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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Florida’s Housing Market: Median Price and New Listings Rise in July

 By Marla Martin

Florida Realtors’ data: Median prices for single-family existing homes rose 20.3% year-over-year to $355,000; up 20.5% to $253,000 for condos/townhomes. Chief Economist O’Connor says July data shows signs Fla.’s housing market is heading on a steady path toward normalcy.

ORLANDO, Fla. – In July, Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings and a rise in all-cash sales compared to a year ago, according to Florida Realtors® latest housing data.

“In a positive sign for Florida’s housing market, new listings rose year-over-year in July for both single-family homes, up 12.1%, and for condo-townhouse properties, up 4.6%,” says 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness. “Our economic experts also report that active listings (inventory) of single-family homes continued to rise throughout July (from its lowest level), which eventually could be good news for buyers who have been sidelined by the shortage of homes for sale. However, any rebound in inventory is going to be slow, and it will take a long while to get back to the levels we had pre-pandemic.”

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide in July totaled 30,740, a slight decrease of 2.1% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 13,481, up 21.1% over July 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in July was $355,000, up 20.3% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $253,000, up 20.5% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor, the data revealed signs that the state’s housing market is heading on a steady path toward normalcy, at least in some respects.

“The 2.1% drop in closed single-family home sales marks the first time that sales in this category have been down year-over-year at the statewide level since May of 2020, near the beginning of the pandemic,” he says. “But remember, last year’s spring buying season was effectively postponed until the summer and fall by the pandemic, so the second half of 2020 ended up being the strongest second half for sales in at least 15 years. It’s not too surprising if sales counts over the next few months fail to surpass their totals from one year ago.

“However, looking at 2019 – the last full year of anything resembling a normal market due to COVID-19 – we find that July 2021 single-family home sales were over 9% higher compared to July 2019.”

Dr. O’Connor notes that, in a continuing trend, the share of closed sales that were all-cash purchases rose in July compared to the previous year. In July, single-family existing home sales paid in all cash increased by 49.9% year-over-year, while all-cash sales of condo-townhouse units rose by 44%.

On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) remained extremely tight in July. Single-family existing homes continued at a very low 1.2-months’ supply while condo-townhouse inventory was at a 1.8-months’ supply.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.87% in July 2021, down from the 3.02% average during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to the Florida Realtors’ Newsroom and look under Latest Releases or download the July 2021 data report PDFs under Market Data on the site.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

Florida's home prices spike ‘well in excess of recent norms,' but could cool soon


With the number of existing homes being listed for sale increasing, Florida’s sellers’ market that spurred a 24.3% spike in single-family home costs over the last year could simmer down in coming months, said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor.

“Florida’s red-hot rate of home price growth could begin to cool down somewhat in the coming months,” he said, “although that will also depend on whether interest rates start to trend higher again, as well. For now, though, the numbers continue to astound.”

During the second quarter of 2021 (2Q 21), April through June, the statewide median sales price for a single-family existing home increased by nearly one-fourth with the median asking price at $345,000, according to updated housing data from Florida Realtors.

Meanwhile, the statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties in 2Q 21 was $250,000, up 20.8% over 2Q 20.

Those trends continued in June, Florida Realtors reports, with statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes at $351,000 and at $256,945 for condos/townhomes.

O’Connor said Florida home sales and prices are typically higher in winter and spring, but “price growth this year has still been well in excess of recent norms.”

Falling mortgage rates in 2020 allowed buyers to bid on higher-priced homes, he said, fostering competition and the “seller’s market” that has “driven prices up so much.”

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3% in 2Q 21, down from 3.23% average in 2Q 20, according to Freddy Mac.

With mortgage rates unlikely to go down further, O’Connor said it will have “the gradual effect of pricing more prospective buyers out of the market, which will reduce the level of competition until price growth falls back to a more normal pace.”

He pointed to 2Q 21’s increase in new listings of existing single-family homes, up 24.2% over 2Q 21 and 8% higher than 2Q 19, and a 27% increase in new condo/townhouse listings during the same span.

Despite the boost in existing home listings, demand is such that the state’s inventory of active listings is still tight with a 1.2-months’ supply for single-family homes and at a 1.8-months’ supply for condo-townhouse properties, Florida Realtors reports.

O’Connor noted cash sales are a growing trend with 31% of all single-family homes all-cash deals in June, compared to 19% a year ago and 22.4% in 2019.

“The last time Florida had more than 31% single-family cash sales in June was in 2015, when the state was still working the last foreclosures from the Great Recession out of the system.”

O’Connor cited a rise in the percentage of single-family home cash sales below $400,000. “This indicates a rise in investor activity, so of course Florida Realtors will be watching these numbers closely,” he said.

Overall, the 98,414 2Q 21 closed sales of existing single-family homes was a 43.3% increase over 2Q 20 sales and 16% more than pre-pandemic 2Q 2019 sales.

Existing condo and townhouse sales between April and June totaled 48,976 – a 117% surge compared to last year and up nearly 44% compared to two years ago, according to Florida Realtors.

“Coming out of a record spring home-buying season, the state’s housing market continued its strong gains in June,” Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert said. “Of course, the impact of the pandemic last June is still a factor to consider when looking at the comparison data.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Lenders Can Now Consider Rent History for Fannie Mae Loans

 By Kerry Smith

Renters with thin credit histories may still qualify for a home loan under a Fannie Mae program that allows lenders to consider consistent, on-time rental payments when making lending decisions. Neither buyers nor lenders pay extra to use the new tool.

WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on Tuesday that Fannie Mae will consider rental payment history in risk assessment processes. The change should help renters with thin credit scores – usually a limited credit history because they may not use credit cards or charge purchases – qualify for a home mortgage.

If future borrowers have a strong rental payment history, Fannie Mae will allow its lenders to consider that history in their underwriting decision. There is no additional burden – either for the borrower or for the lender – to use this feature.

“For many households, rent is the single largest monthly expense. There is absolutely no reason timely payment of monthly housing expenses shouldn’t be included in underwriting calculations,” says Fannie Mae Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson.

“With this update, Fannie Mae is taking another step toward understanding how rental payments can more broadly be included in a credit assessment, providing an additional opportunity for renters to achieve the dream of sustainable homeownership,” she adds.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

Friday, August 13, 2021

NAR: 19 out of 20 Metros Had Double-Digit Price Growth in 2nd Quarter

 By Kerry Smith

Year-to-year, the median sale price of an existing U.S. home rose 22.9% in the second quarter – to $357,900. Prices were up in 99% of markets and up double-digits in 94%.

WASHINGTON – Continued low inventory and record-low mortgage rates spurred housing demand, causing median sales prices for existing single-family homes to increase in all but one of the 183 markets measured by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) in the second quarter of 2021.

NAR’s latest quarterly report finds that 94% of those 183 metro areas also experienced double-digit price increases (89% in the first quarter of 2021).

In 2Q, the median sales price of single-family existing homes rose 22.9% to $357,900 – an increase of $66,800 from one year earlier. The four regions tracked independently with the study also saw double-digit year-over-year price growth, led by the Northeast (21.8%) and followed by the South (21.0%), West (20.9%) and Midwest (17.1%).

“Home price gains and the accompanying housing wealth accumulation have been spectacular over the past year – but are unlikely to be repeated in 2022,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. There are signs of more supply reaching the market and some tapering of demand,” he adds. “The housing market looks to move from ‘super-hot’ to ‘warm’ with markedly slower price gains.”

However, any slowdown isn’t reflected in 2Q numbers, and 12 metro areas reported price gains greater than 30% year-to-year: eight in the South and West regions, with three of them in Florida:

  1. Pittsfield, Mass. (46.5%)
  2. Austin-Round Rock, Texas (45.1%)
  3. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla. (41.9%)
  4. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho (41%)
  5. Barnstable, Mass. (37.8%); Boulder, Colo. (37.7%)
  6. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. (37.1%)
  7. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (35.6%)
  8. Tucson, Ariz. (32.6%)
  9. New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (32.5%)
  10. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. (31.9%)
  11. Punta Gorda, Fla. (30.8%)

Yun notes that home prices are increasing sharply in the San Francisco and New York metro areas.

Over the past three years, the typical price gain on an existing single-family home totaled $89,900; in 46 out of 182 markets, homeowners typically experienced price gains over $100,000. The largest price gains were in San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. ($315,000); San Jose-Sunnyvale-Sta. Clara, Calif. ($294,000); Anaheim-Sta. Ana Irvine, Calif. ($279,500); Barnstable, Mass. ($220,600); and Boise-City-Nampa, Idaho ($206,300).

The rising prices mean homeowners, on average, pay more each month. The monthly mortgage payment on an existing single-family home financed with a 30-year fixed-rate loan and 20% down payment rose to $1,215 – an increase of $196 year-to-year – even as the effective 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased to 3.05% from 2Q 2019’s 3.29%.

Among all homebuyers, the monthly mortgage payment as a share of the median family income rose to 16.5% in 2Q 2021 compared to 14.0% one year ago.

“Housing affordability for first-time buyers is weakening,” Yun says. “Unfortunately, the benefits of historically-low interest rates are overwhelmed by home prices rising too fast, thereby requiring a higher income in order to become a homeowner.”

Among first-time buyers, the mortgage payment on a 10% down payment loan jumped to 25% of income (21.2% one year ago). A mortgage is affordable if the payment amounts to no more than 25% of the family’s income.

In 17 metro areas, a family needed more than $100,000 to affordably pay a 10% down payment mortgage compared to 14 metro areas in 2021 Q1. Six are in California, but one – Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island – is in Florida. The rest are generally in key cities located in various states.

There were only 84 metro area markets in which a family needed less than $50,000 to afford a home, down from 104 markets in 2021 Q1. The most affordable markets – where a family can typically afford to buy a home financed with a 10% down payment with an income of $25,000 or less – are in Rust Belt areas.

“Housing supply will be critical in moderating the growing housing costs and rising rents,” Yun says. “Any disincentive to produce more housing inventory, such as extending the eviction moratorium, will only worsen the current shortage.”

Yun says NAR requested “expeditious release” of rental subsidy funds in order to assist those who may be facing eviction.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

Florida's Housing Market Continues Positive Trends Through 2nd Quarter


Florida Realtors’ data: Sales, new listings and median prices are up (24.3% for single-family homes, 20.8% for condos) from a year ago. Chief Economist O’Connor: Mortgage rates, while low, are no longer falling, which will gradually reduce competition until price growth falls back to a more normal pace.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s housing market continued to show strong gains in 2Q 2021, with more closed sales, rising median prices and more new listings compared to 2Q 2020, according to the latest housing data from Florida Realtors®. Florida’s lockdown order due to the COVID-19 pandemic took effect April 1, 2020.

“Florida usually has a very strong spring homebuying season, but due to the pandemic, last year was clearly a major exception to the rule,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “This year, though, we were back in business – and then some. Second-quarter closed sales of existing single-family homes increased by 43.3% year-over-year (totaling 98,414), and were up nearly 16% compared to the 2Q 2019. Sales growth in the condo and townhouse resale market was even stronger, rising 117% (a total of 48,976 sales) compared to last year and up by almost 44% compared to two years ago.”

Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2Q 2020 was $345,000, up 24.3% from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $250,000, up 20.8% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

“Florida home prices always tend to rise the most during the first half of the year, but even taking that into consideration, price growth this year has still been well in excess of recent norms,” O’Connor says. “Falling mortgage rates last year allowed buyers to make bids on higher-priced homes. The competition this created among buyers is what’s driven prices up so much.”

However, so far this year, mortgage rates – while still low – are no longer falling, he notes.

“This will have the gradual effect of pricing more prospective buyers out of the market, which will reduce the level of competition until price growth falls back to a more normal pace,” he says. This transition will also be aided by recent increases in the number of homes being listed for resale. New listings of single-family homes in 2Q 2021 were up 24.2% vs. a year ago and over 8% compared to 2019. In the condo and townhouse category, new listings were up 27% compared to 2020 and over 15% compared to 2019.

In 2Q 2021, the median time to a contract (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time) was nine days for single-family homes and 20 days for condo-townhouse properties.

Inventory was at a 1.1-months’ supply in the first quarter for single-family homes and at a 1.7-months’ supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.0% for 2Q 2021, down from the 3.23% average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to the Florida Realtors Newsroom at and look under Latest Releases, or download the 2Q 2021 data report PDFs under Market Data on the site.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

First-Time Homebuyers Out of Luck in Hot Housing Market

 By Amber Randall

Historically, first-time buyers got a 1,400-square foot starter home and traded up later. But builders offered 418K of those yearly in the 1970s – only 55K in the 2010s.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The scorching housing market is making it especially tough for first-time homebuyers who want to move beyond renting.

Builders, by and large, focus on more-expensive, more-profitable homes at a time when demand is so high that even established homeowners can’t find a new place to buy.

As a result, the number of new entry-level homes – generally two bedrooms and around 1,400 square feet – has fallen to its lowest level in five decades, according to loan guarantee agency Freddie Mac.

The number of new starter homes fell from about 418,000 per year in the 1970s to about 55,000 by the 2010s, Freddie Mac says.

In Palm Beach County, only 54% of homes are affordable for a family making the median income, according to the second quarter housing index from the National Home Builders Association.

Broward County is lower at 53%. Miami-Dade fares the worst in South Florida, with only 29% of homes affordable for median wage earners.

For many developers, the cost to build a smaller home – including the permitting fees, rising lumber costs and a labor shortage – makes it difficult to pass on those costs to an entry-level buyer, said Robert Dietz, chief economist with the National Homebuilders Association.

Dietz blames what he calls the “five L’s”: lack of labor, lack of lots, lending to builders, laws and lumber challenges.

Those issues have existed for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring real estate market exacerbated the situation, Dietz said.

The pandemic sent builders scrambling to meet demand for larger homes with more space for remote work.

First-time buyers, with less money for down payments and possibly lower credit, have a hard time competing in such a hot market, said Patty Da Silva, a real estate broker in Cooper City.

Some are forced to stretch their budgets for older homes, said attorney Gabriel Coelho of real estate law firm Ball Janik in Miami. Others resign themselves to renting or staying at home with family until the market cools down.

“We are squeezing people into the rent cycle” said real estate economist Ken H. Johnson at Florida Atlantic University. Many face rent increases year after year, making it even harder to save for a home.

Rent in a city like Delray Beach, for example, increased 15% in a year. Rent increased 5% in Pembroke Pines during that time and 9% in West Palm Beach, according to data from Zumper, an online rental platform.

The key to helping renters move into homeownership might lie with more affordable renting options, some experts say.

“If we build more affordable rental housing, what happens is we create a pathway for these families to gain control of their finances, establish good credit, and begin saving for eventual homeownership,” said Matthew Rieger, CEO of the Housing Trust Group, a multifamily residential developer.

Matt Berkis, vice president of sales and marketing for Mattamy Homes, recognizes the need for more starter homes. Mattany Homes is building the Saddlewood community in Lake Worth Beach, a collection of townhomes and villas that start in the low $400,000s. About 50% of buyers have been millennials, many of them first-time buyers, Berkis said.

Other buyers have taken more drastic steps and given up on South Florida entirely.

“We are also seeing a bit of people move up farther north to the Port St. Lucie area to be able to get into their first home,” Berkis said.

©2021 South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Prediction: Lots of International Buyers Over the Next Year

 The pandemic’s border closures and lockdowns dinged the international buyer market over the past year, but signs point to a resurgence among new buyers and those who postponed a purchase. Economists say today’s buyers should expect to face even more competition.

NEW YORK – In June, when real estate agent Nitin Gupta took two clients to see a new housing development in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, a sales representative for the builder told him all the units were gone.

The builder had planned to sell 100 homes to investors out of roughly 1,500 he was planning to build. Investors had come to the site the day before, the rep told Gupta, and another agent had pitched the homes to a group of buyers in China over Zoom.

“He said, ‘The people were saying, I want one, I want two, I want three. Boom, boom, boom,” Gupta recalls. “The agent sold about 50 to 60 homes and the builder had sold 130 homes the first day.”

While the global COVID-19 pandemic has squashed sales of U.S. homes to foreign buyers over the last year, local buyers should be prepared for a rebound in competition from other countries in the next 12 months, economists say.

Texas, Gupta’s state, ranked as the third-most-popular destination for foreign real estate buyers between April 2020 and March 2021, according to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors. Florida and California claim the top two spots, while Arizona, New Jersey and New York follow Texas.

Chinese clients have been the top buyers of U.S. residential homes by sales-dollar-volume for a decade, and continue to rank No. 1 even as sales from April 2020 through March 2021 plunged 70% from the same period a year earlier.

Housing market gets more competitive

The downward trend was reflected across international buyers of all nationalities (China is followed by Canada, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom) who purchased 3%, or $54.4 billion, worth of U.S. existing homes from April 2020 through March 2021, a 27% decrease from the previous 12 months.

The decline in foreign real estate investments last year is hardly surprising given the global pandemic and travel restrictions that came with it. But what will happen when vaccinations pick up pace globally and things begin to get back to normal? Will the pent-up foreign demand put pressure on a U.S. housing market grappling with low housing inventory and soaring prices?

Economists say you should expect to compete with those buyers, especially since a large percentage of foreign buyers tend to make all-cash offers. Those offers, which are preferred by sellers as they provide certainty, accounted for 39% of international buyer transactions from April 2020 to March 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors.

That’s significant since the demand for U.S. homes by foreign investors pushes up home prices, exacerbating concerns over housing affordability, says Benjamin Keys, a professor of real estate in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

House prices climbed 8 percentage points more in U.S. ZIP codes with high foreign-born Chinese populations from 2012 to 2018, according to a 2020 paper co-written by Keys.

Even without foreign buyers driving up the market, the median price of existing U.S. homes in June reached $363,300, up 23.4% from June 2020.

Home prices top $300K

The median existing-home sales price among international buyers from April 2020 to March 2021 touched $351,800, 15% more than the $305,500 median price for all existing homes sold in the U.S., according to the National Association of Realtors.

The price difference primarily reflects the locations and type of properties desired by foreign buyers. At $476,500, Chinese buyers had the highest median purchase price and more than a third purchased property in California.

The number of available homes for sale has improved since June as more construction gets underway for higher-priced homes and a greater number of existing homes hit the market. Still, the supply of lower-priced homes remains tight, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

“Not having as active of a foreign buyer market last year was a welcome change, especially when we were dealing with a severe housing shortage,” says Yun. “Now with the vaccinations making progress, it’s inevitable that in the next 12 months there will be a lot of interest.”

Housing markets appeal to foreign investors (which peaked at 10% of existing home sales in 2017) looking for healthy returns, vacation homes, safe havens for their money, or a way to dodge tax restraints and corruption crackdowns at home, Keys says.

Foreign investment had steadily increased from $66 billion in 2009-2010 to $153 billion in 2016-2017, but slipped to $54 billion this year.

Experts have blamed the drop on factors including capital controls by China, a weakened Canadian dollar, which makes it more expensive for Canadians to buy homes in the USA, and a rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric.

During the height of the pandemic, Keys says it was “impressive” that the number of foreign buyers stayed as high as it did, given the restrictions and international lockdowns. Foreign buyers used virtual tours to view homes and could make their purchases remotely.

In the coming months, foreign demand could pick up, worsening an already tight housing market, Keys says.

Millennials, low-interest rates keep the market crowded

“Interest rates are very low. A generation of millennials who have not had the financial wherewithal to buy houses are aging into (their) homebuying years,” he says. “And those whose jobs weathered the pandemic are in a good financial position to purchase a home right now.”

Adding foreign buyers to the mix could mean that home prices in states such as Florida, California, Texas New York and New Jersey (the top 5 most popular states among international buyers), will continue to soar, benefitting homeowners and making it harder for those looking to enter the market.

Vickie Arcuri, a real estate agent in Florida who specializes in properties in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, says she’s already seeing an uptick in foreign buyer interest. The number of visitors from other countries to her website doubled in 2021 compared with 2020, with visitors from Canada representing 7.5% of the traffic.

“The foreign buyers I’ve spoken with are planning future travel to South Florida to view properties,” says Arcuri, who has sold properties to buyers from Canada, Colombia, Venezuela, Italy, Austria, and the U.K. “I’ve also visited several properties and viewed the properties with the buyers virtually through FaceTime, Whatsapp, and Zoom.”

Arcuri says she has been fielding questions about building safety since the Surfside condo collapse in Miami. But she believes there will be a stronger demand for new condominium buildings in the next year. Real estate agents in other states said they hadn’t heard of any such concerns.

Knowing her Chinese real estate clients

In the most popular state for Chinese buyers, Jojo Romeo of California has learned what to avoid when it comes to clients from that country.

Romeo, a real estate agent in Irvine, will not show a house with the number four in its address. A house located at a T-junction (where two roads meet a perpendicular intersection) is another no-no. Ditto if there are stairs that face the door.

“These are things I research in advance,” says Romeo, who became Feng-Shui-certified (the ancient Chinese practice that charts the flow of energy) when Chinese buyers started flocking to Irvine about a decade ago for its good schools and investment potential. “I don’t even bother to show properties that don’t fit those criteria.”

California has long been the number one destination for Chinese investors in U.S. residential real estate. In the 12-month period from April 2019 to March 2020, 35% of China’s $15 billion residential real estate investments in the U.S. went to the Golden State.

Romeo sold a house in Irvine for a little under $3 million to a family from China in March. The entire viewing happened via FaceTime, and the purchase of the property was handled by a friend who had the power of attorney.

“The clients didn’t speak English so their daughter, who is about 17, was the translator,” she says.

The family wanted their son, who will be starting high school this fall, to get an American education, says Romeo. Last month, the mother and son arrived at their new home in Irvine.

“Education is their first priority and that’s why they are moving here,” Romeo says.

Gupta, in Texas, says he’s been fielding five calls a day about homes. His state is a popular destination for buyers from India. One of the biggest attractions of the area has been affordability.

“You can buy something decent for $300,000 to $400,000 and still make money” when you sell later, he says. “There’s also lots of new construction which is another thing Indian buyers like.”

But the prices have shot up.

Less than two years ago, Gupta says, new construction homes could be purchased for $250,000. Now the price of entry is closer to $400,000.

“Texas is the new California,” he says.

Copyright 2021,, USA TODAY, Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

CDC Extends Eviction Ban for 60 Days

 By Kerry Smith

The Biden administration announced a 60-day eviction ban extension. The new order is more limited than the old ban – it covers COVID hot spots only – but that still includes an estimated 90% of U.S. renters and seemingly all of Fla., which has seen rising numbers of cases in the past few weeks.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. ban on evictions expired on July 31, but the Biden administration, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announced a new 60-day extension. The ban now continues until Oct. 3, 2021.

The new ban focuses on COVID-19 infection levels by area, but it reportedly includes about 90% of U.S. renters, including all – or almost all – Florida renters.

The full order, which is posted on the CDC’s website, says the CDC is temporarily halting evictions “in order to respond to recent, unexpected developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of the delta variant.”

“The emergence of the delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are unvaccinated,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement accompanying the order. “It is imperative that public health authorities act quickly to mitigate such an increase of evictions, which could increase the likelihood of new spikes in SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”

For tenants to be protected by the order, they must complete and sign a declaration with the elements listed for a “covered person” to their landlord. CDC has offered a standardized declaration form on its website, but it has not been updated yet for the latest eviction ban extension.

The Supreme Court ruled against the eviction ban that ended on July 31, 2021, but the CDC says it has legal authority to invoke a new ban for areas with substantial increases in COVID-19 infections. At a news conference, President Biden suggested that many constitutional scholars disagree with that interpretation, but some do not.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®