Mortgage and real estate news this week: Millennial moving trends and surging lumber prices

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Unless you live in South Florida, you’ve probably had a cold week. Warm yourself with the heat coming off the current booming real estate market and read on to learn more about the latest trends in the industry.

1. Ding dong the cities aren’t dead

It turns out the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t made cities obsolete after all. New data from Opendoor shows more than a third of millennial homebuyers are moving to urban areas, compared with just 8 percent of baby boomers. We young people are also more comfortable with smaller down payments than our parents are, but it turns out pretty much everyone loves the growing role technology is playing in homebuying these days.

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2. Move here for cash

Don’t tell Topeka that millennials are still cool with moving to cities. As the coronavirus shifts moving patterns, some metropolises are trying to attract new residents by paying them to move there. Baltimore, Tulsa and others are offering up to $15,000 for new residents currently. Worth considering if you’re looking for a new place to go as work from home stretches on.

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3. Real estate tastes take a vacation

Homeshare services reported a spike in bookings this year for domestic destinations in more rural areas outside of cities. If you own a home in such a place, it could be a good opportunity to make an extra buck — or it could be a great way to get into real estate investment. As travelers look to avoid flying, vacation home rentals in drivable destinations are gaining popularity.

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4. Lumber shortage pushes home prices higher

It turns out, if a tree falls in the forest these days, it probably won’t reach the ground to make a sound anyway. Lumber prices are climbing as demand for new housing booms and raw materials remain scarce. The price of wood for homebuilding has nearly tripled since last spring, and that’s pushing home prices up and delaying construction schedules.

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5. Expert weighs in on mortgage trends

TD Bank’s head of pricing and secondary markets, Cameron Beane, spoke to Bankrate this month about what’s going on in the mortgage market. His predictions: rates will start climbing before long, but it’s going to be a while before they get back to their pre-pandemic levels. The current rates, he said, are “arguably, ridiculously low.”

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Written by
Zach Wichter
Mortgage reporter
Zach Wichter is a mortgage reporter at Bankrate. He previously worked on the Business desk at The New York Times where he won a Loeb Award for breaking news, and covered aviation for The Points Guy.