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Friday, October 23, 2020
A sale pending sign is posted in front of a home for sale in San Anselmo, California. Justin Sullivan | Getty Images Pending home sales rose 8.8% in August compared with July, reaching a record high pace, according to the National Association of Realtors survey, which dates back to January 2001. Sales were 24.2% higher than August 2019. These sales track signed contracts on existing homes, not closings, so they are an indicator of closed sales in the next one to two months. "Tremendously low mortgage rates – below 3% – have again helped pending home sales climb in August," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Additionally, the Fed intends to hold short-term fed funds rates near 0% for the foreseeable future, which should, in the absence of inflationary pressure, keep mortgage rates low, and that will undoubtedly aid homebuyers continuing to enter the marketplace." Yun also noted that not all pending sales contracts turn into closed sales, due to both sampling measures and mortgage and appraisal issues; therefore we may not see record closed sales in the coming months. Mortgage rates started the month falling to a new record low. They jumped
Stein Mart has filed for bankruptcy and now the retailer is kicking off going-out-of-business sales at all of its stores. Deals are for up to 30% off merchandise.
A home for sale is seen in Santa Monica, California. Lucy Nicholson | Reuters After a record-setting July, the housing market still shows no sign of cooling off. Sales of existing homes rose 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were 10.5% higher compared with August 2019. This is the highest sales pace since December 2006, before the Great Recession. Sales were hampered only by lack of supply. There were 1.49 million homes for sale at the end of august, down 18.6% annually to a 3.0-month supply. The supply of homes for sale when sales were last this robust, in 2006, was more than double the current supply. That tight supply pushed the median price of an existing home sold in August to a record high of $310,600. That is up 11.4% annually. In the third quarter of this year the housing wealth will have increased by $1.5 trillion from the second quarter. "The imbalance of supply and demand will hurt affordability soon. Once that appears it will hinder home ownership rates," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors.   Tough
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - New England Patriots' Brandon Copeland (L) and Stephon Gilmore tackle Seattle Seahawks' Chris Carson on September 20, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Abbie Parr | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images Millions of Americans have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Copeland wants to help. "We can't control the pandemic, but what we can control is how each of us individually attack our own financial situations," said Copeland, who played with the New York Jets before signing with the Patriots earlier this year. About 22 million people lost their jobs when the pandemic slammed the economy in Mid-March. By September, about 12 million of those jobs had been recovered. There has been some relief from the government in the form of stimulus checks and supplemental unemployment pay. Yet even then, some Americans may not have fully taken advantage of all the programs available, like delaying mortgage or student loan payments. There are also still millions who haven't received their stimulus checks. Brandon Copeland, NY Jets Linebacker. Adam Jeffery | CNBC We can't control the
Siraj Ahmad | iStock | Getty Images Jasmine Johnson is constantly afraid of being evicted from her house in St. Paul, Minnesota. The single mother of five children, all under the age of 13, hasn't been able to earn enough during the pandemic to stay caught up on her $1,350 rent.  First, the daycare where she worked slashed her hours. Recently, she was re-hired at a family shelter as a client advocate, but has now come down with symptoms of the coronavirus and needs to quarantine.  "I'd have to call shelters to be on the waiting list," Johnson, 31, said. "But you don't know when your name will come up. "It's really hard to be homeless with five kids," she added. "It's going to be cold out."  The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for many Americans to generate income and, as a result, pay their rent. As many as 34 million people in the U.S. may be at risk of eviction, according to a new analysis by global advisory firm Stout Risius Ross. Around 1 in 6 renters were behind on their payments in September. That pattern is likely to continue in October. "The
A pedestrian crosses a road in front of residential buildings in Beijing, China. Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images SINGAPORE — Rising debt of Chinese property developers are in the spotlight again, as liquidity issues at top developer China Evergrande trigger investor concerns. China's property prices rebounded quickly as the economy reopened after the worst of the pandemic passed. Still, authorities are expected to officially rein in on borrowing costs of developers — outlining rules that cap the ratios of their debt in relation to their cash flows, assets and capital levels. A leaked document last month regarding the cash flow of Evergrande, China's second-largest developer by sales, has further highlighted concerns of the liquidity flows of Chinese developers. Analysts warn it's also raised the pressure on the developers' ability to repay their debts in the bond markets going into 2021. China's property developers are among the biggest junk bond issuers in Asia, with a total of $46.23 billion being issued last year — double that of 2018, according to Refinitiv data. Junk bonds are non-investment grade debt securities that carry a high default risk, and therefore, usually come with higher interest rates to compensate for that risk.
A Canadian flag flies amid the Toronto skyline Roberto Machado Noa | Getty Images Despite a global recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, home values in major markets around the world continue to rise, with some at risk of overheating. Of 25 major cities analyzed, more than half are either at risk of a housing bubble or are overvalued, according to UBS' Global Real Estate Bubble Index 2020. The index looked at typical signs of a bubble, which include a decoupling of prices from local incomes and rents, and imbalances in the real economy, such as excessive lending and construction activity. Toronto is the only major North American city in the study that was found to be at risk of a housing bubble. Vancouver, British Columbia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York are considered overvalued, but not at risk of a bubble. Boston is at fair value, and Chicago is the only North American city considered to be undervalued. Europe appears to have the greatest risk of housing heat, along with Hong Kong. Munich and Frankfurt in Germany and Warsaw, Poland, top the list, with home prices rising more than 5% in the