Jon's Reading List - Week of June 25, 2021

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

Interesting stuff I'm reading this week.

Housing

U.S. Existing-Home Prices Hit Record High in May (Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2021)
U.S. home prices in May experienced their biggest annual increase in more than two decades, as a shortage of properties and low borrowing rates fueled demand.
The median existing-home sales price in May topped $350,000 for the first time, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. The figure was nearly 24% higher than a year ago, the biggest year-over-year price increase NAR has recorded in data going back to 1999.

Blackstone to Buy Home Partners of America in $6B Deal (GlobeSt.com, June 22, 2021)
Blackstone Group is acquiring Home Partners of America in a $6 billion deal that could be announced as soon as today...Home Partners buys and rents out single-family homes, giving tenants a chance to buy the property. It has a portfolio of more than 17,000 houses throughout the US. 
Blackstone’s investment is the latest illustration of the strength of the SFR asset class, which is now on par with the multifamily sector in terms of investor interest and fundamentals. Walker & Dunlop estimates the SFR market to be valued at around $3.4 trillion—a staggering number when compared to the more established multifamily market, which is estimated at $3.5 trillion. 

Would-Be Buyers Get Shut Out of Homes (Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2021)
Would-be home buyers without big piles of cash are getting left on the sidelines.
In the turbocharged housing market, prices are surging and homes on the market are routinely selling for far more than the listing price. Those who can’t afford big down payments are often the ones losing out.
Half of existing-home buyers in April who used mortgages put at least 20% down, according to a National Association of Realtors survey. In 10 years of record-keeping, that percentage has hit or exceeded 50% three times, and all have been since last fall. A quarter of existing-home buyers in April paid cash, the highest level since 2017, NAR said.