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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be returned to private hands, and doing so could reduce taxpayer risk, promote competition and support homeownership, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria stated June 11 in a letter accompanying his annual report to Congress, Bloomberg reported. Calabria said the housing finance system needs to be more sustainable.
Freddie Mac on June 10 unveiled a commercial mortgage-backed security program backed by loans made to apartment building owners who perform sustainable property improvements, Bloomberg reported. The green bond will exclusively securitize loans made through Freddie’s Green Advantage program.
Interest in properties located within opportunity zones is rising, which is spurring owners of lower-quality assets to finally sell, according to a study released June 10 by Real Capital Analytics, GlobeSt.com reported. The study noted, however, many of the properties have deferred maintenance and are not selling for top dollar.
Central Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive office market, averaging $322 per square foot, according to the Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs report from real estate firm CBRE, National Real Estate Investor reported June 13. The most expensive U.S. office market is Midtown Manhattan, which averages $197 per square foot.
Despite a soft condominium market in Manhattan, the iconic Waldorf Astoria will add 375 apartments as part of the hotel’s $1 billion renovation, The Real Deal reported June 11. The Park Avenue complex is expected to reopen in 2021, with residential prices averaging $3,500 per square foot, making them among New York’s priciest apartments.
Multifamily rents are still increasing, but at a slower pace than in the past, according to analytics firm Yardi Matrix, GlobeSt.com reported June 11. The average rent in May was $1,442 — a year-to-date increase of only 1.2% and only the second time within six years where year-to-date rent growth fell below 2%.
The housing market should be stable through the end of 2020, but a recession is likely in 2021, according to a study released June 3 by research firms Metrostudy and Zonda, Builder magazine reported. Recent tariffs could impact the results, but a recession isn’t expected to be as severe as the one leading up to the housing crisis.
A combination of low property taxes and increased home prices helped make Idaho the best state for homeowners for the second consecutive year, according to a report released June 6 by technology company SmartAsset. Utah and South Dakota rounded out the top three homeowner-friendly states.
The share of homes selling at or above list price has decreased, returning to levels seen in the early 2000s, according to analytics firm CoreLogic, the National Association of Realtors reported June 4. However, some cities still command higher prices — 69% of homes sold in San Francisco closed above asking price.
Nearly 20% of Americans said they expect to move within 12 months — some said they will enter the housing market thanks to low mortgage rates while others said they would move due to economic uncertainty in their area, according to a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, HousingWire reported June 11.
Mortgage applications during the past week jumped sharply, buoyed by low interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported June 12. The Market Composite Index recorded a weekly increase of 38% for purchase applications (on an unadjusted basis) while the Refinance Index increased 47% (unadjusted) — its highest level since 2016.
Mortgage rates were unchanged during the past week as easing trade tensions helped to stabilize markets, Freddie Mac reported June 13 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Freddie noted that since rates are at historic lows, many homeowners have refinanced their mortgages, which helped maintain housing market momentum.
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