The Real Estate News Brief: CDC Eviction Moratorium Overturned, Best Days to Sell Your Home, Most Competitive Rental Markets


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In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending May 8th, 2021… what’s happening with the CDC eviction moratorium, why you should sell your home in May, and which rental markets are the most competitive.

Economic News

We begin with economic news from this past week, and a new court ruling “against” the CDC’s eviction moratorium. A U.S. District Court Judge in Washington, D.C. ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not have the authority to issue the moratorium. It struck down the ban but the Department of Justice immediately filed an appeal which will be heard within another two weeks. In the meantime, the court issued a temporary stay on the District Court’s decision. Realtor associations in Georgia and Alabama filed the lawsuit along with two housing providers and their property management companies. The National Association of Realtors also supported the lawsuit. NAR believes the best solution is to provide rental assistance to the tenants who are impacted by COVID. That will help both the tenants, and their housing providers.

New unemployment applications dropped below 500,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Weekly state claims were just under that amount, at 498,000. Another 100,000 claims were filed for temporary federal benefits, but the total number of claims are still two-and-a-half times higher than they were before the outbreak began.

Economists were disappointed with the April jobs report. It shows that the U.S. only gained 266,000 jobs which is far below the one million jobs that economists had expected. That contributed to an increase in the official unemployment rate. It was down to 6%, but is now up to 6.1%, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Businesses dealing with leisure and hospitality did most of the hiring in April.

Construction spending was slightly higher in March. The Commerce Department says it rose .2%. That’s also a disappointment. Wall Street Journal economists had expected an increase of 1.8%. Spending for residential construction was right about at that level, however -- at 1.7%. Other kinds of non-residential spending were down.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are still under 3%. They’ve been there for three weeks now. Freddie Mac says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was down 2 basis points this last week to 2.96%. The 15-year was down 1 basis point to 2.3%. That’s great for homebuyers who manage to score a home in this tight market.

In other news making headlines...

Record for Newly Built Homes

Newly-built single-family homes are gaining market share. Redfin says they now account for one in four single-family homes on the market. They had a 20.4% share last year which rose to a 25.7% share in the first quarter of this year.

Redfin’s lead economist Taylor Marr says there are two main reasons for the increase. He says: “Building homes has become more attractive and profitable during the pandemic due to record-low mortgage rates” along with “red-hot homebuyer demand.”

Higher Home Seller Profits

Home sellers are also enjoying red-hot profits. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, sellers received more than $70,000 in profit on average. That’s 26% higher than the average $55,000 in profit last year.

But that’s actually a slight pull-back from December of last year. The average profit in the fourth quarter was $75,750. ATTOM’s chief product officer, Todd Teta, says it’s not unusual to see a pull-back during the winter months, but he says: “It’s definitely something to keep an eye on.”

Best Time to Sell Your Home

And May could be a good time for sellers to maximize their profits. ATTOM says the “five” best days to sell a home are just ahead of us -- in May. According to a new analysis, those five days are May 16th, 19th, 20th, 23rd, and 27th. The premium ranges from about 16% to 19%. But ATTOM says those are only the five best days.

It says the entire months of May and June are good for selling homes at above-market prices. The average seller premium for May is 13.4% and for June, it’s 11.7%.

Most Competitive Rental Markets

Rent Cafe has some surprising results in a new report on rental markets. It looked at data for 125 of the largest rental markets in the country to determine which were the most competitive. It found that the hottest markets were all mid-sized metros and that cities in California’s Central Valley were at the top of the list. That includes Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, and Bakersfield.

The ranking used metrics for occupancy, vacancy, number of applicants, and rental pricing trends. Places like Sacramento and the Inland Empire in Southern California are also hot rental markets as the work-from-home trend continues and people migrate away from more expensive areas, but stay within range of those bigger metros. Spokane, Washington, and Boise, Idaho were also at the top of the list.

If you’d like to read more about the most competitive rental markets and the other topics mentioned in this podcast, you’ll find links at


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