The Real Estate News Brief: 2022 Home Price Forecasts, Single-Family Rent Growth, Record Starts for BTR


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In this Real Estate News Brief for the week ending November 20th, 2021... home price forecasts for next year, single-family rent growth, and a new record for build-to-rent home starts.

Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is Real Estate News for Investors. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review.

Economic News

We begin with economic news from this past week. The number of people applying for unemployment keeps dropping. Last week, just 268,000 people applied for state benefits. That’s getting close to pre-pandemic levels which were in the low 200,000’s. The number of people already getting state unemployment benefits is also lower. That number dropped to a total of 2.08 million. (1)

Home starts were down slightly in October as builders struggled with supply chain issues and a labor shortage. They were down .7% from the previous month, but compared with October of last year, they were up slightly. Single-family starts were down the most, with a 3.9% decline. But there’s a strong demand for housing, and builders are preparing for a much faster pace of construction. Permits rose for all types of buildings, with a 2.7% increase for single-families, an 8.2% increase for buildings with two to four units, and a 6.5% increase for larger multi-families. (2)

Although builders are dealing with a lot of challenges, they are feeling confident about the market because there’s such a huge demand. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, the level of confidence among builders is the highest it’s been since last May. It’s up three points for November to a reading of 83. (3)

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates rose back above the 3% mark. Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is up 12 points to 3.1%. The 15-year is also up 12 points to 2.39%. (4) Economists are blaming the increase on inflation, and are forecasting higher rates over the next few months. The National Association of Realtors senior economist, Nadia Evangelou, expects the housing market to slow down next year as more homes hit the market at higher prices with higher mortgage rates. (5)

In other news making headlines…

Where Are Home Prices Going?

Zillow just published a new forecast for 2022 home prices. It is predicting that prices will rise 13.6% between October of this year and October of next year. In September, Zillow had predicted a 11.7% increase. Both those figures are lower than the rate of price growth for this year. They were up a record 19.9% between August of 2020 and August of this year. (6)

Zillow researchers say: “The strong long-term outlook is driven by our expectations for tight market conditions to persist, with demand for housing exceeding the supply of available homes.”

As Fortune reports, not everyone agrees with Zillow’s forecast. Goldman Sachs expects 2022 prices to rise another 16%, while Fannie Mae is expecting a lower 7.9% growth rate. CoreLogic is only expecting a 1.9% overall increase in prices, and the Mortgage Banks Association says it’ll be more like 2.5%.

Single-Family Rents Move Higher

As you can see, home price forecasts are all over the map, but they all expect strong demand for housing to continue. And that’s pushing rents higher for single-family homes.

CoreLogic’s single-family rental index for September shows that national rents are 10.2% higher year-over-year. Miami rents have gone up the most. Those rents are up 25.7% with rents for high-end homes rising the most. Phoenix is second on that list, followed by Las Vegas, Austin, San Diego, and Dallas. (7)

John Burns Real Estate Consulting also tracks single-family rent growth. It shows that new lease effective rents were up 6% year-over-year in September. Phoenix was at the top of that list, at 14%. (8)

Single-Family Build-to-Rent Starts

The housing shortage is motivating a lot of developers and investors to bring more build-to-rent homes to the market. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, housing starts for those homes hit the highest level ever in the third quarter. Construction has been ramping up, with 47,000 build-to-rent starts over the last year. (9) says that’s a 17.5% increase over the previous four quarters. It says: “With the onset of the Great Recession and declines in the homeownership rate, the share of build-to-rent homes increased in the years after the recession. And while the market share… is small, it has been trending higher.”

That’s it for today. Check the show notes for links and more info on these topics. And please remember to hit the subscribe button, and leave a review!

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Thanks for listening. I'm Kathy Fettke.


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