Let's dive into some more recent trends we've been seeing on the ground. Here's what's happening in the real estate market in October 2021.
1. Rents are skyrocketing
If you're a landlord, it's good news all around. The eviction ban finally ended, and rents are at record highs. According to Realtor.com, they jumped by 11.5% between August 2020 and August 2021, marking the first double-digit increase on record. Rents are even more expensive than starter homes in many American cities.
The average rent for the month clocked in at $1,633, up $169 a month. Two-bedroom apartments saw the biggest jump, at 12.3% over the year. Those rents now hover just under $1,830 per month.
2. Buying activity is slowing down
It seems competition is finally starting to wane. It might be the start of school, the threat of rising mortgage rates, or maybe buyers are finally getting burned out on the market. Whatever it is, it's seeming easier to buy a home these days.
Existing home sales are down 2% for August, the first decline in over a year, and overall sales fell 6%. What's more? The bidding war rate is the lowest it's been all year. Currently, just over half of all buyers face a bidding war.
3. Home prices continue on their tear
Don't let that dwindling competition fool you. Just because some buyers are stepping back doesn't mean homes aren't selling. They definitely are -- and often at a premium.
According to the most recent House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, national home prices are up over 19% as of July compared to last year. Between June and July alone, they rose 1.4%.
Homes in the Mountain division of the Census -- which includes Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming -- saw the biggest jump in prices. Those are up a shocking 25.6%.
4. Foreclosures are rising
The foreclosure moratorium is officially in the rearview, and lenders acted fast. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, August saw a 27% jump in foreclosure filings -- and that's just compared to July. Over the year, they rose 60%.
Foreclosure starts were highest in California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New York, while New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas topped the list of metros. If you're a house flipper on the hunt for distressed properties, these should be the first places you look.
5. Mortgages are getting easier to come by
The Mortgage Bankers Association shows the mortgage credit availability is up, with a 3.9% increase between July and August. This essentially indicates the lending standards are loosening, making it easier to get a mortgage loan.
Credit availability is up the most on jumbo loans, which typically come with some of the most stringent qualifying standards. Conventional loans also saw a notable jump.
If that weren't enough to get investors excited, there's one more bit of mortgage-related news that might help. A few weeks ago, the FHFA announced it was rolling back policies that limited Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's purchases of investment property loans. This should result in lower rates and fees on those mortgages moving forward.
The bottom line
The housing market is always changing. Be sure to check back in November for the latest trends and happenings in real estate.