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Top Real Estate News for Friday, Nov. 12, 2021: An Office REIT's Stock Rocks

By Marc Rapport – Nov 12, 2021 at 8:00PM

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Behind an office REIT's rally, varied views of the housing market, and the Great Resignation.

We've got a look at why office REIT Franklin Street Properties (FSP 0.17%) is suddenly a hot stock, a contrarian view on the pandemic-long rally in the residential housing market, and more.

Why Franklin Street Properties popped this week

Shares of real estate investment trust (REIT) Franklin Street Properties rose as much as 27% at one point during the week. By the start of trading on Friday Nov. 12, the stock was holding on to virtually all of that impressive gain. The big story was the REIT's earnings release on Nov. 8, but it requires a little bit of effort to sort through what's going on.

Motley Fool contributor Reuben Gregg Brewer dissects this company's public pronouncement in a way that not only sheds insight on what's going on there but can be a template for how to look at earnings releases like that from similar equity REITs.

Couple standing outside a home looking at it.

Image source: Getty Images.

Is the housing market really as strong as it seems?

On paper, the housing market has never looked more solid. Single-family homes across the country are in high demand, with home values growing nearly 20% year over year nationwide. This record growth is thanks to a number of unique factors, including today's low-interest rate environment and insufficient housing supply. But...

Motley Fool contributor Liz Brumer-Smith provides a contrarian view from Ivy Zelman of Zelman Associates. Read up to find out why Zelman believes there's actually oversupply in place that could lead to a correction. That would indeed be a shakeup for residential real estate investors.

Where down payment size matters the most and least

Uber-low interest rates and intense demand have been driving prices up hard since the pandemic came ashore, and while all those factors could well change -- and we especially hope the third one does soon -- one thing won't: Money talks.

All real estate is local, right? This look at market variations in median down payments can help guide investors to where markets might not be as hot as some others but could provide less competition to find a good deal for a rental or flip.

Sweeping survey shows homes moved at record pace in past year

Homes typically sold at a record pace of one week and received full asking price from July 2020 through June 2021, according to the 2021 Annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers just released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Last year, the median was three weeks to go under contract. Houses have been selling at the fastest clip in 30 years, the NAR says. The pull to be closer to family and friends, and for more space, were primary drivers for many movers, too. These factors should help keep sales brisk even if interest rates sharply rise.

The Great Resignation continues to set records

The Labor Department's Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed a quits rate -- the percentage of people leaving their jobs -- that hit a record 3% in September, bringing the number to another record, 4.4 million Americans quitting their job in the month.

Each worker has their own reason for moving on or leaving the workforce entirely, including child care problems and higher pay. This unprecedented convulsion in the American workforce is impacting the businesses dependent on workers to keep their doors open and the rent flowing to the owners of those commercial properties.

Marc Rapport has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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