COVID-19 has changed the housing market forever. Here’s where Americans are moving (and why)

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 Amid all the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19 over the past six months, one thing is assured: the pandemic has re-ordered real estate markets across the board on an unprecedented scale.

Some of this may be irreversible. Real estate’s re-sorting this time isn’t just based on markets crashing (the Great Recession), political turmoil (the 1979 oil embargo), or financial speculation (the first and second dot.com busts)—after which there’s generally confidence that overall consumer demand and buyer preferences will sooner or later snap back to normal.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more deep-seated, tectonic-sized questions beyond markets and interest rates are being asked this time around that no one really has the answers to yet—like will people feel safer living in the south and southwest where they can spend all year social distancing outside? What if companies let workers work remotely for the rest of their lives? Why go back to retail shopping when I’m already ordering everything online? What’s the point of living “downtown” if half of the restaurants, bars, and museums never open back up?

How these questions get answered will fundamentally re-order how Americans live in the “new” pandemic normal, and as a result will play a huge X-factor in which cities and states will experience growth, demand, and price appreciation over the next 3-5 years, and which ones will stagnate and lose out. More broadly for large metropolises like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia, the answers risk slowing or even reversing a wave of gentrification and wildly profitable downtown revitalization that’s been accelerating since before the Great Recession.

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There is a housing market crisis brewing – And here’s where it will strike first

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A potential housing crisis is brewing in some dense, overpriced housing markets as new work trends come into play.

Recent data on housing shows that sales remain strong, with only a small drop in prices.

However, longer-term trends are likely to lead to significant drops in today’s high-priced markets.

The shift towards a remote workforce will correct housing imbalances in markets that otherwise may have gone unsolved.

Many have feared a repeat of the 2008 housing crisis this year as the economy shut down. So far, however, signs indicate that the overall market is holding up well.

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Banks turn to bulldozing foreclosed homes

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Banks are turning to demolition teams instead of realtors to rid them of their least valuable repossessed homes.

Bulldozers are a new remedy for banks in America’s ailing housing market.

There are nearly 1.7 million homes in the U.S. in some state of foreclosure. Banks already own some of these homes and will soon have repossessed many more. Many housing economists worry that near constant stream of home sales from banks could keep housing prices down for years to come. But what if some of those homes never hit the market.

 

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18% of Homes in Florida Are Vacant

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The worst-hit county in Florida  is Collier — home of Naples — with a whopping 32% of homes empty.

It’s not always easy to feel sorry for sunny Florida. But it just got hit with another blow.  The Census Bureau revealed that 18% — or 1.6 million — of the Sunshine State’s homes are sitting vacant. That’s a rise of more than 63% over the past 10 years.

 

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20 Million People Live Underground in China

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Ordinary Chinese people priced out of China’s property market.

To understand how far ordinary Chinese have been priced out of their country’s property market, you need to look not upwards at the Beijing’s shimmering high-rise skyline, but down, far below the bustling streets where nearly 20m people live and work. There, in the city’s vast network of unused air defence bunkers, as many as a million people live in small, windowless rooms that rent for £30 to £50 a month, which is as much as many of the city’s army of migrant labourers can afford. (Pics)

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Tiny House Movement Grows After Housing Bust

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Tumbleweed Tiny Houses

As Americans downsize in the aftermath of a colossal real estate bust, at least one tiny corner of the housing market appears to be thriving.To save money or simplify their lives, a small but growing number of Americans are buying or building homes that could fit inside many people’s living rooms, according to entrepreneurs in the small house industry.

 

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High-end ‘Mansion Squatting’ is a Growing Trend Around the U.S.

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Randy and Evi Quaid were found squatting in a guest house on a million-dollar property Quaid once owned.

On the big screen, actor Randy Quaid may be best known for his mooching, move-in-and-never-leave character “Cousin Eddie” from National Lampoon’s “Vacation” films. Last weekend, he allegedly followed his own Hollywood script.

 

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Britain’s Housing Market is Benefiting from Not Being in the Euro

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Britain is not a player in the Euro

Overseas buyers are investing in expensive properties, primarily in London, rather than putting their money in more “vulnerable” euro zone areas, they said.  A total of 17 per cent more estate agents reported a rise than a fall in house prices last month, up from 9 per cent in March, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

 

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