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The Appraisal Subcommittee on July 9 granted a request from North Dakota for a temporary waiver from appraisal licensing requirements after state officials claimed a scarcity of appraisers. The ASC granted the one-year waiver from licensing requirements by a 5-2 vote; an additional year is possible if state officials again seek a waiver based on the scarcity argument.
The continuing American economic expansion has become the longest in history after hitting the 10-year mark on July 1, bringing unemployment to a 50-year low and dropping inflation to negligible levels, according to Federal Reserve policymakers, HousingWire reported July 3. However, the benefits from recent tax cuts are showing signs of wearing off, and GDP is expected to slow.
The 2019 energy outlook report released July 1 by commercial real estate firm JLL indicated that the office sector in North American energy markets like Houston are still feeling the effects of the 2014-17 oil downturn, but the situation is improving, Commercial Property Executive reported. In Houston, the vacancy rate marks a 140 basis-point decline from its mid-2018 peak figure.
Private investors are the fastest growing buyer pool for multi-tenant retail centers, taking market share from real estate investment trusts, according to brokerage firm Stan Johnson Company and analytics firm Real Capital Analytics, National Real Estate Investor reported July 3. The investment activity is due to low interest rates and increased 1031 and 1033 exchange activity.
Apartment demand surged during the second quarter, pushing the occupancy rate to nearly 96%, according to analytics firm RealPage, MBA NewsLink reported July 5. Solid economic growth is encouraging new household formation, and rental housing is capturing a sizable share of the demand.
Baby boomers and millennials prefer big-city life, but boomers are better able to afford these locations, according to studies released July 5 by apartment listing firm RENTCafé and real estate firm Clever Real Estate, MBA NewsLink reported. The highest number of city boomers are in New York, while millennials typically reside in the South and Midwest.
A Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysis of pre- and post-crisis mortgage bonds revealed that those packed with crisis-era home loans have dropped to just $431.5 billion from more than $2.3 trillion in 2007 due to foreclosures, defaults and completed repayments, MarketWatch reported July 2. Newer bonds include more 30-year fixed mortgages and greater investor protections.
The number of homes for sale in June was down 0.3% compared to the same point a year earlier, marking the first annual decline since September 2018, real estate firm Redfin reported July 2. If supply continues to drop at its current rate, the number of homes for sale this fall will reflect a yearly drop of more than 4%.
Mortgage rates leveled out during the past week, as a “tug of war” between a struggling fixed-income market and a strong equities market plays out, Freddie Mac reported July 3 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. While data suggests a weakening economy, it appears to be sound thanks to high consumer confidence and a strong labor market.
The Appraisal Institute on July 10 announced the recognition of two individuals as a “Volunteer of Distinction” for the second quarter.
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