Top News Of The Week

- Tax Reform’s Impact Still Taking Shape
- The Top State People Are Moving To
- Winter Bomb Cyclone Threatens Homes Not Ready for Snow
- Sacramento’s Construction Boom Hampered by Labor Shortage
- Average U.S. Home Price Hits New Peak
- FHFA Wants To See Impact of FICO Alternatives
- Manhattan is Least Affordable Market — Until You Consider Vancouver
- High-Tax States Aren’t Taking Federal Tax Law Lying Down
- Home Price Growth Shows No Sign of Abating
- Surge in Single Family Homes Leads November Construction Spending Increase
- What Surprised Builders the Most in 2017
- New Hampshire Faces Housing Shortage
- Millennial Home Buyer FICO Scores Falling
- Hawaii and Colorado Lead Luxury Price Rises in 2018
- Some Banks Still Reluctant to Re-Join FHA


Tax Reform’s Impact Still Taking Shape
There have been many predictions of what effect federal tax reform will have on real estate — THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is among the many groups warning that home values in many markets will take a hit as a result of the new limits on deductibility of mortgage interest and state and local taxes.

Digital Risk co-founder and managing director Jeff Taylor tells Fox Business it’s still too early to gauge whether those predictions will prove true. But he says it seems certain there will be some serious impact.

Taylor points out that what’s interesting to note is that home prices nationally are still expected to rise by around 6-percent year over year in 2018.

The Top State People Are Moving To
New York and California may have some of the nation’s hottest housing markets — but the state that attracted new residents at the fastest pace in 2017 was .. Idaho.

A report by Atlas Van Lines reveals that Idaho had the nation’s largest percentage of inbound moves in 2017 — 65 percent of moves involving Idaho were people moving IN, as opposed to moving OUT.

Washington and Nevada are numbers two and three for new arrivals, Atlas says — Illinois, West Virginia, and Nebraska are the states with the highest proportion of people leaving.

Winter Bomb Cyclone Threatens Homes Not Ready for Snow
It wasn’t a hurricane, but the “bomb cyclone” winter storm of a week and a half ago may have been a wakeup call for many Southern homeowners.

The storm brought rare wintry weather to Georgia,. South Carolina and Florida.

REALTOR®.com reports that for some Southern homeowners, the storm was one of their first experiences with such weather and its effect on homes not necessarily designed or built to deal with it.

Some of those homeowners faced issues that are more commonly found in the north, including ;leaky roofs, frozen pipes, and even fires caused by attempts to stay warm.

Not to mention that potential home buyers are a lot more reluctant to go look at a house if it’s snowing.

Sacramento’s Construction Boom Hampered by Labor Shortage
Natural disasters in 2017 are slowing down Sacramento’s construction boom.

Contractors say their resources are stretched thin. And developer Michael Paris tells Sacramento’s CBS 13 TV that the result is delays in completing his projects….

Sacramento currently has only about a six-week supply of homes for sale.

Average U.S. Home Price Hits New Peak

The average U.S. home price hit a new all-time high in October, according to the newest figures from Black Knight Financial Services.

Its Home Price Index shows that the national average price is now about 283-thousand dollars, a nearly 6-point-4 percent increase from the start of 2017.

The October surge followed six straight months of slowing growth, Black Knight says.

For the fourth month in a row, New York home prices appreciated the fastest in the nation in October. Prices in the Empire State rose nearly one full percent from September.

FHFA Wants To See Impact of FICO Alternatives
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have taken a major step toward finding new, alternative ways of deciding whose credit is good enough to get a mortgage.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has put out a request for input from any “interested parties that could be impacted” if the GSEs changed how they assess creditworthiness.

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is among several groups that have pushed the FHFA for alternatives to the traditional FICO credit score.

However, it could still be years before Fannie and Freddie actually make such changes.

Manhattan is Least Affordable Market — Until You Consider Vancouver
Manhattan is America’s least affordable housing market, as measured by one new survey — but it is not the least-affordable market in North America.

That distinction goes to Vancouver, Canada, according to the study by real estate market research firm Point2Homes.

Their study looked at the home price-to-income ratio in 50 cities. The U.S. cities included on the list are the “usual suspects” — New York, San Francisco, L-A, Boston, Seattle, and San Diego. All. however, are more affordable right now than Vancouver.

High-Tax States Aren’t Taking Federal Tax Law Lying Down
Democratic governors and state legislatures in high-cost, high-tax states are already trying to find ways to soften the impact on homeowners of the new Republican tax overhaul.

The New York Times reports that leaders in states like New York and California are preparing possible legal challenges to the new law. And if those fail, they are crafting ways of raising revenue that would not be penalized by the new federal tax law.

The Times says some states could also change their own tax laws to. in effect, restore deductions that the federal tax law scaled back.

The new law passed and signed by the president in the closing days of December will limit deductibility of mortgage interest, as well as state and local taxes.

Home Price Growth Shows No Sign of Abating
Home prices are once again up, both year over year and month over month, in the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index.

CoreLogic’s Molly Boesel says Nevada, Washington, Utah and Idaho each posted year over year gains of ten percent or more in November.

The company says a lack of affordable housing stock is fueling the home price spiral.

Surge in Single Family Homes Leads November Construction Spending Increase
Construction spending across America rose again in November, for the fourth consecutive month — and it was led by a jump in home building.

The Commerce Department reports builders spent 8-tenths of one percent more on construction projects in November, compared to October.

New home construction in November rose one percent, with a one-point-9 percent surge in single-family construction.

Total construction spending for the month stood at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of more than one-point-two trillion dollars. And that. the government says, is an all-time high number.

What Surprised Builders the Most in 2017
What were the big surprises of 2017 for America’s home builders?

A new survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting reveals that builders identify larger-than-expected cost increases as the biggest thing that caught them by surprise.

While the homebuilding executives taking part in the survey said they did anticipate some cost increases, 40 percent admit they weren’t expecting costs to go up so much.

One quarter of those surveyed say they were surprised at how much stronger the demand was for their homes. Stronger than expected sales left many builders with labor shortages in 2017.

New Hampshire Faces Housing Shortage
A recent report from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority called for more housing — both for sale and for rent — because the current supply is inadequate to meet demand.

The agency’s executive director, Dean Christon, told WMUR-9 TV.

In fact, in those “micro markets,” Christon says there is actually a shortage of housing.

Millennial Home Buyer FICO Scores Falling
The average credit score for Millennial homebuyers continues to fall.

That, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker report.

In November, the report says, there was a slight decline in the average credit scores of closed loans to Millennials, compared to 2016.

The trend toward lower scores was most noticeable, Ellie Mae says, for FHA and VA loans.

The average FICO score for a Millennial buyer in November was 669, down from 678 a year earlier.

Hawaii and Colorado Lead Luxury Price Rises in 2018
The fastest growth in luxury-home prices in 2017 did not happen in New York or San Francisco.

According to figures from REALTOR®.com, Maui, Hawaii, and Eagle County, Colorado, saw the nation’s fastest luxury price growth.

In Maui, luxury prices soared nearly 33 percent to an average of almost two and a half million dollars.

Eagle County — where you’ll find Vail and Beaver Creek — luxury home prices rose 31 and a half percent., to nearly 2-point-9 million dollars.

Some Banks Still Reluctant to Re-Join FHA
Some banks are still reluctant to rejoin the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program, after being stung by big fines they were hit with by the Justice Department for FHA loans that went bad during housing crisis.

National Mortgage News reports that bankers are not necessarily reassured by HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s declaration that the “False Claims Act” won’t be used as a hammer to penalize lenders.

Mortgage Bankers Association president and CEO David Stevens says, “There are lots of fixes that need to be made at HUD.”

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