After posting their 39th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains, home prices in 33 states and the District of Columbia are at or within 10 percent of record highs, according to a report issued today by CoreLogic.
Home prices increased 6.3 percent year-over-year in May, and 1.7 percent month-over-month. Relatively low mortgage rates have helped fuel the price gains. In cities like San Francisco, where there is limited supply and high demand, prices are growing at a double-digit clip.
Prices are so high in certain areas that some economists are starting to worry about localized bubbles. The number of homes on the market is increasing slightly. Total housing inventory at the end of may reached 2.29 million houses, 1.8 percent more than this time last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s a 5.1-month supply, giving sellers a slight edge in today’s market. (A six-month supply is considered a healthy market.)
South Carolina saw the biggest price gains, with homes showing annual appreciation of 10.3 percent. Other states showing big gains were Colorado (9.8 percent) and Washington (8.8 percent), CoreLogic reports.
High prices have also spurred builders to start constructing new single-family homes, sales of which increased 23 percent year-over-year in May.
While most states have seen price gains, five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Mississippi, and Louisiana) saw local home prices fall in May.
CoreLogic economists expect prices to increase 5.1 percent year-over-year in June and 0.8 percent month to month.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”