Top News Of The Week

– Mnuchin, Carson, Calabria Defend GSE Reform Plan
– NAHB Optimistic About Housing Issues Being Addressed
– Big Lenders Seek End to ATR Requirement
– Fannie Mae: Home Buying Outlook Hits New High
– Purchases, Refis Strong as Rates Fall
– Game-Day Premium Rents
– Affordability is a ‘Government-Inflicted Problem’: Toomey
– Eight States Showing Signs of Stress
– Washington-Area Officials Urge Commitment to Affordable Housing
– Retirees Choose City Over Beach
– Homeownership Makes You Happy
– More Women in Construction Jobs
– Are Rodents Causing Your Electrical Problems?
– The Colors Millennials Want in Their Kitchens


Mnuchin, Carson, Calabria Defend GSE Reform Plan
The Trump administration is pressing Congress to help reform the nation’s housing finance system.

Earlier this month the White House announced a plan to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and release the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, from conservatorship. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified before the Senate Banking Committee.

And Housing Secretary Dr. Ben Carson emphasized…

And Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the GSEs, told the committee that the time to act is now.

The administration says if Congress fails to act, there are things the executive branch can do on its own.

NAHB Optimistic About Housing Issues Being Addressed
The National Association of Home Builders is among the industry groups watching the GSE reform effort carefully.

And NAHB Chief Lobbyist Jim Tobin has a renewed sense of optimism, ahead of the 2020 elections.

Tobin spoke in a podcast produced by the NAHB.

Big Lenders Seek End to ATR Requirement
Some of the largest mortgage lenders in America are calling on the government to take steps that could make it easier for some Americans to get a mortgage.

The coalition of lenders includes Bank of America, Quicken Loans, Wells Fargo, and Caliber Home Loans.

They want the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to do away with the debt-to-income ratio requirement that is now part of the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule.

Currently, lenders must verify that a borrower’s monthly debt-to-income ratio does not exceed 43%. But that requirement doesn’t apply to government-guaranteed loans, or those bought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae: Home Buying Outlook Hits New High
America’s enthusiasm about the housing market just keeps growing.

For the second month in a row, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index reached a new high in August.

The index was up one tenth of a point, to 93.8.

That slight uptick was driven by a larger share of Americans who think mortgage rates will go even lower.

Purchases, Refis Strong as Rates Fall
Mortgage rates have fallen so low that more than half of all homeowners with a 30-year mortgage are paying at least three-quarters of a percent higher interest than the current rate.

Black Knight Financial Services says that’s the largest share in six years.

And as of the first week of this month, the Mortgage Bankers Association says lenders were busy with mortgage applications.

Spokesman Rob Van Raaphorst spoke.

Black Knight says “tappable equity” has reached an all-time high of 6-point-3 trillion dollars.

Game-Day Premium Rents
That song, and others like it, could mean money in the bank for you, if you live near a college football stadium.

Forbes.com analyzed home rental figures and found that homeowners in college towns can collect good money on game day weekends.

Compared to a normal weekend’s rent, homeowners in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the Wolverines, can get up to 181-percent more in rent.

For homeowners In South Bend, Indiana and Blacksburg, Virginia, one night’s rent on game-day weekend was enough to cover that month’s mortgage payment.

Affordability is a ‘Government-Inflicted Problem’: Toomey
Four out of five Americans now say we are in a housing affordability crisis, according to a new survey for the National Association of Home Builders.

And at least 75% say it’s a problem at the state and local level.

At that Senate Banking Committee hearing on GSE reform, Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey said the affordability crisis is, quote, “a government-inflicted problem”.

According to the NAHB, housing affordability is near a 10-year low.

Eight States Showing Signs of Stress
The nation’s overall mortgage delinquency rate has fallen to just 4%, the lowest rate in 20 years.

But CoreLogic reports that in eight states, there were actually year-over-year increases in the delinquency rates in June.

Vermont had the biggest jump, up 7-tenths of one percent from a year ago, followed by New Hampshire, Nebraska, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Connecticut.

Washington-Area Officials Urge Commitment to Affordable Housing
Local elected officials in the Washington, DC area are moving toward increasing the supply of affordable housing over the next ten years.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments says the national capital region needs to add some 320-thousand housing units by 2030.

And at least three quarters of those needs to be priced for low- and middle-income households. And at least that many, those officials say, should be close to employment centers or public transit.

Retirees Choose City Over Beach
Baby Boomers just don’t want to leave the big city anymore.

According to consultant Daniel Levine with the Avant-Guide Institute, more retiring Boomers prefer the big city rather than the beach.

Levine tells REALTOR®.com that newly-minted retirees are drawn to urban areas for walkability, restaurants, culture, and public transportation.

And their impact on housing could be huge — about 10-thousand Baby Boomers A DAY reach age 65.

Homeownership Makes You Happy
Buying a home can make you happy.

That may seem self-evident, but now a new survey puts actual numbers on it.

According to Bank of America’s latest Homebuyer Insights Report, 93% of Americans say they are happier after buying a home, and 83-percent say they would never go back to renting.

Most homeowners surveyed also said owning their home has improved their lifestyle, and even the variety of hobbies.

More Women in Construction Jobs
There are now more women employed in the construction industry than at any time since before the last recession.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2018, 1-point-1 million women had construction industry jobs, up 13% from the year before. Women make up just under 10% of the construction workforce.

But according to the government, women are less likely to be blue-collar workers than white-collar. Women in construction are mostly found in such occupations as office and administrative support, management, business and financial operations.

Are Rodents Causing Your Electrical Problems?
At your house, do lights sometimes flicker for no apparent reason?

Or do your appliances not have as much power anymore, or even fail to turn on when they’re plugged in?

Experts quoted by RIS Media say, that could be a sign that you have a problem, not with the power company, but with rodents, which are known to chew through wires.

That can also create a fire hazard.

The experts say knowing the early signs of pest damage can save you big money on repairs later.

The Colors Millennials Want in Their Kitchens
When Baby Boomers were setting up their first homes in the ’70s, popular kitchen colors included earth tones: yellow, avocado, burnt orange.

These days, a large share of Millennials prefer .. white.

According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, Millennials also like dark or medium brown, black, and gray.

And they overwhelmingly want stainless steel appliances.

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