Top News Of The Week

– Calabria Confirmed To Head FHFA
– GSE Reform Efforts Gain Momentum
– The Return of The Four Percent Mortgage
– Median Listing Price Hits All-Time High
– HUD Launches Sexual Harassment Effort for Fair Housing Month”
– Falling Mortgage Rates Bring More Buyers Out
– SoCal Sales Slowdown Continues, But Picture is Getting Brighter
– Bank of America Launches Affordability Initiative
– Lyft Goes Public, Bay Area Housing to Heat Up
– The Resurgence of the Exurbs
– LGBT Buyers Stay On Sidelines Because of Discrimination Fears
– Construction Spending Up, But Not Single-Family Homes
– 45% of Millennials Want to Skip The Starter Home
– Home Loan Giveaway to Mark VA 75th Anniversary
– Thursday’s Your Best Day to List


Calabria Confirmed To Head FHFA
The U.S. Senate has confirmed libertarian economist Mark Calabria to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Michael Calhoun. President of the Center for Responsible Lending, told a Senate committee recently that his organization has confidence in Calabria.

GSE Reform Efforts Gain Momentum
Congress and the White House are moving with greater speed to reform the nation’s housing finance system.

The aim is to end federal conservatorship over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. which are government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs.

At a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Vince Malta, the 2019 President-Elect of THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, said the GSEs are essential to helping middle class Americans achieve the dream of homeownership.

Fox Business reports that President Trump has been talking with his economic advisers about selling Fannie and Freddie outright.

The Return of The Four Percent Mortgage
If you held off buying a home a few months ago when mortgage rates were approaching five percent, now may be your chance to get back in.

Rates are now back down to around 4-percent — at the end of March rates saw their biggest one-week drop in a decade.

San Diego mortgage broker Scott Davenport told ABC-10 News.

And with the average 30-year fixed rate now close to 4-percent, Black Knight Financial Services says nearly 5-million American homeowners could now qualify for a refinance that could save them hundreds of dollars a year

Median Listing Price Hits All-Time High
The median home listing price in America has made history.

REALTOR®.com says in March, the median listing price surpassed $300,000 for the first time ever.

That figure was likely driven up, the website says, by the shrinking number of listings for homes priced at $200,000 or less.

HUD Launches Sexual Harassment Effort for Fair Housing Month”
April is “Fair Housing Month,” and the Department of Housing and Urban Development is marking it this year by launching an effort to end sexual harassment in HUD-assisted housing.

The aim is to protect residents from sexual harassment by landlords or property managers.

Meanwhile, California Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters said at a recent hearing that 51 years of the Fair Housing Act has not ended discrimination.

Waters accuses the Trump administration of weakening fair housing protections, but she did praise the recent HUD lawsuit against Facebook.

Falling Mortgage Rates Bring More Buyers Out
Falling mortgage rates will bring out more buyers.

So says the CEO of Redfin, Glenn Kelman.

But Kelman also said on CNBC that we’re still not seeing as many people putting their homes up for sale, which he says could “create some price pressure.”

SoCal Sales Slowdown Continues, But Picture is Getting Brighter
Home sales in Southern California continue to languish. They’ve now fallen for seven straight months.

But the Los Angeles Times reports that brokers say the recent drop in mortgage rates is bringing buyers back.

REALTOR® Joshua Altman of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing L.A.” told Yahoo Finance.

Altman says, quote, “It’s going to be an interesting year.”

Bank of America Launches Affordability Initiative
Bank of America is committing five billion dollars over the next five years to boost homeownership for “low- to moderate-income and multicultural homebuyers.”

CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC.

Bank of America will offer down payment or closing cost help.

Lyft Goes Public, Bay Area Housing to Heat Up
Thousands of newly-minted millionaires will soon be looking for homes in the San Francisco area, thanks to initial public offerings, or IPOs, by companies like Lyft, Uber, Airbnb and others.

REALTOR® Michael Friedman told KTVU-TV.

And economists quoted in the San Jose Mercury News say the new cash from IPOs will be only one factor contributing to the market’s steady momentum.

The Resurgence of the Exurbs
A growing number of homebuyers are looking for homes farther out from the city — in the exurbs — according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The trend is being driven, the Journal says, by Millennials and retired Baby Boomers looking for an affordable new home.

Reporter Laura Kusisto said, in a Journal-produced podcast, that it’s easy to see why exurban homes are popular among retirees.

The drive back to the exurbs is most apparent, Kusisto says, in the South and the West.

LGBT Buyers Stay On Sidelines Because of Discrimination Fears
A new survey finds that fear of discrimination is keeping many potential homebuyers in the LGBT community from even trying to buy a house.

The survey by the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals found that 44-percent of those responding admit they’re worried about how their new neighbors would welcome them. Nearly one in four said they feared their offer on a house would be rejected.

The LGBT homeownership rate has inched upward, since the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015.

Construction Spending Up, But Not Single-Family Homes
Overall construction spending in America rose in February — but single-family construction spending was down.

The government says single-family construction spending fell 1-point-1 percent from January, and was down 7-point-1 percent from a year earlier.

“Nashville Still Hot, But More ‘Stable'”

Nashville, Tennessee remains one of the nation’s most vibrant housing markets — but it’s not as red-hot as it used to be. And that’s a good thing, says one REALTOR®.

Christie Wilson told Nashville’s NewsChannel 5 TV that Music City remains a hot market — but it’s now more balanced…

And Wilson says while high-end homes aren’t selling as fast anymore, there is still brisk business at the 300-thousand-dollar price point.

45% of Millennials Want to Skip The Starter Home
A starter home? What’s that?

A new survey of Millennials finds that almost half of them say they expect their first home to be their “dream home.”

The survey of 2-thousand Millennials was released by Northshore Fireplace, a Chicago-area retailer.

And two out of three of those Millennials said they’re willing to move to a whole different area to find a dream home they can afford.

Home Loan Giveaway to Mark VA 75th Anniversary
The VA loan program turns 75 this year — and to mark that milestone, REALTOR®.com has partnered with Veterans United Home Loans to offer a 75-thousand-dollar gift.

The “$75,000 Veteran Homebuyer Giveaway” is open to qualifying U.S. military service members and veterans. Entries are being accepted until May 31st.

The winner gets $75,000 at the closing of a home purchase transaction.

You can apply online at REALTOR®.com.

Thursday’s Your Best Day to List
How do you feel about Thursdays?

According to Redfin, it’s the best day of the week to list your home for sale.

Their researchers analyzed over two million home sales, and found that homes listed on a Thursday sell faster and for more money.

And by the way, forget about Monday. Redfin says that’s the worst day of the week to list a home.

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