Mortgage and real estate news this week: Tips for homebuying season and pandemic moving trends

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Some week in the future this roundup will start with something that has nothing to do with the pandemic or the spring homebuying season, but this is not that week. Those things are still dominating forces in the real estate and mortgage industries, and here’s what you need to know about what’s going on.

1. How to compete in a tight housing market

The U.S. is in the midst of a historic housing shortage. According to the National Association of Realtors, the national real estate market is short about 3 million homes. It’s going to take a while to close that gap so if you’re looking to buy, here’s what you should know.

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2. Where did people move in the pandemic? Not far.

While it was popular to leave the most crowded parts of cities, most movers stayed close by, going to neighborhoods or other parts of a metro area with a little more space and more affordable housing. United States Postal Service data and a Bankrate/YouGov survey showed that young people were the most likely to move, and being closer to friends and family was a key motivator in 2020.

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3. Why rising mortgage rates aren’t softening home prices

Low mortgage rates were a big contributing factor to rising home prices in 2020, but even with rates going up, it’s unlikely that real estate prices are going to fall off any time soon. Mortgage rates are still very low by historical standards, and the lack of available homes is keeping the market tight.

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4. How more Black real estate agents could improve Black homeownership rates

Black homeownership has declined since the Great Recession, and that has knock-on effects in prosperity in the community now and for generations down the road. The National Association of Real Estate Brokers partnered with HomeLight to try to expand the ranks of Black real estate professionals, in an effort to help more Black people achieve the American dream.

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5. Women get charged more for mortgages. Here are the states where the fare the worst.

A number of factors, including generally lower wages, contribute to women getting worse offers when it comes to mortgages. Some states are worse for female borrowers than others, however. Mississippi, Alabama and Ohio are the three most expensive states for women to get their own mortgages.

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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.
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