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Housing Headlines

ECONOMIC NEWS
MarketWatch
Home prices are still on fire, Case-Shiller data show
The S&P/Case-Shiller national index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in the three-month period ending in January, and was up 6.2% compared to a year before. The 20-city index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8% for the month, and 6.4% for the year.
MarketWatch
Pending home sales rebound in February even as Realtors slash 2018 sales forecast
Pending-home sales rose 3.1% to 107.5 in February, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Economists had forecast a 3.0% increase.
Mortgage News Daily
How homeownership affects household wealth
It is conventional wisdom that homeownership is key to household wealth, and the National Association of Home Builders makes a convincing argument for that theory in its Eye on Housing blog. 
HousingWire
Millennials will spend 45% of income on rent before age 30
As rent prices continue to rise, a new study shows Millennials are paying about 45% of their total income toward rent, and pay out close to $100,000 toward rent before they turn 30.
Forbes
Selling your home may be pricier than you expect
It's a seller's market, for sure, with tight housing markets across the country and home values that have risen 7.6% in the last year alone, according to Zillow. But if you're thinking of cashing in your chips and recouping some of the value you've gained in your homestead by selling it, you should know that selling a house can cost more than $18,000.

The New York Times
What to expect from the housing market this spring
This spring's home sales season is shaping up to be the most interesting one in years.
Realtor Magazine
What is a seller's market? A tough road for home buyers
What is a seller's market? Simply put, it's a market where there are more home buyers than sellers. Based on basic laws of supply and demand, this means sellers have the upper hand: They will likely sell their place quickly, perhaps for over asking price, with a minimum of fuss or pushback from buyers.
The Wall Street Journal
Apartment rents stay steady despite new supply
The apartment rental market softened in the first quarter, but not as much as expected given a surge in new supply. (Subscription may be required.)
National Mortgage News
Housing bubble or not, the real estate market is in trouble
First, some good news. Despite the meteoric rise in home prices, the real estate market hasn't ventured into housing bubble territory. The bad news? Home prices are still going to decline, and mortgage defaults are likely to rise. It's simply the nature of a cyclical market. (Subscription may be required.)
 
HOUSING POLICY
The New York Times
Under Ben Carson, HUD scales back fair housing enforcement
The Trump administration is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws, freezing enforcement actions against local governments and businesses, including Facebook, while sidelining officials who have aggressively pursued civil rights cases.
Bloomberg
Silicon Valley execs champion controversial housing bill
California is bracing for a high-profile fight over the state's housing crisis. It's a clash that pits Silicon Valley technology executives, who want to cut regulations that make it hard to build multi-story apartment buildings, against existing home owners and affordable housing advocates.
The New York Times
Facebook vowed to end discriminatory housing ads. Suit says it didn't.
Fair housing groups filed a lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday saying that Facebook continues to discriminate against certain groups, including women, disabled veterans and single mothers, in the way that it allows advertisers to target the audience for their ads. The suit comes as the social network is scrambling to deal with an international crisis over the misuse of data belonging to 50 million of its users.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Los Angeles Times
Boost to affordable housing is part of new $1.3-trillion federal budget
In passing a $1.3-trillion spending package, Congress didn't just avert a government shutdown. It also provided a boost to affordable housing developers who say their projects have been delayed — even killed — by recent tax law changes.
HOUSING FINANCE NEWS
American Banker
FHFA still eyeing 2019 for implementation of new credit score model
Anyone hoping that the Federal Housing Finance Agency will suddenly accelerate the introduction of a new credit score model was likely disappointed by the release of a report Thursday. (Subscription may be required.)
Marketwatch
Cash-out mortgage refis are back. Will homes become ATMs again? We're likely not going back to the bad old days of the bubble
We're likely not going back to the bad old days of the bubble As interest rates rise, fewer households refinance their mortgages. And the refinances that do get done are often very different than those initiated during low-rate periods.

ECONOMIC NEWS
MarketWatch
Get ready for most competitive spring home buying season since the Great Recession
Spring is here — and with it comes the most popular time of year to shop for a home. But if prospective home buyers don't prepare properly, they could be in for an agonizing search.
ABC News (AP)
US new-home sales dipped in February, but demand is solid
Sales of new U.S. homes slipped 0.6 percent in February, a third straight monthly decline. But year to date, sales are up 2.2 percent in a sign that buyer demand remains solid.
MarketWatch
Existing-home sales snap back in February even as inventory slides to a fresh low
Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.54 million in February, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
Realtor.com
Forget big-city living: More millennials are transforming small-town America
Everybody knows the deal: Millennials want to be in the biggest cities, in the center of all the trendiness, all the job growth, and, generally speaking, all the action. Right? Well, not so fast.
The New York Times
2018: A tough year for first-time buyers
Tax law changes, low inventory and tight credit may present extra hurdles this year for people buying their first homes.
CNBC
Homebuyers are not bothered by higher rates or taxes, but sellers are
Home sales rebounded more strongly than expected in February, and the National Association of Realtors says they could have been even higher if there were more homes for sale.
The Wall Street Journal
The next housing crisis: A historic shortage of new homes
America is facing a new housing crisis. A decade after an epic construction binge, fewer homes are being built per household than at almost any time in U.S. history.
Fox Business
A new housing crisis emerging?
Home construction is approaching its lowest level in decades as fears emerge that a new, different industry crunch could be emerging.
The New York Times
California housing problems are spilling across its borders
A growing homelessness crisis. Complaints about traffic congestion. Worries that the economy is becoming dominated by a wealthy elite.
HousingWire
This is why millennials have yet to flood housing market
Millennials are the largest living generation, however, according to Freddie Mac's March Insight report, they are falling short of dominating the housing market.
The Wall Street Journal
Retirees reshape where Americans live
Americans are relocating to retirement hot spots scattered around the country and returning to suburbia, according to Census Bureau figures released Thursday. (Subscription may be required.)
The Washington Post
Retailers are hiring more people. One reason: Home renovations.
The nation's unemployment rate remained unchanged in February, but there was one bright spot many economists weren't expecting: an influx of retail jobs.
HOUSING FINANCE NEWS
HousingWire
Fannie Mae: Fewer lenders easing credit standards
Fewer lenders are choosing to ease their credit standards, despite their negative profit margins, according to Fannie Mae's Q1 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.
National Mortgage News
Is this Jeb Hensarling's last stand?
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, has less than a year left in office — and he seems to be spoiling for one last fight. (Subscription may be required.)
AFFORDABLE HOUSING
USA Today
Affordable housing is at risk from tax cut law
On 1st Street in Santa Ana, not far from where authorities recently cleared a tent encampment along the Santa Ana River near Angel Stadium, developer Caleb Roope wants to build nearly 1,000 apartments that will be affordable for low-income seniors and families.
LABOR

Some U.S. homeowners are getting started early. Really early.

ECONOMIC NEWS

MarketWatch

Nearly 100,000 members of Generation Z own a home (they're 23 and younger)

Some U.S. homeowners are getting started early. Really early. Benjamin Ulloa, a 19-year-old real estate broker who lives with his parents in Oregon, purchased a home in Hoquiam, Wash., two years ago.

CNBC

Here's what you need to earn to buy a home in these big cities

Record-low inventory is causing home prices to rise across the U.S., so higher salaries are now required to afford monthly housing payments, according to SmartAsset.

The Wall Street Journal

New York housing is getting (gasp!) more affordable

What will New Yorkers do if they can't bemoan the cost of housing at every cocktail party and youth-soccer match? Signs are emerging that the city's perpetual housing worries may be easing. (Subscription may be required.)

National Mortgage News

12 cities where homes for sale are dwindling

As housing demand continues outpacing supply, tight inventory is plaguing potential buyers and putting upward pressure on home prices. But supply in some housing markets worse off than others.

 

 

 

MarketWatch

Over a million Americans may have just lost their shot at refinancing

Interest rates have surged in the opening weeks of 2018, raising uncomfortable questions about how much higher they can go before home purchases become unaffordable.

The Wall Street Journal

Spring home sales could be the weakest in years

The economy is booming, take-home pay is rising and millennials are getting married and having children. Despite all those homebuying catalysts, this could one of the weakest spring selling seasons in recent years. (Subscription may be required.)

The Wall Street Journal

Mortgage rates at a four-year high threaten to roil housing

U.S. mortgage rates have hit their highest level since 2014, a new challenge for a housing market that has been central to the economic recovery but remains vulnerable to even modest headwinds. (Subscription may be required.)

MarketWatch

U.S. adds 313,000 jobs in February in biggest gain in a year and a half

The U.S. added 313,000 new jobs in February, the biggest gain in a year and a half and clear evidence that a strong economy has plenty of room to keep expanding.

 

 


NAHB CEO Jerry Howard on the impact of rising interest rates on the housing market.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Fox Business

NAHB CEO on rising rates: Not overly concerned, keeping an eye on it

NAHB CEO Jerry Howard on the impact of rising interest rates on the housing market.

The Wall Street Journal

The housing market is riding high once again

The housing market is looking pretty hot right now, an important contributor to economic growth and the stock market. (Subscription may be required.)

HousingWire

These metros saw the most homebuilding activity in 2017

Homebuilding saw a pickup near the end of 2017 and is even expected to fuel the housing market in 2018 as it rises to a post-recession high.

Zillow

Owners of the most affordable homes gaining wealth fastest

Owners of the country's most affordable homes are gaining equity the fastest, because demand for entry-level homes continues to grow faster than supply.

National Mortgage News

12 housing markets where saving for a 20% down payment takes the longest

With rising house prices largely driven by the inventory shortage, the time it takes a potential homebuyer to save for a 20% down payment is only likely to increase going forward.

The New York Times

America at home: Grandparents in the attic, children in the basement

On a Sunday evening a few weeks back, Shobana Ram was loading the dishwasher in her kitchen in Queens when her 85-year-old father-in-law rose from the dinner table, carrying his cane in one hand and an empty plate in the other.

 

CNBC

Weekly mortgage applications tank even more, as rising rates make homes less affordable

The numbers are getting uglier for potential homebuyers and homeowners looking to save money.

Denver Business Journal

Denver's tops in the country for sparse inventory of houses for sale

The Home Depo on Tuesday reported earnings that were buoyed by a booming housing market and strong economy, a macro environment that executives and analysts believe is likely to provide a tailwind for the company for some time.

 

 


Tax cuts are still making homebuilders feel better, even as mortgage rates rise to the highest level in more than four years.

ECONOMIC NEWS

CNBC

Homebuilders shrug off higher mortgage rates, stay optimistic on economic boost from tax cuts

Tax cuts are still making homebuilders feel better, even as mortgage rates rise to the highest level in more than four years.

MarketWatch

Housing starts soar in January, building permits hit 10 1/2-year high

Construction on new homes in the U.S., known as housing starts, jumped almost 10% in January to an annual rate of 1.33 million. That's the second highest level since the Great Recession and it easily exceeded the 1.24 million forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch.

HousingWire

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. housing markets see home prices hit all-time high

As housing inventory sank to its all-time low during the fourth quarter, home prices increased, creating all-new highs in many U.S. markets, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors.

The Washington Post

The overall U.S. housing market has recovered. But that's not true in every community.

Now that a decade has passed since the housing market collapsed and home prices have steadily risen on a national basis, Zillow's researchers found that the housing market has regained all of the $9 trillion lost in home value during the recession.

CNBC

Shopping for a home? It will take a lot longer than you think because home prices are overheating

Homes today are selling in about 40 days on average, almost two weeks faster than a year ago. But it is taking a lot longer for shoppers to find a home to buy.

Realtor.com

Who ordered all the McMansions? 10 cities where they're piled highest

You know them when you see them. The imposing, ostentatious structures looming over surprisingly wee plots of land. The crazily mismatched architectural styles. The hipped roofs, gabled roofs, and pyramidal roofs—all on the same house! The bank columns. The front yard Romanesque fountains. The puzzling profusion of window sizes and types. The gigantic, two-story front doors.

 

CNBC

Here's how a 5% mortgage rate would roil the US housing market

Mortgage rates are now at their highest level in four years and poised to move even higher. The timing couldn't be worse, as the usually busy spring housing market kicked into gear early this year amid higher home prices and strong competition for a record low supply of homes for sale.

USA Today

U.S. mortgage rates climb to a nearly 4-year peak

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped this week to their highest level in nearly four years, a sign that the prospect of higher inflation is steadily increasing the cost of borrowing to buy a home.

Fox News (AP)

NIMBY vs. YIMBY: Housing battle brews in booming Seattle

Seattle's booming tech industry has brought a massive influx of new residents with big wallets to the city. But an ensuing housing crunch has led to skyrocketing rents and home prices that have strained middle- and working-class families and deepened the city's crisis of homelessness.

The Wall Street Journal

The new tax law: How will the tax overhaul affect the economy?

President Donald Trump and Republicans are betting the 2017 tax overhaul will invigorate the U.S. economy after a long but slow expansion, putting controversial economic theories about growth to a crucial test. (Subscription may be required.)

 

HOUSING FINANCE NEWS

National Mortgage News

Has GSE reform hit the skids?

Despite a legislative push by some senators and other stakeholders to jump-start housing finance reform, efforts to form consensus over a bill once again are stuck in neutral. (Subscription may be required.)

The Wall Street Journal

Another plea from Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae is again going hat in hand to taxpayers after announcing a $6.5 billion quarterly loss on Wednesday. Washington should take this news as a kick in the keister to finally start winding down the mortgage giant and its busted brother, Freddie Mac . But the Trump Administration seems to be moving in the opposite direction. (Subscription may be required.)

Bloomberg

Fannie and Freddie mortgages face higher fees under Trump budget

The Trump Administration has said it wants to get Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of government control, but in the meantime it's not being shy about seeking to use revenue from the U.S.-backed mortgage guarantors to reduce the deficit.

MarketWatch

Fannie Mae to turn to taxpayers after $6.5 billion loss

Mortgage finance provider Fannie Mae on Wednesday reported a fourth quarter net loss of $6.5 billion, a step that means it will draw billions from the U.S. Treasury.

HousingWire

Mortgage Choice Act approved by House of Representatives

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to pass the Mortgage Choice Act of 2017, which would adjust the Truth in Lending Act's definitions of points and fees under the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule.

TAX REFORM

Marketplace

Low-income and middle-class homeowners might see their tax refunds shrink come 2018

The budget plan passed in the wee hours of the night on Friday not only put a quick end to the second shutdown of 2018 but also temporarily breathed life into several expired tax deductions. Under the plan many of these tax breaks were only extended retroactively for 2017. As such, their future remains uncertain.

Arizona Republic

How tax-reform changes will affect homeowners and those considering buying

The nation's homeownership rate recently rose on an annual basis for the first time in what seems like forever — the first gain since 2004.

 

MULTIFAMILY

CNBC

Major apartment developer: 'There is an acute crisis headed our way'

Scan the downtowns of the nation's largest cities, and you are likely to see a staggering array of cranes.

 

HUD

NPR

White House budget calls for deep cuts to HUD

those who receive public housing subsidies and slashes funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development by $8.8 billion.

 

INCLUSIONARY ZONING

The Wall Street Journal

The high cost of 'affordable housing' mandates

As housing prices recover from the Great Recession, municipalities across America are considering laws that will raise the cost of homeownership. The Wall Street Journal reports that cities like Philadelphia, Detroit and Atlanta are requiring developers to set aside some portion of their new units to sell or rent at below-market prices to low-income households. Like many progressive promises, this is a fool's errand. These laws will reduce the cost of housing for targeted political groups if they increase the cost of housing for everyone else. (Subscription may be required.)

 
 
 

 


Forget the rent - home purchase prices may soon be "too high." Nationally, prices rose 6.6% for the 12 months ending in December, real-estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday. That marked the fourth month in a row in which annual increases were higher than in the prior month.

ECONOMIC NEWS

MarketWatch

Home price gains picked up steam at year-end, CoreLogic says

Forget the rent - home purchase prices may soon be "too damn high." Nationally, prices rose 6.6% for the 12 months ending in December, real-estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday. That marked the fourth month in a row in which annual increases were higher than in the prior month.

USA Today

10 states predicted to have strong housing markets in 2018

The housing market in the U.S. has experienced a major uptick over the past two years. In 2016, existing home sales were the strongest they've been since 2006. More than a decade after the worst housing crisis in U.S. history, it seems we're finally in a sustainable recovery period.

MarketWatch

Homeownership rate reaches three-year high as rebound from crisis gathers pace

More Americans became homeowners in the final three months of last year, fresh evidence that homeownership is rebounding after touching a post-crisis low.

National Mortgage News

12 high-rent housing markets ready for more first time home buyers

Rising rents could suggest the homebuyer pool is about to get even bigger at a time when demand in the housing market is already far outpacing supply.

The Washington Post

In many parts of the country, the bar for what's considered a luxury home has risen

While owning a house valued at $1 million or more still means you're well-to-do, the definition of the luxury home market has been creeping upward along with home prices.

The Washington Post

Predictions of a crash in housing prices have not come true

Were fears overblown that changes to the federal tax law would trigger plunging home values?

 

CNBC

Mortgage volume stalls as rates rise to the highest level in four years

The first week in February usually marks the start of the busy spring housing market, but you wouldn't know that from the mortgage market.

MarketWatch

Mortgage rates hit 14-month high as bonds sell off

Rates for home loans rose to the highest in more than a year, raising the prospect of a fresh headwind for housing that mortgage professionals think the market can handle — for now.

MarketWatch

Will stock market volatility affect house prices?

As the stock market's correction dredged up memories of 2007, some have begun to look for the bubble that might burst into the next recession. But housing experts say that real estate is unlikely to be the culprit this time around.

Houston Chronicle

Houston builders to add 28,000 homes this year

Houston-area builders will start construction on more homes this year, but labor shortages, increased material costs and rising mortgage rates could present challenges to the industry, according to a new forecast.

The New York Times

Powell becoming Fed Chief as economy starts to show strain

Jerome H. Powell, who will be sworn in Monday as the Federal Reserve's 16th chairman, is stepping into his new role as a half-decade of economic tranquillity is beginning to show some signs of strain.

HOUSING FINANCE NEWS

 
 

PRODUCT NEWS

BDX

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Thousands of custom & production builders across the US list their homes with BDX to connect with home shoppers, drive website traffic, and generate quality leads. Join them with prime placement on the leading new home marketplace, NewHomeSource.com and Realtor.com plus hundreds of other websites. Get started today!

Professional Warranty Service Corporation

The 2018 Home Building Forecast: Is It the Tortoise or the Hare?

Should we feel good about the prospects for housing in the coming year considering the positive signs we are seeing? The answer, according to PWSC's President, Gale F. Sommers is... yes, but cautiously. Here's why.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The New York Times

The affordable housing crisis is about to get worse

Many of the worst effects of the tax bill President Trump signed in December could take years to emerge. But the damage to the federal tax credit program that finances nearly all affordable housing built in America is already painfully evident. Unless Congress rescues this crucial program, a quarter million fewer affordable units will be built over the next 10 years, deepening an already serious crisis.

 

MULTIFAMILY

The Wall Street Journal

Rent controls, a bane of landlords, are gaining support as costs soar

Calls for rent-control legislation are growing across the U.S. as apartment tenants endure sharply rising rents and memories fade of the downsides of price caps. (Subscription may be required.)

 

LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT

HousingWire

Fannie Mae to invest in $100 million in low-income housing tax credit

Fannie Mae announced Monday it will invest in $100 million to help Hurricane Harvey impacted areas and underserved markets.

 

NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM

Asbury Park Press

Flood insurance reform: Jersey Shore to pay more in the future

Likely changes to the National Flood Insurance Program are poised to raise costs for many Shore homeowners, perhaps substantially.

 

TRENDS

Bloomberg

A driverless future threatens the laws of real estate

The link between property and transport has been perhaps the most durable in human history.

 
 

 

 

  

 


National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard reacts to record-high construction spending, explaining why he thinks housing demand is going to start increasing as well.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Fox Business

Construction spending climbs, hits record high in December

National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard reacts to record-high construction spending, explaining why he thinks housing demand is going to start increasing as well.

MarketWatch

Homeownership rate reaches three-year high as rebound from crisis gathers pace

More Americans became homeowners in the final three months of last year, fresh evidence that homeownership is rebounding after touching a post-crisis low.

MarketWatch

Home prices accelerated in November, Case-Shiller shows

The numbers: The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in the three-month period ending in November compared to the same period ending in October, and was up 6.4% compared to a year before. The national index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% for the month, and 6.2% for the year.

MarketWatch

Pending home sales inch higher as tight inventory stifles housing market

U.S. pending home sales rose 0.5% in December, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. That's the highest reading since March, even though the index stands just 0.5% higher than a year ago.

Forbes

2018's housing market looks good unless you're a first-time millennial buyer

The Nation's housing market for 2018 continues to look good according to two recently released reports. Though, first-time Millennial buyers will continue to struggle with affordability especially in high priced areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York and Washington DC.

 

MarketWatch

Mortgage rates advance for fourth straight week

Mortgage rates advanced for the fourth straight week, as the market begins to price in a more aggressive Federal Reserve and burgeoning inflation pressures.

The Wall Street Journal

My 10-year odyssey through the housing crisis 

After looking at several houses along Alabama's Gulf Coast, we decided the sunny cottage on Audubon Drive in Foley was the one—so long as the seller came down a little on the price. (Subscription may be required.)

MarketWatch

Fed to take a step toward a March interest-rate hike

The Federal Reserve will make subtle, hawkish, changes to its statement this week to confirm what the market now expects: a rate hike is coming in March.

 

 

HOUSING FINANCE NEWS

Scotsman Guide

GSE bill would expand competition and Ginnie Mae

A housing-finance reform bill now pending in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs proposes to create a system where multiple entities are allowed to compete against each other to purchase and securitize mortgages, according to a draft of the bill leaked to the media this week.

Washington Examiner

Civil rights, affordable housing groups bash bipartisan Fannie, Freddie reform bill

Civil rights and affordable housing groups are criticizing a draft bipartisan bill to overhaul the housing finance system and revamp Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a development that could cement liberal opposition to the legislative effort.

 

TRENDS

The Wall Street Journal

Say goodbye to garages as developers imagine a driverless future

Mass adoption of driverless cars is still years away, but architects, developers and planners already are designing new projects with autonomous vehicles in mind. (Subscription may be required.)

The Washington Post

A good night's sleep can be a key feature in your dream home

Sending midnight emails from the comfort of bed used to be the ultimate status symbol. Now, science and society are tending to agree that it's the ultimate drag.

 

WOTUS

The New York Times

EPA blocks Obama-era clean water rule

The Trump administration has formally suspended a major Obama-era clean water regulation ahead of plans to issue its own version of the rule later this year.

 

MULTIFAMILY

Forbes

Three reasons multifamily developers should focus on baby boomer renters

For the past few years, the importance of appealing to millennial renters has dominated the conversation. But, based on recent trends, the industry should really start honing their focus on baby boomers. From being the fastest-growing tenant profile to experiencing less rent burden to staying in one place for longer than other demographics, baby boomers are the ideal tenant in today's luxury multifamily space.

 

TAX REFORM

The New York Times

Tucked into the tax bill, a plan to help distressed America

A little-noticed section in the $1.5 trillion tax cut that President Trump signed into law late last month is drawing attention from venture capitalists, state government officials and mayors across America.

 
 

 


A compilation of the week's top housing news.

ECONOMIC NEWS

CNBC

Ignore the bad housing starts number. Builder optimism and buyer demand are high

Ignore the bad housing starts number. Some will blame the weather. Others will claim the figures are too volatile month to month. Bottom line, December's steep drop in single-family housing starts is not indicative of what is really going on at construction sites across the nation.

National Mortgage News

8 signs renters might start buying more homes

The homeownership rate has recovered somewhat from the post-crisis low of 62.9%, but still remains well below the peak of 69.1%. And as consumers are challenged by rising home prices and low inventory, some would-be buyers are continuing to rent longer than anticipated due to issues of affordability and demand.

National Mortgage News

Multifamily housing production finds stable ground in 2018

Though multifamily housing starts are projected to slightly moderate this year and in 2019, production levels are expected to remain in a steady range considered normal, with low supply actually contributing to this stabilization, according to the National Association of Home Builders. (Subscription may be required.)

Business Insider

The housing market still can't keep up with millennial demand even after its best year in a decade

By some measures, the housing market just had its best year in a decade.  On Thursday, the Census Bureau released its final report on new residential construction, completions, and building permits in 2017. All three rose to the highest levels since 2007.

MarketWatch

Amazon's HQ2 would have the biggest impact on real estate in these U.S. cities

Amazon has narrowed the contenders for its new headquarters down to 20 cities — but the property markets in some cities could do with a boost more than others.

Advertisement

 

The Dallas Morning News

D-FW needs 20,000 more construction workers, Dallas Builders Association says

Last year Dallas-Fort Worth homebuilders started almost 34,000 homes. The construction total would have been even greater if builders could have rounded up more workers. The labor shortage that's hammered the U.S. housing industry continues to be one of the biggest worries for builders.

Washington Examiner

Immigrants held record share of US construction jobs in 2016

The National Association of Homebuilders said Monday that 24.4 percent of U.S. construction workers were immigrants in 2016, the highest share on record.

HousingWire

MBA: Mortgage apps continue increasing

Mortgage applications increased 4.1% from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 12, 2017.

The Washington Post

Devastated by wildfire, a California city weighs rebuilding amid a housing crunch

A Christmas tree stands in what was once Jeff Okrepkie's foyer in Coffey Park, a few red and gold ornaments hanging from its damp branches.

 

 

 

 

HOUSING FINANCE NEWS

MarketWatch

As Fannie and Freddie reform talk heats up, their regulator speaks up

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be reorganized as private, utility-like entities, and the government should provide an explicit guarantee for mortgages in order to preserve the popular 30-year fixed-rate loan, the regulator of the two government-sponsored mortgage enterprises said this week.

American Banker

FHFA breaks silence on housing finance reform

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt finally detailed his views on housing finance reform, saying that the agency believes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be reincorporated as private entities and the government must provide an explicit guarantee for catastrophic losses in the secondary mortgage market. (Subscription may be required.)

National Mortgage News

Treasury, FHFA see eye to eye on housing finance reform, top official says

The Treasury Department mostly agrees with a housing finance reform plan put forward by Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt this week, according to Craig Phillips, a senior counselor to Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (Subscription may be required.)

 
 

 

 

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The New York Times

Tax overhaul is a blow to affordable housing efforts

The last time that Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, in 1986, it created a tax credit meant to encourage the private sector to invest in affordable housing. It has grown into a $9 billion-a-year social program that has funded the construction of some three million apartments for low-income residents.

HousingWire

Fannie Mae selects advisory panel for sustainable housing challenge

Fannie Mae announced today its formation of an expert advisory panel for its Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge.

 

MULTIFAMILY

The Wall Street Journal

Houston's apartment market makes a comeback

The Houston rental apartment market is rebounding after years of pain caused by overbuilding and the weak energy sector. (Subscription may be required.)

The Wall Street Journal

That New York condo just got a lot more expensive

Apartment shoppers in Manhattan are taking a pause after a federal tax overhaul removed some key incentives for homeownership, brokers say. (Subscription may be required.)

 

REMODELING

MarketWatch

4 things consumers should think about before financing a home improvement

With Goldman Sachs' newest loan product, the money-center bank is making a smart bet.

 

TRENDS

The Atlantic

The great urban housing solution that has no good name

When Kol Peterson moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2010, affordable housing was a priority, as it was for many newcomers in this city's booming real-estate market. He looked at two frequently discussed options for high-cost cities—tiny houses on wheels and communal living—but decided on another option: accessory dwelling units, or ADUs—also known as "granny flats," or basement or garage apartments.

 
 

 

 

  

 


The total value of all homes in the U.S. increased in 2017 to a total $31.8 trillion, according to the latest report from Zillow.

ECONOMIC NEWS

HousingWire

Value of U.S. housing market climbs to record $31.8 trillion

The total value of all homes in the U.S. increased in 2017 to a total $31.8 trillion, according to the latest report from Zillow.

CNBC

Home prices are set to soar in 2018

The temperature may be frigid across much of the nation, yet home prices are sizzling and sellers are in the hot seat.

Business Insider

Here are the most valuable housing markets in the US

The value of the nation's housing stock grew by 6.5 percent to $31.8 trillion this year — with Los Angeles and New York City far outpacing the rest of the country's top-valued metro markets and Miami landing at No. 4.

HousingWire

Here are four housing predictions for 2018

2017 is now officially over and 2018 has begun. As the year comes into full swing, many experts continue to give their predictions for the housing market during the new year.

The Wall Street Journal

Accelerating housing market boosts homebuilder stocks

A rebound in the market for new homes is propelling shares of the companies that build them, a sign of how the improving economy has supported the stock market's recent gains. (Subscription may be required.)

Forbes

Cost of living is surging in these major cities and what it could mean for 2018

Nearly a decade after the 2008 recession and housing crash, much of the U.S. has fully recovered. As a result, most of the country is experiencing a rise in the cost of living, especially as home prices return to and surpass pre-crash levels. With the cost of living set to rise higher in 2018, one thing Americans can do to soften the blow is adopt some proven ways to save money before the end of the year. Otherwise, it will be difficult to escape this rising prices tide.

 

 

 

MarketWatch

Mortgage rates drop in opening week of 2018

Mortgage rates declined in the first week of 2018, even as most analysts believe they'll move higher in coming months.

CNBC

Mortgage applications end 2017 lower as rates rose

Economic policy can be a double-edged sword, and that was abundantly clear with respect to mortgage rates at the end of the year.

The Wall Street Journal

U.S. apartment market softens as supply increases

The multifamily housing market turned in a lackluster performance in 2017 as demand failed to keep pace with a deluge of new apartment supply, according to a new report to be released Wednesday. (Subscription may be required.)

The Wall Street Journal

You got priced out of ... Philadelphia? The spread of hot housing markets

The gentrification of the Fishtown neighborhood here looks like something city planners dream of, with developers renovating old row houses as young professionals, along with new restaurants and businesses, pile in. (Subscription may be required.)

The Washington Post

America's forgotten towns: Can they be saved or should people just leave?

One of the great debates in American politics and economics in 2018 is likely to be how to help the country's forgotten towns, the former coal-mining and manufacturing hubs with quaint Main Streets that haven't changed much since the 1950s and '60s. Many of these places turned out heavily to vote for Donald Trump. He talks often about wanting to help them, but it's unclear how he can.

USA Today

Employers added disappointing 148K jobs in Dec

The labor market slowed in December as U.S. employers added 148,000 jobs in a sign that worker shortages may crimp hiring in 2018.

USA Today

Will the economy bust out in 2018?

The U.S. economy in 2018 may finally unload some of the baggage that has slowed it down since the Great Recession ended in 2009.

 

 

 

 

TAX REFORM

The Washington Post

New tax law expected to slow rise of home values, creating winners and losers

The steady increase in housing prices in many of the nation's priciest markets, including the Washington region, is expected to slow in coming years, analysts say, as the Republican tax law begins to reshape a major part of the U.S. economy.

National Mortgage News

For housing market, tax reform is a wrench in the works

The recently enacted tax reform bill is likely to reshape sections of the housing industry, including encouraging more consumers to rent instead of buy and tamp down the rapid rise in home prices. (Subscription may be required.)

The Washington Post

Housing market could shift under new tax law

Homeowners have been on a roll. Owning a home has been a good investment over the half dozen years since housing prices hit bottom after the crash. Prices over this period are up more than 30 percent nationwide — and much more in some places. Home prices in the District have risen by more than 50 percent.

NPR

Tax changes could hurt affordability at high end of the housing market

Kari Pinto and her husband recently retired, and now they hope to trade Iowa — and its harsh winters — for a state with a milder climate.

 
 

 

 

 

HOUSING FINANCE NEWS

American Banker

Reg relief, GSEs to dominate banking policy on Capitol Hill in '18

Congress is likely to pass significant changes to the Dodd-Frank Act early next year and then attempt to overhaul roughly a third of the U.S. economy by restructuring the housing finance system. (Subscription may be required.)

MarketWatch

Fannie, Freddie mull broader credit scores for mortgage approvals

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have for years considered switching to alternative methods of assessing borrowers' credit scores and on Wednesday the two mortgage finance giants took a step closer to that goal.

HousingWire

Ellie Mae: Millennial homebuyer credit scores decreasing

The latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker report shows a slight decline in the average credit scores of closed loans to Millennials from the previous year.

 

PRODUCT NEWS


The House Ways and Means Committee hasn't yet approved its version of the tax overhaul, but already some lobbyists, miffed by how the legislation is shaping up, say they're turning to the Senate.

TAX REFORM


Roll Call
Lobbyists miffed at House tax bill turn attention to Senate

The House Ways and Means Committee hasn't yet approved its version of the tax overhaul, but already some lobbyists, miffed by how the legislation is shaping up, say they're turning to the Senate.


Business Insider
A crucial line in Trump's new tax plan will make it a lot harder to buy a $1 million home

President Donald Trump's new tax plan just dealt a blow to many would-be homeowners. The 429-page GOP tax plan, called the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" was revealed on Thursday and is being billed as a boon for hard-working middle class Americans.


Politico
Tax lobbyists sprint to win changes to House bill

House Republicans kept their tax bill under wraps for as long as possible to hold back a deluge of lobbyists. After trade groups spent the weekend poring over the details, the flood is on.


McClatchy Newspapers
Election results could give Democrats new clout on tax overhaul

As Senate Republicans prepare to unveil their tax overhaul plan Thursday, they insist the political climate hasn't changed, even after Democrats' big election night on Tuesday.


The Wall Street Journal
Republican tax plan would slam California housing market

California's biggest housing markets figure to be among the losers if a Republican-sponsored tax overhaul becomes law, according to two analyses of local market data.


MarketWatch

Republican tax plan could grind affordable housing construction to a virtual halt

The tax plan proposed by Congressional Republicans will likely decimate production of new affordable rental housing, even as housing shortages across the country are driving rents higher and taking ever-larger shares of Americans' incomes.


CNN
Paul Ryan's tax dream is coming true

This is the moment House Speaker Paul Ryan has been waiting on for decades: The Republican Party is amid a massive rewrite of the US tax code that lowers rates and closes loopholes across the board.


The New York Times
Senate tax bill will keep mortgage interest deduction intact

Senate Republicans, who are set to unveil their sweeping tax rewrite today, plan to keep the mortgage interest deduction intact, a significant win for realtors and a deviation from the House bill under consideration.


The New York Times
Want kids, a degree or a home? The tax bill would cost you

To pass their immense tax giveaway to the rich, Republicans need to ensure their plan would add no more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade. To do so, they're cutting billions of dollars in tax benefits to people trying to raise children, pay for college, buy a home or invest in renewable energy.

 

ECONOMIC NEWS

 

National Mortgage News
Sluggish construction continues to hold back housing market

As employment and home prices reach and surpass previous levels of normal economic and housing activity, building permits continued holding markets back from hitting historic norms during the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders. (Subscription may be required.)


The Wall Street Journal
Americans feel like it's a better time to sell than to buy a home

For the first time in more than a decade, Americans are feeling better about selling a home than buying one. (Subscription may be required.)


The Wall Street Journal
Millennial home buyers send a chill through rental markets

Rising homeownership is adding to the jitters in the residential rental market, which has slumped recently after a long stretch near the top of the commercial real-estate industry. (Subscription may be required.)


CNBC
More housing markets are overvalued, and consumers feel the pain

The steady rise in home prices is so far showing no boundaries, and that is turning up the heat on some already overheated housing markets.


The New York Times
Detroit: From Motor City to housing incubator

The 2008 financial crisis and 2013 city bankruptcy gutted Detroit's housing market. Now, Detroit is experimenting with unorthodox ways to get people to buy homes and renovate houses.


The Washington Post
Mortgage rates quiet, awaiting tax reform outcome

Mortgage rates have settled in the past couple of weeks, waiting for the outcome of the Republican tax overhaul plan.


CNBC
Why the housing market got no Trump bump

Investor confidence soared after the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump, sending the U.S. stock market on a tear that would last a full year.


MarketWatch
How incoming Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell could affect your mortgage

President Trump's choice for Federal Reserve chair could affect the fortunes of home owners and buyers for years to come.

 

HOUSING FINANCE NEWS

 

Bloomberg
As U.S.'s lack of homebuilding nears crisis, Fannie offers help

Fannie Mae helps borrowers buy homes. Soon it might help build them too. The mortgage-finance giant is considering a series of pilot programs to address an issue that has plagued the U.S. real-estate market for years: a lack of affordable homes. Fannie's first initiative, which hasn't been finalized, would potentially make it cheaper and simpler for prospective homebuyers to get loans to construct new residences.


HousingWire
Capital One suddenly exits mortgage and home equity business

Capital One announced Tuesday it is permanently closing its mortgage and home equity originations business.


The Washington Post
More veterans and military members are putting VA loans into service to buy homes

For most of his life, Marrio Pearson gave little thought to being a homeowner. If the 45-year-old U.S. Army veteran thought about it at all, he found plenty of reasons it was a bad idea. He thought he was too old to buy a house. He wasn't sure he would stay in Washington. He might take a job elsewhere. He figured being single made it too difficult.


American Banker
Trump team targets special 'QM' status for GSEs

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized its mortgage underwriting rule in 2013, it granted government-backed loans an exemption. Years later, the government-backed market appears to be enjoying the benefits, sparking a debate about whether the exemption should remain. (Subscription may be required.)

 

LUMBER


Construction Dive
US finalizes Canadian softwood lumber tariffs

The U.S. Commerce Department finalized tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber Thursday, which would add duties of 20% or more, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 

OSHA

 

Construction Dive
OSHA announces electronic reporting deadline for 2016 injury and illness data

As part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses" rule, certain employers in high-risk industries like construction, manufacturing and building materials must submit electronically their 2016 injury and illness data from OSHA Form 300A by Dec. 1. 

 

 

 

 


Rates for home loans jumped to a six-week high as bonds sold off in the wake of hawkish comments from the central bank and expectations for tax reform, mortgage provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.

ECONOMIC NEWS

 

MarketWatch

Mortgage rates jump as bond selloff drags on and housing runs out of steam

Rates for home loans jumped to a six-week high as bonds sold off in the wake of hawkish comments from the central bank and expectations for tax reform, mortgage provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.

 

The Wall Street Journal
Share of rent-burdened households declines in possible reversal of trend

After the housing crisis, the share of renters who spent so much on housing that they couldn't afford food, medical care, clothing or other necessities soared to record levels. (Subscription may be required.)

 

CNBC
Weekly mortgage applications stall along with rates and home sales

Rising interest rates and rising home prices are cutting into mortgage demand, as fewer consumers have the incentive to refinance or buy a home.


CNBC
These are the top 2 reasons more millennials can't buy homes

Millennials contributed $514 billion to the housing market over the past year and became the largest group of U.S. homebuyers, real estate site Zillow reports. Still, they lag behind where previous generations were at their age.


MarketWatch

'High-cost housing refugees' are bringing the real estate crunch into Middle America

Homes across the country became even less affordable over the summer as the housing crunch pushed "refugees" from high-priced metro areas into communities previously sheltered from the competition of coastal markets, according to data released Thursday.


MarketWatch
Republican tax-cut plan would add pressure on Fed to hike interest rates: analysts

The Republican tax plan is still in its formative stages with key details unknown, but many economists believe the proposal will put added pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates.


The New York Times
U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September; Unemployment rate dips to 4.2%

The Labor Department released its official hiring and unemployment figures for September on Friday morning, providing the latest snapshot of the American economy.

 

TAX REFORM

 

The New York Times
How two sentences in tax plan may help unleash $1 billion in lobbying

The sweeping tax rewrite unveiled by President Trump and Republican lawmakers this past week leaves many of the details to Congress, but two sentences in the nine-page framework have Washington lobbyists salivating over a payday that some industry experts predict could top $1 billion.


Reuters
Key lobby drops demand for U.S. mortgage interest tax deduction

The trade group representing U.S. homebuilders has abandoned its demand that a new version of the tax code include a mortgage interest deduction, signaling on Tuesday that it would consider alternatives to boost home ownership.


American Banker
Home builders soften stance on mortgage interest deduction

The National Association of Home Builders is backing off of long held support for the mortgage interest deduction in hopes that the Trump administration can deliver on its promise of lower taxes. (Subscription may be required.)


HousingWire
After 75 years, NAHB rethinks strong stance on the mortgage interest tax deduction

TThe National Association of Home Builders changed its stance on one of the most highly debated homeownership conversations: the importance of the mortgage interest tax deduction.


The Hill
Mortgage tax fight tests clout of home industry

The power of the real estate and home building industries is being put to the test in a fight with Republicans over a key tax break for homebuyers — the mortgage interest deduction.


Washington Examiner
Kevin Brady: GOP really will ax state and local deduction

The House of Representatives' top tax writer pushed back Wednesday against suggestions that the GOP might not fully repeal the state and local tax deduction in its quest to lower tax rates in tax reform.

 

LABOR

 

CBS Sunday Morning
A new blueprint for America's construction trades

It's been a month since Hurricane Harvey devastated the of Houston and Southeast Texas. Damage estimates go up to $190 billion. The cleanup has begun, but a major shortage is looming for the rebuilding effort. It's not a lack of will, or money; it's a lack of skilled labor ... a national shortage that's reaching a crisis stage.


The Washington Post
Companies can't find workers to rebuild after Harvey and Irma

After Hurricane Irma pounded the Florida Keys, flooding waterfront homes and shredding docks, Brett Ekblom's phone kept ringing with homeowners desperate to rebuild — and fast.

 

HOUSING FINANCE


HousingWire
Watt suggests GSEs need to hold some capital, urges Congress to act on housing reform

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt once again pressed Congress on the urgent need for housing finance reform due to the looming deadline of the government-sponsored enterprises' capital buffer timeline.


CNBC
A new way to buy a home—with no money of your own

You can crowdfund your business, your charity, your product, your vacation — and now you can crowdfund your home.

 

INDUSTRY NEWS


Atlanta Business Chronicle
Women are building career momentum in Atlanta's residential construction industry

In addition to building homes, women are building career momentum in Atlanta's residential construction industry. While the industry has always been male-dominated, women are starting to take more leadership positions, which is good for business, according to some women in the industry. (Subscription may be required.)

 

REMODELING

 

Kiplinger
How to remodel your home

Jason and Carrie Kelroy of Wauwatosa, Wis., loved their 2,200-square-foot, 1930s-era colonial, and they loved their neighborhood, where they could walk to schools, their church and a coffee shop, or drive to a Milwaukee Brewers game or to Summerfest on the lakefront in 20 minutes. But with three kids and two big dogs, the space felt tight. "So we thought, Let's make it work for the long run," says Carrie.

 

HOUSING SHORTAGE


Los Angeles Times
Dying shopping malls can make room for new condos and apartments, helping ease the housing crisis

In the San Fernando Valley, there are plans to level a nearly vacant mall and replace it with some 1,400 homes, boutique retail shops and a concert venue.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

 

The Wall Street Journal
California will charge new fees on real-estate deals to pay for affordable housing

California will enact new fees on real-estate transactions and ask voters to approve a $4 billion bond measure on next year's ballot, among other measures aimed at creating more affordable housing. (Subscription may be required.)

 

 

 


 


Surprise! It's Millennials.

ECONOMIC NEWS

 

NBC News
Who's powering the housing market? Surprise! It's millennials

Millennials are growing up, settling down and looking to buy a house — for the extra room and the investment opportunity.


USA Today
Home building slowed as cities try to tame growth

James and Carrie Finan have been house-hunting in the Seattle area for four months in a seemingly futile race against time: They're living in a room in James' mother's house and their first child is due in September.


MarketWatch
Home prices pick up steam as spring selling season heats up, CoreLogic says

U.S. home prices marched higher in April, with the strongest gains in the West, according to a report out Tuesday.


HousingWire
HUD Secretary Carson: Homeownership is the foundation of the economy

And more highlights from HUD housing forum.


The Washington Post
How the government contributes to the low supply of starter homes

I hear a lot of criticism of millennials, with some implying they're lazy and perhaps entitled. However, when I look critically at this group I don't see much difference between them and my generation at the same point in life.


CBS News
House-hunting in 2017? You'll need a fatter wallet

What's on your TV? In many middle-class homes, programs about house-hunting now compete for viewers with sporting events, cooking shows and financial advice. Americans are house-hungry. And nothing proves this more than the latest figures from Black Knight's Home Price Appreciation (HPA) index, which in March tallied its highest monthly gain in nearly four years.


The Wall Street Journal

New houses get smaller as first-time buyers move into the market

Home construction still lags despite strong demand for single-family houses.


U.S. News & World Report
More homebuyers, more debt

There is a false narrative going around town about first-time homebuyers, and it could be dangerous to the very group it purports to describe. It is often written today that high down payment requirements, rising house prices, student debt and a lack of supply are keeping these new buyers from purchasing a home.


The Washington Post
Here's how much you would need to afford rent in your state

There is nowhere in this country where someone working a full-time minimum-wage job could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report released Thursday documenting the gap between wages and the cost of rental housing.


Forbes
African-American and Hispanic families priced out of real estate in West Coast markets

In 2016, just 18 percent of homes for sale in the 30 largest U.S. metros were affordable for middle-class Hispanic families and 14 percent were affordable for African-American families, according to a new study by national realtor Redfin. Both rates were down 11 percentage points from 2012. This is compared to 30 percent affordable for those earning the median income for white households, down 12 percentage points since 2012.


The Wall Street Journal
Millions of young people shut out of the housing market

Roughly three million potential first-time home buyers have been shut out of the market over the last decade, according to a new study, suggesting the market's recovery of the past few years could have been stronger. (Subscription may be required.)


HousingWire
Experts: Disappointing jobs report won't stop looming interest rate hike

Economists are voicing their disappointed in the weak and unexpectedly low employment report produced in May, however they say it will not be enough to stop an interest rate hike in June.


HOUSING FINANCE

 

National Mortgage News
How Trump can make the FHA more lender friendly

Regulatory relief has been a central tenet of the Trump administration's strategy to strengthen the economy. That philosophy could be applied to the housing market with changes to government-backed mortgage programs to improve access to credit and increase homeownership. (Subscription may be required.)


The Washington Post
Fannie Mae will ease financial standards for mortgage applicants next month

It's the No. 1 reason that mortgage applicants nationwide get rejected: They're carrying too much debt relative to their monthly incomes. It's especially a deal-killer for millennials early in their careers who have to stretch every month to pay the rent and other bills.


The Hill
As capital dwindles, trouble looms for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt recently delivered two direct messages to Congress: First, it is dangerous to operate the two institutions that undergird half of the U.S. mortgage market and support over $5 trillion in mortgage backed securities with little to no capital. Second, as the safety and soundness regulator, he intends to take steps to reverse that situation.


National Mortgage News
FHA premium reduction remains on hold: Carson

The financial condition of the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage insurance fund has "stabilized," according to Housing Secretary Ben Carson. But that does not mean he's ready to cut FHA premiums again. (Subscription may be required.)

 

DODD-FRANK

 

USA Today

Dodd-Frank debate: Here's how the House could change financial legislation

President Trump's agenda to deregulate the financial industry could take a big leap forward this week.


HousingWire
House votes to abolish Dodd-Frank

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to pass the Republican-led Financial CHOICE Act, H.R. 10, which would abolish the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.


DEPARTMENT OF LABOR


USA Today
Worker-friendly rules scrapped by Labor Dept

Expanded worker protections on pay and benefits were rolled back by the Trump Administration Wednesday in a first step of what is expected to be a broader effort to reinstate policies that favor employers.

 

MULTIFAMILY

 

The New York Times
Developers lure buyers to cities, even as prices stall

Peter Fader, a professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has long yearned for the city life. For 20 years, though, he and his wife, Mina, have deferred that dream, living in a Philadelphia suburb to raise their two children in a 3,500-square-foot home.

 

OSHA


The New York Times
Under Trump, worker protections are viewed with new skepticism

There's a relaxation in the approach to occupational safety and business is getting a bigger voice, while hard-won victories for safety advocates are being reversed.

 

NFIP

 

MarketWatch
Nearly 7 million homes are at risk of hurricane storm surge, even as national flood insurance program may expire

As the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season officially starts, the national weather agency in charge of tracking hurricanes says it could be another "above-normal" season, even as a federal flood insurance program that's the only option for many homeowners will expire in September if Congress doesn't take action.

 

INDUSTRY TRENDS


Construction Dive
Moving up: How builders can address the needs of multigenerational households

Living with mom and dad it is trending. That is, whether due to financial, health or other circumstances, young adults are moving back home after college and older adults are moving in with their children later in life, bringing multigenerational households to the forefront once again.

 

 

 


A Compilation of the Week's Top Housing Headlines

ECONOMIC NEWS

 

The Wall Street Journal
Phoenix, Las Vegas housing markets return to average growth, 15 years later

In another sign the U.S. housing market is returning to normal, Las Vegas and Phoenix -- poster children of the bubble and bust -- are looking average. (Subscription may be required.)


MarketWatch
Home-price growth accelerates to nearly three-year high in March

U.S. home price gains picked up speed, accelerating to the highest rate in nearly three years, reflecting sturdy demand and lean supply.


MarketWatch
Pending-home sales decline again, deepening housing market funk

A gauge of home purchase contract signings slumped for a second month in April, another sign the housing market is still struggling for a balance between supply and demand.


The Wall Street Journal
Homeowners are again pocketing cash as they refinance properties

Americans refinancing their mortgages are taking cash out in the process at levels not seen since the financial crisis. (Subscription may be required.)


MarketWatch
Why many Americans are worried about buying a home

Our economy has come a long way since the 2007-09 recession: Wages are going up, unemployment sits at 4.4% (the lowest level since May 2007)—and we're in the midst of the second-longest bull market ever.

 

INDUSTRY NEWS

 

The Wall Street Journal
Citing housing shortage, builders push for friendlier laws

The real-estate industry is having success in using the scarcity of affordable housing in the U.S. to persuade lawmakers to give builders more legal protection. (Subscription may be required.)


The Wall Street Journal
Happy 70th to true American suburbia

Today most American homes take four to six months to build, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This makes the following fact even more extraordinary: At one point in the 1940s, a house was completed every 16 minutes in Levittown, N.Y., the first mass-produced suburb in America. (Subscription may be required.)
 

HOUSING FINANCE

 

Bloomberg
This political fight is a big threat to fixing the mortgage market

The latest effort to fix the U.S. housing-finance system may hinge on solving a riddle that wrecked the last attempt: How far will Congress go to ensure that low-income and minority borrowers can get loans while protecting taxpayers against bailouts?

 

HOUSING POLICY


Housing Wire
The Trump Effect on Real Estate

He's known as a real estate mogul, but with proposals that could both boost or blast the housing market, Trump makes it far from clear what his presidency will do for housing, and even industry professionals don't agree on what the future may hold.

 

REMODELING

 

Construction Dive
Remodeling spending growth to continue in 2017

Homeowners who remodel this year are estimated to spend roughly $6,148 per project, compared to $5,800 in 2016, according to a National Association of Home Builders analysis of Census Bureau data, which considered 26,000 U.S. zip codes, the number and age of homes there and their owners' average income and education.

 


AFFORDABLE HOUSING


The Los Angeles Times
California housing bills could take away subsidies for homeowners and add them for renters

California state senators passed a package of housing legislation Thursday, a bid to spend more on low-income housing as well as make it easier for developers to build.

 

HUD

 

Fox Business
Housing chief steps up public profile in coming weeks

President Donald Trump's point man on housing, Ben Carson, takes on a higher profile this month in Washington — an opportunity to spell out his vision on federal housing policy, and to try to avoid some of the verbal gaffes that have stirred criticism in his first months on the job.

 

LABOR SHORTAGES


Bloomberg
Stigma of criminal record fades as U.S. employers get desperate

Shea Rochester, who once spent a month in jail on an assault charge that was later dropped, is now wanted in a different way.

 

 

 


Sentiment among home builders rebounded in May, buoyed by optimistic views of demand for housing.

ECONOMIC NEWS


MarketWatch
Home builder sentiment strengthens as industry looks past Washington

Sentiment among home builders rebounded in May, buoyed by optimistic views of demand for housing.


CNN Money
Home builders can't find enough workers

There's a huge "help wanted" sign hanging over the home building industry.


MarketWatch
Housing starts ease in April after strong first quarter; But single-family starts perked up

The pace of home construction eased in April as builders took a breather after a strong start to the year.


Fox Business (WSJ)
Home sales jump to near-boom-era levels

Home sales in the first quarter hit their fastest pace in a decade, a sign that rising prices and slightly higher mortgage rates haven't deterred home buyers from rushing into the market.


MarketWatch
Slow and steady growth wins the race for home building — and the economy

The home-building recovery has been slow and steady – and nearly nine years after the housing crisis, housing construction isn't yet fully healed. That's probably a good thing.


Forbes
Homes sold faster than ever in April, survey shows

U.S. home prices rose 6.2 percent to a median sale price of $280,000 in April, according to national realtor Redfin. Home sales inched up 1.2 percent over last year, constrained by a shortage in the supply of homes. The number of homes for sale fell 13.3 percent, the steepest decline in four years, marking 19 straight months of annual declines.


The New York Times
Real estate's new normal: Homeowners staying put

For much of last year, Greg Rubin was looking to buy a bigger house. He has been in the same two-bedroom home for 17 years and hoped to upgrade to a place with a guest room, a home office and a workshop for his guitars, radio-controlled planes and gardening equipment.


National Mortgage News
12 cities where homebuyers really need a 20% down payment

New mortgage programs have made it much easier for borrowers to buy a home with a down payment that's less than the traditional 20%. While these efforts are essential to improving access to mortgage credit, consumers still have the most purchase power and home shopping options with a larger down payment.


The New York Times
How tales of 'flippers' led to a housing bubble

There is still no consensus on why the last housing boom and bust happened. That is troubling, because that violent housing cycle helped to produce the Great Recession and financial crisis of 2007 to 2009. We need to understand it all if we are going to be able to avoid ordeals like that in the future.


HousingWire
Citizenship applications soar, and that means more potential homeowners

Naturalized citizenship is on the rise, and they will be putting more pressure on the housing market...and housing inventory.

 

MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION


The Wall Street Journal
Is mortgage-interest deduction the best way? (Granger MacDonald's letter to the editor was published.)

Regarding your editorial "Houses of Lobbyists" (May 6): Buying a home isn't the only way to build a nest egg, but middle-class families can't get a $200,000 bank loan to invest in stocks. They can, however, get a loan to buy a house. Unfortunately, eviscerating the mortgage-interest deduction (MID) would undermine households that have taken this step. Household ownership in real estate currently stands at $23.1 trillion, and even a 5% drop in home values could destroy $1 trillion in household wealth. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Chicago Tribune
This hefty tax benefit for homeowners hangs in the balance

It's often the biggest pot of gold available to any homeowner, yet its fate remains unclear under the main tax code overhaul plans proposed so far on Capitol Hill.

 

HOUSING FINANCE REFORM

 

The Hill
It's time for Congress to get the facts straight on housing finance

With a new administration in office, members of Congress have awakened once again to the unsolved problem of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the country's two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that have been in a conservatorship since 2008, when they were bailed out by American taxpayers.

 

American Banker
Drilling down on Mnuchin's first Senate Banking appearance

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tackled a host of hot financial topics on Thursday, including saying he did not favor breaking up the big banks, committing to preserving the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and broadly endorsing a two-tiered regulatory system for big and small institutions. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
Trump Administration Could Support Government Backstop for Fannie and Freddie, Mnuchin Says

The Trump administration could support a government backstop for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of a broad overhaul of the mortgage-finance giants, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Senate lawmakers on Thursday. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Marketwatch
Mnuchin expects Fannie and Freddie to keep sending profits to the U.S. Treasury

Shareholders of Fannie and Freddie will have to wait a little while longer In 2008, as the financial crisis swirled, the federal government rushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship.

 

OSHA


The Washington Post
OSHA suspends Obama-era rule for electronic reporting of illness, injury

The Labor Department on Wednesday suspended an Obama-era rule requiring that companies electronically report their injury and illness records, a move that effectively keeps these records from being publicly disclosed for the immediate future.

 

 


The Week's Top Housing News

ECONOMIC NEWS


HousingWire

Fannie Mae: Consumer housing optimism rebounds in April

Many consumers grew more optimistic about the housing in April, rebounding from March's dip in confidence, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index.


The Wall Street Journal
Workers and wood squeeze housing market

Shares of U.S. home builders have had a nice run since the election, driven by healthy profits and rising confidence. That sweet spot is likely over, and the shift will put a damper on the overall housing market. (Subscription may be required.)


CNN Money
Good luck buying a home in this hot housing market

It's going to be a tough house hunting season for buyers, but it's particularly brutal for those in Seattle.


The Wall Street Journal

Generation of Renters Now Buying

First-time buyers are rushing to buy homes after a decade on the sidelines, promising to kick a housing market already flush with luxury sales into higher gear. (Subscription may be required.)

 

HOUSING FINANCE REFORM

 

The Wall Street Journal
Trump administration, senators put Fannie, Freddie overhaul back in play

The Trump administration and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators are working to address an issue that has gone unresolved for nearly a decade: how to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance giants the government took over in 2008. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Washington Examiner
Fixing Fannie and Freddie won't be any easier for the Trump team

Despite bold talk from Republicans, the political obstacles to reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain nearly as steep as they have been throughout the eight years that the firms have been in the government's hands.

 

MarketWatch
Fed's Rosengren warns that Fannie, Freddie reform could roil commercial real-estate market

Efforts to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could lead to "a potential and significant shock" to the commercial real-estate sector, said Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren on Tuesday.

 

American Banker
FHFA on collision course with Congress over Fannie, Freddie

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt appears poised for a showdown with Congress over how to handle Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's dwindling capital buffers.Efforts to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could lead to "a potential and significant shock" to the commercial real-estate sector, said Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren on Tuesday. (Subscription may be required.)

 

LUMBER

 

Construction Dive
Round 1: What the latest Canadian lumber tariffs mean for US housing

For the past several months, the industry has been reeling over speculation about impending tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber and what they might mean for the housing industry.

 

The Washington Post
Jimmy Carter: Trump is right. Canada's lumber trade practices are unfair.

I agree with the recent decision of the White House and the Commerce Department to impose anti-subsidy duties against Canada's unfairly traded softwood lumber imports. This belated enforcement of U.S. trade laws will help millions of private timberland owners, American forestry workers and members of their local communities by leveling the playing field in the timber industry.

 

GSEs

 

HousingWire
Fannie, Freddie release official strategy to serve underserved markets

Monday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency requested public input on the GSE's new proposed Underserved Markets Plans under the Duty to Serve program.

 

Bloomberg
Fannie-Freddie regulator warns he can't let capital fall to zero

The head of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's regulator warned that he can't take the risk of letting the companies run out of capital.

 

Marketwatch
Fannie and Freddie are nearly out of money and Washington is getting anxious

In 2008, as the financial crisis swirled, the federal government rushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship. The two giant mortgage-finance companies became wards of the state under a new regulator that would manage their affairs until they were healthy enough to stand on their own.

 

FORECLOSURE NEWS


The New York Times
Housing Regulator Is Pushed to Crack Down on Sales of Foreclosed Properties

Lawmakers are pressing the nation's housing regulator over the sale of thousands of foreclosed houses to investment firms that have pitched the promise of homeownership to people unable to get a traditional mortgage.Your mortgage may come with a bonus: credit-card reward points. Chase recently announced it will give 100,000 reward points, worth up to $1,500, to existing credit-card customers who take out a home loan with the bank between now and Aug. 6.

 

MORTGAGE NEWS


CNBC
The latest mortgage perk for millennials: Reward points

Your mortgage may come with a bonus: credit-card reward points. Chase recently announced it will give 100,000 reward points, worth up to $1,500, to existing credit-card customers who take out a home loan with the bank between now and Aug. 6.

 

LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT


The Denver Post
Affordable housing developers "fighting like crazy" to pencil out projects following drop in tax credit value

Affordable housing developers in Colorado are facing a new challenge that could stretch their limited funding resources even further and potentially impact the number of income-restricted units that can be built every year.

 

OSHA


Reveal News
OSHA tells companies to report injuries. There's no website for that yet

The nation's top workplace safety regulator has directed scores of companies to begin submitting their injury records, but with the impending deadline less than two months away, there is still no website set up for these workplaces to comply.

 

DODD-FRANK


Reuters
Trump review of Wall Street rules to be done in stages: sources

The U.S. government's review of a landmark 2010 financial reform law will not be complete by early June as originally targeted, and officials will now report findings piece-by-piece, with priority given to banking regulations, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

 

 


Fears that higher home mortgage rates this year will keep buyers away and hit home sales could be overblown

ECONOMIC NEWS


Reuters
U.S. housing demand seen holding up despite rising rates

Fears that higher home mortgage rates this year will keep buyers away and hit home sales could be overblown.


Chicago Tribune
Why millennials are finally starting to settle down and buy homes

Millennials are finally starting to show interest in homeownership.


Construction Dive
Home-improvement pros wary of labor market, optimistic about demand

Eight in 10 home-improvement professionals expect to see revenues grow in the next year, while more than half (55.8%) reported an increase in per-project revenue last year, according to a new index from HomeAdvisor and the Farnsworth Group.


The Washington Post
As equity rises, many homeowners use refinancings to free up cash

They're either a valuable financial tool for homeowners or a harbinger of trouble on the horizon: Cash-out refinancings, which were wildly popular during the housing boom years and which contributed to the severity of the crash, are on the rise again.


MarketWatch
Want to see how America is changing? Property taxes hold the answer

Americans paid nearly $300 billion in property taxes in 2016 - but as with everything in real estate, it's all about location. Yet those taxes don't just tell a story about local and regional housing markets - they also show how the country is changing.


Construction Dive

Builders continue to put larger homes on smaller lots

Larger homes are going up on smaller lots, analysis by CoreLogic found. For new homes, the median square footage has risen from 1,938 square feet in 1990 to roughly 2,300 square feet post-2013, dipping somewhat in from 2007 to 2009. Meanwhile, median lot size for new homes shrank from 8,250 square feet in 1990 to 6,970 square feet in 2016.


MarketWatch
Mortgage rates tumble to fresh 2017 low

Rates for home loans fell in line with Treasury yields, nudging mortgage rates to the lowest level of the year, Freddie Mac said Thursday.


Construction Dive
Market volatility takes the wind out of vacation-home sales

Vacation-home sales declined for the second-straight year in 2016, dropping 21.6% from 2015 to 721,000 last year, following the most recent peak of 1.3 million in 2014, according to the National Association of Realtors' Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, which tracks new and existing properties.


MarketWatch
Here's where an entire year's salary won't get you a down payment

When it comes to barriers to entry to the housing market, the down payment can feel more like a pole vault for many Americans, especially those stuck paying ever-pricier rent payments every month.


The Wall Street Journal
Teachers, police priced out of America's big metro areas

Rising home prices are putting America's largest metropolitan areas out of reach for teachers, police officers and other big slices of the U.S. workforce. (Subscription may be required.)


MarketWatch
Why most renters don't want to buy homes right now

The spring home-buying market is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory, and is even worse for first-time homebuyers, i.e. Millennials.

 

DODD-FRANK


American Banker
Congress playing chicken with Dodd-Frank reform

A Senate Republican effort to use an obscure legislative process to restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could derail any bipartisan agreement on targeted changes to the Dodd-Frank Act. (Subscription may be required.) 

 

HousingWire
Trump floats complete repeal of Dodd-Frank

Last week, President Donald Trump told a group of CEOs that his administration is planning a "very major haircut" on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.
 

HOUSING FINANCE


HousingWire
Jamie Dimon says fixing mortgage industry would boost lending by $300 billion a year

J.P. Morgan Chase on Thursday reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations, with trading and investment banking revenues contributing the most during the quarter.
 

MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION


HousingWire
Community lenders stress possible negative impact on mortgage interest deduction in tax reform

As the Trump administrations works on hashing out comprehensive tax reform, the Community Home Lenders Association penned a letter to address its serious concerns about the future of the mortgage interest deduction, along with the potential negative impact to it.
 

 

 

 

 

 


A Compilation of the Week's Top Housing News

ECONOMIC NEWS


The Wall Street Journal
Buying a home this spring will be hardest in years
Robin Manthie and her husband have been looking for their first home in Minneapolis since May. They thought this spring would bring a flood of inventory, making their search easier. But by most measures it is getting tougher. (Subscription may be required.)


MarketWatch
Why lower house prices lead to higher student loan default rates
Add this to the list of potential consequences of the housing bust: Rising student loan defaults.


CNBC
Homeowners are pulling cash out again; this time it’s the millennials
Fast-rising home prices gave homeowners more equity than many expected, and they are now tapping that equity at the fastest rate in eight years.


MarketWatch
Americans are taking out the largest mortgages on record
For the past few years, the housing market has been unbalanced. Strong demand and lean supply keep pushing prices higher and higher.

The Wall Street Journal
Want that apartment? You may have to bid for it
If you think the rent is too damn high, there are a couple of startups that want you to prove it, by forcing you to bid for a place to live. You may find out you're right. Or you may discover you aren't offering enough. (Subscription may be required.)


Realtor Magazine
New homes have gotten pricier
Over the last 10 years, the price distribution of new homes has changed significantly, as new homes have grown more expensive. Builders blame a weakness among first-time buyers and rising regulatory burdens as the reason for the shift in focus in the pricier tiers of the new-home sector following the Great Recession.


MarketWatch
Mortgage rates fall for the third straight week, approach 2017’s low
Rates for home loans notched their third weekly decline, nearing a fresh low for 2017, mortgage finance provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.


HousingWire
TransUnion: Here’s why Millennials are delaying homeownership
The spring home-buying market is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory, and is even worse for first-time homebuyers, i.e. Millennials.

HUD


The Washington Post
Carson assures advocates that White House will include housing funding in infrastructure bill
HUD Secretary Ben Carson said Monday that the Trump administration will seek to include housing funding in a yet-to-be unveiled infrastructure spending bill.


The New York Times
In Ohio county that backed Trump, word of housing cuts stirs fear
For years, Tammy and Joseph Pavlic tried to ignore the cracked ceiling in their living room, the growing hole next to their shower and the deteriorating roof they feared might one day give out. Mr. Pavlic worked for decades installing and repairing air-conditioning and heating units, but three years ago, with multiple sclerosis advancing, he had to leave his job.

DODD-FRANK


HousingWire
Trump: We're going to do a very major haircut on Dodd-Frank
In the words of President Donald Trump, the era of “horrible regulations” is coming to an end. On Tuesday, during a gathering of some of the CEOs of the country’s largest companies hosted by the White House, Trump told the crowd that his administration is working hard to “destroy” many of the regulations holding back the private sector and plans to continue doing so.

The Wall Street Journal
Dodd-Frank overhaul vote unlikely before summer, law maker says

The House won't vote until this summer at the earliest on changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law, a senior Republican said Monday, demonstrating how the path for regulatory relief remains in flux as lawmakers grapple with health-care policy, a tax overhaul and other issues. (Subscription may be required.)


TAX REFORM


The Washington Post
Popular deductions for homeownership are targeted in tax plans
With the health-care bill back-burnered on Capitol Hill, the focus has shifted to tax reform. Among the key financial matters in play: Homeowners’ prized deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes.

HOUSING FINANCE


The Wall Street Journal
Green-energy PACE home loans catch Congress's ire
Momentum is building in the U.S. Senate to rein in a popular government-supported loan program used to finance energy-saving home improvements. (Subscription may be required.)

SOFTWOOD LUMBER


Construction Dive
Fate of US–Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement still in limbo
Amid the uncertainty about the renewal of U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement comes word from British Columbia’s softwood trade envoy that there is a chance a new deal could be reached quickly – by summer or fall – but if that doesn’t happen, the talks could stretch into next year, News 1130 reported.

MULTIFAMILY


The Wall Street Journal
Farm-to-condo movement stakes its claim to Brooklyn rooftop
It was only a matter of time before the farm-to-table movement merged with the Brooklyn condominium boom. (Subscription may be required.)


Professional Warranty Service Corporation

Is Your Customer Experience Winning Over Prospects?

Moving forward, the most successful companies will be those that organize themselves around providing an exceptional customer journey from start to finish. But where to start?  Concentrate on these Top 5 Marketing Areas.

Economic News 

 

CNBC

NAHB CEO: Homebuilding industry has 'high ceiling' for the national economy

National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard shares his outlook on the housing industry.

 

MarketWatch

Home prices hit a 31-month high in January, Case-Shiller says

U.S. house prices roared to their highest in nearly three years as demand remains hot, especially in the west.

 

Construction Dive

How the Fed's low interest rates helped post-recession housing

Potential borrowers became "more sensitive" to mortgage rate changes after the recession, suggesting that the Federal Reserve's lower interest rates helped spur recovery, according to a new working paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Sluggish housing recovery took $300 billion toll on U.S. economy, data show

The decline in homeownership rates to near 50-year lows is partly to blame for the U.S. economy's sluggish recovery from the last recession, new data suggest. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Housing Finance 

 

Bloomberg

Fannie-Freddie fix is the focus of senators' bipartisan push

In a bitterly partisan Congress, two senators are making a rare push across party lines to solve a persistent riddle with huge implications for the U.S. housing market: What to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

 

HousingWire

Fannie Mae: Lender optimism higher than ever

Lenders are now more confident than ever in the economy, however, a shift towards purchase mortgages creates challenges for their profit margins, according to Fannie Mae's first quarter 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

 

The New York Times

As the Number of Foreclosures Falls, Newer Firms Get Into the Game

The number of home foreclosures is down sharply from the depths of the financial crisis, even as many of the mortgage firms involved remain the same, including Fannie Mae, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

 

Multifamily

 

The Wall Street Journal

Condos conquer Los Angeles

President Donald Trump's second choice for labor secretary, law school dean Alexander Acosta, stands in contrast to his first pick, fast-food executive Andy Puzder. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal

Apartment market slumps as supply surges

Apartment landlords across the U.S. struggled through a tough first quarter as a slowdown in the rental market grew worse. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Bloomberg

America Needs Small Apartment Buildings. Nobody Builds Them

Urbanists often lament that developers no longer erect the small apartment buildings that were once a staple of city neighborhoods. Instead, they construct single family homes or large apartment buildings.

 

Product News 

 

Bio-Microbics, Inc. – Providing Onsite Water/Greywater/Wastewater Solutions

RECOVER® Greywater Treatment & Reuse | Conservation Device for Water Efficiency

 

Residential Water Recovery System captures shower water, applies filtration and disinfection to be used to flush toilet(s). Saves up to 30% of water consumption in the home. Controller automates cleaning the screen, managing storage/purge process, and auto detects toilet leakage - potentially saving extra 13% in usage!

 

Labor Shortages

 

The Wall Street Journal 

America' s Growing Labor Shortage

President Trump approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, and good for him, but will there be enough workers to build it? That's a serious question. Many American employers, especially in construction and agriculture, are facing labor shortages that would be exacerbated by restrictionist immigration policies. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Bloomberg

The New Jersey theme park where kids' backhoe dreams come true

Can kids in bulldozers cure the construction worker shortage?

 

Affordable Housing 

 

The New York Times

To address affordable housing shortage, restoring 19th-century homes

The tiny city of Apalachicola, Fla., is well known in preservationist circles for its abundance of restored 19th-century buildings, but when it comes to affordable housing, the Gulf Coast community comes up short.

 

Tax Reform 

 

Marketplace

Will tax reform upend market for low-income housing?

The election of President Trump has added uncertainty to the already speculative market that is low-income housing development.

 

The Weekly Standard

Time to Fix Fannie and Freddie

Comprehensive tax reform, done right, would accomplish many things: It should boost investment, productivity, and employment, and along with these economic growth. That is the intent, anyway.

 

Dodd-Frank 

 

American Banker

Health care repeal failure complicates rollback of Dodd-Frank

House Republicans' failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act — an issue that has animated the party caucus since its passage in 2010 — has thrown into question their ability to enact regulatory relief. (Subscription may be required.)

 

HUD

 

Dallas Morning News

Ben Carson Makes Housing Pitch in Dallas

Okay, he's not exactly Nolan Ryan.

 

CFPB

 

HousingWire

What is the most likely outcome for the CFPB?

As the confusion and uncertainty around the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues to escalate, HousingWire gathered three expert panelists to weigh in on the discussion, giving their insights on the most likely steps forward for the government and bureau.

 


The housing market has been a bright spot for the economy, but some clouds are looming.

ECONOMIC NEWS


USA Today
Housing reports to gauge effects of rising rates

The housing market has been a bright spot for the economy, but some clouds are looming.

 

CNBC
Housing market could get a bump from Trump

Donald Trump was most famous for being a real estate developer before he became a reality TV star and then wound up Leader of the Free World. So it may not be a huge shock to find out that homebuilders have been on fire since he was inaugurated.

 

Marketwatch
Existing-home sales tumble as tight inventory chokes housing market

Sales of previously owned homes tumbled in February as the housing market remained choked by tight inventory.

 

Construction Dive
Remodeling spending to grow in large US metros in 2017

A new study released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University predicts growth in home-improvement spending in 43 of the country's 50 largest metro areas this year. Within those markets, spending will be 6.8% higher than in 2016, according to the report.

 

The Wall Street Journal
The outer suburbs are once again outgrowing cities

Last year saw the strongest evidence yet that Americans are returning to traditional patterns in where they move—from cities to suburbs and from North to South—after a recession-driven pause of nearly a decade.

 

CNBC
Mortgage applications fall 2.7%, as borrowers turn to riskier loans

The fast-rising cost of housing today is shrinking demand for home loans but also pushing those who are in the market toward cheaper, adjustable-rate mortgages.

 

The Denver Post

Priced out of Denver? Don't go running to the burbs for sticker-shock relief, report says

If Denver's red-hot real estate market has you seeking sticker-shock relief in the suburbs, you may be in for a nasty surprise.

 

The Wall Street Journal
Detroit's resurgence brings new housing concerns

Concerns about the downsides of gentrification are coming to the country's poorest major city. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
International immigration gives boost to big U.S. cities, study says

International immigration is giving a boost to population growth in big urban areas in the U.S. even as local residents flee for places with lower housing costs, new research suggests. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
The era of massive low-skilled immigration may already be over

The flow of foreign workers without a college education into the U.S. is likely to dwindle in the coming decades due to demographic and other forces, new research suggests, even if President Donald Trump doesn't carry out his pledge to build a wall on the southern border.

 

HOUSING FINANCE

 

American Banker
Trump administration developing principles for housing finance reform

The Trump administration is developing a set of principles on how to reform the housing finance system that it hopes to release within a few months, a senior official said Tuesday. (Subscription may be required.)
 

HousingWire

CFPB preps to review major mortgage rules

January 2018 marks five years since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized the qualified mortgage rule, as well as other key mortgage regulations.
 

LABOR SECRETARY

 

The Wall Street Journal
Trump's low-key labor pick keeps businesses guessing

President Donald Trump's second choice for labor secretary, law school dean Alexander Acosta, stands in contrast to his first pick, fast-food executive Andy Puzder. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
Next labor secretary faces long to-do list

The next labor secretary faces a growing to-do list. The position is among the last unfilled cabinet posts in President Donald Trump's administration. That has put on hold several politically sensitive tasks while career civil servant Ed Hugler has served as acting secretary since January. A confirmation hearing for Mr. Trump's second nominee, Alexander Acosta, is set for Wednesday. (Subscription may be required.)


HOUSING AFFORDABILITY


Los Angeles Times
California housing bills could take away subsidies for homeowners and add them for renters

California lawmakers have introduced more than 130 bills this year that try to tackle the state's housing affordability crisis.

 

FLOOD INSURANCE


National Mortgage News
Trump budget could worsen flood insurance woes

The Trump administration's decision to slash all funding for the flood mapping and loss mitigation efforts in flood-prone communities is getting pushback from supporters of better flood management policies. (Subscription may be required.)

 

 


The number of compact townhouses being constructed rose by 13% last year The American Dream of owning your own home remains. But the home itself appears to have gotten smaller.

ECONOMIC NEWS


Bloomberg
Housing Starts in U.S. Climbed to Four-Month High in February

The number of compact townhouses being constructed rose by 13% last year The American Dream of owning your own home remains. But the home itself appears to have gotten smaller.

 

Marketwatch
Here are the 'sweet spots' in the housing market

In such a tight housing market, it can help to think outside the box — or the neighborhood.

 

The New York Times
Fed Raises Interest Rates for Third Time Since Financial Crisis

The Federal Reserve which raised its benchmark rate on Wednesday for the second time in three months, this time to a range between .75 and one percent is finally moving to the end of its nine year old economic stimulus campaign which began in the depths of the financial crisis.

 

CNBC
Home builder confidence soared to highest level in 12 years as Trump rolls back regulations

The nation's home builders couldn't be happier with President Trump's first move to roll back strict environmental rules.

 

Fortune
2 Ways the Fed Could Crush the Housing Market Recovery

There's no doubt the Federal Reserve's low interest rates have helped the housing market recover from its 2007 bust.

 

The Wall Street Journal
Where Cheap Housing Meets Good Jobs --- Seattle contrasts favorably with the Bay Area in affordability and opportunity

Workers searching for a place to live that offers a good combination of career opportunities and affordable housing are finding the best options aren't always the most obvious. (Subscription may be required.)

 

HOUSING FINANCE


USA Today
'A bad idea': More new mortgages are risky ones

Riskier borrowers are making up a growing share of new mortgages, pushing up delinquencies modestly and raising concerns about an eventual spike in defaults that could slow or derail the housing recovery.

 

The Washington Post
For many millennials, FHA is the place to go for a home mortgage

The Trump administration may not be fond of FHA-insured mortgages — in one of his first official actions, the president canceled a cut in fees for new loan applicants — but millennial home buyers apparently are big fans.

 

The Wall Street Journal 
Goldman Sachs Goes on Buying Binge for Delinquent Mortgages

In a strange reverberation of the housing crisis, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has become a voracious buyer of soured mortgages, trying to make money even as it looks to fulfill terms of a government settlement that calls for it to help struggling homeowners. (Subscription may be required.)


IMMIGRATION REFORM


CBS Moneywatch
Fewer immigrants could mean fewer new homes

For Stephan Sardone, owner of a Dallas-based home remodeling company, "a day without immigrants" last month meant a day without one of his subcontractors on a job in the city's affluent Preston Hollow neighborhood.
 

GSEs

 

The New York Times
Trump's Plan on Fannie and Freddie? Clues May Emerge Soon

Fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants that still operate under government supervision, is nowhere near the top of the Trump administration's to-do list. Since the election, administration officials, including Steven T. Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary, have said little about their plans for the companies.

 

TAX REFORM


USA Today
Small firms seek level playing field in tax reform

There's been much talk from President Trump about lowering corporate tax rates. But where does that leave the smaller companies that employ nearly half of non-public sector American workers?

 

 


National home prices hit a two-and-a-half year high in December, Case-Shiller says

ECONOMIC NEWS


MarketWatch
National home prices hit a two-and-a-half year high in December, Case-Shiller says

U.S. home prices surged higher in December, just months after hitting a high last seen at the height of the housing bubble a decade ago.

 

MarketWatch
More Americans want to downsize their homes than supersize them

The number of compact townhouses being constructed rose by 13% last year The American Dream of owning your own home remains. But the home itself appears to have gotten smaller.

 

CNBC
Spring housing already overheating—think 60 offers on one house

The spring housing market started early this year, not because of higher-than-average temperatures but because of hotter-than-average demand and overheating home prices.

 

CNBC
Millennial money myths: The truth about homes, cars and ownership

When it comes to trying to get inside the head of millennials, don't buy the buzz about the "don't own" economy.

 

Los Angeles Times
L.A. is building lots of homes but too few for its growing population

Along many Los Angeles thoroughfares, large apartment complexes are replacing parking lots, strip malls and warehouses, as builders provide new homes in a city grappling with a persistent housing shortage.

 

HousingWire
Investor to NAR: We aren't competing with first-time homebuyers

The National Association of Realtors drew a line in the sand between homebuyers and investors, but one investor says he's had enough.


Reuters
Fed's Brainard, citing improved global economy, says rates can rise "soon"

An improving global economy and a solid U.S. recovery mean it will be "appropriate soon" for the Federal Reserve to raise U.S. interest rates Fed Governor Lael Brainard said on Wednesday, adding an important voice to the chorus of officials signaling rates may rise as soon as mid-March.

 

TAX REFORM


The New York Times

Did someone say 'tax code rewrite'? Lobbyists scramble

The homebuilders lobby fears that an ambitious rewrite of the entire tax code will stifle the housing market. Retailers fret that it will make the cost of their imports soar. For charities and their representatives, the worry is that donations will be stunted, plaguing nonprofit groups that serve the neediest Americans.

 

Los Angeles Times
Developers of affordable housing in California are on pins and needles over Trump's tax plan

Over two years, developer Geoffrey Morgan lined up investors, partnered with a medical clinic and found a manufacturer in Idaho to build 135 apartments for formerly homeless residents near downtown San Jose.

 

MarketWatch
Trump tax plan, not even on drawing board, is already roiling rental housing

The housing development known as A.O. Flats, announced in March 2016, was hailed as exactly what Boston needed: affordable rental homes in a mixed-use building, just steps from a transit station. It would mean 78 middle-class families and residents - nurses, teachers, service workers - could afford to rent in Jamaica Plain, one of the city's most sought-after neighborhoods, an area where 2-bedroom apartments are renting for about $2,000 per month, according to Zillow.


WOTUS


CNBC
Trump executive order seeks to roll back controversial Obama water rules

Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order seeking to roll back a controversial water rule opposed by farmer, rancher and homebuilder groups. 

 

The Wall Street Journal
Trump's clean watershed; He orders the EPA to review Obama's illegal waterways regulation

Speaking of deregulation (see nearby), President Trump on Tuesday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider an Obama Administration rule that seized control over tens of millions of acres of private land under the pretext of protecting the nation's waterways. EPA chief Scott Pruitt will now follow due process to rescind one of his predecessor's lawless rule-makings. (Subscription may be required.)
 

HUD

 

Politico
Senate confirms Ben Carson for HUD

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Dr. Ben Carson to become secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, backing him on a largely party-line vote of 58-41.

 

MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION


Reuters
No change to mortgage interest deduction in Trump tax plan: Mnuchin

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday the Trump administration's tax reform plan will not change the deductibility of mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

 

IMMIGRATION


Bloomberg
Why Trump's immigration crackdown could sink U.S. home prices

In San Francisco, an Indian software engineer on a work permit canceled plans to bid on a $900,000 home. In Washington, a Brazilian nonprofit executive passed on a fixer-upper near her office. And, in Mesa, Arizona, a 24-year-old son of undocumented Mexican immigrants won the trust of a bank -- a green light for a mortgage -- but now fears deportation.

 

APPRAISALS


HousingWire
Experts answer: Will technology replace appraisers?

HousingWire's webinar on Wednesday on the state of the appraisal industry, featuring four industry experts: Brian Coester, CEO at CoesterVMS, Matt Simmons, partner at Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons, Zach Dawson, the director of collateral strategy at Fannie Mae, and Alan Hummel, chief appraiser at First American Mortgage Solutions.

 

 

REGULATION
National Mortgage News
Trump orders govt agencies to create deregulatory task forces

President Trump signed an executive order Friday requiring every agency to establish a task force focused on eliminating unnecessary regulations. (Subscription may be required.)
 

 

 

 


ECONOMIC NEWS

 

MarketWatch

Existing-home sales rise to a 10-year high in January despite higher rates, leaner supply

Sales of previously-owned homes hurtled to the highest in a decade in January, a sign of durable demand in the face of higher mortgage rates and leaner supply.

 

MarketWatch

New-home sales bounce back in January as housing demand bolsters market

Sales of newly-constructed homes rebounded in January as the housing market continues to move forward in fits and starts.

 

HousingWire

Freddie Mac: Market uncertainty disorients mortgage rates

Continuing its new pattern, the 30-year mortgage rate continues to stray from the Treasury yield amid rising market uncertainty.

 

The Washington Post

For millennials ready to buy a home, the pickings are slim

For years, millennials looked at owning a home as a distant fantasy. Student debt and a weak job market seemed to conspire to keep this generation stuck in their parents' basements, if not permanently locked out of the housing market.

 

Investor's Business Daily

Who's driving the housing recovery now? Small investors, study says

A growing number of small-but-nimble investors have captured a huge share of the housing market, says a new report, and they're now propelling the housing recovery by pushing "prices higher and more quickly than if the recovery had been driven more heavily by first-time homebuyers." That's not only making it tougher for those homebuyers to enter the market, says the white paper from Attom Data Solutions and Clear Capital, but it's also crimping investors' rates of return.

 

The New York Times

Some Fed officials support moving faster to raise interest rate

The American economy appears to be avoiding the kind of winter swoon that has become an annual event in recent years, a turn for the better that could encourage the Federal Reserve to start raising its benchmark interest rate sooner.

 

GSEs

 

HousingWire

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says expect GSE reform during Trump administration

U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sat down Thursday for his first television interview since coming into his new position, where he explained what is on the economic agenda of this administration.

 

National Mortgage News

Fannie Mae's focus will not change with new administration, CEO says

The arrival of President Trump has not changed Fannie Mae's plans for 2017, especially its emphasis on automated loan validation and other customer-focused innovations, CEO Timothy Mayopoulos said Friday. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Washington Post

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac shares plunge after court's ruling

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares plunged Tuesday after a federal appeals court denied legal claims by investors who were seeking to stop the U.S. government from seizing the profits of the mortgage giants.

 

MORTGAGE NEWS

 

The Washington Post

The mortgage market is now dominated by non-bank lenders

Most borrowers, whether they are purchasing property or refinancing their home, focus on their mortgage rate and loan terms rather than the type of lender they choose.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

The New York Times

The national death wish

A few weeks ago, Tom Cotton and David Perdue, Republican senators from Arkansas and Georgia, introduced an immigration bill that would cut the number of legal immigrants to this country each year in half, from about a million to about 500,000.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

 

The New York Times

How cities should take care of their housing problems

While President Trump talks repeatedly about fixing America's inner cities, it's a good bet that in the coming years, New York and other large metropolitan areas will need to be more self-reliant in solving pressing problems, especially low-income housing.

 

MULTIFAMILY

 

The Wall Street Journal

Banks retreat from apartment market

Swelling supplies of apartment units are prompting big banks to pull back from new projects, forcing developers to scramble for capital, in a sign that the U.S. apartment industry headed for a downturn. (Subscription may be required.)

 

FORECLOSURE NEWS

 

The New York Times

SolarCity's ties to foreclosure cases raise questions on vetting policies

SolarCity, the nation's leading installer of rooftop solar panels and a renewable energy darling, has pitched its value to investors on a simple premise: Once customers sign up to lease a system, they will make payments to the company month after month for at least 20 years.

 

EPA

 

The Washington Post

Pruitt to EPA employees: 'We don't have to choose' between jobs and the environment

In his first full work day as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt made clear Tuesday that he intends to step back from what he sees as the agency's regulatory overreach during the Obama administration.

 

CFPB

 

HousingWire

Hensarling compares CFPB to a tyranny

It's probably safe to say that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is no fan of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

 


Housing demand may keep market afloat, even if rates rise

ECONOMIC NEWS


MarketWatch

Housing demand may keep market afloat, even if rates rise

How will the housing market handle rising rates? Ever since the November election, when the unexpected Trump victory sent bond yields flying and mortgage rates following closely behind, analysts have been preoccupied with that question. From overly cautious lending standards to extremely tight inventory, the housing market has plenty of challenges, and any additional constraint won't help.

 

Construction Dive
Housing recovery continues while single-family permits lag

The U.S. housing market is operating at 99% of its normal activity level, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index for the fourth quarter of 2016. The mark is 0.01 point ahead of the third quarter and 0.05 above the year-ago mark; it is up by 0.21 points from the cycle low in March 2012.

 

HousingWire
Housing confidence takes a turn, ends 5-month decline

Americans are more confident in the housing market, reversing a five-month trend of declines in optimism, according to Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index.

 

The Wall Street Journal
A mismatch of home buyers and sellers points to pain this year

The divide between the prices of homes Americans want to buy and the inventory of such homes is growing, suggesting first-time home buyers and high-end sellers might have a difficult year ahead of them. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
For Chinese home buyers, Seattle is the new Vancouver

When Anna Riley, a Seattle-area real-estate agent, held an open house for a new $2.3 million listing in the tony city of Bellevue late last month, the pool of prospective buyers was different from the usual assortment of tech magnates, sports stars and chief executives. (Subscription may be required.)


MarketWatch
What's holding back the housing market — the nearly 7 million homeowners barely treading water on their mortgage

A decade after the housing crisis, the lopsided recovery draws lots of attention to the extremes of the housing market: many homeowners are awash in home equity as the value of their properties surge, while others are still underwater.


CNBC
Houses are the least affordable they've been in seven years: Here's why

Rising mortgage rates, bigger jumps in home prices and still-moderate income growth are adding up to a triple threat for the housing market this spring.

 

The Wall Street Journal
Housing shortage fuels price gains

The number of homes for sale fell to the lowest level in nearly two decades in the fourth quarter, lifting prices and raising concerns that young buyers are being shut out of the market. (Subscription may be required.)

 

CBS Money Watch
The housing market could cool off a bit this year

Now that the outcome of Super Bowl LI has been determined, many Americans will start mulling a different question: What's in store for the U.S. housing market this year?

 

HOUSING FINANCE

 

The New York Times
Decade after crisis, no resolution for Fannie and Freddie

Fannie Mae, the gigantic government-sponsored mortgage service entity, has guaranteed $1 billion of debt backed by Invitation Homes, the single-family rental business owned by the giant private equity firm Blackstone. In making the guarantee, Fannie is taking a big leap into the growing home rental market, in which Blackstone is the biggest player. But it's also a sign that the true comeback kids are not the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots but Fannie Mae and its cousin, Freddie Mac, both of which were supposed to be left for dead a decade ago.

 

HousingWire
Realtors ask Trump to reinstate FHA mortgage insurance premium cut

The National Association of Realtors believes that the Trump administration's recent decision to suspend a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration's annual mortgage premiums will keep as many as 40,000 potential homebuyers from becoming actual homebuyers in 2017, and wants the premium cut reinstated "as soon as possible," the trade organization said last week.

 

HousingWire
House reintroduces bill to end "FICO monopoly" at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Three senators are reigniting the fight to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider alternative credit-scoring models beyond the FICO credit score the government-sponsored enterprises currently use.

 

DODD-FRANK


CNBC
Memo from a key congressman outlines plan to gut Dodd-Frank bank rules

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling is strengthening his attack on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and scaling back regulations on bank living wills and stress tests in new legislation expected to be introduced soon, according to a memo obtained by CNBC.
 

 

 


ECONOMIC NEWS 
 

MarketWatch

Home-price gains accelerated in November, Case-Shiller shows

National home price gains maintained momentum in November, two months after retaking the high last seen at the height of the housing bubble.

 

MarketWatch

Mortgage rates tread water, alongside Treasurys and broader housing market

Rates for home loans were unchanged after notching their first weekly increase in 2017, mortgage provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Why the homeownership rate isn't likely to take off anytime soon

The homeownership rate fell again in the fourth quarter, underscoring the challenges President Donald Trump faces in fulfilling his promise to bring back the American dream of homeownership.

 

HousingWire

Why isn't Freddie Mac on board with all these rosy outlooks?

Latest housing numbers prove robust, so what gives?

 

USA Today

Americans making big compromises to buy homes

Limited housing supplies are forcing prospective homeowners to make significant compromises, such as devoting less money to saving for emergencies and retirement, a new survey says.

 

The New York Times

Better deals on homes can chase away winter doldrums

February typically isn't a month that brings out hordes of home shoppers. Colder weather and postholiday belt-tightening often combine to push sales into the doldrums.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Young people lose confidence in their prospects as homeowners

Young Americans are losing confidence in their prospects for buying a home, suggesting that even with prices at all-time highs the dream of homeownership is losing its grip on some. (Subscription may be required.)

 

USA Today

Fed stands pat on rates, no signal on March hike

The Federal Reserve held its key interest rate steady Wednesday, and gave no signal on when it will act again after raising it in December for the first time in a year.

 

The Wall Street Journal

January jobs report

The U.S. economy posted solid job growth as it kicked off the new year, but wage growth was weaker than expected. Here are some key numbers from the January jobs report released Friday by the Labor Department.

 

HOUSING FINANCE

 

Bloomberg

Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac should be utilities, trade group says

A powerful housing trade group is wasting no time in pushing the Trump administration and Republican-led Congress to address one of the last unresolved issues from the financial crisis, outlining a proposal Tuesday to overhaul mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

HousingWire

The future of TRID hangs in the balance amid Trump regulatory actions

A freeze on a final rule of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, also called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, TRID, could become an unfortunate side effect of Trump's executive order on Monday.

 

Forbes

With a stroke of the pen, Donald Trump will wave goodbye to the Dodd Frank Act

Days ago, President Donald Trump vowed to do a "big number on Dodd Frank," the sweeping banking legislation put in place by the administration of President Barack Obama in response to the 2008 financial crisis. Trump called Dodd Frank "a disaster" that has impeded growth by making it harder for banks to lend to consumers and small businesses. Still in his second week in office, Trump is making good on his statement.

 

The New York Times

Court orders Justice Dept. to release Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac documents

Casting a ray of sunlight on a case that has been shrouded in secrecy, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday that the government must produce a raft of documents to plaintiffs suing over its decision to seize all the profits of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants that were put into conservatorship in September 2008, at the depths of the financial crisis.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

The Wall Street Journal

Trump immigration rules likely to exacerbate home builders' labor shortfall

The U.S. home-building industry, which relies heavily on immigrant labor, could face significant challenges under stricter immigration enforcement rules outlined during President Donald Trump's first week in office. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal

Draft of executive order looks to re-examine visa programs

The White House and lawmakers in Congress appear poised to take on another contentious slice of immigration policy: the visa programs favored by technology and other companies. (Subscription may be required.)

 

PRODUCT NEWS

 

Professional Warranty Service Corp

Builders Beware: The Court of Public Opinion Is Now In Session

With unhappy customers, whether homeowners' claims are accurate or not, the court of public opinion is in session.  Perception is reality and it's your reputation on trial. Can you afford not to react? 

 

MORTGAGE NEWS

 

MarketWatch

Citigroup exiting mortgage servicing business

Citigroup Inc. on Monday said it would exit the mortgage-servicing business, turning its focus to mortgage originations.

 

APPRAISALS

 

National Mortgage News

Why appraisals are taking so long in the Pacific Northwest

Lenders have been pulling their hair out over extreme appraisal delays in the Pacific Northwest and are trying to figure out why it's happening to a greater degree there than elsewhere. (Subscription may be required.)

 


The week's top housing news

ECONOMIC NEWS

 

MarketWatch

Buyers haven't flocked to new homes this much since the bubble

It's fairly common to hear that a particular economic data point is the best since the recession. But you'd have to go back a bit further to compare the last time home builder sentiment was so high. 

 

USA Today
Lower, but steady, economic growth expected in Q4

This week brings the last significant snapshot of the U.S. economy in 2016. It's expected to show continued moderate growth, a solid housing recovery and a nascent rebound for business investment.

 

U.S. News & World Report
First-time homebuyers are ready to test the housing market. Can they find a home?

First-time homebuyers are finally ready to jump into the market. They've met tougher mortgage qualifying standards in recent years, they've saved up for down payments, they've done their homework and know what they can afford.

 

MarketWatch
New home sales tumble to a 10-month low in December as recovery remains rocky

Sales of newly-constructed homes plunged in December as the housing market recovery sputtered.
 
MarketWatch
Existing-home sales stutter as inventory shrinks to 17-year low in December

Sales of previously-owned homes dipped in December, as increasingly tight inventory and higher prices began to stifle the housing market.

 

MarketWatch
Mortgage rates rise for the first time in 2017, Freddie Mac says

Rates for home loans reversed a 3-week losing streak, rising for the first time in 2017, mortgage provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.

 

The New York Times
Peak millennial? Cities can't assume a continued boost from the young

Over the past decade, many American cities have been transformed by young professionals of the millennial generation, with downtowns turning into bustling neighborhoods full of new apartments and pricey coffee bars. But soon, cities may start running out of millennials.

 

HOUSING FINANCE


MarketWatch
The 'housing culture war' reignites over $42 a month

The distracting politics of an insurance premium cut Call it housing's culture war: the tussle between progressives who want homeownership to be available to every American, and conservatives who'd rather government stayed out of the business of helping people who can't make the biggest purchase of their lives entirely on their own.

 

Bloomberg View
Trump is set up for retro housing policy

The Trump administration's first official act was to restore some mortgage fees that had just been eliminated by the Obama administration. The Democratic response to it suggests that nearly a decade after the housing bust, the nation may finally be ready to look at housing policy again with fresh eyes.

 

National Mortgage News
Four takeaways from Mnuchin's Capitol Hill grilling

Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin struck a pro-banking industry tone during testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday while tangling with lawmakers over foreclosures, offshore accounts and other issues. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
Money-fund overhaul gives federal home loan banks new prominence

The Federal Home Loan Banks are emerging as one of the unexpected beneficiaries of last year's money-market fund overhaul, lending fresh support to a U.S. mortgage market in flux as interest rates creep higher. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
Blackstone wins Fannie's backing for rental home debt

The question of what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has bedeviled investors and politicians ever since their crisis-era bailout. Donald Trump's election, and comments by his pick for Treasury secretary, have raised hopes of a solution. (Subscription may be required.)

 

MORTGAGE NEWS


The New York Times
Quicken loans, the new mortgage machine

A low buzz fills the air as an army of mortgage bankers, perched below floating canopies in a kaleidoscope of vivid pinks, blues, purples and greens, works the phones, promising borrowers easy financing and low rates for home loans.


The Wall Street Journal
Redfin dives into lending

An upstart real-estate brokerage is getting into the mortgage business. Seattle-based Redfin Corp., a discount online property broker, is planning to offer mortgages to home buyers who use Redfin agents to purchase a home. (Subscription may be required.)
 

REGULATION

 

HousingWire
[Video] Trump wants to cut all regulation by 75%

Will housing rules be a chunk of the percentage? President Donald Trump announced in a meeting with business leaders on Monday that he plans to cut regulations by 75% or more, according to an article in CNBC by Jacob Pramuk.


HUD
Politico
Banking Committee approves Ben Carson's HUD nomination

The Senate Banking Committee Tuesday approved the nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development.


HOUSING SHORTAGE


The Wall Street Journal
California housing crunch prompts push to allow building

Marco Gonzalez spent more than a decade suing real-estate developers in California over housing proposals that would have spoiled wetlands and gutted hillsides. The environmental lawyer won cases that stopped scores of units from being built. (Subscription may be required.)


FORECLOSURE NEWS


The New York Times
Foreclosure prevention returns to the unknown

After an eight-year run, a troubled government effort to prevent foreclosures and keep struggling borrowers in their homes came to an end last month.


LITIGATION


The Wall Street Journal
Some housing advocates in California use lawsuits to push agenda

As affordable-housing advocates push back against environmental challenges to what they view as sensible development proposals, some are taking the fight to court. (Subscription may be required.)

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING


The New York Times
De Blasio and Cuomo spar over cost of affordable housing plan

The push and pull between New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, and his archrival, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, surfaced again this week over an issue both men consider crucial to their administrations: providing affordable housing for New Yorkers.

 

 


Labor Access Challenges Persist

Home builder confidence remains solid at this early stage of 2017, and it mirrors NAHB's expectations for continued growth of single-family construction throughout the year. For 2016, single-family starts were up 9%, while multifamily construction experienced month-to-month volatility in the second half of the year.

 

However, this growth will also cause the ongoing labor shortage to worsen. In a new NAHB industry survey, builders identified access to labor as the biggest challenge they anticipate for 2017, with lot availability coming in second.

Labor market data confirm high levels of unfilled construction sector jobs, and builders can expect wages to grow in the coming year. While that is a positive for housing demand, it's a concern for builders' bottom line. 

–NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz

 

Industry Insights

 

Builders' No. 1 Problem: Availability of Labor 

Survey shows the dramatically rising levels of builder concern in recent years.

 

Residential Construction Employment Solid in December

Though the overall trend for open jobs continues to increase. 

 

Remodeling Market Remains Positive in 4th Quarter

The majority of remodelers continue to report strong market activity.

 

Builder Confidence Holds Firm in January

NAHB economists predict 10% growth for single-family construction in 2017.

 

Market Trends

 

Existing Sales for 2016 Best in a Decade

Signs point to an improving market for new-home construction.

 

Single-Family Housing Starts Gained Momentum in 2016

Noteworthy rise in permits also indicates more growth in 2017.

 

OSB Prices Climb in 2016

Slight drops in December can't offset significant, one-year price spikes.  

 

Builders Satisfy Demand for Open Floor Plans

Recent surveys emphasize which features buyers want most. 

 

Economic Outlook

 

Who Isn't in the Labor Force

Several key reasons are preventing people from working.   

 

Consumer Price Index Rose in December

Higher energy prices accounted for most of the overall increase.

 

Survey Reveals States with the Highest, Lowest Property Taxes

The top and bottom 10 remain mostly unchanged since 2014. 

 

Consumer Credit Grows but Some Risks Lurk

Student loan debt outstanding has been growing consistently since 2003.

 


ECONOMIC NEWS 

 

MarketWatch

New home sales hit 2nd-highest point of recovery with 592,000 annual pace in November

New-home sales jumped in November to the second-highest pace since early 2008, a fresh sign of robust demand for housing.

 

The Wall Street Journal

U.S. home construction lags behind broad economic rebound

U.S. unemployment is hovering near the lowest level in a decade, jobless claims have reached a 43-year low and home prices have surged to records. But in this eighth year of economic expansion, the number of single-family homes under construction remains at recessionary levels. (Subscription may be required.)

 

MarketWatch

Housing's big question — what will happen when buyers think 4% rates are 'crazy'

'Tis the season for authoritative forecasts about what to expect in the coming year, but given the enormous surprises that have rocked Washington, markets, and beyond in the past 12 months, MarketWatch decided to offer not predictions, but questions, about the housing market in 2017.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Trump win makes it tricky to foresee path of housing market

Before the presidential election, economists anticipated the housing market would continue its steady recovery in 2017. Growth in home prices and sales likely would slow after a four-year run-up, but new construction likely would pick up, bringing relief to those struggling to find affordable homes. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The New York Times

Long-term US mortgage rates hit highest levels since 2014

Long-term US mortgage rates climbed again this week, hitting the highest levels since 2014. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans jumped to an average 4.30 percent from 4.16 percent last week and the highest since April 2014. The average for a 15-year mortgage rose to 3.52 percent from 3.37 percent last week and highest since January 2014.

 

HousingWire

Fannie Mae: Expect modest growth in 2017

Sentiment may have improved to multiyear highs in the past few weeks, but 2017 will bring only modest growth, according to the Fannie Mae economic and strategic research group's December 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook.

 

MarketWatch

Existing-home sales edge up to a 9-year high in November

Sales of previously-owned homes rose modestly in November as lean inventory and higher prices continue to choke the housing market.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Percentage of young Americans living with parents rises to 75-year high

Almost 40% of young Americans were living with their parents, siblings or other relatives in 2015, the largest percentage since 1940, according to an analysis of census data by real estate tracker Trulia. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Business Insider (Reuters)

Trump's infrastructure-spending plans have a worker problem

President-elect Donald Trump's drive to rebuild US roads, bridges, ports, and other public-works projects with a $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan would come as the country faces a shortage of skilled laborers.

 

The Wall Street Journal

White House economists spell out the four most stubborn economic challenges

The White House released Thursday its annual Economic Report of the President, the last such volume produced by the Obama administration. While the nearly 600-page report catalogs what the administration views as its greatest successes, it also neatly frames what White House economists see as the most stubborn challenges facing economic policy.

 

HOUSING FINANCE
 

Bloomberg

How to get the government out of mortgage lending

One of the least discussed challenges of the incoming Trump administration may also be among the most economically consequential: what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled entities that own or guarantee about half of all U.S. home mortgages.

 

The New York Times

Ben Carson's warped view of housing

Antigovernment ideologues resent the Department of Housing and Urban Development even when they know nothing about it. Ben Carson, Donald Trump's choice to run HUD, is a fine case in point.

 

DODD-FRANK

 

The Wall Street Journal

A checklist for fixing Dodd-Frank

The rumor mill suggests that reform of the Dodd-Frank financial law is imminent in the next Congress. It's about time. Despite what some legislators seem to believe, no bill is perfect and Dodd-Frank isn't the New Testament. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal

Two Republicans look to write the next Dodd-Frank

Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo is a rare deal maker who has negotiated across the Capitol's partisan divide. Texas GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling's record has been defined more by trying to cut government than cutting deals with Democrats. (Subscription may be required.)

 

HUD SECRETARY

 

The Wall Street Journal

Why liberals oppose Ben Carson

Do yourself a favor and hold off on joining the liberal outrage over Donald Trump's cabinet choices -- or at least better understand what's happening. (Subscription may be required.)

 

REGULATORY REFORM

 

The Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump's new appointments shake up trade, regulation

Donald Trump selected two key figures for his economic team on Wednesday, both of whom could jolt Washington's approach to trade and regulation. (Subscription may be required.)

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

 

Los Angeles Times

Tax breaks for second homes could end under lawmaker's proposal to fund low-income housing

In their quest for more money for low-income housing construction, state lawmakers are now turning to Californians who own more than one home.

 

TRENDS

 

MarketWatch

Tearing down an old house to build a big new one could alienate your neighbors -- and worse

Low inventory levels are making house shopping a challenge for many Americans. One solution gaining in popularity: Tearing down homes in good locations, erecting new and bigger ones in their places.

 

ECONOMIC NEWS

 

 

Bloomberg

Housing starts in U.S. surged to a nine-year high in October

U.S. new-home construction jumped to a nine-year high in October as an outsized advance in the number of apartment projects accompanied a strong pickup for single-family housing.

 

MarketWatch

5 big real-estate trends to watch in 2017

president is likely to presage some dramatic changes in 2017 for the housing industry, which saw healthy increases ion values this year, thanks to factors including low interest rates, lower gas prices, stronger wage growth and millennials getting off the fence and entering the market.

 

HousingWire

Homeowners: Don't worry – low income housing isn't driving down your home value

Some of the greatest resistance to affordable housing comes from homeowners who don't want to see a drop in their home's value, however how founded are those beliefs? Trulia's new report may provide some answers.

 

U.S. News & World Report

Is the seller's housing market finally over?

The U.S. housing market crawled out of the recession and has been climbing ever since. Sale prices continue to grow, and buyers who have been squeezed out of the market wait patiently in the wings for the tight inventory to relax.

 

Forbes

How President Trump could affect the value of your home

In July the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the homeownership rate in this country had hit its lowest level since the government began measuring the stat in 1965. Then candidate Donald Trump jumped on the news with a tweet suggesting the figure proved his most consistent message: the economy is failing you.

 

 

The Wall Street Journal

What economists expect from a Donald Trump economy

Over the coming months, the policy priorities of President-elect Donald J. Trump will become clearer, and as they do, economists may have to revise their expectations for the years ahead.

 

The Wall Street Journal

GDP, inflation and interest rates forecast to rise under Trump presidency

The presidency of Donald Trump is poised to usher in a new era for the U.S. economy that forecasters say could boost economic growth, bring higher interest rates and inflation, and a new set of potential risks including international trade wars. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The New York Times

Teslas in the trailer park: A California city faces its housing squeeze

If there is anything that just about every Californian agrees with, it is that it costs too much to live in the state. Over the last few years, the price of buying a home or renting an apartment has become so burdensome that it pervades almost every issue, from the state's elevated poverty rate to the debate about multimillion-dollar tear-downs to the lines of recreational vehicles parked on Silicon Valley side streets.

 

Los Angeles Times

What will a President Trump mean for SoCal housing and L.A.'s building boom?

With home prices and rents rising in Southern California, developers are busy building houses, condos and apartments -- particularly in downtown Los Angeles, where a residential building boom is underway.

 

HOUSING FINANCE

 

The Wall Street Journal

The mortgage market is changing fast

The remaking of U.S. politics also is likely to upend the nation's mortgage market. There are two reasons why: interest rates and regulation. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal

Trump win juices mortgage rates

Mortgage rates have spiked in the wake of Donald Trump's election victory. Average rates on 30-year fixed conforming mortgages hit 3.87% on Thursday, climbing a quarter of a percentage point since Tuesday's market close, according to MortgageNewsDaily.com, which tracks mortgage rates. That is the biggest increase in a two-day period since June 2013 when the Federal Reserve announced its plan to start easing its stimulus program, according to the site. (Subscription may be required.) 

 

MarketWatch

Quicken Loans and fellow nonbanks dominate the low-down-payment mortgage market

Nearly a decade after the housing crisis, the mortgage market has evolved in unexpected ways, with nontraditional financiers increasingly backing ever more leveraged loans.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Fannie, Freddie shares soar even as fate remains foggy

It is back to the drawing board for any overhaul of housing finance—and the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Shares of the mortgage-finance companies are up sharply since Election Day even though President-elect Donald Trump gave little if any indication during his campaign of what might happen to them in his administration. Over the past three days, shares of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each have risen more than 60%. (Subscription may be required.)

 

American Banker

Hensarling targets GSE reform, Dodd-Frank rollback in ambitious agenda

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling recited a litany of priorities for his panel next year, touching on everything from the very broad, like housing finance reform, to the specific, including targeting a proposal to rein in payday lending. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The New York Times

Fannie and Freddie's status continues to provoke criticisms

The presidential campaign that just ended was notable for a lack of debate about housing — in particular the uneven state of the United States mortgage market nine years since the start of the financial crisis.

 

The Wall Street Journal

FHA capital reserves rise to pre-crisis levels

A federal housing agency on Tuesday said its reserve levels have returned to pre-financial-crisis levels, prompting calls from some in the housing industry for measures to reduce costs for borrowers.

 

PRODUCT NEWS

 

Sherwin-Williams: Loxon XP™ Masonry Coating

Loxon XP™ Masonry Coating - maximum performance in one less coat.

Sherwin-Williams Loxon XP saves time and money. This direct-to-concrete and masonry coating needs no priming and requires one less coat compared to conventional products. Most important, Loxon XP provides outstanding protection against rain, alkali and efflorescence. 

 

LiftMaster

Win over buyers with smarter homes.

Connected garage door openers are the most frequently used smart device in homes today, but ours go beyond the garage and connect with smart security, climate control and lighting products. See how you can entice more people to buy from you.

 

Professional Warranty Service Corporation

Are You Missing a Huge Opportunity With An Entire Demographic of Influential Buyers?

With approximately 32 million Baby Boomers —half of whom may be shopping within the next few years—this shrinking, but still considerable generation, represents a largely untapped market for home builders. Do you have viable home options that appeal to Boomers?

 

INDUSTRY NEWS

 

The Wall Street Journal

With workers scarce, more home builders turn to prefab construction

A persistent shortage of construction workers across the U.S. is prompting some of the nation's largest home builders to experiment with a model they once derided: factory production. (Subscription may be required.)

 

MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION

 

National Mortgage News

Trump has no plans to change the MID: Economic adviser


Housing and the Election 

 

National Mortgage News

How mortgage lobby plans to influence Trump, Republican Congress

Mortgage lobbyists are eager to seize on Republican victories in the House, Senate and White House races, hoping to advance the industry's aims in the next Congress. (Subscription may be required.)

 

National Mortgage News

Lenders see influence expand as favored candidates win key races

Candidates supported by the mortgage industry by and large performed well on Election Day, with the notable exception of Hillary Clinton, leaving the door open for meaningful housing finance reform. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Construction Dive

3 key housing issues at play for the Trump presidency

Housing wasn't a major talking point on the campaign trail during the 2016 election, especially in comparison to 2008, when the mortgage finance crisis captured headlines. And so, the homebuilding industry knows little yet about how President-elect Donald Trump plans to address its pain points, including high housing costs and limited inventory, a high regulatory environment and a shortage of qualified labor — if at all.

 

Remodeling Magazine

NAHB 'remains steadfast' in its mission post-election 2016

As the books close on one of America's most divisive elections, the National Association of Home Builders released a one-page statement and a six-page analysis on what last night's results mean for housing. The statement focused primarily on issues that will be before a GOP-controlled Congress.

 

Business Insider

Housing could become even less affordable under President Trump

Housing is already too expensive for the droves of would-be buyers that are shopping in a market with limited inventory. 

 

National Mortgage News

Will Trump tackle housing finance reform?

Housing was the talk of the campaign two presidential elections ago, but it stayed under the radar in the 2016 race, leaving plenty of room to speculate about President-elect Donald Trump's likely mortgage policy for the next four years. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Bloomberg

Fannie-Freddie investors cheer Trump on hopes of policy changes

Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac surged at the open as investors in the mortgage-finance giants speculated that a Donald Trump presidency might reverse years of policy geared toward wiping out their investments.

 

MarketWatch

What Donald Trump's election could mean for home prices

President-elect Donald Trump started his career in real estate. His father was a real estate tycoon, and he has made a fortune building or licensing his name to luxury condominiums, hotels and casinos. But will that experience enable him to help the middle class, which faces a lack of affordable housing and rising prices?

 

HousingWire

What's next now that Republicans control the Presidency and Congress?

While much of the country's attention is focused on the seemingly unexpected election of Donald Trump, it shouldn't be lost that the Republican Party also maintained its control of the House of Representatives and the Senate in this election.

 

American Banker

How Crapo would lead banking panel after GOP Senate victory

Note: This story was originally published last week, but has been updated following the election results.

Republicans had a big night on Tuesday, capturing not just the White House, but staving off a challenge to their control of the Senate, which will likely deliver the gavel of the banking panel to Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, next year. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Washington Post

What effect the Trump administration will have on the housing market

The housing market was at the forefront of the presidential election eight years ago but barely received any attention in this campaign. Now as Donald Trump prepares to take office, what lies ahead for home buyers and sellers?

 

MarketWatch

The way we finance the housing market could change drastically under Trump

Even as some analysts believe the scars from the housing crisis helped lift Donald Trump to the presidency, the housing finance system was barely mentioned during the campaign. And contradictory messages from Trump himself about his priorities mean housing finance's future remains murky.

 

Economic News

 

The Hill

Housing recovery continues improving

The housing recovery marched forward during the July to September quarter, a new survey showed.

 

MarketWatch

Housing market becoming more pessimistic, Fannie Mae survey finds

A home-buying sentiment index from Fannie Mae weakened for the third straight month in October, a sign the market's momentum may be faltering.

 

HousingWire

Fannie Mae: New jobs report basically guarantees December rate hike

Earlier this week, the Federal Open Market Committee announced that it plans to leave the federal funds rate unchanged, but the way the FOMC framed the announcement led many to believe that a rake hike is coming in December.

 

Housing Finance 

 

HousingWire

Is the mortgage credit box really loosening?

The Federal Reserve sent out a survey to senior loan officers, asking about the status of mortgage credit, if it was loosening and how many consumers are applying for the products.

 

Chicago Tribune

Freddie Mac planning appraisal-free mortgages

Can computers, big data and advanced analytics replace real live humans when it comes to accurately valuing the home you want to buy? One of the two largest financial players in U.S. real estate thinks so and is preparing to introduce changes that could prove momentous — and highly controversial.

 

Legal News 

The Washington Post

To recoup losses from the housing collapse, Miami pursues a novel suit

The housing collapse of 2008 nearly broke the city of Miami. Now, its leaders have embarked on a novel and aggressive legal strategy to recoup losses from the big banks they say created the crisis with discriminatory and predatory lending practices.

 


Construction Dive

Trump vs. Clinton: How the next president will impact the construction industry

With the presidential election less than a week away, American voters are preparing to make their final decision at the ballot box between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. Regardless of the winner, one major question remains: How will the next president impact the construction industry?

 

DWM Magazine

A first: NAHB endorses congressional candidates

During this hotly contested election season, it's a daily occurrence for organizations to endorse candidates, but it's particularly newsworthy when a major association releases the first-ever list of capitol1officially approved candidates in its 74-year history.

 

Mortgage Professional America

Clinton or Trump: Who's better for housing?

There are a lot of issues at stake in the coming election, but of course there's one that will affect the mortgage industry directly – housing.

 

Builder

Vote Tuesday

How will housing take stock of its challenging, double-standard position on some of its most important workers and future home buyers?

 


Economy 

 

Business Insider

Homebuilders are struggling to end the 'new housing crisis'

You're finally ready to buy a house. Got a decent down payment in the bank, a solid credit history and even a preapproval from a lender. You're golden.

 

HousingWire

Five things we learned from the 2016 home-buying season

With vacations over and the holidays coming fast, home buying is beginning to slow down. So, given all of the predictions for 2016 (including mine), let's review the better part of the 2016 home-buying season and see what we've learned, with an eye toward 2017.

 

The Wall Street Journal

More Americans leave expensive metro areas for affordable ones

Americans are leaving the costliest metro areas for more affordable parts of the country at a faster rate than they are being replaced, according to an analysis of census data, reflecting the impact of housing costs on domestic migration patterns. (Subscription may be required.)

 

HousingWire

Yes, the economy is finally ready for another interest rate hike

The median U.S. home value was up 5.5% year over year in September to $189,400, according to real estate listing website Zillow's September Real Estate Market Report.

 

MarketWatch

Residential building can't keep pace with Seattle's surging job market

Surveying the dozens of towering cranes growing into Seattle's skyline, one might wonder if there's a housing boom that will eventually crash as it did in the last Seattle real estate downturn. It's a reasonable reaction for an untrained observer, but it's also a dangerous one for the region's ability to plan for accommodating smart growth.

 

The New York Times

Last pre-election jobs report shows healthy growth and higher wages

The government, delivering the last major snapshot of the economy before Election Day, reported on Friday that employers added 161,000 workers in October, a performance that suggested a healthy outlook for the months ahead.

 

Housing Finance 

 

POLITICO

In shift, White House offers platform for housing reform

The White House called on Congress to rethink its approach to rebuilding the hobbled mortgage market and offered, for the first time, as set of principles for housing reform. 

 

Bloomberg

Obama is making a last stab push to help loosen mortgage lending

President Barack Obama's administration is renewing the call to help lower income borrowers get home loans while it still can.

 

American Banker

How Crapo would lead banking panel if GOP keeps Senate

If Republicans manage to keep a Senate majority following the elections next week, control of the banking panel will likely go to Sen. Mike Crapo, a right-of-center Idaho lawmaker who has proven willing to reach across the political aisle in the past. (Subscription may be required.)

 

National Mortgage News

How Brown would run the banking panel if Democrats win Senate

If Democrats succeed in winning control of the Senate after next week's election, the gavel of the Senate Banking Committee is likely to fall to Sen. Sherrod Brown, a progressive from Ohio who has called on the biggest banks to hold significantly more capital. (Subscription may be required.) 

 

National Mortgage News

Industry welcomes treasury's call to focus on home affordability

The mortgage industry is welcoming the Obama administration's possibly final word on housing finance reform, hoping it will serve as guidepost for the future. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Mortgage News

 

CNBC

Shadow banks are taking over the mortgage market again

Shadow banks are on the cusp of taking the lead from their commercial counterparts in the mortgage market, new data suggests, a phenomenon that hasn't been seen since the 2008 financial crisis.

 

MarketWatch

Non-banks dominate the low-down payment mortgage market

Nearly a decade after the housing crisis, the mortgage market has evolved in unexpected ways, with nontraditional financiers increasingly backing ever-more leveraged loans.