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Housing numbers are in, lumber tariffs get chopped, and more top news


October 2020 Housing Recap: Fall Holds Firm

Robust demand, tight inventory, and record-low mortgage rates continue to fuel the fire in the real estate realm, leading the way for the nation’s economic recovery. “The surge in sales in recent months has now offset the spring market losses,” according to National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) chief economist Lawrence Yun. Head to our blog for a closer look at the latest housing numbers and trends.

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Commerce Department Cuts Lumber Tariffs from 20% to 9%

The move by the U.S. Commerce Department to reduce duties on shipments of Canadian lumber into the United States by more than half is good news for real estate investors. “Lower tariffs would mitigate uncertainty and associated volatility that has plagued the marketplace,” reports the National Association of Home Builders, “which could help ease upward price pressure on lumber prices.”

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MBA Revises 2021 Purchase Forecast to All-Time High

Earlier this month the Mortgage Bankers Association made upward revisions to its projected originations for both 2020 and 2021. “In light of the robust sales pace and historically low rates leading to a wave of buyer demand, the MBA now expects $1.59 trillion in purchase originations next year,” the Scotsman Guide reports. The new projections would surpass the previous peak set in 2005.

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Why the End of Mortgage Forbearance May Not Affect Strong U.S. Housing Market

Investors should brace for the fact that there “will likely be nowhere near the influx of foreclosures that the country saw during the Great Recession,” according to a recent article by Point2Homes. Economists say several factors in the current housing market bode well for homeowners who can’t pay their mortgages when forbearance periods end. Read on for the full story.

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October Existing Home Sales See ‘Spectacular’ 26.6% Annual Gain

Not only did existing sales soar well past expectations, investors continued to seize opportunity in the current market and represented 14% of sales in October, compared to 12% in September, reports CNBC. The median price was up 15.5% annually and supply dropped 19.8% compared to October 2019.

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Suburbs See Greatest Gain in Single-Family Construction in Q3

The National Association of Home Builders‘ (NAHB) Home Building Geography Index found that the exodus from big cities to the suburbs and less expensive areas increased in the third quarter. But how long will this trend last? HousingWire reports NAHB Chief Economist Robert Diets expects it to continue for a while. “Our forecast assumes at least a persistent, partial effect beyond the deployment of a vaccine.”

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