U.S. Home Sales Continued to Grow in October as Housing Market Remains Hot

A beige house in a suburban community during the day

Home sales in the U.S. grew in October as buyers continue to enter a hot market, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Existing home sales increased at the fastest pace since January, growing 0.8% in October from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.34 million, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday. October home sales declined 5.8% compared to the figure in October 2020, with the inventory of unsold homes decreasing 12% to 1.25 million on a year-over-year basis.

“Home sales remain resilient, despite low inventory and increasing affordability challenges,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in the report. “Inflationary pressures, such as fast-rising rents and increasing consumer prices, may have some prospective buyers seeking the protection of a fixed, consistent mortgage payment.”

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Developers Pause, Pull Out After St. Paul Passes Rent Control

St. Paul School District

Earlier this month, St. Paul voters chose 53%-47% to impose a 3% cap on rent increases per year.  Despite the rule not activating until May 22, developers already are pausing and pulling out of projects.

The cap is strict: it doesn’t account for inflation, small or large landlords, new or old buildings, “regardless of change of occupancy.” The goal is to obtain stable, affordable housing prices, but there are also wide-reaching unintended consequences.

Pre-election, Mayor Melvin Carter said he supported the initiative.

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Lumber Demand Drives Georgia Home Prices Higher

A beige house in a suburban community during the day

A spike in lumber prices has compounded the state’s housing crisis, Georgia housing advocates said.

The price of lumber increased by 300% this spring compared with the same time last year, reports show. The building material reached an all-time high of $1,515 per thousand board feet on May 28.

The price of oriented strand board, which is most often used for sheathing, has increased by 400% since last spring.

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Business Owner Says She’ll Go Under If Border Restrictions Aren’t Lifted

inside of grocery store; close up of products in the aisle

The only grocery store in Point Roberts, Washington, will be forced to close if travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada aren’t lifted by July 15, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Point Roberts Marketplace store owner Ali Hayton said the market relies on shoppers who haven’t been able to visit for more than 15 months and that government assistance did little to help the struggling shop, the AP reported. The store received two loans from federal pandemic relief programs, though the funds were used in a week.

“Now that I see that there is absolutely no end in sight, I can’t do it anymore,” Hayton said, according to the AP. “I cannot financially keep subsidizing all of this by myself.”

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Atlanta Area Among Country’s Fastest-Growing New Home Construction Markets

Light trails on a suburban highway

A recent National Association of Realtors report shows the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta metro area is experiencing new-home growth amid a national housing shortage.

The area ranked fourth in the country for metro areas with the most single-family home building permits over the past year.

Metro Atlanta real estate agent Allahva Panton has seen a large increase in real estate sales in the Atlanta area, but not so much in Sandy Springs or Alpharetta.

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