Federal Housing Finance Agency Sets Higher Conforming Loan Limits
Conforming loan limits for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will increase in most markets to $647,200 in 2022, up from $548,250 in 2021. The hike is in response to surging home prices, which rose an average of 18.05% between the third quarters of 2020 and 2021. The loan limit increase of $98,950 matches that percentage.
In higher-priced metros, the limits will be higher. For example, in San Francisco and New York, the conforming loan limits for 2022 will increase from $822,375 in 2021 to $970,800 in 2022.1
Construction Sector Adds 31,000 Jobs in November
The construction industry reported the addition of 31,000 jobs in November. Specialty contractors led the way adding 13,000 new jobs, with those involved in the construction of buildings and heavy engineering rounding out the balance. Nearly half (6,200) of the specialty contractors were in residential construction, which is not surprising given that residential building is up 5.8% compared to pre-COVID levels.2
Make a “Gratitude List” This Holiday Season
The holidays are a wonderful time to remember the people who played an important part in your personal and professional lives over the past year. Don’t forget to say thank you with a small gift or personal note to your family, colleagues, and clients. Looking for some interesting ideas? See below:
- Family-Set aside extra time to spend with your family for holiday activities and special traditions.
- Community-Sign up to work at a community event, organize a food or toy drive for your local food bank.
- Colleagues-Show them how much they mean to you with a special lunch or personalized note.
- Clients-Check in and thank them for trusting you with their business this holiday season.3
Omicron Raises New Concerns for Real Estate Industry
The rise of the Omicron variant could impact the residential and commercial real estate markets. Economists warn that uncertainty and volatility may drive mortgage rates lower, while potential sellers may delay listing their homes if cases continue to increase. The warning isn’t good news for buyers; housing data shows the number of homes for sale reached an all-time low during the week of Nov. 28. However, many questions remain to be answered regarding the Omicron variant, and we could be gearing up for another big year in the housing market.4
Real Estate in the Virtual World
Want to buy or sell virtual real estate? Now you can. Decentraland ($MANA) is a metaverse where you can purchase virtual real estate — for a steep price. As of late November, the cheapest properties in Decentraland cost about $15,000.
The big question is, what do you do with virtual real estate once you own it? Some big brands are buying it for advertising purposes. Roblox and Nike, for example, have partnered to create “Nikeland,” a virtual hangout for Roblox players. Other potential uses include virtual entertainment venues, collaborative spaces for companies with remote workers, and even online storefronts for retailers.5