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Housing Headlines Archives for 2017-06

Surprise! It's Millennials.



NBC News
Who's powering the housing market? Surprise! It's millennials

Millennials are growing up, settling down and looking to buy a house — for the extra room and the investment opportunity.

USA Today
Home building slowed as cities try to tame growth

James and Carrie Finan have been house-hunting in the Seattle area for four months in a seemingly futile race against time: They're living in a room in James' mother's house and their first child is due in September.

Home prices pick up steam as spring selling season heats up, CoreLogic says

U.S. home prices marched higher in April, with the strongest gains in the West, according to a report out Tuesday.

HUD Secretary Carson: Homeownership is the foundation of the economy

And more highlights from HUD housing forum.

The Washington Post
How the government contributes to the low supply of starter homes

I hear a lot of criticism of millennials, with some implying they're lazy and perhaps entitled. However, when I look critically at this group I don't see much difference between them and my generation at the same point in life.

CBS News
House-hunting in 2017? You'll need a fatter wallet

What's on your TV? In many middle-class homes, programs about house-hunting now compete for viewers with sporting events, cooking shows and financial advice. Americans are house-hungry. And nothing proves this more than the latest figures from Black Knight's Home Price Appreciation (HPA) index, which in March tallied its highest monthly gain in nearly four years.

The Wall Street Journal

New houses get smaller as first-time buyers move into the market

Home construction still lags despite strong demand for single-family houses.

U.S. News & World Report
More homebuyers, more debt

There is a false narrative going around town about first-time homebuyers, and it could be dangerous to the very group it purports to describe. It is often written today that high down payment requirements, rising house prices, student debt and a lack of supply are keeping these new buyers from purchasing a home.

The Washington Post
Here's how much you would need to afford rent in your state

There is nowhere in this country where someone working a full-time minimum-wage job could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report released Thursday documenting the gap between wages and the cost of rental housing.

African-American and Hispanic families priced out of real estate in West Coast markets

In 2016, just 18 percent of homes for sale in the 30 largest U.S. metros were affordable for middle-class Hispanic families and 14 percent were affordable for African-American families, according to a new study by national realtor Redfin. Both rates were down 11 percentage points from 2012. This is compared to 30 percent affordable for those earning the median income for white households, down 12 percentage points since 2012.

The Wall Street Journal
Millions of young people shut out of the housing market

Roughly three million potential first-time home buyers have been shut out of the market over the last decade, according to a new study, suggesting the market's recovery of the past few years could have been stronger. (Subscription may be required.)

Experts: Disappointing jobs report won't stop looming interest rate hike

Economists are voicing their disappointed in the weak and unexpectedly low employment report produced in May, however they say it will not be enough to stop an interest rate hike in June.



National Mortgage News
How Trump can make the FHA more lender friendly

Regulatory relief has been a central tenet of the Trump administration's strategy to strengthen the economy. That philosophy could be applied to the housing market with changes to government-backed mortgage programs to improve access to credit and increase homeownership. (Subscription may be required.)

The Washington Post
Fannie Mae will ease financial standards for mortgage applicants next month

It's the No. 1 reason that mortgage applicants nationwide get rejected: They're carrying too much debt relative to their monthly incomes. It's especially a deal-killer for millennials early in their careers who have to stretch every month to pay the rent and other bills.

The Hill
As capital dwindles, trouble looms for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt recently delivered two direct messages to Congress: First, it is dangerous to operate the two institutions that undergird half of the U.S. mortgage market and support over $5 trillion in mortgage backed securities with little to no capital. Second, as the safety and soundness regulator, he intends to take steps to reverse that situation.

National Mortgage News
FHA premium reduction remains on hold: Carson

The financial condition of the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage insurance fund has "stabilized," according to Housing Secretary Ben Carson. But that does not mean he's ready to cut FHA premiums again. (Subscription may be required.)




USA Today

Dodd-Frank debate: Here's how the House could change financial legislation

President Trump's agenda to deregulate the financial industry could take a big leap forward this week.

House votes to abolish Dodd-Frank

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to pass the Republican-led Financial CHOICE Act, H.R. 10, which would abolish the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.


USA Today
Worker-friendly rules scrapped by Labor Dept

Expanded worker protections on pay and benefits were rolled back by the Trump Administration Wednesday in a first step of what is expected to be a broader effort to reinstate policies that favor employers.




The New York Times
Developers lure buyers to cities, even as prices stall

Peter Fader, a professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has long yearned for the city life. For 20 years, though, he and his wife, Mina, have deferred that dream, living in a Philadelphia suburb to raise their two children in a 3,500-square-foot home.



The New York Times
Under Trump, worker protections are viewed with new skepticism

There's a relaxation in the approach to occupational safety and business is getting a bigger voice, while hard-won victories for safety advocates are being reversed.




Nearly 7 million homes are at risk of hurricane storm surge, even as national flood insurance program may expire

As the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season officially starts, the national weather agency in charge of tracking hurricanes says it could be another "above-normal" season, even as a federal flood insurance program that's the only option for many homeowners will expire in September if Congress doesn't take action.



Construction Dive
Moving up: How builders can address the needs of multigenerational households

Living with mom and dad it is trending. That is, whether due to financial, health or other circumstances, young adults are moving back home after college and older adults are moving in with their children later in life, bringing multigenerational households to the forefront once again.




A Compilation of the Week's Top Housing Headlines



The Wall Street Journal
Phoenix, Las Vegas housing markets return to average growth, 15 years later

In another sign the U.S. housing market is returning to normal, Las Vegas and Phoenix -- poster children of the bubble and bust -- are looking average. (Subscription may be required.)

Home-price growth accelerates to nearly three-year high in March

U.S. home price gains picked up speed, accelerating to the highest rate in nearly three years, reflecting sturdy demand and lean supply.

Pending-home sales decline again, deepening housing market funk

A gauge of home purchase contract signings slumped for a second month in April, another sign the housing market is still struggling for a balance between supply and demand.

The Wall Street Journal
Homeowners are again pocketing cash as they refinance properties

Americans refinancing their mortgages are taking cash out in the process at levels not seen since the financial crisis. (Subscription may be required.)

Why many Americans are worried about buying a home

Our economy has come a long way since the 2007-09 recession: Wages are going up, unemployment sits at 4.4% (the lowest level since May 2007)—and we're in the midst of the second-longest bull market ever.




The Wall Street Journal
Citing housing shortage, builders push for friendlier laws

The real-estate industry is having success in using the scarcity of affordable housing in the U.S. to persuade lawmakers to give builders more legal protection. (Subscription may be required.)

The Wall Street Journal
Happy 70th to true American suburbia

Today most American homes take four to six months to build, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This makes the following fact even more extraordinary: At one point in the 1940s, a house was completed every 16 minutes in Levittown, N.Y., the first mass-produced suburb in America. (Subscription may be required.)



This political fight is a big threat to fixing the mortgage market

The latest effort to fix the U.S. housing-finance system may hinge on solving a riddle that wrecked the last attempt: How far will Congress go to ensure that low-income and minority borrowers can get loans while protecting taxpayers against bailouts?



Housing Wire
The Trump Effect on Real Estate

He's known as a real estate mogul, but with proposals that could both boost or blast the housing market, Trump makes it far from clear what his presidency will do for housing, and even industry professionals don't agree on what the future may hold.




Construction Dive
Remodeling spending growth to continue in 2017

Homeowners who remodel this year are estimated to spend roughly $6,148 per project, compared to $5,800 in 2016, according to a National Association of Home Builders analysis of Census Bureau data, which considered 26,000 U.S. zip codes, the number and age of homes there and their owners' average income and education.



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

California state senators passed a package of housing legislation Thursday, a bid to spend more on low-income housing as well as make it easier for developers to build.




Fox Business
Housing chief steps up public profile in coming weeks

President Donald Trump's point man on housing, Ben Carson, takes on a higher profile this month in Washington — an opportunity to spell out his vision on federal housing policy, and to try to avoid some of the verbal gaffes that have stirred criticism in his first months on the job.



Stigma of criminal record fades as U.S. employers get desperate

Shea Rochester, who once spent a month in jail on an assault charge that was later dropped, is now wanted in a different way.