Sentiment among home builders rebounded in May, buoyed by optimistic views of demand for housing.
Home builders can't find enough workers
There's a huge "help wanted" sign hanging over the home building industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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
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.
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.)
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.
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.