Not Your Parents Housing Market

Issue 66

Despite the pandemic, Americans have set the housing market ablaze.  Armed with a high savings surplus people are buying homes at a breakneck pace.

Demand is so hot that almost half of U.S. homes are selling within a week of hitting the market, a record pace, according to Redfin. Annual price growth reached 17% in March, the highest in data going back to 2012.

Across the United States, house hunters are in cutthroat competition in a market wiped of listings during the peak spring homebuying season.

Bidding wars are now the norm. Buyers are even waiving inspections to secure deals, a practice that is becoming commonplace for years in hot West Coast tech hubs but is now taking place across the country.

Urgency is amped up, with real estate agents commonly placing caps on bidding to a few days and then pitting buyers against each other.

At the same time, the supply of homes is diminished. Inventory in the warmer months typically expands because sellers like to list in the spring to have deals closed by summer when families can settle in before school terms start. In March, the number of active listings dropped over 40% from a year earlier to the lowest level on record.

Developers can’t build fast enough, so many are raising prices to boost their margins as costs climb for materials, land, and labor.  The roaring ’20s are here and after a year in lockdown, America is cash-rich and on the precipice of fueling a housing boom.

Source: Bloomberg