.TODAY, the National Association of REALTORS, NAR, held their 2020 legislative meetings, with a zoom slide presentation by the national  chief economist, Dr Lawrence Yun. Believe it or not, March/April looked pretty bad on the news. But Dr Yun make some very important points.

1. while many sectors in economy were down (jobs in  leisure and hospitality were 1/3 of the jobs lost), followed by education, health and retail, he pointed out that the home improvement sector rose 15% and online sales rose 10%. and although 33 MM filed for unemployment, many were first time filers who will hopefully regain their jobs this year.  He emphasized 80% of the jobs lost are temporary loss according to the US Labor Dept.

2. there was a national housing inventory shortage before COVID 19 and this shortage has been exaserbated by sellers holding off during the pandemic.  It has also led to all time high in PENDING contracts in May. and employees who have jobs are taking advantage of low rates as mortgage applications are quickly recovering from the  35% March decline.

3. Regionaly: the southwest is recovering faster.   Top three states: Especially Texas will recover fastest.  the Northeast is in much worse shape.   and by the way a survey shows 60-90% of BUYERS don't anticipate any price drop.

4. He predicts permanent changes after Pandemic:  end of open concept homes, need for offices, more work from home, less communing; larger homes (home office spaces), maybe agree to move farther out to get more for your money.

5.Delayed Inflation: if in a few years inflation and mortgage rates go up, remember that the person who buys a home now will benefit from two biggies:  A.   the home price will appreciate  B. their MORTGAGE PAYMENT will be the same as in 2020-2021- It will NOT rise due to inflation.

Here in Austin we saw a sharp drop in pending sales from mid March to mid April, then a very sharp spring back up in May.  See both charts above. (data source Austin Board of REALTORS)

Posted by Gay Puckett on
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