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An enhanced appraisal review process has reduced default risk in mortgage refinancing, making these loans less risky to lenders than before the financial crisis — but still riskier than purchase mortgage loans, the Urban Institute reported March 7 after analyzing data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The multifamily market is expected to remain strong as consumers continue to show a preference for renting for various financial and socioeconomic reasons, including student debt that puts homebuying out of reach of many young consumers, according to investment research group Clarion Partners, National Real Estate Investor reported March 12.
Global hotel investment is expected to reach $67.2 billion this year, down slightly from $67.7 billion last year, but still reflective of a strong investor market, according to real estate firm JLL, MBA NewsLink reported March 14. U.S. transaction volume is expected to match last year’s $36.5 billion figure.
The office sector has performed well during the current cycle, with rising occupancy rates and rents and falling cap rates, but sentiment is waning due to the impact of co-working and telecommuting, according to the National Real Estate Investor’s office market study released March 13.
Institutional investors are taking an interest in manufactured home communities with fewer than 100 sites — a relatively untapped segment that investors say has the potential for growth because a majority of the estimated 50,000 such communities have 100 or fewer rental home sites, National Real Estate Investor reported March 15.
The top market for single-family rental properties is Baltimore County in Maryland, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported March 12. The highest potential annual rental yield there is 24.5 percent compared with the national average of 8.7 percent. The least profitable market for single-family rentals is San Mateo County in California.
Newly constructed homes averaged 2,567 square feet at the end of the fourth quarter, down slightly from 2,573 square feet at the same point a year ago, the National Association of Home Builders reported March 11. Square footage is expected to trend lower as more entry-level homes are added to the inventory.
Home sales in February increased at their lowest annual rate since March 2012, as home price growth moderates and potential homebuyers feel less pressure to quickly submit offers, according to real estate marketplace Redfin, HousingWire reported March 14. Home prices fell in 10 of the 85 metros the firm tracks.
Mortgage lenders say they are optimistic about the market and expect demand for purchase loans during the second quarter to top last year’s record high, Fannie Mae reported March 13 in its Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. However, lenders were less optimistic about profit growth.
Reverse mortgages have taken a hit during the past few months as the industry struggles to adjust to significant program changes, according to analytics firm Reverse Market Insight, which reported a 5.7 percent drop in volume in January and said preliminary data for February suggests a 13.7 percent drop, HousingWire reported March 14.
Several financial institutions, including Redwood Trust, JPMorgan Chase and Flagstar Bancorp, have eliminated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as middlemen and issued their own private-label mortgage-backed securities for sale to investors, HousingWire reported March 11. The number of private-label MBS issued in 2017 and 2018 nearly tripled the 2016 total.
Mortgage rates fell during the past week, hitting their lowest point since last February amid various market reports, a strong bond auction and further uncertainty around the Brexit deal, Freddie Mac reported March 14 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
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