Top News Of The Week

– Case-Shiller Shows Home Price Growth Still Slowing
– Strong August New Home Sales Numbers
– GSEs Will Keep Profits in Initial Privatization Move
– Millennials Fueling One Builder’s Optimism
– Chicago Market In Transition
– Home Equity At All-Time High
– Median-Priced Homes Unaffordable in Three Out of Four Markets
– Appraisals No Longer Required on Some Home Sales
– Tens of Thousands of Millennials Are Leaving U.S. Cities
– House Panel Clears Measure to Improve Mortgage Access
– Homebuilding at Half of 2005 Levels
– Would You Move Someplace Where You’d Be in the Political Minority?
– Why Some People Want To Remain Renters
– How Homeowners, HOAs Clash the Most
– NAR: Keller Williams is Largest Brand
– Suburbs See a Rise of ‘Hipsturbia’


Case-Shiller Shows Home Price Growth Still Slowing
Home prices are still rising, but that growth continues to slow, according to the ;latest S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller Home Price Index.

The index rose at an annual rate of 3.2% in July.

What do the numbers suggest about the housing market? Craig Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said on Yahoo Finance.

Home prices are still cooling in America’s largest cities. And in Seattle, home prices were down 0.6% on an annual basis.

Strong August New Home Sales Numbers
New home sales in August were up 7.1% from July, as low mortgage rates continue to bring out the buyers.

The annualized pace of 713,000 homes sold comes after an upwardly-revised July number. And the August estimate is 18% higher than the same month of 2018.

Total new home sales for the first eight months of 2019 were 6.4% higher than the same total in 2018.

GSEs Will Keep Profits in Initial Privatization Move
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are about to take a major first step toward privatization.

The government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, will be allowed to keep their earnings, up to 45-billion dollars in combined capital, after a years-long arrangement by which the companies paid nearly all of their profits into the U.S. Treasury.

Suspending the so-called “profit sweep” would be a first step in setting the companies free from federal control, where they’ve been for 11 years.

Millennials Fueling One Builder’s Optimism
A top homebuilding executive says Americans are feeling very confident in the real estate market right now.

And, says Taylor Morrison Home Corporation CEO Sheryl Palmer, there’s another reason for optimism: the Millennials.

Palmer said on CNBC that about one third of those buying a Taylor Morrison home are Millennials.

Chicago Market In Transition
Chicago is a city in transition.

Chicago Association of REALTORS® president Tommy Choi tell;s ABC-7 TV that the Windy City is shifting from a seller’s market toward a buyer’s market.

And Choi says soaring property taxes in greater Chicago are having a big impact on home affordability.

Home Equity At All-Time High
Homeowners with a mortgage gained almost 5-percent in home equity in the second quarter, compared to a year ago, according to the latest analysis from CoreLogic.

Those homeowners realized an equity gain of nearly 428-billion dollars. The average homeowner gained about 49-hundred dollars.

Meanwhile, CoreLogic reports that the number of borrowers who are “underwater” has hit a nine-year low. The number of those who owe more than their home is worth has dropped to just two million nationwide, down from 2-point-2 million a year ago.

Median-Priced Homes Unaffordable in Three Out of Four Markets
A new report concludes that median-priced homes are unaffordable to the average wage earner, in three out of four U.S. housing markets.

That. according to a new study by ATTOM Data Solutions.

The company studied data from 498 U.S. counties, comparing home prices with average incomes. Three of the five least-affordable counties are in California.

Counties where the average wage-earner can still afford a median-priced home include Harris County, Texas; Wayne County, Michigan; and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

Appraisals No Longer Required on Some Home Sales
Your next home purchase may not require an appraisal.

Federal regulators have raised the threshold at which an appraisal s required. That new threshold is 400-thousand dollars. Certain home sales below that figure would no longer require an appraisal.

The old threshold was 250-thousand.

The appraisal threshold was last changed in 1994.

Tens of Thousands of Millennials Are Leaving U.S. Cities
Millennial by the tens of thousands are moving away from large U.S. cities. 2018 was the fourth straight year of such out-migration.

The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s a notable reversal of the pattern seen a few years ago, when Millennials were flocking INTO the cities.

Reporter Janet Adamy said, in a Journal-produced podcast.

Adamy says the outflow also includes the youngest of Generation X.

House Panel Clears Measure to Improve Mortgage Access
Congress is moving closer to passing a bill that could make it a lot easier for millions of Americans to get a mortgage.

The House Financial Services Committee has approved the bill that would let the FHA start using alternative credit data when evaluating a homebuyer’s application.

That could be a huge boost to those with little or no established credit history, especially minorities, immigrants, and people with modest incomes.

The bill has the strong backing of THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

NAR President John Smaby says it will help expand opportunities to those who have long been underserved by traditional credit models.

Homebuilding at Half of 2005 Levels
Homebuilding activity in many cities has slowed to a fraction of what it was a few years ago.

According to a new study by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, in the nation’s top ten housing markets. building is now just half what it was in 2005.

The study found, for example, that in Chicago, new home construction today is just 18% of what it was fourteen years ago. In Las Vegas, homebuilding activity is just 29% of what it was back then.

Builders note that they are held back by shortages of land, labor, and lending, as well as rising costs of materials.

Would You Move Someplace Where You’d Be in the Political Minority?
If you lean Republican, would you think twice before moving to an area dominated by Democrats? Or vice versa?

A new survey by Redfin finds that 38% of home buyers and sellers say they’d be hesitant about making such a move.

Still, that’s down from 42% who said that in 2016.

Only 22-percent said they would hesitate to move someplace where they would be in the racial, ethnic, or religious minority.

Why Some People Want To Remain Renters
Despite record low mortgage rates and moderating home price growth, many people are still opting to rent instead of buy.

Griffin Capital president Randy Anderson said on Fox Business that an underlying unease may be one reason.

Anderson says residential real estate remains a very good investment vehicle.

How Homeowners, HOAs Clash the Most
Have you ever had a fight with your homeowners association?

More Americans are buying homes in neighborhoods governed by an HOA, and according to Porch.com, many of those homeowners bristle at what they see as “nit-picky” bylaws.

Rule-breakers can be fined by their HOA.

Porch.com surveyed 700 homeowners and found that the number-one violation that’ll get you fined is improper landscaping.

Putting trash out too early is another common infraction — and so is keeping your holiday décorations up too long.

NAR: Keller Williams is Largest Brand
Keller Williams is the nation’s largest brand for real estate brokerages.

According to a new report from THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Keller Williams has nearly 154-thousand agents. Coldwell Banker has 85-thousand, and RE/MAX has 62-thousand.

But NAR says overall, the number of brokerages affiliated with any franchise brand is down to just 11%, from 13% two years ago.

Suburbs See a Rise of ‘Hipsturbia’
You’ve heard of suburbs, exurbs — but did you know about “Hipsturbia?”

According to a newly released report by the Urban Land Institute and PwC, it’s one of ten emerging trends in real estate.

They say the term “hipsturbia” refers to suburbs that are creating their own version of downtown life, filled with mixed-use, walkabout development.

As examples, the study cites Tempe, Arizona, near Arizona State University, and communities between San Francisco and San Jose that are becoming hipsturbia centers.

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