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The Appraisal Institute on March 21 responded to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Joint Report to Congress by cautioning federal regulators against increasing from $250,000 to $400,000 the appraisal threshold for commercial real estate transactions. The report indicated the threshold for residential real estate transactions would remain unchanged.
The Senate Banking Committee on March 14 held the first of several hearings on reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program. Roy E. Wright, deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, testified that failure to reauthorize NFIP could hurt real estate and mortgage markets.
The Federal Reserve on March 16 raised its benchmark rate, signaling its commitment to three increases per year, National Real Estate Investor reported. The Fed cited an improving job market, moderate economic growth and increasing inflation as reasons for the hike, which isn’t expected to significantly disrupt real estate capital markets.
Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Wells Fargo agreed to a $165 million settlement in a class action focused on soured mortgages originated by NovaStar, HousingWire reported March 15. The settlement ends a protracted legal battle between the lenders and the New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund and the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System.
Boise, Idaho; Cleveland; Dallas; Detroit; and Indianapolis are five cities with a fast-growing tech sector that’s helping to boost their real estate market, according to a report on high-tech cities to watch from real estate services firm JLL, MBA NewsLink reported March 20.
Investors are paying a premium for office properties that have been converted to attract tenants in creative fields and those with a high percentage of millennial employees, according to a report from commercial real estate firm Transwestern, MBA NewsLink reported March 16. Such creative conversions involve open plans, natural lighting and specialty spaces.
While the U.S. hotel sector saw record-breaking occupancy rates last year, occupancy should decline this year and next, and the market overall is expected to soften due to overbuilding, according to hospitality analytics firm STR Global, National Real Estate Investor reported March 12.
Commercial real estate investors said the prospect of greater economic growth and less regulation likely will spur them to increase purchase activity despite rising interest rates, according to the CBRE Americas Investor Intentions Survey released March 16, MBA NewsLink reported.
Average fixed mortgage rates rose for the second consecutive week, getting a push from rising inflation, labor market gains and an expectation of further rate increases, Freddie Mac reported March 16 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
Housing starts in February rose 3 percent from January, marking a 6.2 percent increase from the same point last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development statistics, HousingWire reported March 16. The increase mostly came from demand for single-family homes.
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