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The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Sept. 7 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will submit Equitable Housing Finance Plans to the agency by the end of the year. The plans will identify and address barriers to sustainable housing and outline ways to increase equity in housing finance. The public can provide input by Oct. 25.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Sept. 8 that it’s seeking comments on proposed rules to rescind the Community Reinvestment Act rule issued in 2020 and replace it with rules jointly adopted by the federal banking agencies in 1995, as amended. The rules primarily focus on lending for the nation’s underserved communities. Public comments are due by Oct. 29.
U.S. life insurance companies with considerable commercial mortgage portfolios should be able to absorb significant stress and prevent ratings from dropping given the industry’s strong capitalization, current loan quality and historical loss experience, according to Fitch Ratings, MBA NewsLink reported Sept. 8. Commercial mortgage loans comprise about 13% of insurers’ total invested assets.
Commercial real estate executives say they are optimistic about the U.S. economy and CRE fundamentals overall, but expressed some concern about local conditions and said they expect a slow and steady recovery rather than explosive growth, according to a Trepp survey, MBA NewsLink reported Sept. 7.
Marina properties are seeing greater investor interest, with $405 million spent in 2020 — an 8.2% increase over the $374 million invested in 2019, according to a report from Colliers, WealthManagement.com reported Sept. 8. Investors are drawn by cap rates that have remained higher for marinas than for other asset classes, even at their lowest point.
Despite increased foot traffic and new leases, shopping malls are still dropping in value and proving to be hard sells, according to the report, “An Update on Malls: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for Regional Shopping Centers” released Sept. 7 by Morningstar. The report noted that all mall appraisals performed since May have valued the properties lower than previous appraisals.
Residential real estate was among the strongest economic sectors during the past month, according to the latest Fed Beige Book, released Sept. 8 by the Federal Reserve. Commercial real estate was mixed, with some Fed districts reporting slight growth in loan demand and others reporting no change. However, most Fed districts reported increased construction for both the residential and commercial sectors.
Pending home sales rose 6% year-over-year in August, despite home prices rising 14% during the same time period, Redfin reported Sept. 9. Nearly half – 47% – of homes under contract accepted an offer in the first two weeks on the market. Active listings are still down, but they have increased 14% since their lowest point earlier this year.
Consumer sentiment regarding the housing market was largely unchanged during the past month, although there was a slight uptick in the share of consumers – 32% – who believe now is a good time to buy a home, Fannie Mae reported Sept. 7 in its Home Purchase Sentiment Index. However, the number of consumers who think it’s a good time to sell a home dropped by 2%.
The median price per square foot for single-family homes started last year was $112, a year-over-year increase of 8%, the National Association of Home Builders reported Sept. 6. New England has the nation’s highest median price per square foot at $173. The East South Central region has the lowest median price per square foot at $99.
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