News & Press

Below are press releases announcing; acquisitions, divestitures and industry news.

Homebuyers aren’t seeing savings from falling lumber prices – here’s why

Lumber prices hit a record high on May 7, at $1,670.50 per thousand board feet on a closing basis.

The price of lumber on the futures market has given up all of its gains for this year, falling by more than 50% in just the last few months. Homebuilders, homebuyers and homeowners looking to remodel, however, are not seeing savings yet.

Lumber prices hit a record high on May 7, at $1,670.50 per thousand board feet on a closing basis. That was more than six times their coronavirus pandemic low in April of last year.

The spike was due to sudden soaring demand and low supply both due to the pandemic. Saw mills closed at the start and did not ramp up production quickly enough to meet the new demand from builders and remodelers. Homebuyers and homeowners alike wanted more space, and that meant more lumber.

Now demand for remodeling is falling, as people spend more money on vacations instead. Homebuilders are still seeing strong demand, but they have slowed construction due to high costs. Saw mills have gotten back on line, but many are having issues finding enough labor.

Lower lumber prices are a welcome sign but not a reality yet on the retail side. Lumber prices are also still up nearly 100% from the spring of last year.

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    Average National Monthly Rent Tops $1,500 For 1st Time

    The average monthly national rent hit $1,513, topping the $1,500 mark for the first time in 150 metros that were reviewed, according to the National Apartment Association (NAA).

    In addition to the average national monthly rent increases, occupancy and demand are also at all-time highs.

    “According to separate reports from RealPage, all three have surged forward to levels last recorded in at least the early 2000s,” the NAA says in the report.

    “I think we’re going to see increases for the next 12 to 18 months,” said Robert Pinnegar, president of the National Apartment Association, in an interview with The Washington Post.

    “We’ve never had three generations in the rental housing space, at least not in the numbers we’re seeing now,” Pinnegar said.

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      U.S. housing shortage will be around for ‘years to come,’ says Taylor Morrison CEO

      The housing shortage that began before the pandemic will stick around for a long time as market demand soars, Taylor Morrison CEO Sheryl Palmer told CNBC on Wednesday.

      The housing shortage that began before the pandemic will stick around for a long time as market demand soars, the chief executive of homebuilder Taylor Morrison told CNBC on Wednesday.

      “As the economy continues to improve, we’re going to see mortgage rates move up, and I think that should be expected. They’re not going to stay under 3% forever,” CEO Sheryl Palmer said on “Closing Bell.” However, she added, “the lack of supply and the overwhelming demand is something that will be with us for years to come.”

      Earlier Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index showed that mortgage demand decreased for the second week in a row this week, dropping by 1.8% to their lowest level since the beginning of 2020. Home purchase applications and mortgage applications to refinance a home both dropped for the week, even though mortgage rates dipped.

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        Fannie Mae: Sellers still thriving as home prices stay high

        Nearly half of survey respondents believe home prices will keep rising

        Sellers, rejoice. Roughly 77% of respondents to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI), a composite index designed to track the housing market and consumer confidence to sell or buy a home, said now is a good time to sell. That’s up from 67% the prior month.

        To boot, a reported 64% of survey respondents said it’s a bad time to buy a home, up from 56% last month.

        Overall, the HSPI decreased by 0.3 points to 79.7 in June 2021. Year over year, the overall index is up 3.2%.

        The percentage of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased one percentage point to 48%, and the percentage who say home prices will go down also increased to 21%.

        One group that continues to feel the pain of high home prices is first-time homebuyers — even with mortgage rates remaining at historically low levels, said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist. However, low inventory remains an issue, and homes are still being snatched up as soon as they hit the market, he said.

        “It’s likely that affordability concerns are more greatly affecting those who aspire to be first-time homeowners than other consumer segments who have already established homeownership,” Duncan said. “But despite the pessimism in homebuying conditions, we expect demand for housing to persist at an elevated level through the rest of the year.”

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          National Rent Prices Jump Again in June, As Upward Trend Continues

          National rent prices jumped again in June by 2.3 percent and now are up 9.2 percent so far in 2021, according to the latest report from Apartment List.

          In previous years, rent growth from January to June is usually just two to three percent, the report said.

          “Although the pandemic created some softness in the rental market last year, 2021 brought the fastest rent growth we have on record in our data. Nationally, and in many individual cities across the country, rents have now surpassed the level where they would have been if rent growth had not been disrupted by the pandemic,” said housing economists Chris Salviati, Igor Popov, and Rob Warnock in the report.

          The report said that individual cities have also seen “pandemic pricing” come and go.

          “This month, rents caught up with pre-pandemic expectations in a handful of major markets including Austin and San Diego. Meanwhile, prices remain below the pre-pandemic trend in some of the hardest-hit markets, like New York and San Francisco.”

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            U.S. Supreme Court Declines Landlords Appeal To End CDC Eviction Moratorium

            The U.S Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision declined an appeal from landlords to end the CDC Eviction Moratorium.

            The court action will leave the eviction ban in place until the end of July.

            Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court’s three liberals in the majority. Kavanaugh cast the pivotal vote, saying he was letting the ban stay in effect even though he thought the CDC had exceeded its power.

            “Because the CDC plans to end the moratorium in only a few weeks, on July 31, and because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds, I vote at this time to deny the application,” Kavanaugh wrote.

            Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), earlier signed an extension to the eviction moratorium further preventing the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments, according to a release. The moratorium that was scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021 is now extended through July 31, 2021.

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              The Eviction Moratorium Ends This Month. Here’s What’s Next for Renters and Landlords

              Tenants who are behind on their rent have been granted one last reprieve with the Biden administration extending the nationwide eviction moratorium a final time. What comes next for renters and landlords across the country will largely depend on how states and municipalities manage what could become a tidal wave of evictions once the moratorium ultimately expires at the end of July.

              On June 24, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the eviction moratorium, which was set to expire June 30, would be extended until July 31. The CDC signaled this was intended to be the final extension of the ban on evictions, which was first put in place under the Trump administration last September.

              “I think the CDC was right in telegraphing a date certain—July 31—for the moratorium on evictions to end, and in support of that, I think the Biden administration has done a good job of providing additional resources for residents and property owners challenged by continuing COVID-induced hardship,” said David Howard, executive director of the National Rental Home Council.

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                Selling MHCs to the People Who Call Them Home

                Residents are likely to pay a premium to capture control of the properties that their units occupy.

                Most commercial real estate investments are sold to another investor and properties are managed in such a way to maximize the return for when the property eventually sells. For manufactured housing investors, however, a new avenue for exit has opened in the form of resident-owned communities.

                Commercial property tenants do not usually provide an exit opportunity, but manufactured home park residents are a different breed of occupier. The average multifamily resident is under 40 years old and will stay at a multifamily property for just over 24 months. Conversely, the average manufactured home park resident is over 55 years old and will live at that park for an average of 14 years.

                Apartment dwellers see their living arrangement as transitional. They will be there for a few years until they get married, start a new job or experience some other life-changing event. Manufactured home park residents have usually decided that they want to stay there for longer periods of time or, in many cases, for the rest of their lives.

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                  BLACK KNIGHT’S FIRST LOOK AT MAY 2021 MORTGAGE DATA

                  Number of Seriously Past-Due Loans Continues to Improve, Though Long Holiday Weekend Drives Up May’s Overall Delinquency Rate

                  • The national delinquency rate rose to 4.73% from 4.66% in April, driven largely by the three-day Memorial Day weekend foreshortening available payment windows
                  • Similar occurrences are rare; the last time was in May 2004, at which time mortgage delinquencies jumped by more than 15% in a single month; this month saw a 1.5% increase
                  • Early-stage delinquencies (those 30 or 60 days past due) rose by 110,200 in May, while serious delinquencies (90 or more days but not yet in foreclosure) improved for the ninth consecutive month
                  • Despite this improvement, nearly 1.7 million first-lien mortgages remain seriously delinquent, 1.26 million more than there were prior to the pandemic
                  • Foreclosure inventory hit yet another new record low as both moratoriums and borrower forbearance plan participation continue to limit activity, keeping foreclosure starts near record lows as well
                  • Mortgage prepayments fell to their lowest level in more than a year, driven by falling refinance activity as well as purchase-related headwinds

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                    How the Pandemic Has Changed Real Estate Contracts

                    While we hope the virus will soon be a thing of the past, some contractual provisions and issues are sure to become part of real estate professionals’ new normal. As a result of lessons learned from the pandemic, most real estate agreements, such as leases, financing documents and contracts, warrant consideration of new provisions that are likely here to stay.

                    No provision has been more scrutinized in the months following the March 2020 lockdowns than the “force majeure” clause (a provision that, under certain circumstances, can either release or postpone contractual obligations). Throughout the pandemic, practitioners have been trying to interpret, and reinterpret, force majeure clauses to determine if the pandemic qualified as a force majeure event. Conversely, if a contract did not include a force majeure provision, most everyone in California, for example, quickly became familiar with Section 1511 of the California Civil Code, which is California’s default “force majeure” statute and applies to contracts without express force majeure clauses.

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