Written by NAHB-BY DANUSHKA NANAYAKKARA-SKILLINGTON on JUNE 28, 2019 , About Three Years Ago
For the fifth straight month, information compiled by Freddie Mac shows that mortgage rates continued to fall. As of May 2019, the 30-year FRM – Commitment rate, fell by seven basis points to 4.07 percent from 4.14 percent in April. The cycle peak was 4.87 percent in November.
According to the June 2019 Federal Open Market Committee meeting statement, the Fed made no change to the interest rate, as expected. It kept the target for the federal funds rate at its setting of 2.25-2.50 percent. The post-meeting statement emphasized the Committee will closely monitor risks and other economic developments and is prepared to adjust policy as appropriate to sustain the expansion and support a rise of inflation to the 2 percent target.
At the end of May, the 10-year Treasury rate, is down to 2.14 percent from April. The rate has declined to 2.02 percent by the end of June which has contributed to a decline in the mortgage interest rates in the last few weeks. The average 30-Year Fixed market rate, according to Freddie Mac, was at 3.73 percent at the end of June compared to 3.99 percent at the end of May. At the end of 2018, the average 30-Year Fixed market rate was 4.64 percent.
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
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 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
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.)
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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 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.
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.)
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.
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 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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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 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.)
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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 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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
Bio-Microbics, Inc. – Providing Onsite Water/Greywater/Wastewater Solutions
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!
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.)
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.)
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 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.
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.)
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 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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.)
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.)