Ignore the bad housing starts number. Some will blame the weather. Others will claim the figures are too volatile month to month. Bottom line, December's steep drop in single-family housing starts is not indicative of what is really going on at construction sites across the nation.
The homeownership rate has recovered somewhat from the post-crisis low of 62.9%, but still remains well below the peak of 69.1%. And as consumers are challenged by rising home prices and low inventory, some would-be buyers are continuing to rent longer than anticipated due to issues of affordability and demand.
Though multifamily housing starts are projected to slightly moderate this year and in 2019, production levels are expected to remain in a steady range considered normal, with low supply actually contributing to this stabilization, according to the National Association of Home Builders. (Subscription may be required.)
By some measures, the housing market just had its best year in a decade. On Thursday, the Census Bureau released its final report on new residential construction, completions, and building permits in 2017. All three rose to the highest levels since 2007.
Last year Dallas-Fort Worth homebuilders started almost 34,000 homes. The construction total would have been even greater if builders could have rounded up more workers. The labor shortage that's hammered the U.S. housing industry continues to be one of the biggest worries for builders.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be reorganized as private, utility-like entities, and the government should provide an explicit guarantee for mortgages in order to preserve the popular 30-year fixed-rate loan, the regulator of the two government-sponsored mortgage enterprises said this week.
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt finally detailed his views on housing finance reform, saying that the agency believes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be reincorporated as private entities and the government must provide an explicit guarantee for catastrophic losses in the secondary mortgage market. (Subscription may be required.)
The Treasury Department mostly agrees with a housing finance reform plan put forward by Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt this week, according to Craig Phillips, a senior counselor to Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (Subscription may be required.)
The last time that Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, in 1986, it created a tax credit meant to encourage the private sector to invest in affordable housing. It has grown into a $9 billion-a-year social program that has funded the construction of some three million apartments for low-income residents.
When Kol Peterson moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2010, affordable housing was a priority, as it was for many newcomers in this city's booming real-estate market. He looked at two frequently discussed options for high-cost cities—tiny houses on wheels and communal living—but decided on another option: accessory dwelling units, or ADUs—also known as "granny flats," or basement or garage apartments.
The value of the nation's housing stock grew by 6.5 percent to $31.8 trillion this year — with Los Angeles and New York City far outpacing the rest of the country's top-valued metro markets and Miami landing at No. 4.
A rebound in the market for new homes is propelling shares of the companies that build them, a sign of how the improving economy has supported the stock market's recent gains. (Subscription may be required.)
Nearly a decade after the 2008 recession and housing crash, much of the U.S. has fully recovered. As a result, most of the country is experiencing a rise in the cost of living, especially as home prices return to and surpass pre-crash levels. With the cost of living set to rise higher in 2018, one thing Americans can do to soften the blow is adopt some proven ways to save money before the end of the year. Otherwise, it will be difficult to escape this rising prices tide.
The multifamily housing market turned in a lackluster performance in 2017 as demand failed to keep pace with a deluge of new apartment supply, according to a new report to be released Wednesday. (Subscription may be required.)
The gentrification of the Fishtown neighborhood here looks like something city planners dream of, with developers renovating old row houses as young professionals, along with new restaurants and businesses, pile in. (Subscription may be required.)
One of the great debates in American politics and economics in 2018 is likely to be how to help the country's forgotten towns, the former coal-mining and manufacturing hubs with quaint Main Streets that haven't changed much since the 1950s and '60s. Many of these places turned out heavily to vote for Donald Trump. He talks often about wanting to help them, but it's unclear how he can.
The steady increase in housing prices in many of the nation's priciest markets, including the Washington region, is expected to slow in coming years, analysts say, as the Republican tax law begins to reshape a major part of the U.S. economy.
The recently enacted tax reform bill is likely to reshape sections of the housing industry, including encouraging more consumers to rent instead of buy and tamp down the rapid rise in home prices. (Subscription may be required.)
Homeowners have been on a roll. Owning a home has been a good investment over the half dozen years since housing prices hit bottom after the crash. Prices over this period are up more than 30 percent nationwide — and much more in some places. Home prices in the District have risen by more than 50 percent.
Congress is likely to pass significant changes to the Dodd-Frank Act early next year and then attempt to overhaul roughly a third of the U.S. economy by restructuring the housing finance system. (Subscription may be required.)
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have for years considered switching to alternative methods of assessing borrowers' credit scores and on Wednesday the two mortgage finance giants took a step closer to that goal.
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