Home Prices Climb to Record as Buyers Seek Space… Betting Against Dollar More Popular Than Ever

Home Prices Climb to Record as Buyers Seek Space…

NEW YORK — A renter most of his adult life, Clarence Swann became fearful that landlords would use the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to gouge their tenants. So, with a desire to move near family, the retired veteran bought his first home last month at the age of 74.

Swann said he used his veteran status to get the loan he needed to buy a $196,000 townhouse this summer in the Lake Wylie, South Carolina area.

“The first need at my age was I wanted stability,” he said.

Swann is one of tens of thousands of buyers who dove into the housing market this spring and summer even as the coronavirus upended the U.S. economy. The presence of these buyers, plus a sharp drop in the numbers of homes on the market, drove home prices to record highs in most parts of the United States, according to an analysis of housing price data by The Associated Press and Core Logic.

The average home price in the U.S. in May rose 4.2% compared to a year ago. The data shows that prices for cheaper homes — those found in the lower third of prices in metropolitan areas and a typical target for first-time buyers — grew faster than the rest of the market, rising 6.7% from a year ago.

 

Betting Against Dollar More Popular Than Ever…

(Bloomberg) — Betting against the U.S. dollar was already the top second-half trade for currency and rates investors and its popularity is only growing as the greenback tumbles, according to a Bank of America Corp. survey.

A weaker dollar was the favorite trade for 36% of the fund managers surveyed this month by Bank of America, putting it well ahead of other ideas and up from 30% in July. So far that stance appears to be paying off, and a continuing slide in the currency appears to only be adding to the ranks of dollar bears.

The Bloomberg dollar index has continued to slide in August after last month notching a decline of more than 3.3%, its biggest drop since January 2018. It’s now close to 10% below its March peak and positioning data shows that bets against the greenback continue to mount.

“This is the most bearish sentiment has been in our survey history, while positioning was last this underweight USD in 2008,” strategists Ralf Preusser and Myria Kyriacou, wrote in the report. The development “can at least partly be explained by expectations of some erosion of the hegemony of USD as a reserve currency,” they wrote.

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