The Real Estate News Brief: New Rate Hike Timeline, Surge in Foreclosures, & Single-Family Rent Growth
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In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending October 23rd, 2021... the Fed’s new rate hike schedule, a new wave of foreclosures, and a rent growth surprise for some single-family homes.
Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.
We begin with economic news from this past week with comments from Fed Chief Jerome Powell. It looks like the timeline for interest rate hikes has been pushed up again. Last month, there was more of a debate as to whether it would happen in 2022 or 2023. Powell indicated that conditions for a rate hike would probably be reached next year. That includes the Fed’s goal of maximum employment. The inflation requirement has already been met. That’s when inflation remains above 2% for a sustained period of time. Powell also said that now is the time to begin tapering the Fed’s bond-buying strategy. Policymakers will discuss a tapering plan next month.
Jobless claims fell to a fresh pandemic low last week. There were only 290,000 initial claims for state benefits. Continuing claims also fell. They were down 290,000 to 2.48 million. (2) Millions of jobs are going unfilled, however, which is making it difficult for businesses to meet the demand for goods and services. That’s also creating supply chain issues that are driving up prices, and inflation.
Home buyers are going full steam ahead to lock in deals before mortgage rates rise any higher. The National Association of Realtors say that existing home sales were up 7% from August to September. That’s a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.29 million homes. (3) Part of that increase is due to more inventory, but NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says that inventory was quickly gobbled up.
On the other side of the housing supply issue, residential construction was down due to those supply chain issues, and a labor shortage. The government says that September home starts were down 1.6% compared to August, and that permits were down 7.7%. Multi-family permits were down the most. They fell 21% while single-family permits were down just 1%. (4)
Despite all the headwinds that builders face, the National Association of Home Builders monthly confidence index shows an increase of four points to a reading of 80. Anything over 50 is positive. Although builders have to keep raising prices, they are encouraged that demand and home sales “remain strong.” (5)
Mortgage rates rose slightly this last week. Freddie Mac says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was up four points, to 3.09%. The 15-year was up three points, to 2.33%. (6)
In other news making headlines…
Foreclosures on the Rise
Foreclosure filings jumped higher in September, after pandemic-related moratoriums were lifted. ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q3 foreclosure report which shows that foreclosure filings were up 24% compared to August, and 102% from a year ago. (7)
Economists have been predicting a spike in foreclosures, but RealtyTrac’s Rick Sharga says: “Despite the increased level of foreclosure activity in September, we’re still far below historically normal numbers.” He says they are almost 70% lower than they were before the pandemic. And light years away from the number of foreclosures in mid-2009.
Foreclosure filings were approaching 600,000 per quarter back then. Currently, there are 45,500 filings for the third quarter of this year.
Single-Family Rent Growth
Single-family rent growth quadrupled in August. CoreLogic says the year-over-year rate of growth was 9.3%, and represents the fastest annual rent growth in 16 years. (8)
The single-family category includes both detached and attached units, such as duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhomes, row homes, co-ops, and condos. Rent growth spiked the most for detached homes. Annualized rent growth for attached units was 6.4% while the rent for detached homes rose 11.7%.
The city with the highest rent growth was Miami. Rents in Miami were up 21.5%. That pushed Phoenix into second place for the first time in almost three years. Rounding out the top five are Las Vegas, Austin, and Dallas.
New Forecast for Top Markets in 2022
New forecasts are coming out about next year’s hot real estate markets. PwC just released its 2022 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report. The report includes a top-10 list of highly ranked real estate markets for 2022. Several of them are also on our list of recommendations for single-family rentals. Those markets include Tampa/St. Petersburg, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta.
PwC is also recommending those cities, and others, for the construction of new homes. If you have been following RealWealth, you know that we have expanded our focus on existing single-family rentals to also include the construction of new rental homes. Our recommended markets include Charlotte, North Carolina; Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Park City, Utah, and several Florida markets.
You can find out more by joining RealWealth for free at newsforinvestors.com. As a member, you have access to the Investor Portal where you can view sample property pro formas and connect with our network of resources, including experienced investment counselors, property teams, lenders, 1031 exchange facilitators, attorneys, CPAs and more.
Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.