With the official beginning of summer just around the corner, many of us probably thought things would be back to “normal” by now. Instead, we just keep finding ourselves in uncharted territory. We hear a lot about a “new normal,” but it’s hard to know what shape it’s going to take. This week, a look at what’s particularly strange about the current economy; the outlook for the housing market; and a possible new (and better!) normal for senior housing.
What the Stocks?
Despite the economic doom and gloom, the stock market has been improving for the past few months. If you think that sounds weird, Derek Thompson at The Atlantic agrees with you:
The COVID-19 crisis is simultaneously thrusting Americans into the pre-urban homestead economy of the 1830s, re-creating the Depression-era joblessness of the 1930s, and pulling forward the virtual economy of the 2030s. We are living in the weirdest economy ever.
Check out the article to find out the reasons behind the weirdness. Spoiler: one cause is the steady stream of government stimulus funds aimed at preventing economic collapse…
…and CNN Business’s Julia Horowitz thinks that’s a cause for concern. When stock prices are so disconnected from economic reality, can the economy ever be healthy? (Below: one example of rising stocks is the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the past week.)
Home Sales Are Up…
The combination of the re-opening economy and record-low mortgage rates are encouraging lots of people to buy a house. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications are up 18 percent from the same time last year, and 5 percent from just last week.
But Supply is Down
But with applications up 18 percent, the National Association of Realtors reports that supply is down 20 percent from May of last year. To offset the fantastic interest rates, low inventory is keeping home prices relatively high. Realtor.com reported a median listing price of $330,000 for the U.S. in May–a new record high.
Scaling Down Senior Housing
In recent years, a few companies have been shaking up the model for senior housing. But in the wake of a pandemic, their new small-house model is poised to be the next big thing in elder care. Facilities that focus on a smaller, authentic home environment are better places for seniors to live, in general. But they have also proven outstanding at keeping infection numbers down (vs. traditional institutional care models).
What About You?
Actually, we think smaller can be better for everyone, not just seniors. What’s your ideal attainable home? Have the pandemic and recession had an impact on what that looks like? Thanks for reading, and see you next week!