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The Zelman Buzz

Exclusive insights and analyses from our industry-leading research team

Homebuilding Activity Slowed in February but Is Weather to Blame?

April 08, 2021 by Kevin Kaczmarek

February single-family housing starts as reported by the Census Bureau decelerated faster than expected, leaving them at the lowest seasonally-adjusted level since August 2020. As we noted the week prior to the release in our latest Homebuilding Survey, extreme weather conditions, especially in Texas...
 
Revisiting History as Mortgage Rates Climb Higher

April 01, 2021 by Ivy Zelman & Dennis McGill

No discussion about the health of, and future outlook for, the housing market would be complete without consideration of the mortgage rate environment. During our September 2020 Virtual Housing Summit presentation, we spent considerable time dissecting the various catalysts...
Search for Fresh Air Key in 2020, but Not New

January 05, 2021 by Dennis McGill

Although 2020 will likely go down as one of the strongest years on record for home sales and home price appreciation, it paralleled one of the weakest population backdrops in our country's history...
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demographics

High-End Housing is Back, and For Now, It’s Outperforming

December 17, 2020 by Ryan McKeveny & Dennis McGill

Alongside the broad-based 2H20 surge in homes sales, home prices and housing demand more generally, a notable undertone has been relative outperformance within the high-end segment of the market. What had easily been the most subdued piece of the housing puzzle in 2018 and 2019 has shifted to an outsized contributor of growth...
 
Exploding Housing Demand Viewed in Different Context

December 10, 2020 by Dennis McGill

While robust for-sale housing demand of late has commonly been explained with a pandemic tilt, we believe that the vast majority of the strength has been catalyzed by record low mortgage rates. Not only have mortgage rates...
Immigration Policy Likely to be a Net Positive for Housing Under Biden

December 07, 2020 by Ivy Zelman, Dennis McGill & Alan Ratner

With President-elect Joe Biden set to occupy the White House on January 20th, there has been a lot of discussion about the potential impact of tax reform, student debt forgiveness and a proposed homebuyer tax credit on the housing market. Ultimately, a lot will depend upon the outcome of...
Which Mortgage Lenders Are Attracting Young Borrowers? You Might Be Surprised

November 10, 2020 by Ivy Zelman, Dennis McGill & Kevin Kaczmarek

Some mortgage lenders emphasize the benefit of capturing “customers for life”, whereby they attract younger, often first-time homebuyers as borrowers, retain servicing rights and, ideally, complete one or more future originations from that same borrower. While many lenders tout their technology...
What a Democratic Sweep Could Mean For Housing?

October 29, 2020 by Ivy Zelman

As we enter the final days prior to the election, I can’t help ponder what the outcome of a Democratic sweep could mean for housing and our country, which appears to be a real potential outcome. To stay away from my political views, I’ll focus on what a sweep would mean specifically for the housing market... 
 
Home Price Increases Starting to Overcome Low Mortgage Rate Benefit

October 21, 2020 by Zelman & Associates

In 2019, the median and average new home cost $321,500 and $383,900, according to the Census Bureau. However, with almost 95% of purchases financed with a mortgage, it is not the total cost, but rather the monthly payment...
Home Improvements Among Pandemic Spending Winners – Can It Sustain?

August 11, 2020 by Zelman & Associates

In 2019, growth in consumer expenditures was solid, increasing 4% from 2018, a trend that continued into January and February of this year with consistency across spending avenues. However, the pandemic upended consumer habits and priorities...