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Housing Headlines Archives for 2017-04

Fears that higher home mortgage rates this year will keep buyers away and hit home sales could be overblown

ECONOMIC NEWS


Reuters
U.S. housing demand seen holding up despite rising rates

Fears that higher home mortgage rates this year will keep buyers away and hit home sales could be overblown.


Chicago Tribune
Why millennials are finally starting to settle down and buy homes

Millennials are finally starting to show interest in homeownership.


Construction Dive
Home-improvement pros wary of labor market, optimistic about demand

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.


The Washington Post
As equity rises, many homeowners use refinancings to free up cash

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.


MarketWatch
Want to see how America is changing? Property taxes hold the answer

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.


Construction Dive

Builders continue to put larger homes on smaller lots

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.


MarketWatch
Mortgage rates tumble to fresh 2017 low

Rates for home loans fell in line with Treasury yields, nudging mortgage rates to the lowest level of the year, Freddie Mac said Thursday.


Construction Dive
Market volatility takes the wind out of vacation-home sales

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.


MarketWatch
Here's where an entire year's salary won't get you a down payment

When it comes to barriers to entry to the housing market, the down payment can feel more like a pole vault for many Americans, especially those stuck paying ever-pricier rent payments every month.


The Wall Street Journal
Teachers, police priced out of America's big metro areas

Rising home prices are putting America's largest metropolitan areas out of reach for teachers, police officers and other big slices of the U.S. workforce. (Subscription may be required.)


MarketWatch
Why most renters don't want to buy homes right now

The spring home-buying market is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory, and is even worse for first-time homebuyers, i.e. Millennials.

 

DODD-FRANK


American Banker
Congress playing chicken with Dodd-Frank reform

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.) 

 

HousingWire
Trump floats complete repeal of Dodd-Frank

Last week, President Donald Trump told a group of CEOs that his administration is planning a "very major haircut" on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.
 

HOUSING FINANCE


HousingWire
Jamie Dimon says fixing mortgage industry would boost lending by $300 billion a year

J.P. Morgan Chase on Thursday reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations, with trading and investment banking revenues contributing the most during the quarter.
 

MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION


HousingWire
Community lenders stress possible negative impact on mortgage interest deduction in tax reform

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.
 

 

 

 

 

 


A Compilation of the Week's Top Housing News

ECONOMIC NEWS


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.)


MarketWatch
Why lower house prices lead to higher student loan default rates
Add this to the list of potential consequences of the housing bust: Rising student loan defaults.


CNBC
Homeowners are pulling cash out again; this time it’s the millennials
Fast-rising home prices gave homeowners more equity than many expected, and they are now tapping that equity at the fastest rate in eight years.


MarketWatch
Americans are taking out the largest mortgages on record
For the past few years, the housing market has been unbalanced. Strong demand and lean supply keep pushing prices higher and higher.

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.


MarketWatch
Mortgage rates fall for the third straight week, approach 2017’s low
Rates for home loans notched their third weekly decline, nearing a fresh low for 2017, mortgage finance provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.


HousingWire
TransUnion: Here’s why Millennials are delaying homeownership
The spring home-buying market is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory, and is even worse for first-time homebuyers, i.e. Millennials.

HUD


The Washington Post
Carson assures advocates that White House will include housing funding in infrastructure bill
HUD Secretary Ben Carson said Monday that the Trump administration will seek to include housing funding in a yet-to-be unveiled infrastructure spending bill.


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.

DODD-FRANK


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 Wall Street Journal
Dodd-Frank overhaul vote unlikely before summer, law maker says

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.)


TAX REFORM


The Washington Post
Popular deductions for homeownership are targeted in tax plans
With the health-care bill back-burnered on Capitol Hill, the focus has shifted to tax reform. Among the key financial matters in play: Homeowners’ prized deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes.

HOUSING FINANCE


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.)

SOFTWOOD LUMBER


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.

MULTIFAMILY


The Wall Street Journal
Farm-to-condo movement stakes its claim to Brooklyn rooftop
It was only a matter of time before the farm-to-table movement merged with the Brooklyn condominium boom. (Subscription may be required.)


Economic News 

 

CNBC

NAHB CEO: Homebuilding industry has 'high ceiling' for the national economy

National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard shares his outlook on the housing industry.

 

MarketWatch

Home prices hit a 31-month high in January, Case-Shiller says

U.S. house prices roared to their highest in nearly three years as demand remains hot, especially in the west.

 

Construction Dive

How the Fed's low interest rates helped post-recession housing

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.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Sluggish housing recovery took $300 billion toll on U.S. economy, data show

The decline in homeownership rates to near 50-year lows is partly to blame for the U.S. economy's sluggish recovery from the last recession, new data suggest. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Housing Finance 

 

Bloomberg

Fannie-Freddie fix is the focus of senators' bipartisan push

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?

 

HousingWire

Fannie Mae: Lender optimism higher than ever

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 New York Times

As the Number of Foreclosures Falls, Newer Firms Get Into the Game

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.

 

Multifamily

 

The Wall Street Journal

Condos conquer Los Angeles

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

Apartment market slumps as supply surges

Apartment landlords across the U.S. struggled through a tough first quarter as a slowdown in the rental market grew worse. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Bloomberg

America Needs Small Apartment Buildings. Nobody Builds Them

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.

 

Product News 

 

Bio-Microbics, Inc. – Providing Onsite Water/Greywater/Wastewater Solutions

RECOVER® Greywater Treatment & Reuse | Conservation Device for Water Efficiency

 

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!

 

Labor Shortages

 

The Wall Street Journal 

America' s Growing Labor Shortage

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.)

 

Bloomberg

The New Jersey theme park where kids' backhoe dreams come true

Can kids in bulldozers cure the construction worker shortage?

 

Affordable Housing 

 

The New York Times

To address affordable housing shortage, restoring 19th-century homes

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.

 

Tax Reform 

 

Marketplace

Will tax reform upend market for low-income housing?

The election of President Trump has added uncertainty to the already speculative market that is low-income housing development.

 

The Weekly Standard

Time to Fix Fannie and Freddie

Comprehensive tax reform, done right, would accomplish many things: It should boost investment, productivity, and employment, and along with these economic growth. That is the intent, anyway.

 

Dodd-Frank 

 

American Banker

Health care repeal failure complicates rollback of Dodd-Frank

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.)

 

HUD

 

Dallas Morning News

Ben Carson Makes Housing Pitch in Dallas

Okay, he's not exactly Nolan Ryan.

 

CFPB

 

HousingWire

What is the most likely outcome for the CFPB?

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.