Tag: surge

Vacation Homes Help Fuel Existing Sales Surge

Existing home sales rose again in
September and are now blowing the doors off last year’s numbers. The National
Association of Realtors® says sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums,
and co-ops, rose 9.4 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 6.54 million units in September. After four straight months of increasing
sales, the seasonally adjusted rate is now 20.9 percent higher than in
September 2019.

Single-family home sales rose 9.7
percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.87 units and are
now 21.8 percent higher than a year earlier. Existing condominiums and co-ops
sold at annual rate of 670,000 units, increasing 6.3 percent and 13.6 percent
from the two earlier periods.

Analysts had expected sales to
remain on a winning streak but were looking for an annual rate of 6.2 million
sales. Forecasts of those polled by Econoday ranged from 5.8 million to
6.4 million units, all falling short of the actual number.

“Home sales traditionally taper off
toward the end of the year, but in September they surged beyond what we
normally see during this season,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “I
would attribute this jump to record-low interest rates and an abundance of
buyers in the marketplace, including buyers of vacation homes given the greater
flexibility to work from home.”

The median existing-home price for all housing
types in September was $311,800, up 14.8 percent from the September 2019 median
of $271,500, marking 103 straight months of year-over-year gains. The median
existing single-family home price was $316,200, a 15.2 percent annual gain, and
the median existing condo price was $272,700, up 9.9 percent.

There were 1.47 million available homes for sale at the end of September, 1.3
percent fewer than in August and down 19.2 percent from the 1.82 million
stockpile a year ago
.  The unsold
inventory is estimated at a 2.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down
from 3.0 months in August and 4.0-months in September 2019. A six-month supply
has traditionally been cited by NAR as a balanced market.

“There is no shortage of hopeful,
potential buyers, but inventory is historically low,” Yun said. “To their
credit, we have seen some homebuilders move to ramp up supply, but a need for
even more production still exists.”

Sales in vacation
destination counties have seen a strong acceleration since July, with a 34
percent year-over-year gain in September. Yun says, “The uncertainty about when
the pandemic will end coupled with the ability to work from home appears to
have boosted sales in summer resort regions, including Lake Tahoe, mid-Atlantic
beaches (Rehoboth Beach, Myrtle Beach), and the Jersey shore areas. Additionally, a recent NAR study
confirms that many Americans continue to seek new living situations
due to the pandemic.

Properties typically remained on the market for
21 days in September – an all-time low – seasonally down from 22 days in August
and from 32 days in September 2019. Seventy-one percent of homes sold in September 2020 were on the

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Connecticut revises travel quarantine rules to curb Covid surge

By swapping an “or” for an “and” in an executive order, Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut is seeking to avoid placing his state into Covid-19 quarantine.

Under an order Lamont signed on Sept. 16, people arriving in Connecticut from “a state with a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average” were required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

But on Monday, Lamont announced that Connecticut had crossed its own threshold of 10 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 people over the previous seven days for the first time in months.

So Lamont said he would change the advisory to say that travelers whose states have both a high coronavirus case rate and over a 5 percent test positivity rate would have to quarantine or prove they have tested negative.

The advisory, Lamont said, “was becoming unenforceable,” so it was out with the “or” and in with the “and.”

The swap was not exactly a surprise. Last Thursday, Lamont signaled that a change in the state quarantine mandate was afoot.

“It’d be a little ironic if we were on our own quarantine list,” the governor said.

Connecticut is one of 40 states, plus Washington, D.C., and the territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, that have reported an uptick in new coronavirus cases, the latest NBC News figures showed Tuesday.

Two weeks before a presidential election that has become a referendum on how President Donald Trump has handled the nation’s worst health crisis in over a century, the number of new Covid-19 cases in Connecticut jumped by 58 percent over the last two weeks to a total of 64,021, and the state’s death toll is 4,554 since the start of the pandemic, the figures show.

While Connecticut’s case load is small compared to states like California (882,138), Texas (872,919) and Florida (756,727), it is part of the region that was hit hardest in the first days of the pandemic and then managed to flatten the curve by taking aggressive steps to stop the spread.

In other coronavirus news:

  • Trump is heading to Erie, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday for a campaign rally just two weeks after he was released from the hospital after he came down with a coronavirus infection. But first lady Melania Trump won’t be joining him. “Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from Covid-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.
  • Because of the pandemic, this year the U.S. could break the record of 71,000 drug overdoses set in 2019. “Covid-19 is exacerbating the already devastating overdose crisis,” Jules Netherland of the Drug Policy Alliance told The Associated Press.
  • While Trump has repeatedly claimed that more testing is the reason Covid-19 case numbers have been climbing, an NBC News analysis found that coronavirus testing rates have actually fallen in “in several states where cases are
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The Latest: Rural hospitals in Midwest face viral surge | National News

The measures were taken after Lombardy, Italy’s most populous region, has once again become the most affected in the COVID-19 resurgence, adding more than 2,000 infections a day. Hospitals are coming under strain and intensive care units are filling up.

The new measures allow only table service for bars from 6 p.m., ban takeout alcohol sales from that time and prohibit all consumption of booze in public spaces, an effort to eliminate crowds from forming in piazzas with takeout drinks.

Italy’s other hardest-hit region, southern Campania, has taken similarly strict measures, including a shutdown of schools for two weeks. After parents protested, the regional governor backed off Friday and allowed day-care centers to remain open.

PRAGUE — Coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic have surpassed 10,000 in one day for the first time, setting a new record high for the third straight day.

The Health Ministry says the day-to-day-increase of the new confirmed cases surged to 11,105 on Friday. It is almost 1,400 more than the previous record set a day earlier.

The country has registered a total of 160,112 cases, including 1,283 deaths.

After a series of new restrictive measures adopted by the government to slow down the surge, Health Minister Roman Prymula said he still expected a rise of those tested positive for about two weeks.

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