Despite expecting a recession and reduced inflation that would ordinarily put downward pressure on prices in 2023, a critical shortage of housing means prices are unlikely to change much, two economists told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The median sales price for existing homes increased 6.6% in October compared to the same month in 2021, jumping to $379,100, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), primarily due to demand outstripping supply, according to both Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of real estate research at the NAR, and E.J. Antoni, economist at the Heritage Foundation. The inventory of unsold existing homes fell to 1.22 million in October, down 10,000 from September 2022, and less than the 1.39 million unsold existing homes in December 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Frequent flyer miles donated over a two-month period will provide around 40,000 flights for Afghan refugees, the Associated Press reported.
The Biden administration is considering doubling the number of miles available to refugees, and around 3,200 flights already covered by the donated miles have allowed Afghan refugees to resettle in communities around the U.S. from temporary housing at military bases, according to the AP. Miles4Migrants organized the donations, and the group has provided aid to refugees using donated airline miles and credit card points since 2016.
“Government resources are limited, and we knew that the American people wanted to support Afghans who were arriving and help them find safe homes,” Miles4Migrants Co-Founder Andy Freedman said, the AP reported. “That’s when we turned to the airlines.”
It’s unclear how many Afghan refugees arrived in the U.S. recently, though they will mostly stay at military bases as they undergo immigration proceedings, a senior Biden administration official said during a press call last week.
Around 20,000 Afghan refugees now stay at eight military bases across the continental U.S., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said on Wednesday. The Biden administration warned nine nonprofit organizations contracted with the State Department that work with refugees to prepare for up to 50,000 Afghans to arrive in the U.S. without visas and in need of resettlement, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
“After getting tested (for COVID-19) at the airport, American citizens and LPRs (legal permanent residents) can head to their onward destination — home — while others — everyone else heads to those military bases I mentioned before,” the senior official said during a press call on Aug. 24. “There, they receive a full medical screening, and they receive a variety of healthcare services and assistance in applying for things like work authorizations, before moving on to their next destination.”
Far-left Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who have both been vocal critics of landlords and supportive of the eviction moratorium that prevents them from collecting rent indefinitely, made tens of thousands of dollars themselves collecting rent last year, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Tlaib disclosed in a recent financial statement that she made between $15,000 and $50,000 from rent out of a property she owns in Detroit, even after she had recently criticized “landlords and bill collectors” and said that Americans needed to be protected from them “in the midst of a pandemic.” Pressley made roughly $15,000 from 2019 to 2020 off a property she owns in Boston. Pressley has denounced landlords for trying to collect rent during the pandemic, claiming it to be “literally a matter of life and death.”
Both congresswomen, along with others in the so-called “squad” and other congressional Democrats, were supportive of extending the eviction moratorium that has forbidden landlords across the nation from collecting rent, ostensibly to provide financial relief to Americans who cannot pay their rent due to losing their jobs to lockdown orders. The Biden Administration extended the eviction moratorium through October, after the original moratorium implemented last September by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was set to expire earlier this year.
Denver spent twice as much money on its homeless population than it did on its students and police, a Common Sense Institute August report showed.
The city spent between $41,679 and $104,201 per person on its homeless population, compared to $19,202 per student in K-12 public schools in 2020, according to the report. In total it spent $481 million on healthcare, housing and other services for homeless people, over $100 million more than the Department of Public Safety’s budget.
Investment firm Blackstone Group acquired 17,000 single-family rental homes on Tuesday in a deal worth $6 billion.
Blackstone, an asset management firm that focuses on alternative investments, acquired Home Partners of America (HPA) along with its 17,000 home inventory, the firm announced in a statement Tuesday. Blackstone will continue HPA’s business model of offering its tenants rent-to-own lease agreements, which allow the tenant to purchase the rental property after a certain amount of time.
“The fundamental premise of the HPA platform is to provide residents with the opportunity to live in their chosen home with the option to purchase it,” Blackstone’s Real Estate Senior Managing Director Jacob Werner said in the statement. “We intend to build on that goal and expand access to homes across the U.S.”
The price of lumber has skyrocketed to a record high and four times its usual price at this time of year, causing a spike in homebuilding costs, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Lumber futures, or the market price for wood, reached a record $1,500.50 per thousand board feet on Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal. A board foot, the unit used to measure lumber, equals one square foot of wood with one inch of thickness.
“Absent a significant increase in mortgage rates or a Covid resurgence, it is hard to imagine what could cause lumber demand to drop and prices to moderate in the foreseeable future,” Eric Cremers, the CEO of major lumber producer PotlatchDeltic, told the WSJ.
There were only two insightful reports on the economy this past week—for jobs and housing. Both show impressive gains.
Weekly initial unemployment claims fell by 56,000, to 787,000. They are down more than 100,000 from a month ago. There has also been a substantial decline in the insured unemployment rate to 5.7 percent from 8.7 percent a month ago. Also, the number of people receiving unemployment insurance payments fell to 8.4 million; it was 12.6 million a month ago.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed.
The following are developments Tuesday related to the national and global response, the workplace, the spread of the virus, and the marketplace economy.
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN-05) new “Homes for All Act” would cost more than $1 trillion over a 10-year period and has a goal of building 12 million “public and affordable” housing units.