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Posted by: | Posted on: April 8, 2020

Why Home Sellers Are Losing Hope in the Housing Market

With the coronavirus pandemic bringing the U.S., and much of the world, to a screeching halt, only just over half of Americans think it’s still a good time to sell a home.

Only 52% of homeowners believe it’s still an opportune moment to put their place on the market—a steep month-over-month net decrease of 29 percentage points in March, according to Fannie Mae’s monthly Home Purchase Sentiment Index. The index measures buyer and seller attitudes about the housing market.

Meanwhile, the net share of Americans who think it’s a good time to buy a home, 56%, is down 7 percentage points from February to March.

“This is the tip of the iceberg,” says Javier Vivas, realtor.com®’s director of economic research. “We have yet to see the full extent of the impact of the virus on housing.”

The index is based on answers to a Fannie Mae housing survey

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Posted by: | Posted on: April 4, 2020

It’s Time for Home Buyers to Drive a Hard Bargain

Times of volatility create opportunities for investment—it’s true of the stock market and it’s also true of real estate right now.

Rarely was there such a sudden and universal jolt to housing markets in the U.S. as there was last month. In a matter of days, school systems closed, restaurants shuttered and a wave of stay-at-home orders extended from coastal states inward, as lawmakers raced to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Real estate agents called off open houses, sellers yanked listings from the marketplace and many buyers, even in some of the hottest housing markets, such as San Francisco Bay Area, put their house hunts on hold.

Recent directives from U.S. Homeland Security and some states like California clarifying that real estate, like garbage disposal and mail, is an “essential business” during the crisis has shown little sign of spurring agents, and, more importantly, their clients, to risk exposure

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Posted by: | Posted on: April 3, 2020

These Mortgage Borrowers Will Be ‘the First Canary in the Coal Mine’ for a Coronavirus-Fueled Foreclosure Crisis, Regulator Says

Just before the coronavirus pandemic reached America’s shores, the U.S. saw the lowest number of foreclosure filings in over a decade. But the economic downturn the disease outbreak has since caused could lead many Americans into foreclosure, the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said.

During an interview with CNBC Wednesday, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria warned that the U.S. mortgage industry could face significant strain in the form of delinquencies and foreclosures if the coronavirus emergency lasts for six months or longer.

“This fundamentally comes down to how long an event this is,” Calabria said.

“If this only goes on for two to three months and we see pop back in the economy and people are hired back to their old jobs by and large, then I think this will be something the industry can get through without too much stress,” he added. “But if this

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Posted by: | Posted on: April 1, 2020

Coronavirus Forcing Home Buyers to Scramble to Close Deals

Real-estate agents are rushing to help home buyers and sellers close pending house sales, as the pandemic poses unprecedented obstacles to a high-touch process traditionally done in person.

House hunting usually involves a lot of contact, from the initial tour or open house to the final inspections and appraisal. The official closing is often an in-person meeting with a notary or attorney who oversees document signings.

With the coronavirus pandemic bringing shelter-in-place orders, the real-estate industry has been compelled to find workarounds for every step of this process, often having to navigate local requirements and consumer anxiety.

Home sales are now closing in parking lots where attorneys pass documents through car windows and throw away pens after each use, said Leslie Turner, founding partner at Maison Real Estate in Charleston, S.C.

“Everything’s just stopped” in terms of new business, she said. “We’re just trying to get the properties that we

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Posted by: | Posted on: March 31, 2020

U.S. Home-Price Growth Accelerated Before Pandemic

Home-price growth accelerated in January, the latest indication that the U.S. housing market was poised for a strong year of sales before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 3.9% in the year that ended in January, up from a 3.7% annual rate the prior month.

Economists and real-estate executives had expected robust home sales this year due to a strong job market and low mortgage rates. U.S. existing-home sales rose to a 13-year high in February, according to the National Association of Realtors.

But with the pandemic now keeping potential buyers and sellers on the sidelines, experts expect the pace of home sales to sharply decelerate. Capital Economics forecast in March that home sales would drop 35% in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the fourth quarter of 2019.

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