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Housing Headlines Archives for 2018-01

A compilation of the week's top housing news.



Ignore the bad housing starts number. Builder optimism and buyer demand are high

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.

National Mortgage News

8 signs renters might start buying more homes

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.

National Mortgage News

Multifamily housing production finds stable ground in 2018

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.)

Business Insider

The housing market still can't keep up with millennial demand even after its best year in a decade

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.


Amazon's HQ2 would have the biggest impact on real estate in these U.S. cities

Amazon has narrowed the contenders for its new headquarters down to 20 cities — but the property markets in some cities could do with a boost more than others.



The Dallas Morning News

D-FW needs 20,000 more construction workers, Dallas Builders Association says

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.

Washington Examiner

Immigrants held record share of US construction jobs in 2016

The National Association of Homebuilders said Monday that 24.4 percent of U.S. construction workers were immigrants in 2016, the highest share on record.


MBA: Mortgage apps continue increasing

Mortgage applications increased 4.1% from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 12, 2017.

The Washington Post

Devastated by wildfire, a California city weighs rebuilding amid a housing crunch

A Christmas tree stands in what was once Jeff Okrepkie's foyer in Coffey Park, a few red and gold ornaments hanging from its damp branches.







As Fannie and Freddie reform talk heats up, their regulator speaks up

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.

American Banker

FHFA breaks silence on housing finance reform

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.)

National Mortgage News

Treasury, FHFA see eye to eye on housing finance reform, top official says

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 New York Times

Tax overhaul is a blow to affordable housing efforts

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.


Fannie Mae selects advisory panel for sustainable housing challenge

Fannie Mae announced today its formation of an expert advisory panel for its Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge.



The Wall Street Journal

Houston's apartment market makes a comeback

The Houston rental apartment market is rebounding after years of pain caused by overbuilding and the weak energy sector. (Subscription may be required.)

The Wall Street Journal

That New York condo just got a lot more expensive

Apartment shoppers in Manhattan are taking a pause after a federal tax overhaul removed some key incentives for homeownership, brokers say. (Subscription may be required.)




4 things consumers should think about before financing a home improvement

With Goldman Sachs' newest loan product, the money-center bank is making a smart bet.



The Atlantic

The great urban housing solution that has no good name

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 total value of all homes in the U.S. increased in 2017 to a total $31.8 trillion, according to the latest report from Zillow.



Value of U.S. housing market climbs to record $31.8 trillion

The total value of all homes in the U.S. increased in 2017 to a total $31.8 trillion, according to the latest report from Zillow.


Home prices are set to soar in 2018

The temperature may be frigid across much of the nation, yet home prices are sizzling and sellers are in the hot seat.

Business Insider

Here are the most valuable housing markets in the US

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.


Here are four housing predictions for 2018

2017 is now officially over and 2018 has begun. As the year comes into full swing, many experts continue to give their predictions for the housing market during the new year.

The Wall Street Journal

Accelerating housing market boosts homebuilder stocks

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.)


Cost of living is surging in these major cities and what it could mean for 2018

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.





Mortgage rates drop in opening week of 2018

Mortgage rates declined in the first week of 2018, even as most analysts believe they'll move higher in coming months.


Mortgage applications end 2017 lower as rates rose

Economic policy can be a double-edged sword, and that was abundantly clear with respect to mortgage rates at the end of the year.

The Wall Street Journal

U.S. apartment market softens as supply increases

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 Wall Street Journal

You got priced out of ... Philadelphia? The spread of hot housing markets

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.)

The Washington Post

America's forgotten towns: Can they be saved or should people just leave?

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.

USA Today

Employers added disappointing 148K jobs in Dec

The labor market slowed in December as U.S. employers added 148,000 jobs in a sign that worker shortages may crimp hiring in 2018.

USA Today

Will the economy bust out in 2018?

The U.S. economy in 2018 may finally unload some of the baggage that has slowed it down since the Great Recession ended in 2009.






The Washington Post

New tax law expected to slow rise of home values, creating winners and losers

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.

National Mortgage News

For housing market, tax reform is a wrench in the works

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.)

The Washington Post

Housing market could shift under new tax law

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.


Tax changes could hurt affordability at high end of the housing market

Kari Pinto and her husband recently retired, and now they hope to trade Iowa — and its harsh winters — for a state with a milder climate.






American Banker

Reg relief, GSEs to dominate banking policy on Capitol Hill in '18

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, Freddie mull broader credit scores for mortgage approvals

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.


Ellie Mae: Millennial homebuyer credit scores decreasing

The latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker report shows a slight decline in the average credit scores of closed loans to Millennials from the previous year.



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