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Housing Headlines Archives for 2016-03

Housing Headlines, Week of March 21, 2016

USA Today (AP)

West pushes up sales of new homes in February

U.S. homebuyers in the West accounted for all of February's increase in sales of new houses, possibly signaling uncertain growth prospects for the broader real estate market heading into the spring buying season.

USA Today

Blame owners, not builders, for housing crunch

Gridlock in the housing market that's slowing both first-time home purchases and trade-ups to better units is the chief reason for a persistent housing shortage, according to a new study.

The Fiscal Times

The most and least affordable places for first-time homebuyers in 2016

Housing in four U.S. counties is so unaffordable that first-time homebuyers would have to spend more than 100 percent of their income to cover their mortgage payment each month.


The Wall Street Journal

More Americans are again moving to suburbs than cities

Economists to real-estate agents have debated whether the housing boom and bust of the last decade has dramatically remade the way Americans live or merely created a temporary disruption.

USA Today

Study: Millennials really want homes, but are waiting ... for now

They're graduating from college, starting new jobs, getting married and having kids. But one life goal that's eluding a lot of Millennials is homeownership, according to a new NerdWallet analysis.

The Wall Street Journal

Rent-to-own homes make a comeback

Wall Street firms have found a new way to profit from consumers with blemished credit who can't qualify for a mortgage: let them rent a home first with the option to buy it later. (Subscription may be required.) 


Existing home sales plunge 7.1% to a 3-month low in February

Existing-home sales plummeted 7.1% in February, pointing to ongoing rockiness in a housing market struggling to find its footing.


The Washington Post

Fannie and Freddie: If you can't kill them, merge them?

A group including some of the chief architects of the Obama administration's housing policy released a paper Wednesday outlining a new proposal for how to deal with mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


This plan to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac just might pass Congress

By many measures, the housing market is doing just fine. Home prices have largely recovered from the bust, lenders have tightened standards to avoid the risky behavior that caused it, and most Americans view homeownership as – surprise – a process of owning a home, not a get-rich-quick scheme.

The Wall Street Journal

Fannie, Freddie to cut mortgage balances for thousands of homeowners 

Thousands of homeowners will be eligible to have their mortgage balances cut under a plan approved by the federal regulator of mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to people familiar with the matter. (Subscription may be required.) 




The Fiscal Times
The surprising problem that’s holding back the housing market
One reason that tight inventory continues to constrain the U.S. housing market is that homebuilders are having trouble finding enough workers to meet their needs.

The Washington Post
Where are the workers?
The Labor Department released some good news Tuesday: The number of job openings is exploding. We now have close to the highest number of vacancies on record.

Building boom towns: The metro areas with the most new construction
Last year’s great oil price crash hit Texas hard–and the construction industry felt the effect. Greater Houston, America’s oil capital, weathered a 49% drop in construction starts as new activity in manufacturing plunged 97% from the year before. But 240 miles north, construction was on the rise in Dallas.

5 most profitable housing markets in America
Counties where 2015 home sellers made a 49% or better return on investment

The Wall Street Journal
Home-price growth sped up last year, Realtors say
Home-price growth accelerated late last year, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors, as a lack of supply continues to drive up prices despite cooling demand.

Mortgage rates hit 10-month low
Mortgage rates swooned again, touching the lowest since April 2015, mortgage provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.

There are a lot of empty homes in Flint, Michigan
Nationwide, the average vacancy rate is 1.6%, according a report from RealtyTrac. But in Flint, the rate is nearly five times higher at 7.5%.

Under one roof: Multigenerational housing big for builders
Jennifer Michaels didn't expect her Seattle-area house would sell so quickly, especially since she hadn't settled on a new home yet. With nowhere to go, the divorced mom moved herself and her two teenagers in with her mother, Lucy Abbott, thinking it would be temporary. Much to all of their surprise, they didn't hate it




American Banker
Why the 20-year mortgage is the answer to housing finance mess
A recent Associated Press poll found more than six in 10 respondents expressed only slight confidence — or none at all — in the ability of the federal government to make progress on important issues facing the country. (Subscription may be required.)

The Wall Street Journal
Quicken Loans Super Bowl ad: No, this isn’t housing apocalypse 2.0
Quicken Loans’s Super Bowl ad has sparked rumblings over whether we should worry about a new housing bubble.




MP Global
Controlling Sound Between Floors
When addressing sound abatement for multi-family housing, products that enable buffering noise will make the building owners, building management, and tenants all a lot happier.




Los Angeles Times
How and when to install a rooftop solar system
California regulators have set new rules for compensating rooftop solar owners, so now what? Do you buy a solar system now or later? Is a lease better than purchasing? How about a loan?


Bloombgerg TV
Are there hiccups on the horizon for the housing market?
Jerry Howard, National Association of Home Builders' chief executive officer, discusses the state of the housing market with Bloomberg's Vonnie Quinn on "Bloomberg Markets."

DS News
Ask the economist: Existing-home shortage has a ‘domino effect’ on the market

Q&A with NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
National Mortgage News
Consumers' confidence rises on housing market: Fannie
Consumers were feeling moderately confident about the housing market in February, Fannie Mae said.
The Wall Street Journal
Net worth of U.S. households rose to record $86.8 trillion in fourth quarter, Fed says
U.S. households ended 2015 with their home equity at the highest level in a decade, a housing-recovery milestone that could shield Americans pinched by financial-market volatility early this year. (Subscription may be required.)