NOVEMBER BUYING SEASON
It was a busy start of the holiday season for the housing market: The number of pending home sales jumped 7.4% year-over-year in November according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “Despite the insufficient level of inventory, pending home contracts still increased in November.”
Looking ahead, economists at NAR’s annual Real Estate Forecast Summit projected rising home prices and low risk of recession in 2020. Summarizing the group’s findings, Yun said, “Real estate is on firm ground with little chance of price declines. However, in order for the market to be healthier, more supply is needed to assure home prices as well as rents do not consistently outgrow income gains.”
Mortgage rates were the “housing bright spot in 2019,” according to Freddie Mac. In the Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending December 26, Freddie Mac said, “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate saw little change again this week and averaged just 3.9% during 2019, the fourth lowest annual average since 1971 when Freddie Mac started its weekly survey.”
The real estate A-list starts with Amazon: Architectural Digest released its list of the biggest celebrity real estate deals of 2019 and Jeff Bezos’ purchase of an $80M dollar New York penthouse was number one. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi came in a distant second with their $45M pad in Beverly Hills, followed by a $37M second Tahoe home bought by Mark Zuckerberg and hoops star Stephen Curry’s $31M Northern California mansion.