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Housing Headlines
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.

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.)