U.S. Home-Price Growth Accelerated. Then Housing Market’s Momentum Was Hit by Coronavirus

Metrics for home-price growth, homeownership, and existing-home sales were all on the upswing in February, but then the coronavirus came along and upended everything. The post U.S. Home-Price Growth Accelerated. Then Housing Market’s Momentum Was Hit by Coronavirus appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

U.S. Home-Price Growth Accelerated. Then Housing Market’s Momentum Was Hit by Coronavirus

Home-price growth accelerated in February to its highest level in more than a year, but the housing market’s momentum headed into the spring-selling season has been reversed in recent weeks by the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 4.2% in the year that ended in February, up from a 3.9% annual rate the prior month. February marked the highest annual growth rate since January 2019.

The data, which was released Tuesday, is the latest indication that the housing market was set for a robust spring-selling season before the pandemic due to a strong job market at the time and low mortgage rates.

Also on Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that the homeownership rate ticked up to 65.3% in the first quarter, up from 64.2% a year earlier and the highest level since mid-2013. For households headed by someone under 35 years old, a key source of homebuying demand, the homeownership rate rose to 37.3% from 35.4% a year earlier.

U.S. existing-home sales rose to a 13-year high in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. But sales dropped 8.5% in March, as buyers and sellers pulled out of pending deals or opted to stay out of the market. Economists expect home sales to fall more this month.

As home sales fall, price growth is likely to slow in the coming months, said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. In recent weeks, “sellers are getting much less aggressive, which has led to declines in new listings and kept asking prices flat,” she said. News Corp, parent of The Wall Street Journal, operates Realtor.com.

The Case-Shiller 10-city index gained 2.9% over the year ended in February, up from a 2.6% annual change in January. The 20-city index gained 3.5%, after an annual gain of 3.1% in February. Price growth accelerated in 17 of the 20 cities.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the 20-city index to gain 3.2%.

Phoenix had the fastest home-price growth in the country, at 7.5%, followed by Seattle at 6%.

A separate measure of home-price growth by the Federal Housing Finance Agency released last week found a 5.7% increase in home prices in February from a year earlier.

The homeownership rate data showed that the number of owner households rose in the first quarter of 2020 from a year earlier, while the number of renter households fell.

In the coming quarters, the homeownership rate could continue to rise if declining economic activity prompts more people to move in with roommates or family members, decreasing the number of renter households, said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American Financial Corp.

“One of the things we know is in a recession, people in college, people in their early 20s just out of college, really begin to hunker down,” he said. “You don’t run out and form a household when the economic environment is not healthy.”

But the growth in the number of owner households is also likely to slow, said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at housing-finance startup Haus. “Some renters who would have bought a house this spring may be having to use their down payment for emergency funds during the pandemic, and as a result, will delay their plans to buy a home,” he said.

The post U.S. Home-Price Growth Accelerated. Then Housing Market’s Momentum Was Hit by Coronavirus appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Source : Realtor More   

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7 Homes in Point Roberts: Idyllic U.S. Outpost Is a Perfect Place to Self-Isolate

Isolation from the crowd is a true luxury, and the tiny town of Point Roberts, WA, should be considered for placement atop the list of luxury locales. The post 7 Homes in Point Roberts: Idyllic U.S. Outpost Is a Perfect Place to Self-Isolate appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

7 Homes in Point Roberts: Idyllic U.S. Outpost Is a Perfect Place to Self-Isolate

Staying away from people is the thing to do during a pandemic.

Isolation from the crowd is a true luxury, and the tiny town of Point Roberts, WA, should be considered for placement atop the list of luxury locales at the moment. For its approximately 1,300 residents, physical distancing is a part of life.

Point Roberts is a pene-exclave—and we won’t fault you if you’re unfamiliar with the term. A pene-exclave is part of one country (the United States), but convenient access to the place is from another country, in this case Canada.

In case you’re wondering, Point Roberts became a pene-exclave in June 1846, when the United Kingdom and the U.S. settled a border dispute.

The Oregon Treaty stated the 49th parallel would divide the U.S. and Canada, but Point Roberts, the tip of a peninsula, lies just south of the line. And although it is attached to Canada, the island would be considered part of the U.S.

Point Roberts

Google Maps. realtor.com

The only way to get to Point Roberts and stay entirely within the confines of the U.S. is by water. To get there by land, you’d need to drive from Washington, cross the border into British Columbia, head north a bit toward Vancouver, then turn back south, go through the town of Tsawwassen, British Columbia, and cross the border back into the U.S. at the Point Roberts Port of Entry. In total, the trek through Canada is about 25 miles.

With borders now closed to nonessential travel because of COVID-19, this trip is now difficult. But it also means you wouldn’t be getting any drop-in visitors. So if you’re looking to cut yourselves off from the American populace and wait the pandemic out in solitude, a few great homes are available in Point Roberts at various prices.

1. 408 High Bluff Dr

Price: $1,995,000
Faces Canada: This high-end home was built in 2010 and offers views of Boundary Bay and Mount Baker. It has four bedrooms, a chef’s kitchen with Wolf appliances, and a main-floor master suite with two walk-in closets.

Exterior

realtor.com

The home sits on 9.37 acres, has 3,343 square feet of living space, and comes with an oversize three-car garage with room for a workshop.

Views

realtor.com

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2. 1453 Edwards Dr

Price: $791,000
Nature views: The price was just reduced on this waterfront home. You can watch whales play right outside your back door or kayak to your heart’s content. Built in 2005, the 2,276-square-foot home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The master bedroom has a fireplace and patio access.

Exterior

realtor.com

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3. 723 Walters Ln

Price: $799,000
Midcentury beauty: Built in 1960, this 1,512-square-foot home sits on a third of an acre and spans two lots. The home faces west, so you can watch the sunset over the water each night.

Exterior

realtor.com

The three bedrooms and two bathrooms are all on one floor, and large windows highlight the views of the San Juan Islands.

Kitchen

realtor.com

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4. 1484 Edwards Dr

Price: $429,000
Beach access: Enjoy the beach life in this three-bedroom home in the Ocean View Estates community. Built in 1993, it is 2,381 square feet and has two stories with a roughed-in basement.

Exterior

realtor.com

The living area is on the upper floor and includes the kitchen, dining room, living room, and more. The bedrooms are on the main level, and the views are simply amazing.

Views

realtor.com

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5. 157 Northwood Dr

Price: $419,500
Near the border: This 1,680-square-foot house sits just a couple of blocks away from the border and has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Exterior

realtor.com

The ranch-style house was built in 2007 and sits on a quiet street. Vaulted ceilings and skylights let in abundant natural light. The listing also includes an additional lot for a large backyard.

Wooded backyard

realtor.com

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6. 1469 Gulf Rd

Price: $320,000
Right on Main Street: This house has some history behind it. Built in 1900, it’s served as a home, an office, a retail store, and a distribution center. Currently, it can be used as a single-family home or for commercial purposes. The four-bedroom dwelling sits on almost on acre on the main commercial street in Port Roberts.

Front exterior

realtor.com

Back exterior

realtor.com

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7. 1966 Raleigh Dr

Price: $237,500
Privacy guaranteed: Sitting at the end of a street with a large yard, this two-bedroom, two-bath house measures 1,200 square feet and was built in 1994. Through the large windows, you can see the city and mountains of Canada. An inviting deck wraps around the house for enjoying the views.

Exterior

realtor.com

The post 7 Homes in Point Roberts: Idyllic U.S. Outpost Is a Perfect Place to Self-Isolate appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Source : Realtor More   

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