Friday, October 17, 2014

Where Can Renters Afford to Own? Interactive Map

Source: Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies found that in looking at renters in the age group of 25-34, most would find the monthly costs of homeownership affordable in many metros across the country. Indeed, in 42 of the 85 metros studied, more than half of renters can afford the monthly costs of homeownership. So where are these buyers? Low inventory in many areas, combined with unemployment, income stagnation, and student loan debt have hampered sales.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

FHA Premium Issue Sure to Challenge New HUD Chief

Source: National Mortgage News

Industry calls to lower Federal Housing Administration premiums will be a key issue that Julian Castro, the new head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will have to address when he takes the reins. Banking and housing groups have stressed that lowering FHA premiums is crucial to improving loan affordability. Castro’s predecessor, Shaun Donovan, resisted calls to lower premiums.

Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Freak Out About Millennials in a Statistically Responsible Manner

Source: The Atlantic
Is the meme about Millennials living in their parents' basements overblown? The Atlantic argues that it’s money and not basements that should worry the housing market because young people simply aren’t making enough money. There's just one economy, and it's slashed median incomes to historic lows. “More years of school + more student debt + lower starting salaries + a nervous housing market + stricter rules for new home-buyers = no new home buyers.”
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Tiny Houses Big With U.S. Owners Seeking Economic Freedom

Source: Bloomberg
Micro buildings and tiny homes are growing in popularity for many Americans who want to minimize expenses while achieving the dream of homeownership. Dramatic downsizing appears to be gaining interest among Americans based on increased sales of plans and ready-made homes and growing audiences for websites related to the niche. These tiny houses are typically 500 or fewer square feet.
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Consumers Increasingly Expect Higher Rents and Lower Home Prices

Source: Mortgage News Daily
According to Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey, there is slowly increasing confidence in the housing market and in the economy in general; however, the greatest change was in consumer expectations about interest rates. The number of respondents who think this is a good time to buy a house increased 2 percentage points from May to 70 percent, but those who think it is a good time to sell reversed a four-month climb to drop from 43 percent to 40 percent. Fifty-four percent of respondents expect rental prices to rise over the next 12 months compared to 51 percent in May.
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Friday, September 5, 2014

Investment plan to spur first-time home buyers

Source: HousingWire
The state of Virginia has enacted a new law that will allow first-time home buyers to invest up to $50,000 in financial institutions and declare them first-time home buyer savings plan. Proponents hope the policy will stimulate the housing market by allowing potential homeowners to put their tax-free earnings toward a down payment or closing costs. The law was championed by the Virginia Association of REALTORS®. 
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