Open competition is inherent to a free market—or so they say.
One of the hallmarks of the real estate industry is the transparency of the landscape. MLS data must be made available (to everyone who pays) and consumers ostensibly can view every available house, with sellers marketing to every buyer, and buyers able to peruse every available home. Consumers also freely choose their agents based on whoever they think will best serve their needs, and (hopefully) for no other reason.
The real estate market expanded as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, leaving many with terrible financial problems. Still, homeowners and real estate investors benefited from the hard economic conditions. According to CoreLogic, homeowners with mortgages in the United States increased their equity by $1 trillion between September 2019 and September 2021.
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The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) continued to climb this week to 5.30%, its highest level since 2009, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), released Thursday.
Housing affordability posted a modest gain for average conditions in the first quarter of 2022, as a strong jump in national median income helped to offset a gradual rise in interest rates. However, home builders warn of current deteriorating conditions as a sharp jump in mortgage rates in March and April coupled with ongoing building material supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and high inflation drive up housing costs.