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Housing Headlines Archives for 2016-08

A compilation of the week's top housing headlines


The Wall Street Journal (podcast)
Home builders are becoming more confident

Home builders are more optimistic about the housing market. The National Association of Home Builders sentiment index rose 2 points this month. Robert Dietz of the NAHB says homebuilding prospects for the rest of the year are good, as job growth helps spur more demand for housing.

U.S. News & World Report
US home construction climbed to a 6-month high in July

Apartment construction in the Northeast fueled a jump in home building in July as the pace of housing starts nationwide reached the strongest pace in six months.

Developers feed millennial hunger for ownership with townhouses

While competing developers focus on pricier single-family homes, Jim Clarke is building townhouses for cash-strapped millennials. And the units are going fast.


Fannie Mae: Economic rebound on the way for second half of 2016

Despite the disappointing economic growth in the second quarter, the remainder of the year will bring a rebound, Fannie Mae predicted in its August 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook.


The Washington Post
Areas hit hardest by the real estate bust are now seeing the highest gains

By the time it broke ground in March, Residences by Armani/Casa, a new condominium underway in Miami's Sunny Isles Beach, already had more than 65 percent of its 308 units under contract.

The Wall Street Journal
Why cities lag behind suburbs in the housing recovery

Despite a boom in urban living and rapid run-ups in home prices in many cities, urban homeowners are struggling more in the recovery than their suburban counterparts, according to new research.


Rent growth matches eight-year high as building boom doesn't keep up

July rental growth matched an eight-year high, as an apartment-making boom still hasn't put a lid on costs.


USA Today
Many downtown luxury apartments sit empty

Apartment building owners are struggling to rent many of the luxury units that have flooded downtowns across the country in recent years even as a relative shortage of multifamily homes in the suburbs has driven up rents.


The Washington Post

Mortgage rates down slightly, remain stalled near yearly lows

Like the rest of us suffering through August's oppressive heat, mortgage rates have been disinclined to move much.

Mortgage applications fell 4% even as rates sit near record lows

Even with mortgage interest rates sitting near record lows, mortgage applications failed to make any gains last week.

This one chart shows the uneven housing recovery

The number of underwater homeowners — those who owe more for their home than it is worth — continues to fall.



Professional Warranty Service Corp.
Warranty Benefits – For Builder and Buyer

If you think a structural warranty is an unnecessary or "nice-to-have" expense... You are dangerously wrong as nothing could be further from the truth!


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.


Sherwin-Williams: Livable Luxe
Create clean, livable "white kitchen" looks that are on-trend, yet enduring. 

Award-winning Williamsburg designer, Kathryn Salyer, shares her strategies for creating "white kitchen" looks with lasting beauty. Salyer depends on Sherwin-Williams coatings for durability, smooth application and zero VOC options. She achieves the look with palettes balancing clean and bright with depth and dimension.



The New York Times

Sale of federal mortgages to investors puts greater burden on blacks, suit says

For years, the federal government avoided insuring mortgages in black neighborhoods, a practice known as redlining that exacerbated racial divides throughout America's cities.


Hispanic Millennials struggle to save for down payment

Hispennials, or Hispanic Millennials, view their finances differently than the majority of Millennials, according to a recent study by Wells Fargo.



The Hill
Housing industry hoping for change after Obama

Housing industry advocates have a message for the next president: It's time to move on from the crash.


Everybody has a plan for Fannie and Freddie but nothing gets done

The hole at the corner of 15th and L streets, in downtown Washington, is deep -- and getting deeper. Earth-movers there are laying the foundations of a shiny new headquarters for Fannie Mae, the bailed-out giant of American mortgages.


The New York Times
Cuomo moves to revive a dormant housing aid program

The administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has offered developers and union officials a wage subsidy for construction workers in the hopes of reviving a dormant program that has generated thousands of apartments for poor and moderate-income New Yorkers, and saved property owners tens of millions of dollars in property taxes.




In recovering housing market, the starter home remains elusive In recovering housing market, the starter home remains elusive.


In recovering housing market, the starter home remains elusive

Seeking a yard for her two dogs and proximity to her new government job, Alison Owen set out to buy a home this spring in the hot market of Austin, Texas.

Construction Dive
Minority ownership of residential construction firms on the rise

Despite an overall decrease in the number of U.S. residential construction firms between 2007 and 2012, a National Association of Home Builders analysis of U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners data revealed that the number of minority-owned firms in that timeframe rose 9% from approximately 109,000 to 157,000.

Realtor Magazine
One vs. two-story homes: Which dominates?

Most people prefer a single-story home, one study reports. But home shoppers may have a more difficult time finding a one-story home in some regions of the country.


The Wall Street Journal
The typical home in San Jose now costs more than $1 million

Rising home prices and growing affordability concerns showed no signs of abating in the second quarter, as San Jose, Calif. became the first city where the price of a typical home eclipses $1 million.


The Washington Post
Mortgage rates move slightly higher as refinances fuel uptick in applications

Mortgage rates were barely affected by last week's better-than-expected employment report. Despite indications that America's labor market is surging again, home loan rates remained about where they have been. For those who have been paying more attention to the Olympics, presidential election, beach or back to school, they are hovering at their lowest levels in three years.


Fannie Mae: Millennials finally starting to buy homes

As Millennials get older, they are increasing homeownership rates faster than in previous years, according to research from Fannie Mae.  


The Wall Street Journal
Home equity loans come back to haunt borrowers, banks

The bill is coming due for many homeowners on a type of loan that was widely popular in the run-up to the housing bust, causing a rise in delinquencies at banks. (Subscription may be required.)



The Hill
Corker urges Congress to refocus on housing finance reform

A top Senate Republican said on Tuesday that the possible threat of another massive taxpayer bailout for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac highlights the need for Congress to tackle mortgage finance reform.


Fannie, Freddie could need as much as $126 billion in crisis

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could need as much as $125.8 billion in bailout money from taxpayers in a severe economic downturn, according to stress test results released Monday by their regulator.


The Hill
How Congress can expand the American dream

What is a significant – and growing – barrier preventing future generations from achieving the American Dream?


The Washington Times
Why mortgage principal forgiveness policy is a bad idea

There's nothing like a "good crisis" to give the federal government an opening to spread its tentacles further into private markets. Just look at the vast growth of federal housing programs since the 2007-2009 financial crisis.



The Washington Post
The next big fight over housing could happen, literally, in your back yard

In the new home Julia Coffee designed for herself, handpicking the tiles and the flooring and the red front door, the microwave doesn't work. Neither does the dishwasher, the garbage disposal, the washing machine, nor — including on 100-degree days — the central air.


Los Angeles Times
California desperately needs affordable housing — but also a new blueprint for building it

Kate Vershov Downing is a lawyer working for a Silicon Valley technology firm, married to a software engineer. But even with two good jobs in the household, she's been driven out of the Palo Alto housing market, where the home she rents with another couple costs $6,200 in monthly rent and would cost $2.7 million to buy.



The Hill
Housing moves into the campaign spotlight

The future of the housing market is finally getting some attention from the presidential campaigns.


Miami Herald
Subdued Trump tells home builders he's one of them

Donald Trump gazed out at his business brethren — home builders assembled at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach on Thursday — and reminisced.



The Washington Post
To help home buyers, ease the regulatory burden on home builders (Letter to the editor by NAHB Chief Economist Rob Dietz)

When it comes to housing, home builders are on the front lines, and we were the first to sound the alarm that tight mortgage lending conditions and shortages of buildable lots and construction workers were impeding the recovery. The July 30 Real Estate article "Too little and for too much" failed to state the primary crisis confronting the housing market: A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders showed that 24 percent of the cost of an average new single-family home is attributable to government regulation.



The Wall Street Journal
Threat of lawsuits crimps condo developments

Gary Godden used to specialize in designing condominiums for first-time buyers near Denver, often completing eight to 10 projects a year before the real-estate crash. (Subscription may be required.)