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Ginnie Mae is investigating allegations that lenders pressured current military members and veterans into unnecessary mortgage refinancing in order to reap high fees from the process, Bloomberg reported Sept. 14. The loans in question are tied to Ginnie securities, which support loans made through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Freddie Mac on Sept. 9 unveiled its Enhanced Relief Refinance Mortgage, which will replace the Home Affordable Refinance Program for mortgage applications received on or after Nov. 1, 2018, Mortgage News Daily reported. The program will have no loan-to-value limit for fixed-rate loans, and a maximum 105 LTV for adjustable-rate mortgages.
President Trump on Sept. 13 nominated Brian Montgomery to serve as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, HousingWire reported. He awaits Senate confirmation. Montgomery previously served in this capacity under President George W. Bush, and the White House cited his prior success as a reason for the current nomination.
While developers can still secure loans for multifamily construction, lenders have become more cautious when approving such loans due to concerns about the amount of new rental properties completed this year — the most since 2007, according to real estate services firm CBRE, National Real Estate Investor reported Sept. 12.
Investor interest has shifted from commercial real estate in larger markets to properties in smaller ones, the National Association of Realtors reported Sept. 12 in its quarterly commercial real estate forecast. The report showed second quarter CRE sales in larger markets dropped 5 percent, while sales in smaller markets grew 4 percent.
Demand for student housing has slowed, with fewer beds leased this year than during the past two years, according to analytics firm Axiometrics, National Real Estate Investor reported Sept. 11. Developers anticipate adding 46,000 student beds this year and then dropping to 41,700 beds in 2018.
E-commerce, big data and cloud computing have turned data centers into one of the hottest real estate sectors, with Seattle the top data center destination during the first half of the year, according to commercial real estate firm JLL, National Real Estate Investor reported Sept. 13.
Hotel construction is up 8.8 percent compared to the same point last year, according to hospitality analytics firm STR, MBA NewsLink reported Sept. 15. The most active category is “upper-midscale properties,” while the busiest markets are New York, Houston and Dallas.
Office buildings in Midtown Manhattan have the nation’s fastest-growing rents, with an 11.7 percent year-over-year increase, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE, National Real Estate Investor reported Sept. 14. Other top markets: Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.
Average fixed mortgage rates remained largely unchanged during the past week, holding at a year-to-date low even as Treasury rates declined sharply, Freddie Mac reported Sept. 14 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
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