A look at Biden’s first week in office

This episode reviews last week’s inauguration of President Joe Biden, examining which housing issues the new administration has already taken action on.

Biden’s executive order will extend foreclosure moratorium

President Biden revealed his plan to sign 17 executive orders his first day in office, including am extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratorium to at least March 31.

If consumers aren’t holding lenders back, then who or what is?

The challenge for lenders and investors is understanding how to meet borrowers where they are without layering on risk or getting bogged down in third-party intermediation.

HomeBridge’s Brian White on diversity at a practical level

HomeBridge's Brian “Woody” White discusses ways to increase diversity within the housing finance industry.

Real Estate

Texas homeownership rate reaches an all-time high

Record-low inventory is pushing up home prices in the Lone Star State

The homeownership rate in Texas rose to an all-time high of 70% in the third quarter, exceeding the national metric for the first time since 2012, according to a report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center.

Texas home sales pushed third-quarter activity up compared to “depressed” Q2 levels, rebounding 6.3%. The report said that thanks to record low mortgage rates, new home transactions increased over 8%.

Although mortgage rates are low, survey data indicated that Texas mortgagees may be at a higher risk of foreclosure due to higher proportions of FHA and VA loans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau‘s Household Pulse Survey, 7% of Texas homeowners were behind on September mortgage payments, compared to the national rate of 6%.

The report said that although lot development slowed in Q3, single-family permits and construction values “trended upward.”

Total Texas housing starts rose 20.6% on a monthly basis, according to the report. In the “Texas Urban Triangle” of Dallas/Fort Worth-Houston-Austin/San Antonio, 27,100 single-family homes broke ground in Q3, up 6.1%.

Housing inventory in Texas has dropped to 2.2 months of supply, an all-time low. In fact, inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 sits at 1.6 months. Inventory for homes priced over $500,000 is at 5.7 months.

Specifically, inventory fell in Dallas to 1.8 months; Fort Worth to 1.6 months; Austin to one month; San Antonio to 2.2 months; and Houston to 2.5 months.

Low inventory has contributed to a growth in median home prices in the state, which rose 9.9% year over year in September to a record high of $266,500. The median home price in Austin reached $359,300; Dallas reached $326,100; San Antonio reached $261,000; Fort Worth reached $269,900; and Houston reached $266,400.

More people are working from home during the pandemic, causing an outflow from the cities and inflow to the suburbs and beyond.

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