Forty-one percent of Americans have moved for love, with men more willing to relocate than women for their significant other, a new survey of 1,550 Buyers, Americans from LendingTree finds.
The top five states for a romance relocation, the survey finds, are: Florida (11%), California (10%), New York (7%), Texas (6%), and North Carolina (5%).
But not all of these moves for love have happy endings, the survey notes. Women were more likely than men to express regrets about moving for love—22% versus 9%. Forty-six percent of women who said they originally relocated to an area for love say they’re no longer with that person, while 31% of men said the same. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top reason for regret for moving for love was that the respondent was no longer with the person they originally moved for.
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The home office has become an important space to stage, but certain memorabilia displayed could turn off some buyers who view the property in-person or online.
“For more buyers to see themselves in that office space, you’ll do well to take a lot of ‘you’ out of it first,” Chris Haro, a real estate professional in Hilton Head, S.C., told Apartment Therapy.
For example, real estate pros and stagers say college degrees and other homeowner achievements on display should be removed prior to listing the house on the market. This includes any regalia from your alma mater.
Home Sellers Are Feeling More Optimistic
February 9, 2021
As home prices rise by double-digit margins year over year, homeowners are increasingly viewing selling favorably. Consumers reported a significantly more positive view of homeselling conditions month over month in January, jumping 16 percentage points on net, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, based on a survey of 1,000 consumers.
“Overall, the index’s monthly increase was driven largely by a substantial jump in the share of consumers reporting that it’s a good time to sell a home, with many citing favorable mortgage rates, high home prices, and low housing inventory as their primary rationale,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Among owners and higher-income groups, however, the other five components of the index remained relatively flat or slightly negative, suggesting to us that some consumers are waiting to gauge the effectiveness of any new fiscal policies and vaccination distribution programs on both housing and the larger economy.”
Duncan notes that lower-income and renter groups were more optimistic in January across nearly all of the index’s components. “We will pay close attention to see if this newfound optimism develops into a trend, which could indicate either that some demographics who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic may be starting to feel the economic recovery or that this is a response to the additional stimulus enacted in December,” Duncan says.
More highlights from the January index reading:
- 52% of consumers say it’s a good time to buy a home, mostly unchanged from December 2020.
- 57% of consumers say it is a good time to sell a home, increasing from 50% the month prior.
- 41% of consumers believe home prices will go up over the next 12 months.
- 75% of consumers say they are not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months, unchanged from December 2020.
- 21% of consumers say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, while the percentage who say their household income is significantly lower decreased to 14%. Sixty-four percent of consumers say their household income is about the same.
Source: Fannie Mae
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This spring will likely be another fiercely competitive one for home buyers. Real estate professionals should prepare their house hunters for record low inventories and rapidly rising home prices.
“Demand for housing was already strong coming into the year and we don’t see that slowing down with millennials reaching prime home-buying age, and many remote workers still in the market for more space,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “At the same time, sellers failed to materialize in January, which has pushed the number of homes for sale to new lows and suggests that our new normal of rising prices and brisk sales is here to stay at least through the first half of the year. Those thinking of getting into the market this spring should brace themselves for a competitive season, especially in the market for existing homes”
If January is in any indication of how the spring market will play out, home shoppers will need to be ready to act quickly and have their financing in order. There will be fewer choices and likely continued high buyer competition. The number of homes for sale nationwide in January plunged 42.6% year-over-year, a new low, according to realtor.com®’s records dating back to 2021.
There’s a fresh sign that former urban dwellers who have fled to small towns during the pandemic are treating the move as permanent: opening shops and other small businesses, such as rental offices, in their new locations. “These transplants … are eager to recreate their old businesses or try new ones,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Some real estate professionals say they’re seeing quicker sales for commercial properties and office space. “We have people with much higher incomes that are moving up here,” Raj Kumar of Select Sotheby’s International Realty in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., told the Journal. Commercial real estate sales in Columbia, Greene, and Dutchess counties are more than four times higher than they were a year ago, Kumar says.
2020’s Existing-home Sales Attain 14-Year Peak
January 22, 2021
Existing-home sales in 2020 surged to the highest level in 14 years, landing 22% higher than a year ago, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Friday. Existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—posted big gains year over year and rose by 0.7% in December 2020 compared to November 2020’s already unseasonably high rates.
“This momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%. Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway.”
Existing-home sales in December 2020 reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million. Still, home buyers are finding a limited number of homes for sale. Inventory levels are at record lows. That has placed continued pressure on home prices, which continue to post double-digit yearly gains.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in December 2020 was $309,800, up nearly 13% compared to December 2019, NAR reports. Every major region of the U.S. saw home prices rise last month.
Here’s a closer look at key housing indicators from NAR’s latest report:
- Days on the market: Seventy percent of the homes sold in December 2020 were on the market for less than a month. Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days that month, down from 41 days in December 2019.
- Housing inventories: Total housing inventory at the end of December totaled 1.07 million units, down 23% compared to a year ago. Inventories are at an all-time low at a 1.9-month supply at the current sales pace. “To their credit, homebuilders and construction companies have increased efforts to build, with housing starts hitting an annual rate of near 1.7 million in December, with more focus on single-family homes,” Yun says. “However, it will take vigorous new-home construction in 2021 and in 2022 to adequately furnish the market to properly meet the demand.”
- First-time buyers: First-time buyers comprised 31% of sales in December, down from 32% in November.
- Investors/second-home buyers: Individual investors and second-home buyers purchased 14% of homes in December, a decline from 17% a year prior. Investors and second-home buyers tend to account for the largest bulk of cash sales, which accounted for 19% of transactions in December.
- Distressed sales: With moratoriums still in place, foreclosures and short sales comprised less than 1% of sales in December, down from 2% a year ago.
Here’s a closer look at existing-home sales fared across the country in December 2020:
- Northeast: Existing-home sales rose 4.5%, a 27% increase compared to a year earlier. Median price: $362,100, up 19% from December 2019.
- Midwest: Existing-home sales were unchanged in December compared to November, but were up 26.2% from a year earlier. Median price: $235,700, a 13.7% annual increase.
- South: Existing-home sales rose 1.1% in December, up 20.7% annually. Median price: $268,100, an 11.3% increase from December 2019.
- West: Existing-home sales dropped 1.4% compared to a month prior but are nearly 18% higher than a year ago. Median price: $467,900—up 14.2% from December 2019.
Seventy percent of homeowners of about 1,000 recently surveyed say they have delayed home repairs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from Sears Home Services. Some consider those home repairs “critical,” too. Furthermore, nearly 60% of homeowners surveyed say they felt it’s acceptable to put off critical home repairs in the pandemic.
Many homeowners may be delaying home repairs due to their finances, the survey finds. Homeowners under financial stress are the most likely to report postponing repairs to broken appliances (34%), water damage (31%), electrical issues (30%), and roof repairs (29%), according to the survey. These postponed repairs, however, could result in pricier fixes later on or even dangers, researchers warn.
The following charts show the most common home repairs postponed and the top 15 home repairs completed during the pandemic.