What the surge in COVID cases means for the housing market this winter

With COVID infection rates exploding and hospitalization rates rising as we go into the cold winter months, the risk this poses to our recovering housing market is a question that should be addressed. In a previous article, I identified infection rates during the winter months as one of the economy’s high-risk variables.

Before COVID-19 hit our shores, we were trending at 10% growth, working at cycle highs in demand. The housing heat months for the MBA purchase application data are from the second week of January to May’s first week. Typically, after May, total volumes fall as seasonality kicks in. We had double-digit growth until March 18.

Ralene Nelson, REALTOR®

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The housing market is hot, but not in a bubble

Talk about a strange summer. Between the continued threat of the novel coronavirus, a wobbly economy, and layoffs happening left and right, it’s no surprise that many who may have hoped to sell their home this season are wondering whether to put those plans on hold—or they’ve already thrown in the towel.


Existing-Home Sales Soar Despite Record-Low Inventory

The numbers: Existing-home sales rose for the fifth consecutive month in October, as the housing market finally made up for the pandemic-related downturn in sales this spring.

Total existing-home sales increased 4.3% from September to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.85 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Compared with a year ago, home sales were up roughly 27%. It was the highest level of home sales in 15 years.


Unique Thanksgiving Tradition Ideas

Write down what you’re thankful for.

In all the fun and frenzy, it can be easy to forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving: gratitude. Dole out black sharpies and, before digging in, invite each guest to write what they’re thankful for on a butcher paper cloth laid over the table. You can archive the sheets to look back on fondly.

Indulge in a pie breakfast.

Instead of starving yourself until 3 p.m., start the day right (and expand your stomach a little!) with a pie breakfast. Invite guests to bring their favorites, or try one of these killer recipes.

Connect with family members far away.

In light of social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic, Thanksgiving might look a bit different this year, with many families skipping their big annual gatherings for something smaller. But even if some of your nearest and dearest can’t make it to the celebration, they can still join in on the festivities—virtually. Set up a virtual happy hour or a video call before, after, or even during your meal with those who can’t make it to the table, so they’ll feel like they’re there.

Collect canned goods.

It’s only natural to demonstrate gratitude by trying to give back on Thanksgiving, but instead of volunteering at a soup kitchen—many of which are overrun on that single day, but then forgotten about later—why not invite your guests to each bring canned foods to donate?

Keep a gratitude jar.

Make Thanksgiving a 365 day affair. Throughout the year, keep a gratitude jar of gestures you appreciate from family and friends you know you’ll see in November. Pull out the jar post-dinner and share the gestures that warmed hearts.

Watch a classic holiday movie.

Stave off turkey coma by gathering together in front of the TV after dessert to watch a classic Thanksgiving movie together: pick the same movie every year, or have fun letting a different family member choose the film each time.

Send guests home with leftovers.

Thanksgiving dinner is the meal that keeps on giving—especially if, like us, you always end up with a mountain of extra food. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the leftovers filling your fridge, send each guest home with a few leftovers and a couple of recipes for turning them into something new, like a turkey club sandwich or waffles made from stuffing and topped with cranberry sauce. Even better: Ask each person to bring their own container, so you don’t spend the rest of the year chasing down yours.

Write down your wishes.

If you’re like most people, you probably share what you’re thankful for each Thanksgiving—but the holiday is the perfect time to also reflect on your hopes and aspirations for the coming year. A day or two before Thanksgiving, gather a few nice branches from outside, cover them with gold, silver, or copper spray paint, and anchor them in a vase or pot with stones at the base. Then, as your guests arrive, invite each person to write what they’re wishing for on a tag or card that they can hang on the branches you collected. Not only will you have a striking centerpiece for your table this year, but you’ll also hopefully have even more to be thankful for next year.

Share beloved family stories.

Instead of fighting your food coma with lots of screen time—from watching a few episodes of the latest Netflix show to mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed—ask your older relatives to share a few of their favorite family stories. The activity will not only fill the evening with laughter (and, possibly, tears) but it will also create deeper bonds that last long beyond the holidays. According to Emory University’s Family Narratives Lab, families that know and tell family stories are emotionally closer and report stronger connections than families that don’t know or tell these kinds of tales.

Decorate Thanksgiving cookies.

Another way to keep the kiddos entertained: Before sitting down to eat, set up a cookie decorating station—including freshly-baked sugar cookies in a variety of shapes (think: turkeys, leaves, and pumpkins), mini squeeze bottles filled with different colors of icing, and a wide range of sprinkles—so that the little ones can get to work after dinner. Even sweeter: Not only will the adults get to relax a little longer, but everyone will also go home with a tasty souvenir!


Source: oprahmag.com

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