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Low inventories of for-sale homes continue to strain markets in some Fed districts despite moderate expansion of new residential construction, according to the latest Beige Book released Jan. 15 by the Federal Reserve. Commercial activity was mixed, with districts reporting widely varying results.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Jan. 16 issued a Request for Input regarding proposed changes to the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, which covers energy retrofitting for residential and commercial properties. This RFI focuses primarily on the residential sector.
The Federal Reserve could cut interest rates three times this year, despite such a move being uncommon during an election year, according to investment banking firm UBS, HousingWire reported Jan. 15. Damage from tariffs not covered under the Phase One trade deal could force the Fed to ease monetary policy as soon as March.
Improving the energy efficiency of class B/C office buildings is relatively easy to do and can increase property values and better position them to compete with class A buildings, according to the report Unlocking Hidden Value in Class B/C Commercial Buildings released Jan. 15 by the Urban Land Institute.
Industrial developers and investors are finding increased value in properties near railroad tracks as the U.S. experiences a shortage of truck drivers, according to real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, National Real Estate Investor reported Jan. 13. Moving products by rail is reportedly 45% less expensive per ton than shipping by road.
A disconnect on cap rate expectations caused a growing number of investors to drop plans to purchase student housing in smaller markets, according to developer Pierce Education Properties, National Real Estate Investor reported Jan. 13. Buyers are resisting lower cap rates and demanding higher yields to compensate for the risk of buying near smaller schools.
Multifamily originations are expected to increase this year to $390 billion, and the growth is expected to last through the early part of 2021, Freddie Mac reported Jan. 13 in its Multifamily 2020 Outlook. Additionally, rent growth is expected to be above the historic average, but increased supply may lead to increased vacancies.
Home prices rose 0.5% between October and November 2019, and are expected to increase another 5.3% by this November as low mortgage rates continue to bolster the residential sector, according to the Home Price Forecast from analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported Jan. 14.
Metropolitan areas that saw housing affordability drop during the past five years experienced slower job growth as a result, according to the Home Affordability Index Ranking and Payroll Job Growth report released Jan. 15 by the National Association of Realtors. Housing affordability declined in 81 metros, with Boise, Idaho, seeing the largest drop.
The number of new single-family homes with four or more bedrooms is declining, with three-bedroom homes becoming the new norm and accounting for 45% of home starts, according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, the National Association of Home Builders reported Jan. 13. The change is attributed to millennials entering the market and seeking starter homes.
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