Economy

(United States)

A lot of calculations are being done to see which states will be most hard hit by the current coronavirus lockdown. Within those assessments it is becoming clear that specific housing markets will be hit hard too. The states that look likely to have their housing markets fall the most are New Jersey, Maryland, and various counties elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic. Specifically, Sussex County (NJ), Charles County (MD), Atlantic County (NJ), Passaic County (NJ), Rockland County (NY), Orange County (NY), and Sussex County (DE).


FINSUM: These are all the locations you’d expect. The percentage of income it takes to manage a mortgage and other ownership expensive is quite high in these areas, so there is going to be a surge in delinquency.

(New York)

After about three years of being a laggard and worrying investors that a recession may be coming, US real estate looks to be turning the corner. Not only have home sales been rising, but new mortgage data looks very encouraging. Home lenders extended $2.4 tn in new home loans last year, the most since 2006. That figure is a whopping 46% increase from 2018. One economist from Freddie Mac described the situation bluntly, saying “When a large and cyclical part of the economy—housing—is starting to improve, it’s a good sign for the economy at large”.


FINSUM: It is important to note that most of this was refinancing activity because of the drop in rates, so it is not as massive an increase as it appears. Still, good momentum.

(Atlanta)

US Real estate has been a worry spot for the last few years. For the last three years or so everyone thought real estate might be the initial signal that the economy was headed lower. However, that never materialized and real estate has been looking modestly better for the last several months. The end of 2019 continued that streak as existing home sales rose 3.6% in December as low unemployment helped support the housing market.


FINSUM: We think the housing market is just solid and steady right now. No huge speculative gains, no gigantic increases in debt etc. It is a nice contrast to publicly-traded securities!

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