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Housing Headlines Archives for 2017-05

Sentiment among home builders rebounded in May, buoyed by optimistic views of demand for housing.

ECONOMIC NEWS


MarketWatch
Home builder sentiment strengthens as industry looks past Washington

Sentiment among home builders rebounded in May, buoyed by optimistic views of demand for housing.


CNN Money
Home builders can't find enough workers

There's a huge "help wanted" sign hanging over the home building industry.


MarketWatch
Housing starts ease in April after strong first quarter; But single-family starts perked up

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.


MarketWatch
Slow and steady growth wins the race for home building — and the economy

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.


Forbes
Homes sold faster than ever in April, survey shows

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.


HousingWire
Citizenship applications soar, and that means more potential homeowners

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.)

 

Chicago Tribune
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

 

The Hill
It's time for Congress to get the facts straight on housing finance

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.

 

American Banker
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.)

 

Marketwatch
Mnuchin expects Fannie and Freddie to keep sending profits to the U.S. Treasury

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.

 

OSHA


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.

 

 


The Week's Top Housing News

ECONOMIC NEWS


HousingWire

Fannie Mae: Consumer housing optimism rebounds in April

Many consumers grew more optimistic about the housing in April, rebounding from March's dip in confidence, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index.


The Wall Street Journal
Workers and wood squeeze housing market

Shares of U.S. home builders have had a nice run since the election, driven by healthy profits and rising confidence. That sweet spot is likely over, and the shift will put a damper on the overall housing market. (Subscription may be required.)


CNN Money
Good luck buying a home in this hot housing market

It's going to be a tough house hunting season for buyers, but it's particularly brutal for those in Seattle.


The Wall Street Journal

Generation of Renters Now Buying

First-time buyers are rushing to buy homes after a decade on the sidelines, promising to kick a housing market already flush with luxury sales into higher gear. (Subscription may be required.)

 

HOUSING FINANCE REFORM

 

The Wall Street Journal
Trump administration, senators put Fannie, Freddie overhaul back in play

The Trump administration and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators are working to address an issue that has gone unresolved for nearly a decade: how to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance giants the government took over in 2008. (Subscription may be required.)

 

Washington Examiner
Fixing Fannie and Freddie won't be any easier for the Trump team

Despite bold talk from Republicans, the political obstacles to reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain nearly as steep as they have been throughout the eight years that the firms have been in the government's hands.

 

MarketWatch
Fed's Rosengren warns that Fannie, Freddie reform could roil commercial real-estate market

Efforts to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could lead to "a potential and significant shock" to the commercial real-estate sector, said Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren on Tuesday.

 

American Banker
FHFA on collision course with Congress over Fannie, Freddie

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt appears poised for a showdown with Congress over how to handle Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's dwindling capital buffers.Efforts to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could lead to "a potential and significant shock" to the commercial real-estate sector, said Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren on Tuesday. (Subscription may be required.)

 

LUMBER

 

Construction Dive
Round 1: What the latest Canadian lumber tariffs mean for US housing

For the past several months, the industry has been reeling over speculation about impending tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber and what they might mean for the housing industry.

 

The Washington Post
Jimmy Carter: Trump is right. Canada's lumber trade practices are unfair.

I agree with the recent decision of the White House and the Commerce Department to impose anti-subsidy duties against Canada's unfairly traded softwood lumber imports. This belated enforcement of U.S. trade laws will help millions of private timberland owners, American forestry workers and members of their local communities by leveling the playing field in the timber industry.

 

GSEs

 

HousingWire
Fannie, Freddie release official strategy to serve underserved markets

Monday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency requested public input on the GSE's new proposed Underserved Markets Plans under the Duty to Serve program.

 

Bloomberg
Fannie-Freddie regulator warns he can't let capital fall to zero

The head of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's regulator warned that he can't take the risk of letting the companies run out of capital.

 

Marketwatch
Fannie and Freddie are nearly out of money and Washington is getting anxious

In 2008, as the financial crisis swirled, the federal government rushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship. The two giant mortgage-finance companies became wards of the state under a new regulator that would manage their affairs until they were healthy enough to stand on their own.

 

FORECLOSURE NEWS


The New York Times
Housing Regulator Is Pushed to Crack Down on Sales of Foreclosed Properties

Lawmakers are pressing the nation's housing regulator over the sale of thousands of foreclosed houses to investment firms that have pitched the promise of homeownership to people unable to get a traditional mortgage.Your mortgage may come with a bonus: credit-card reward points. Chase recently announced it will give 100,000 reward points, worth up to $1,500, to existing credit-card customers who take out a home loan with the bank between now and Aug. 6.

 

MORTGAGE NEWS


CNBC
The latest mortgage perk for millennials: Reward points

Your mortgage may come with a bonus: credit-card reward points. Chase recently announced it will give 100,000 reward points, worth up to $1,500, to existing credit-card customers who take out a home loan with the bank between now and Aug. 6.

 

LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT


The Denver Post
Affordable housing developers "fighting like crazy" to pencil out projects following drop in tax credit value

Affordable housing developers in Colorado are facing a new challenge that could stretch their limited funding resources even further and potentially impact the number of income-restricted units that can be built every year.

 

OSHA


Reveal News
OSHA tells companies to report injuries. There's no website for that yet

The nation's top workplace safety regulator has directed scores of companies to begin submitting their injury records, but with the impending deadline less than two months away, there is still no website set up for these workplaces to comply.

 

DODD-FRANK


Reuters
Trump review of Wall Street rules to be done in stages: sources

The U.S. government's review of a landmark 2010 financial reform law will not be complete by early June as originally targeted, and officials will now report findings piece-by-piece, with priority given to banking regulations, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.