- Critics of GOP Tax Plan Warn It’ll Hurt Millions
- Buyer, Seller Sentiment Dip in October
- NAR Sends Congress Letter of Support For Flood Reform Act
- Millions Plan to Buy Smart Home Devices Soon
- More Markets ‘Overvalued’ As Prices Continue to Soar
- Home Prices Up, But Affordability Improves
- Incentives Can Help Solve NIMBY Attitude
- Share of Large New Homes Declines
- Luxury Housing Remains a Seller’s Market
- MBA Warns of ‘Negative Impact’ of Mortgage Interest Deduction Changes
- Canadian Lumber Producers Face U.S. Tariff
- Homeowners Go For Accessibility, But Not ‘Aging in Place’
- Half A Million Homeowners Could Get Out From ‘Underwater’ Mortgages in 2018
- Fannie Mae Rolls Out Model Program to Help Mobile Home Buyers
- Single Ladies Like It, Put A Ring On It
Critics of GOP Tax Plan Warn It’ll Hurt Millions
The intense lobbying continues in Washington, as Republican tax reform efforts move forward.
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®is among those critical of the GOP plan to reduce the mortgage interest deduction, cap the deduction for local property taxes, and eliminate the deduction for state and local income taxes.
Democratic lawmakers from districts where housing is especially expensive are also critical of the Republican plan. Washington Senator Maria Cantwell told CNBC the tax reform effort is making housing unaffordable for many.
Republican leaders say the legislation will put hundreds or thousands of dollars back in the pockets of American taxpayers, and will boost the economy by clearing the way for more job creation.
Buyer, Seller Sentiment Dip in October
Homebuyers and sellers alike were a little less optimistic in October, according to the latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index from Fannie Mae.
The index had reached an all-time high in September. But in October, the share of homeowners who said they think now is a good time to sell dipped by 8%. The share who think now is a good time to buy a home fell 6% from September.
Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan calls it a modest decrease, and attributes it to seasonality.
NAR Sends Congress Letter of Support For Flood Reform Act
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is urging Congress to pass a wide-ranging flood reform act, which would include a five-year renewal of the National Flood Insurance program, or NFIP.
That program was due to expire in September, but got a short-term extension from the President through December 8th.
NAR Senior Legislative Policy Representative Austin Perez says another short-term extension is likely for the NFIP, to give Congress more time to act on a longer-term revamping of the program.
The “21st Century Flood Insurance Reform Act” would keep the insurance going for the long-term and make changes to increase program efficiency.
Millions Plan to Buy Smart Home Devices Soon
New research finds that four out of ten American households with broadband service plan to buy a “smart home” product in the next 12 months.
Dallas-based market research firm Parks Associates says its study found that the most popular smart-home devices include smoke and CO detectors, thermostats, and lightbulbs.
The firm says 60-percent of broadband households with insurance are interested in a smart home product that can detect, notify, or prevent damage or loss from water, fire or theft.
And Parks Associates forecasts that Americans will buy nearly 55-million smart home devices in 2020.
More Markets ‘Overvalued’ As Prices Continue to Soar
Home prices across America rose 7% in September, compared to a year ago, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index report.
Molly Boesel is principal economist at CoreLogic.
But the downside is that nearly half of the nation’s top 50 housing markets are now considered “overvalued” by CoreLogic.
The company’s president and CEO, Frank Martell, says, “this will become more of an issue if prices continue to rise next year as we anticipate.”
Home Prices Up, But Affordability Improves
Yes, home prices continue to rise — but the latest report from Black Knight says affordability has actually improved since July.
The company’s Mortgage Monitor report for September reveals that the typical homeowner needed 21-point-4 percent of their income to buy a home — that’s down from the 21-point-7 percent in July, which was a post-recession peak.
And to put it in perspective — between 1995 and 1999, it took 24-point2 percent of the median American income to purchase a home.
Incentives Can Help Solve NIMBY Attitude
Could Amazon gift cards be the key to getting more new housing built?
The global market and opinion research company Ipsos recently surveyed some 2-thousand people and asked them about their support for a hypothetical building development near their homes.
Just 43% said they would be okay with it. But when offered a 500-dollar Amazon gift card, support rose to 46-percent, a modest bump — but when a thousand-dollar Amazon gift card was dangled in front of them, support for that new housing went up by 15%. And support went even higher if the new development would also include a park, or if there would be cuts to existing property taxes.
The Ipsos conclusion: given the right incentive, NIMBY, Not In My Backyard, becomes, “Yes we need to build more.”
Share of Large New Homes Declines
Builders are building fewer large homes.
Census Bureau statistics analyzed by the National Association of Home Builders show that the share of homes of 5-thousand or more square feet started in 2016 was 3.1%, down from 3.9% in 2015.
The total number of homes of 5,000 or more square-feet started last year was 24,000, down from 28,000 the year before — that was the highest number since 2007.
The 2016 total was only about half the number of large homes built in 2006.
Luxury Housing Remains a Seller’s Market
Demand remains strong for luxury homes, says one expert.
Roh Habibi, the founder and principal of the international luxury real estate adviser The Habibi Group told Fox Business it’s still a seller’s market right now, fueled by an ongoing inventory shortage in many markets.
Habibi says, though, that a million-dollar home is no longer necessarily a “luxury” home in very hot markets, and the soaring home prices are pushing many first-time buyers completely out of the market.
MBA Warns of ‘Negative Impact’ of Mortgage Interest Deduction Changes
The Mortgage Bankers Association is worried about the possibility that Congress could cut in half the mortgage interest tax deduction.
That’s one of the provisions of the Republican tax reform bill.
In a letter to the leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee, MBA executives say they have “strong concerns about how certain provisions of the bill will impact housing and real estate markets around the country.”
The MBA’s letter says the proposed changes to the mortgage interest and property tax deductions would, quote, “erode homeownership incentives for too many Americans.”
Canadian Lumber Producers Face U.S. Tariff
The U.S. Commerce Department, in a much-anticipated final determination, is imposing a nearly-21-percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber — and the head of the National Association of Home Builders says the move “could not have come at a worse time.”
NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald says that at a time when builders and homeowners are dealing with the impact of hurricanes and wildfires, imposing a tariff like this, quote, “only adds to the burden by harming housing affordability and artificially boosting the price of lumber.”
About one-third of the lumber used in 2016 was imported, and about 95 percent of those imports come from Canada.
Homeowners Go For Accessibility, But Not ‘Aging in Place’
Baby Boomers are increasingly taking on home improvement projects that will let them age in place comfortably.
Except, they apparently hate the phrase “aging in place.”
According to the 2017 Aging in Place Report from HomeAdvisor, a survey of Boomer homeowners finds that instead of any phrase that mentions “aging” they prefer to call them “ease-of-living improvements.”
Among the most popular aging in place.. er, ease of living improvements, the report says, are new doorknobs, smart thermostats and security systems, and comfort-height toilets.
Half A Million Homeowners Could Get Out From ‘Underwater’ Mortgages in 2018
We’re still a few weeks away from celebrating the new year — but a new forecast from CoreLogic contains some news that half a million Americans are going to want to celebrate.
CoreLogic’s chief economist Frank Nothaft spoke in a company-produced video.
Of course, Nothaft says. price appreciation is not uniform, but varies across markets and neighborhoods.
Nationally, about 5.4% of U.S. homeowners were “underwater” at mid-year. But that figure ranged from zero, to 20% across communities.
Pooling Resources Could Rebuild California Homes Faster
The construction industry is brainstorming ways to get homes in fire-ravaged Northern California rebuilt more quickly — and they may turn to production-scale techniques to get it done.
CNBC reports a proposal now being floated would pull together resources to rebuild entire communities or streets lost in the fires.
Contractors say the mass-building approach could take on real significance, in the face of overwhelming demand for construction services, coupled with shortages in skilled labor and materials.
Backers of the idea say strength in numbers could increase overall efficiencies in labor, equipment and materials.
Fannie Mae Rolls Out Model Program to Help Mobile Home Buyers
Fannie Mae is working to make it easier to get a conventional, fixed-rate mortgage to buy a manufactured home. They’ve rolled out a model program in New Hampshire.
Right now, in most of the U.S., buyers of mobile homes can’t get those loans, unless they buy land along with the mobile home.
But now, in that model program, Fannie Mae loans will be available to buyers in approved “resident-owned communities,” or ROCs, in New Hampshire. An ROC is similar to a condo structure. Under New Hampshire law, mobile homes in an ROCs can be titled as real property.
Single Ladies Like It, Put A Ring On It
Home sales to single women are on the rise again.
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reveals that single females comprised 18% of sales this year.
That matches the highest share since 2011.
Only married couples accounted for a larger share of home purchases this year.
On the other hand, for the second straight year, the overall share of single male buyers was just 7%.