Robust U.S. Real Estate

Real estate remains a hot sector in an economy that has been cooling lately as it struggles with inflation, shortages and shipping delays.

Home-price growth hit another record in August, driven by the continuing surge in pandemic-induced demand. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the country, rose 19.8% in August over the previous year, reports Nicole Friedman from the Wall Street Journal.

The pandemic has sent many buyers looking for more space even if it means moving farther from work. But a shortage of inventory has sent prices rising rapidly.

A more up-to-date home-price indicator, the median existing-home sales price published by the National Association of Realtors, shows a 13.3% rise in September from the previous year, indicating a pace that’s slowing but that remains strong. Higher mortgage rates could be causing some buyers to pull back. A measure of new homes sold, tracked by the Commerce Department, shows sales increased 14 % in September compared with August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 800000, writes Xavier Fontdegloria. New home sales numbers are volatile and often revised. Commercial real estate has also been on a tear lately. Investors bought a record amount of apartment buildings, industrial properties, labs and other types of commercial space in the third quarter, writes Peter Grant. Sales hit USD 193 billion in the quarter, up 19 % over the same period in 2019, as buyers appear to have brushed off fears that the pandemic will make commercial properties less valuable. While the value of shopping malls, office buildings and hotels has fallen since the start of the pandemic, the price of warehouse space, distribution centers and apartment buildings has risen. Those trends have pushed the industry to innovate: In Texas, a home builder has joined forces with a startup to build 100 3-D printed homes near Austin. The 3-D printers frame the house in concrete, building layer upon layer, making builders less reliant on lumber and labor, both of which have been in short supply.