Top News Of The Week

– Case-Shiller Says Home Prices Up 3.3% in October
– Two Trends Will Drive the 2020 Housing Market
– NAHB Pushes For Deregulation
– Foreclosure at Lowest in 20 Years
– Millennials ‘Crowding Out’ Entry-Level Housing Market
– Cash-Out Refis May Come at a Price
– January Is Hot Month for House Hunters
– Decorating Trends That May Die in 2020
– Kapfidze: Home Price Growth to Slow in ’20
– Millennials Still Face Affordability Headwind
– New York Bans Deceptive HECM Ads
– Why A REALTOR® May Show You Homes Beyond Your Budget
– Buyers Remain in Driver’s Seat in New York Luxury Market
– Artificial Intelligence Could Boost Homeownership
– Boston Poised to Tax Luxury Properties
– Phoenix: The Hottest Housing Market of 2019


Case-Shiller Says Home Prices Up 3.3% in October
Your home’s value continues to grow.

The latest S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller Home Price Index showed a year-over-year increase of 3.3% nationally in October.

Craig Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, told Yahoo Finance that the October numbers continues to be reassuring.

Meanwhile, the latest monthly report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed a 5-percent year-over-year price gain in October.

The FHFA numbers are calculated using information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Two Trends Will Drive the 2020 Housing Market
There are many optimistic forecasts about the 2020 housing market, and one mortgage expert is especially enthusiastic.

Jeff Taylor, co-founder and managing director of Digital Risk, said on CNBC that this is going to be a terrific year.

But Taylor also predicts it’ll be the tightest inventory year in the last five, leading to a resurgence of bidding wars in many markets.

NAHB Pushes For Deregulation
The nation’s home builders frequently cite the cost of government regulations as one reason they can’t build more affordable homes.

The National Association of Home Builders says the Trump administration is helping, by addressing federal regulations, but the NAHB’s chief lobbyist, Jim Tobin, says it’s mostly a state and local problem.

Tobin spoke in an NAHB-produced podcast.

Foreclosure at Lowest in 20 Years
Home foreclosures are becoming more rare.

Black Knight reports that in November, foreclosure starts hit their lowest level since 2000.

November’s number was 26% lower than November 2018’s total.

And ATTOM Data Solutions reports that in November, there were just under 50,000 properties with foreclosure filings.

Millennials ‘Crowding Out’ Entry-Level Housing Market
Expect 2020 to be more of the same, when it comes to the shortage of homes for sale, says one expert.

Former Fannie Mae executive Tim Rood tells Fox Business.

Rood says the good news is that builders are more confident, and ready to build more homes this year.

Cash-Out Refis May Come at a Price
Many homeowners are cashing out home equity by refinancing.

But in some cases, it has cost them a higher interest rate.

New figures from Black Knight show that in 2018, nearly 60% of cash-out refinancings came with higher interest rates.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, for some homeowners, a higher mortgage rate is still better than what they would pay if they tapped a credit-card or home-equity line of credit.

January Is Hot Month for House Hunters
If you wait until spring to begin your house hunting, have you waited too long?

A recent REALTOR®.com analysis shows that in some competitive markets, January is now almost as hot as April for people starting their home search.

REALTOR®.com Senior Economist George Ratiu told Yahoo Finance.

Ratiu says, though, that the data suggest the spring months will remain as competitive as ever in most places.

Decorating Trends That May Die in 2020
Is it finally time to retire the accent wall?

And while we’re at it, maybe dump the rose gold?

Home design pros quoted by REALTOR®.com say the accent wall, rose gold, and “farmhouse style” are on the way out.

And, they say, so is the open floor plan. Some homeowners, they point out, are showing a desire to bring back walls and privacy. ”

Kapfidze: Home Price Growth to Slow in ’20
Watch for a continued slowdown in home price growth this year, says one expert.

Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree, told CNBC.

As to where mortgage rates may go, Kapfidze says, watch what happens in the trade war.

Millennials Still Face Affordability Headwind
A recent survey revealed that millions of American Millennials fear they will have to be renters for the rest of their lives.

CBS News Business and Financial analyst Jill Schlesinger says Millennial homebuyers do face extraordinary challenges.

She also says, though, that some millennials may not realize they CAN afford to buy, by not having to put 20-percent down.

New York Bans Deceptive HECM Ads
Have you ever seen a TV commercial that starts, “This is a public service announcement…” but then turns out to be a sales pitch for a home equity loan?

Those ads will now be illegal in New York state.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a new law banning deceptive marketing of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans.

Ads will no longer be allowed to use phrases like “public service announcement,” “government-insured” or any other language that suggests the loan is anything other than a commercial product.

Why A REALTOR® May Show You Homes Beyond Your Budget
Has a REALTOR® ever shown you a house that’s beyond your budget?

There may be good reasons for them to do that, say experts quoted by REALTOR®.com.

In some cases, the pros say, house hunters may need to see what’s just beyond their reach, to help them form a realistic picture of what they can afford.

Some buyers will be inspired to stretch their budgets a little.

Las Vegas REALTOR® Tamara Heidel says adding $10,000 to your price point could make a big difference, while adding only about $55 a month to your payment.

Buyers Remain in Driver’s Seat in New York Luxury Market
New York City’s luxury real estate market remains in what one top broker calls “a correction environment.”

Bess Freedman, CEO of the real estate firm Brown Harris Stevens told Bloomberg that many luxury property owners have had to drop their asking price in the last year.

And Freedman says a proposed new pied-a-terre tax would further discourage people from owning luxury second homes in New York

Artificial Intelligence Could Boost Homeownership
Artificial intelligence — or AI — may help boost homeownership.

A recent study the National Bureau of Economic Research found that using computer algorithms for online mortgage lending can help reduce discrimination against some minorities.

Researchers found that lenders using AI tools reported a five-fold increase in black and Hispanic borrowers between ages 30 and 40 over the last year.

As a result, the Bureau is calling for banks to make even wider use of artificial intelligence.

Boston Poised to Tax Luxury Properties
If state lawmakers approve, Boston will soon have a new tax on high-end real estate sales to help fund affordable housing.

Critics of the tax say it would penalize investors.

Mayor Martin Walsh calls it “a modest fee” that will benefit seniors, families, the homeless. and those who want to stay in the neighborhoods they help build.

Phoenix: The Hottest Housing Market of 2019
It gets pretty hot in Phoenix in the summertime, but as far as the housing market goes, Phoenix was red-hot for all of last year.

The Arizona capital was the hottest housing market in America in 2019.

Home prices and rents in Phoenix have been rising faster than the national average.

Experts say it’s due to a combination of the city’s strong job market, proximity to expensive California markets, and dry, warm climate.

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