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Housing Headlines Archives for 2017-03

The housing market has been a bright spot for the economy, but some clouds are looming.

ECONOMIC NEWS


USA Today
Housing reports to gauge effects of rising rates

The housing market has been a bright spot for the economy, but some clouds are looming.

 

CNBC
Housing market could get a bump from Trump

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.

 

Marketwatch
Existing-home sales tumble as tight inventory chokes housing market

Sales of previously owned homes tumbled in February as the housing market remained choked by tight inventory.

 

Construction Dive
Remodeling spending to grow in large US metros in 2017

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.

 

The Wall Street Journal
The outer suburbs are once again outgrowing cities

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.

 

CNBC
Mortgage applications fall 2.7%, as borrowers turn to riskier loans

The fast-rising cost of housing today is shrinking demand for home loans but also pushing those who are in the market toward cheaper, adjustable-rate mortgages.

 

The Denver Post

Priced out of Denver? Don't go running to the burbs for sticker-shock relief, report says

If Denver's red-hot real estate market has you seeking sticker-shock relief in the suburbs, you may be in for a nasty surprise.

 

The Wall Street Journal
Detroit's resurgence brings new housing concerns

Concerns about the downsides of gentrification are coming to the country's poorest major city. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
International immigration gives boost to big U.S. cities, study says

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 Wall Street Journal
The era of massive low-skilled immigration may already be over

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.

 

HOUSING FINANCE

 

American Banker
Trump administration developing principles for housing finance reform

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.)
 

HousingWire

CFPB preps to review major mortgage rules

January 2018 marks five years since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized the qualified mortgage rule, as well as other key mortgage regulations.
 

LABOR SECRETARY

 

The Wall Street Journal
Trump's low-key labor pick keeps businesses guessing

President Donald Trump's second choice for labor secretary, law school dean Alexander Acosta, stands in contrast to his first pick, fast-food executive Andy Puzder. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
Next labor secretary faces long to-do list

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.)


HOUSING AFFORDABILITY


Los Angeles Times
California housing bills could take away subsidies for homeowners and add them for renters

California lawmakers have introduced more than 130 bills this year that try to tackle the state's housing affordability crisis.

 

FLOOD INSURANCE


National Mortgage News
Trump budget could worsen flood insurance woes

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 number of compact townhouses being constructed rose by 13% last year The American Dream of owning your own home remains. But the home itself appears to have gotten smaller.

ECONOMIC NEWS


Bloomberg
Housing Starts in U.S. Climbed to Four-Month High in February

The number of compact townhouses being constructed rose by 13% last year The American Dream of owning your own home remains. But the home itself appears to have gotten smaller.

 

Marketwatch
Here are the 'sweet spots' in the housing market

In such a tight housing market, it can help to think outside the box — or the neighborhood.

 

The New York Times
Fed Raises Interest Rates for Third Time Since Financial Crisis

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.

 

CNBC
Home builder confidence soared to highest level in 12 years as Trump rolls back regulations

The nation's home builders couldn't be happier with President Trump's first move to roll back strict environmental rules.

 

Fortune
2 Ways the Fed Could Crush the Housing Market Recovery

There's no doubt the Federal Reserve's low interest rates have helped the housing market recover from its 2007 bust.

 

The Wall Street Journal
Where Cheap Housing Meets Good Jobs --- Seattle contrasts favorably with the Bay Area in affordability and opportunity

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.)

 

HOUSING FINANCE


USA Today
'A bad idea': More new mortgages are risky ones

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 Washington Post
For many millennials, FHA is the place to go for a home mortgage

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.

 

The Wall Street Journal 
Goldman Sachs Goes on Buying Binge for Delinquent Mortgages

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.)


IMMIGRATION REFORM


CBS Moneywatch
Fewer immigrants could mean fewer new homes

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.
 

GSEs

 

The New York Times
Trump's Plan on Fannie and Freddie? Clues May Emerge Soon

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.

 

TAX REFORM


USA Today
Small firms seek level playing field in tax reform

There's been much talk from President Trump about lowering corporate tax rates. But where does that leave the smaller companies that employ nearly half of non-public sector American workers?

 

 


National home prices hit a two-and-a-half year high in December, Case-Shiller says

ECONOMIC NEWS


MarketWatch
National home prices hit a two-and-a-half year high in December, Case-Shiller says

U.S. home prices surged higher in December, just months after hitting a high last seen at the height of the housing bubble a decade ago.

 

MarketWatch
More Americans want to downsize their homes than supersize them

The number of compact townhouses being constructed rose by 13% last year The American Dream of owning your own home remains. But the home itself appears to have gotten smaller.

 

CNBC
Spring housing already overheating—think 60 offers on one house

The spring housing market started early this year, not because of higher-than-average temperatures but because of hotter-than-average demand and overheating home prices.

 

CNBC
Millennial money myths: The truth about homes, cars and ownership

When it comes to trying to get inside the head of millennials, don't buy the buzz about the "don't own" economy.

 

Los Angeles Times
L.A. is building lots of homes but too few for its growing population

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.

 

HousingWire
Investor to NAR: We aren't competing with first-time homebuyers

The National Association of Realtors drew a line in the sand between homebuyers and investors, but one investor says he's had enough.


Reuters
Fed's Brainard, citing improved global economy, says rates can rise "soon"

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.

 

TAX REFORM


The New York Times

Did someone say 'tax code rewrite'? Lobbyists scramble

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.

 

Los Angeles Times
Developers of affordable housing in California are on pins and needles over Trump's tax plan

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.

 

MarketWatch
Trump tax plan, not even on drawing board, is already roiling rental housing

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.


WOTUS


CNBC
Trump executive order seeks to roll back controversial Obama water rules

Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order seeking to roll back a controversial water rule opposed by farmer, rancher and homebuilder groups. 

 

The Wall Street Journal
Trump's clean watershed; He orders the EPA to review Obama's illegal waterways regulation

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.)
 

HUD

 

Politico
Senate confirms Ben Carson for HUD

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Dr. Ben Carson to become secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, backing him on a largely party-line vote of 58-41.

 

MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION


Reuters
No change to mortgage interest deduction in Trump tax plan: Mnuchin

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday the Trump administration's tax reform plan will not change the deductibility of mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

 

IMMIGRATION


Bloomberg
Why Trump's immigration crackdown could sink U.S. home prices

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.

 

APPRAISALS


HousingWire
Experts answer: Will technology replace appraisers?

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.

 

 

REGULATION
National Mortgage News
Trump orders govt agencies to create deregulatory task forces

President Trump signed an executive order Friday requiring every agency to establish a task force focused on eliminating unnecessary regulations. (Subscription may be required.)