Despite Uncertainty, Home Prices Are Rising by Double Digits in Much of Nation

Home prices across the nation continued to defy reason as they sharply headed up—even as the turmoil over a hotly contested presidential election, the coronavirus pandemic, and high unemployment persisted.

Unlike during the Great Recession, the median price for single-family homes zoomed up in the third quarter compared with the same period the previous year in every U.S. metro, according to a recent National Association of Realtors® report. Prices rose 12% year over year nationally as folks waged bidding wars over a historically low number of properties on the market. Many buyers sought out larger properties to work from home, educate their children, and maintain social distance from others.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s a record number of metro areas showing double-digit price gains,” says Gay Cororaton, senior economist with the NAR. “We have never seen this widespread price growth.”

The report looked at existing homes in 181 metropolitan areas, which

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Why These Top Real Estate Stocks Fell by Double Digits in October

What happened

Shares of residential mortgage lender PennyMac Financial Services (NYSE:PFSI) and homebuilders/financers D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) and Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH) all fell by more than 10% in October, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. That was much worse than the S&P 500, which sank only 2.8% during the month. 

D.R. Horton — the largest homebuilder in the U.S. by number of homes sold — had the smallest decline, with shares “only” down 11.7%. PennyMac’s stock fared slightly worse, down 12.6%. Meritage Homes got hammered, though, tumbling 21.1%. 

It was a rare month of underperformance during 2020, which has been a stellar year for real estate-related stocks. Even with October’s sell-offs, all three stocks are up big. So far this year, D.R. Horton’s shares are up 38.3%, Meritage’s are up 58.4%, and PennyMac’s have soared an amazing 67.3%, compared with an 8.7% year-to-date gain for the overall

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