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The Appraisal Institute and the Land Trust Alliance co-signed a letter Nov. 29 urging congressional leaders to advance the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act, which would help maintain the integrity of conservation easement donations by closing an apparent loophole related to abusive syndicated tax shelters.
The number of farm bankruptcies in the Upper Midwest is on the rise, more than doubling since the most recent low in 2014, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota, The Hill reported Nov. 26. The report noted that current trends suggest bankruptcies have not reached their peak.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Nov. 27 that the 2019 maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for one-unit properties will be $484,350, up from the current $453,100. The limit in high-cost areas will be $726,525.
Rising interest rates and home prices are expected to overshadow inventory increases next year, making the housing market more challenging for hopeful homebuyers, according to a Realtor.com forecast, HousingWire reported Nov. 28. Realtor.com reported that a buyer’s market is still at least five years off.
Mortgage rates were stable during the past week, amid slowing auto and home sales and a general softening of the economy, Freddie Mac reported Nov. 29 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. However, purchase mortgage applications increased, which indicates there are buyers in the market.
The Appraisal Institute regrets the passing of the following Designated Members, as reported to Appraiser News Online in November.
The Appraisal Institute on Dec. 4 joined 17 other organizations in strongly opposing the National Credit Union Administration’s proposal to quadruple – from $250,000 to $1 million – the appraisal threshold for non-residential loans. AI said the threshold increase would drastically increase the number of non-residential real estate loans that would not require an appraisal.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Nov. 26 ruled that the prohibition on appraiser bias contained in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and the Appraisal Institute’s Code of Ethics and Certification Standard, or the appearance of bias, applies only to individuals and not to an appraiser’s employer.
Investors are targeting empty churches, class-B office buildings, vacant big box stores and underused parking structures for redevelopment as last-mile e-commerce distribution centers, according to commercial real estate company JLL, National Real Estate Investor reported Nov. 28. Once converted, the properties can command higher rents and sale prices.
Homes could be built to better withstand fires without significantly increasing construction costs or raising home prices, according to a study released Nov. 27 by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety and consulting firm Headwaters Economics. States have been reluctant to adopt stricter building codes for those reasons.
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