigners also were more likely to pay cash, making their offers more attractive to sellers.

Foreign appetite 

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Posted by: | Posted on: July 3, 2020

The Housing Market Heats Up as More Americans Return to Work

After a rough spring, the economy is looking up this summer, as nearly 5 million Americans went back to work in June. That’s likely to provide another jolt to the already hot housing market.

The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 11.3% in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While that’s higher than in the worst stretch of the Great Recession, it’s an improvement over the 14.7% of workers who sought unemployment benefits in April, followed by 13.3% in May.

“We’re moving in the right direction. But the unemployment rate is really high,” says realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale.

Plus, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Many workers laid off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have had trouble filing for unemployment benefits and getting approved. And as city and state recoveries are thwarted by a record new number of positive COVID-19 cases, some workers

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Posted by: | Posted on: June 30, 2020

Will This Program Stop a Wave of Struggling Renters From Being Evicted?

With millions of Americans out of work and struggling to pay their rent, the federal government is offering landlords a break in the hopes it will avert a tidal wave of evictions.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced on Monday that landlords with government-backed mortgages are eligible for an additional three months of mortgage forbearance—provided they don’t evict tenants who can’t pay their rent during that time. The initial forbearance period, in which building owners suffering coronavirus-related hardships could put off their mortgage payments, was about to expire for those who had sought assistance at the start of the pandemic. The extension is designed to trickle down to renters by taking the pressure off landlords who are on the hook for their own monthly mortgage payments.

The forbearance is only for owners of multifamily properties of five or more units who have mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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Posted by: | Posted on: June 30, 2020

Millions of American Homes at Greater Flood Risk Than Government Estimates, New Study Says

Nearly six million properties across the U.S. have a substantial risk of flooding that isn’t disclosed by federal flood maps, according to a nonprofit research firm that released its own U.S. flood maps Monday.

The maps from nonprofit First Street Foundation highlight the widespread nature of flood risk. Flooding caused about $17 billion in property damage a year from 2010 to 2018, according to the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

Homeowners, developers and city planners have long used the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps, which outline flood zones. FEMA’s maps label which properties have at least a 1% annual risk of flooding, also called a 100-year flood zone.

The First Street analysis suggests that millions of American homeowners could be more vulnerable to flooding than they realize, and many may lack the resources to rebuild their homes in the event of severe flood damage. Mortgage lenders typically require buyers

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Posted by: | Posted on: June 30, 2020

Pending Home Sales Staged a Historic Rebound in May, Meaning the Worst May Have Already Come for the Real-Estate Market

The numbers: After two consecutive months of decline, the index of pending home sales soared 44.3% in May as compared with April, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday.

The monthly increase was the largest ever since the National Association of Realtors started the index in January 2001. “This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings, and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in the report. “This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.”

The index measures real-estate transactions for previously-owned homes where a contract was signed but the sale had not yet closed, benchmarked to contract-signing activity in 2001.

Compared with a year ago, contract signings were still down 5.1%, a sign of how steep the declines

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