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The Federal Trade Commission announced Jan. 10 that it will hear oral arguments next month on motions filed by the FTC and the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board. The LREAB in November filed a motion to dismiss the complaint filed against it by the FTC, while the FTC filed motions for partial summary judgment and for opposition to the LREAB’s motion to dismiss.
About one in 10 banks are considered high credit risk, a significant drop from 2010 when 42 percent of banks were high-risk, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported Jan. 10 in its credit survey, according to ABA Banking Journal. However, the survey identified new credit risks, including some affecting commercial real estate.
Markets are performing well, but Fed officials reportedly are concerned about another recession and are contemplating significant policy changes, including eliminating the 2 percent inflation target, CNBC reported Jan. 10. Another option under consideration: price-level targeting, where interest rates would remain lower for longer periods and avoid zero altogether.
More store closings and retail bankruptcies are expected early this year as the sector struggles, according to financial services firm Credit Suisse, Bloomberg reported Jan. 4. While most commercial mortgages are expected to continue performing, fewer financing options available to mall and store owners could be problematic when the loans mature.
The office sector will see increased vacancy rates and rent prices, and the suburban office market will continue its rebound, according to industry experts who offered their predictions on the 2018 office market, National Real Estate Investor reported Jan. 11.
Growth for the office, multifamily, industrial and retail markets this year is expected to be steady but more moderate than last year when the commercial market reached its peak, according to the State of the U.S. Market and 2018 Outlook report from real estate services firm Colliers International, Forbes reported Jan. 9.
Retail rental rates grew slowly but steadily during the fourth quarter 2017, and were up 1.8 percent for the year, according to analytics firm Reis, MBA NewsLink reported Jan. 11. However, the sector still faces numerous challenges and new retail construction was at its lowest level in four years.
New tax laws are expected to spur job and economic growth, which will further boost residential real estate, economists reported Jan. 9 at the National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show. However, a lack of construction workers and a shortage of buildable lots will continue to constrain the market.
The number of consumers who said they thought it was a good time to buy a home dropped 5 percentage points between November and December, and the number was down 8 percentage points from the same point a year earlier, Fannie Mae reported Jan. 8 in its Home Purchase Sentiment Index.
Fixed mortgage rates during the past week were up slightly while treasury yields surged and reached their highest point since March 2017, Freddie Mac reported Jan. 11 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
Residential real estate markets are expected to appreciate 4.2 percent this year, and the top five performers are all in Washington state, according to the Strongest & Weakest Markets report released Jan. 10 by analytics firm Veros Real Estate Solutions. Bangor, Maine, is expected to be the year’s worst performing market.
Buying is more affordable than renting in 54 percent of housing markets, but rising home prices are steadily reversing that trend, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Jan. 11. However, renting generally is the more affordable option in counties with populations of 1 million or more.
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