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Delta Variant Drives Mortgage Rates Down

Mortgage rates plunged this week as home prices reached new record highs. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.78%, Freddie Mac reports. “Concerns about the delta variant and the overall trajectory of the pandemic are undoubtedly affecting economic growth,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While the economy continues to mend, Treasury yields have decreased—and mortgage rates have followed suit.”But the low r

15 States Drawing High-Earning Gen Xers

Gen Xers—the highest-earning generation, with a median income of $113,300—make up a quarter of home buyers, according to National Association of REALTORS® data. And they’re choosing specific areas to call home.SmartAsset, a financial resource, identified the top states where Gen Xers who earn at least $100,000 annually are moving. Southern and Western states dominate the list. Some have no state income tax, which could be a factor driving

Small Markets See Exponential Home Price Growth

Homebuyers are seeking affordability, in turn driving new cities to the top ranks of the hottest housing markets in the second quarter of this year. The result: Smaller, more affordable markets dominated the rankings in The Wall Street Journal/® Emerging Housing Markets Index, which identified the top markets for both buyers and investors in the second quarter of this year.The index evaluates the nation’s 300 largest metro areas, lo

Luxury Sales Soar 81% Over Last Year

The multimillion-dollar trophy home has been in hot demand since the pandemic. The number of homes that were sold for more than $1 million has increased by a whopping 81% over the past year, according to a new analysis from Point2 Homes.In the Midwest alone, the volume of homes sold for more than $1 million has doubled. In the Northeast, the number of luxury home sales climbed by 98%, and in the South sales were up by 94%.Point2 Homes tracked the

"We’ve Never Seen Prices Appreciate this Fast"

Just how wild is the real estate market right now? You don’t hear National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun say this every day: “We’ve never seen price appreciation of this magnitude.” It’s a sobering message in NAR's latest home sales video, which covers the month of May, when the median home price rose nearly 24% year over year from $283,500 in May 2020 to $350,300 in May 2021.Higher prices have sidelined so

Biden Focuses on Tackling Inventory Crisis

Home sales and affordability are falling due to severely constrained inventory. As such, more government leaders are putting greater focus on the inventory crisis.President Joe Biden recently reiterated his administration’s focus on housing as part of its broader infrastructure push. He’s called for a “historic investment” in housing that could generate 2 million additional homes in the U.S. through new construction and rehabilitating exi

Rental Prices Broke Records in 44 Cities Last Month

A shortage of homes for sale has forced more prospective buyers to rent. That is driving up prices in the rental market.The U.S. median rental price in June jumped 8.1% compared to a year ago, reaching $1,575,® reports. Also, two-bedroom units saw the largest increase in rents at 10.2%, as the demand for more space continued to remain high.Rental prices in 44 of the largest 55 metros broke records last month. The largest gains were r

Fewest Homeowners in Forbearance since Pandemic Began

More Americans are exiting pandemic-related forbearance plans as the July 31 deadline for a nationwide foreclosure moratorium is set to expire.The number of homeowners in forbearance plans dropped by 189,000 for the week ending July 6. About 1.86 million—or 3.5% of all active mortgages—are in forbearance. This marks the first time the total has dropped below 2 million since April 2020, analyst company Black Knight reports.Of 325,000 plans tha

Greenhouses Grow in Demand as Gardening Takes Off

As more homeowners sheltered during the pandemic, they explored outside activities, with gardening growing into a favorite pastime for many. To grow gardeners’ newfound love for plants and gardens, greenhouses are popping up in more backyards.Greenhouse manufacturers are reporting surging website traffic and demand over the past year.Bunny Williams, who maintains an interior design practice in Manhattan, told The Wall Street Journal t