Top News Of The Week

– Refinancing Is Booming
– New Home Sales Drop in July
– CoreLogic: Price Growth Cooldown Is Likely Over
– Foreclosures Tick Up In Some Markets
– Hale Sees Little Impact on Housing if There is a Recession
– North Alabama Housing Market Remains Strong
– Amazon Lifts NoVa Cities to Top of America’s Hottest
– Colorado REALTOR® Commissions Song to Market Her Town
– Fall Housing Market in Rhode Island
– GSEs to Further Refine URLA
– Facebook Sued Again Over Discrimination
– Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO Likes Millennial Home Buyers
– Carson Praises Container Homes
– Get a Mortgage, Live Longer?
– Most Affordable Cities for the Middle Class
– Some Like it Hot


Refinancing Is Booming
America’s homeowners are rushing to refinance, as mortgage rates fall — but can lenders keep up?

Mortgage Bankers Association chief economist Mike Fratantoni.

But for homeowners, the chance to refinance and save hundreds or thousands of dollars looks mighty attractive.

And the Mortgage Bankers Association notes that Millennials are among those most likely to refinance as mortgage rates drop.

New Home Sales Drop in July
New home sales took an unexpectedly sharp drop in July.

Sales of new single-family homes were down 12-point-8 percent compared to June, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635-thousand units. But that June number was revised significantly upward, so the month-to-month decline may not be as big as it appears.

And year over year, new home sales were up 4-point-3 percent in July.

Days before the numbers came out, the Mortgage Bankers Association had forecast significantly higher sales in July, based on its monthly Builder Application Survey.

CoreLogic: Price Growth Cooldown Is Likely Over
The cooldown in home price growth is probably over, says CoreLogic.

Deputy chief economist Ralph McLaughlin says, in a company-produced video, that there is no imminent housing market correction on the horizon.

Home price growth has been slowing for 14 straight months, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller Home Price Index.

Foreclosures Tick Up In Some Markets
In many cities, home foreclosures are virtually a thing of the past. But in some markets, they’re actually rising again.

ATTOM Data Solutions reports that nationally, foreclosure filings in the first half of the year were down 82% from their peak in 2010.

But filings are up, in 36 of the 220 largest metro areas, including Buffalo, up 33% .. Orlando, up 32% .. and Jacksonville, up 18%.

Nationwide, a total of 177,000 properties started the foreclosure process in the first half of 2019. That’s down 8-percent from a year ago.

Hale Sees Little Impact on Housing if There is a Recession
As recession fears grow, what impact would one have on housing?

REALTOR®.com chief economist Danielle Hale says the impact could be light. Speaking in a company-produced video, Hale says.

Hale says it is unlikely that we would see widespread home price declines like we saw in the last recession.

North Alabama Housing Market Remains Strong
Northern Alabama has a strong housing market.

So says Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® President Cindi Peters Tanner.

Tanner spoke on WAFF-TV in Huntsville.

Amazon Lifts NoVa Cities to Top of America’s Hottest
Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia are now the nation’s two most competitive housing markets, according to Redfin.

Thank you, Amazon, which announced last year that the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC would be home to its second headquarters.

The multiple listing service Bright MLS reports that in June, the asking prices for single-family homes was DOUBLE what it was in June of last year.

Colorado REALTOR® Commissions Song to Market Her Town
It’s becoming quite common for a REALTOR® to make a video about a home they’re listing.

But one Colorado REALTOR® went a step further. Laura Levy (“LEE-vee”) commissioned a song and music video about the small town she works in, Lyons, Colorado.

REALTOR® Magazine reports that the song, and accompanying music video, “pay tribute to the town, while showing off all of its sights.”

Fall Housing Market in Rhode Island
Expect big things this fall in the nation’s smallest state.

Providence, Rhode Island area REALTOR® Kyle Seyboth tells WPRI-TV that he’s upbeat as summer draws to a close.

But Seyboth also admits that, as he puts it, “2020 is definitely a question mark.”

GSEs to Further Refine URLA
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making more changes to the Uniform Residential Loan Application.

Proposed questions about language preference and borrower counseling will now be moved to a separate, voluntary form — a change the Mortgage Bankers Association had pushed for, says spokesperson Falen Taylor:

Fannie and Freddie have been working on a new form that lenders would have to use starting in February, but that has now been pushed back indefinitely.

Facebook Sued Again Over Discrimination
Facebook is being sued over alleged housing discrimination.

But this time it’s not a government agency that’s suing — it’s a group of Facebook users, who claim they were illegally denied access to certain housing ads which were blocked by Facebook’s ad-targeting algorithm.

The federal government is also suing Facebook for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act.

Facebook has said in the past that it has taken steps to ensure that the ad policy does not discriminate.

Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO Likes Millennial Home Buyers
The people who make Scott’s Miracle-Gro are keeping a close eye on housing — and they like what they see.

Company CEO James Hagedorn spoke on CNBC.

Carson Praises Container Homes
Would you buy — and live in — a shipping container that’s been converted into a modern home?

A lot of people would — and the nation’s Housing Secretary says container homes could be
“a major tool” in providing affordable housing.

Dr, Ben Carson recently toured an Idaho factory where container homes are built:

Carson says HUD will work with local governments, to remove some zoning or land-use restrictions, to allow for container homes.

Get a Mortgage, Live Longer?
Will you live longer, if you have a mortgage?

A new study by LendingTree suggests that mortgage debt may actually be good for you.

Researchers reported that a higher mortgage debt, relative to income, is actually linked with a longer life expectancy.

They said, quote, “The trend reaffirms the idea that homeownership is ultimately a good thing .. despite the fact that a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions and burdens a person will take on.”

Most Affordable Cities for the Middle Class
If you’re part of America’s middle class, and you’re looking for an affordable place to buy a home, a new ranking by Redfin puts Detroit at the top of the list.

Rochester, New York, Dayton, Buffalo, or Pittsburgh would also be good choices, Redfin’;s study suggests.

They also say that in 68 of the country’s 88 most populous housing markets, families earning the area’s median household income can still afford a median-priced home.

Some Like it Hot
Check your thermostat.

Ideally, for maximum energy efficiency, your air conditioner should be cooling your home to 78 degrees, says Energy Star, the federal program run by the Energy Department and the EPA.

78 is where you should keep it when you’re home and awake. Bump it up to 82 overnight, while you’re asleep, Energy Star says — and up to 85 when everyone leaves the house in the morning.

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