Could New Shutdowns, Lower Unemployment Benefits Drag Down the Hot Housing Market?
The U.S. housing market has defied the odds during a public health crisis, economic recession, and the highest unemployment since the Great Depression. Home prices are surging nationally as buyers duke it out over a very limited number of properties for sale. However, there are fears the already battered economy is on the verge of taking yet another hit.
COVID-19 cases are spiking in many parts of the country, which could lead to a second round of shutdowns, furloughs, and layoffs in some areas. The additional $600 that more than 17 million people are getting in weekly unemployment benefits is set to expire at the end of this month if Congress doesn't act soon. And several large companies have announced tens of thousands of job cuts on the horizon.
Can residential real estate remain unscathed in the face of this looming financial pain?
Most experts expect the market will remain strong—at least in the short term. The blockbuster combination of record-low mortgage interest rates, which dipped below 3% for the first time ever this month, hordes of still-employed buyers descending on whatever listings they can find, and a brutal housing shortage have kept prices high.
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