Low housing inventory continues to drive higher home prices, with the average median home price climbing to a new high in July: $349,000. That’s 8.5% higher than last July, but when you consider the drop in housing inventory during the pandemic, it makes sense. In the nation’s 50 largest metros, housing inventory decreased by more than 34% over last year, and some metros saw inventory decline by 50%.

 

Low rates are adding to the pent-up demand, with both UWM and Quicken advertising rates for 15-year fixed mortgages that defy gravity. What would it take to see mortgage rates go below 2% for a 30-year fixed? Logan Mohtashami, HousingWire’s lead analyst, answers that question in his latest article, filled as usual with helpful charts (and Game of Throne references). Logan thinks it’s totally possible, but that we should be careful what we wish for.

 

Along that line, Neal Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said on Sunday that the only way to secure a robust economic recovery is to lock down the country again and reopen with a focus on testing and tracing. After five solid months of states forging their own path, a national strategy seems unlikely at this point. We’d love to hear what you think — is that the best way forward?

 

Sarah Wheeler HW EIC