The Real Estate News Brief: CDC Eviction Moratorium Lawsuit, Remote Worker Plan, and Pets on Home Tours

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In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending June 5th, 2021… a lawsuit over the CDC eviction moratorium is heating up, what remote workers are saying about going back to the office, and the important role that pets are playing in the homebuying process.

Economic News

We begin with economic news from this past week, and a job market that continues to improve. The weekly jobless report shows another pandemic low for initial jobless claims. They were down to 385,000, according to the Labor Department. That’s down from 405,000 for the previous week. More than 15.4 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits. (1)

The latest home price report from CoreLogic shows that prices were up 13% year-over-year in April. That’s the highest annual gain since February of 2006. It’s been driven mostly by competition among buyers for a tight inventory of homes as well as the low mortgage rates. Economists say we might see slower price growth as more homes come on the market from builders and existing home owners who are no longer afraid to list because of the pandemic. (2)

Builders have been busy. According to the Census bureau, construction spending was up 5.8% during the first four months of this year, compared to last year. For April, the monthly increase was 1.3% and the year-over-year increase was 9.8%. Private construction accounts for most of the increase. The building of new single-family homes tops that list. The Census Bureau shows a 39.5% year-over-year increase for single-family construction. (3)

A record number of builders are also reporting material shortages which is driving up the cost of construction. The National Association of Home Builders says that appliances, lumber, engineered wood, and plywood are all topping the list. Many of the builders surveyed say they are seeing a serious shortage in those four categories. Windows and doors are also hard to come by along with trusses, copper wiring, plumbing fixtures, and vinyl siding. Actually, there’s some amount of shortage for all the things you need to build a home, but the ones I mentioned are the worst. (4)

Mortgage Rates

Average mortgage rates are still under 3% but they are 4 basis points higher than the week before. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.99%. The 15-year is 2.27%. (5)

In other news making headlines...

CDC Eviction Ban Heads to Supreme Court

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the CDC Eviction Moratorium are taking their case to the Supreme Court. The moratorium is set to expire at the end of this month, if it isn’t extended before then.

Realtor Associations in Georgia and Alabama along with two landlords and two property management companies lost an appeal this last week, and have now asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in. They claim that landlords across the nation have lost more than $13 billion in unpaid rent because of the moratorium. They want the high court to block the CDC mandate, on an emergency basis.

Many Workers Reject Office Return

Many workers are telling their bosses they don’t plan to return to the office. According to a new survey commissioned by Bloomberg, 39% say they’d rather quit than go back to an in-person office situation. It was a nationwide survey of 1,000 people. And surprisingly, younger workers were the most likely to say they’d rather quit than go back to work at the office. About half of the millennial and Gen Z participants said no to office work. There’s been some talk that younger workers might prefer the camaraderie of an office environment.

The results are similar to a recent survey by realtor.com that shows 60% of new homeowners are working from home. And about the same percentage prefer to continue their remote work positions. A lot of them said they will be looking for a new job if they are forced to go back to the office full-time.

Buyers Want Feedback from Pets

Pets are becoming an important part of the homebuying process. In a recent survey by Ally Home, 20% of the participants have brought their pets with them to look at homes. Almost 25% of women say they’ve done that while 15% of the men say they’ve gone house-hunting with Fido. Ally Home president, Glenn Brunker, says it makes sense because people want their pets to feel comfortable in the home.

Millennials were the biggest group that said pets will influence their home-buying decisions. Many want a dedicated space for the pet, or maybe a bedroom that’s large enough for a bed that will accommodate their pet.

In a survey last year by the National Association of Realtors, 81% of its members said they were animal lovers. And 43% wais they would consider moving to a more pet-friendly home.

You’ll find links to our sources in the notes for this episode at NewsForInvestors.com.

Click here to join RealWealth now, it's free and only takes a minute!

Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.

Links:

1 - https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/03/weekly-jobless-claims.html

2 - https://www.corelogic.com/blog/2021/5/home-prices-post-third-consecutive-double-digit-gain-in-april.aspx

3 - https://www.census.gov/construction/c30/pdf/release.pdf

4 - https://eyeonhousing.org/2021/05/record-numbers-of-builders-report-material-shortages/

5 - http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/

6 - https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/03/politics/supreme-court-realtors-eviction-moratorium/index.html

7 - https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2021/06/02/39-of-workers-say-they-ll-quit-if-remote-work-is-not-permitted

9 - https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2021/06/02/expect-buyers-pets-on-home-tours

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