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Results: 1995 Articles found.

June 2022

White House Addresses Rising Housing Costs, Supply Issues

The Biden administration on May 16 released its Housing Supply Action Plan to increase the supply of quality housing by closing the supply shortfall in five years, starting with the creation and preservation of hundreds of thousands of affordable units during the next three years. Rental and down payment assistance also are part of the plan.

 

June 2022

US Housing Supply on Track to a Rebound: Realtor.com

Active home listings in April were down 12.2% from the same point a year ago, but that annual decline was the smallest since December 2019 and indicates inventory is poised to rebound, Realtor.com reported May 10 in its Monthly Housing Trends report. An increase in the share of mid-sized properties was a primarily reason for the improvement because it allowed buyers to upgrade from starter homes.

 
June 2022

Single-family Property Market at Greatest Risk from Rising Inflation, Rates: CBRE

The ongoing rise in inflation and interest rates is putting the single-family housing market at the most significant risk for a correction, according to CBRE’s global chief economist, GlobeSt.com reported May 19. However, commercial real estate market fundamentals should be OK in the near-term.

 

June 2022

Housing Starts Up, Existing Home Sales Down: Fannie Mae

Housing starts ticked up 0.3% in March, reaching their highest level since 2006, but most of the growth was in multifamily; starts for single-family homes were down 1.7% for the month, Fannie Mae reported April 22. Existing home sales were down 2.7% during the same period, reaching their lowest point since June 2020.

 

June 2022

Home Prices Appreciate at Double-digit Rates: NAR

Home prices were up during the first quarter, with 70% of metros reporting double-digit annual increases in their median single-family home prices, the National Association of Realtors reported May 3. The nation’s median single-family sales price rose to $368,200, up 15.7% from the same point a year ago.

 
June 2022

Pressures Mount, Causing Housing Market Uncertainty, NAR Economist Yun Reports

The nation’s housing supply is on the upswing as builders construct new homes, but rising interest rates, increasing inflation, higher gas prices and the Russia-Ukraine conflict will strain potential homebuyers this year, National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicted in a May 4 report. Purchasing a home now is 55% more expensive than it was at this point last year.

 
June 2022

Florida Leads Nation in Most Overvalued Residential Rental Markets: Study

Florida has the nation’s five most overpriced residential rental markets, according to a study released May 3 by Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University and the University of Alabama. Rents in South Florida (including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties) top the list, followed by Fort Myers, Tampa, Sarasota-Bradenton and Port St. Lucie.

 
June 2022

Sales of Existing Homes Fall as Demand Wanes: National Association of Realtors

The sales of existing homes fell 2.4% between March and April, and are down 5.9% year-over-year as demand for homes dropped and the inventory of unsold homes climbed, the National Association of Realtors reported May 19.

 

May 2022

Home Prices Not Aligned with Economic Indicators: Report

Home prices are out of step with economic fundamentals such as the price-to-rent ratio and price-to-income ratio, according to the Denver Fed, GlobeSt.com reported April 4. The fear of missing out is spurring homebuyers and investors to purchase now, which contributes to inflated home prices and a future correction — but likely not a bust.

 

May 2022

Demand for Manufactured Housing Increases: Report

The demand for manufactured housing is growing, with vacancy in the sector down significantly, especially in the Great Lakes and Great Plains regions, according to Marcus & Millichap, GlobeSt.com reported April 12. Investors are targeting the sector, anticipating that more consumers will consider manufactured housing amid rising apartment rents and home-purchase costs.

 
May 2022

Residential Real Estate Remains Strong, Lower-end to Get Inventory Boost: Realtor.com

A strong housing market has been a boon for sellers, with 80% of recently sold homes commanding prices above asking, Realtor.com reported April 6. Those planning to list a home for sale this year are expected to do so by August. Notably, 43% of prospective sellers anticipate listing their home for $350,000 or less, increasing inventory for a market segment with severe shortages and intense competition.

 

May 2022

Foreclosure Activity Reaches Post-pandemic High in Q1, ATTOM Report Reveals

Foreclosure filings during the first quarter jumped, rising 39% from the previous quarter and 132% from the same point last year, ATTOM reported April 21 in its Q1 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Despite the increase, foreclosure filings remain 57% below where they were during the first quarter 2020.

 
May 2022

FHA Proposes 40-year Loan Modification Rule for Borrowers, Seeks Public Comment

The Federal Housing Administration on April 4 published a proposed rule to raise the maximum loan modification term limit from 30 years to 40, MBA NewsLink reported. Mortgagees could offer a 40-year loan modification option to borrowers who wouldn’t otherwise qualify. Public comments are due by May 30.

 
May 2022

Home Prices Increase at Record Pace, Led by Sun Belt States, CoreLogic Reveals

Residential real estate prices increased 20% year-over-year in February, marking the highest 12-month growth since at least 1976, CoreLogic reported April 5. Sun Belt states led the way for rising prices, with Florida properties up 29.1% over 12 months, followed closely by Arizona (prices up 28.6%) and Nevada (prices up 25.8%).

 
May 2022

Proposed Bill Would Scrap The Appraisal Foundation, Release GSE Appraisal Data

A draft discussion bill sponsored by House Committee on Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters would replace The Appraisal Foundation with an independent federal agency that would be responsible for overseeing valuation standards and appraiser criteria, HousingWire reported March 31. The bill, aimed at combating bias in the appraisal process, would also make public the trove of appraisal data held by government-sponsored enterprises.

 

May 2022

AI Asks Supreme Court to Review Ruling on Floor Plans

The Appraisal Institute on April 7 joined the National Association of Realtors and 17 other organizations in filing an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court pertaining to a lower court ruling that would allow copyright infringement lawsuits to be filed against individuals, including appraisers, who make floor plans of a home.

 
May 2022

Housing Market Activity, Economic Output to Slow, Fannie Mae Forecast Predicts

The Federal Reserve is expected to tighten monetary policy through 2023, which could further soften economic output, Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group reported April 19. The projected downturn is not expected to mirror the severity of the Great Recession due to higher mortgage credit quality and a stronger real estate and mortgage finance system, among other things.

 

May 2022

Appraisal Institute Has Rejoined TAF as a Sponsor

The Appraisal Foundation announced March 31 that the Appraisal Institute has rejoined TAF as a sponsor. Appraisal Institute President Jody Bishop, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, said he is very pleased that AI has rejoined as a sponsor, noting that it allows the organizations to immediately strengthen their ongoing collaboration and amplifies their joint efforts with other key stakeholders now and for years to come.

 

April 2022

White House Issues Action Plan on Bias in Appraisals

The Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity Task Force on March 23 published an Action Plan to address concerns about lower appraisals for properties owned by individuals of color. The Appraisal Institute provided input to the Task Force, whose Action Plan covers appraisal standards, diversity within the valuation profession and reporting requirements for violations of federal law.

 

April 2022

AI Offers White House Input on Task Force Action Plan

Following the release of the Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity Task Force Action Plan on appraisal bias, the Appraisal Institute on March 23 sent a letter to the White House stating that it looks forward to working with the Task Force to implement several of their regulatory initiatives and reiterating that the majority of appraisers strive to uphold high standards and maintain independence and objectivity in their work.

 
April 2022

Freddie Mac Changes Automated Appraisal Waiver Process on Cash-out Refinances

Freddie Mac announced March 16 that it's transitioning from automated collateral evaluation appraisal waivers for cash-out refinance mortgages and certain no-cash-out refinances to ACE+ PDR. Effective July 17, the new offering will allow the aforementioned refinancing to be completed without appraisals, but the on-site collection of property information by trained data collectors using Freddie Mac’s proprietary dataset will be required.

 
April 2022

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Seeks to Prevent Algorithmic Bias in AVMs

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Feb. 23 outlined several options it's considering to ensure that the computer models used to help determine home values are accurate. CFPB wants to protect against data manipulation, avoid conflicts of interest and institute random sample testing of automated valuation models.

 

April 2022

Conflict in Ukraine Likely to Effect US Housing: Fannie Mae

The conflict in Ukraine could result in significant risks to the U.S. housing market, Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group reported March 17. The 30-year fixed rate is expected to rise to 3.8% this year and 3.9% next year. Meanwhile, housing sales are expected to decline 4.1% this year.

 
April 2022

Northeast and Upper Midwest are at Greatest Risk for Home Price Declines: Report

Areas in the Northeast and Upper Midwest are at high risk for home price declines due to high unemployment and low income and population growth, according to the December CoreLogic Market Risk Indicator, GlobeSt.com reported March 17. Areas considered overvalued but with low risk of price declines include Destin, Naples, Cape Coral and North Point in Florida, and Austin, Texas.

 
April 2022

Foreclosures on the Rise as Level of Activity Returns to Pre-pandemic Levels: Data

Foreclosures increased 11% between January and February, and filings are up 129% year-over-year as the level of activity returns to normal following two years of artificially low rates due to foreclosure moratoriums, ATTOM reported March 10.

 

April 2022

Many Homes Sell for More than $100,000 Over Asking: Redfin

Nearly 6,000 homes sold for more than $100,000 over asking just this year as homebuyers become more competitive in their efforts to outbid others, Redfin reported March 8. At this point last year, 2,241 homes had sold for $100,000 over asking. The Los Angeles metro area is leading the way, with 718 homes commanding at least six-figures above asking since January.

 
April 2022

Number of ‘Zombie’ Properties Up as Foreclosures Increase, Data Shows

Nearly 230,000 U.S. homes are in the process of foreclosure this quarter, and 7,363 of them are sitting vacant, hence zombie property status, a number that is down 0.9% from the fourth quarter but up 10.3% from the same point a year ago, ATTOM reported Feb. 24. New York, Ohio and Florida have the most zombie properties.

 
April 2022

Single-family Rents Soar, See 10 Consecutive Months of Record Highs: CoreLogic

Single-family rent growth increased 12.6% in January — triple the gain recorded last year — marking the fastest year-over-year increase in more than 17 years and the 10th consecutive month of record rent increases, CoreLogic reported March 15 in its Single-Family Rent Index. Miami; Orlando, Florida; and Phoenix recorded the greatest rent increases.

 

March 2022

Foreclosure Activity Highest Since COVID Outbreak: Data

Residential foreclosures rose to their highest level in nearly two years, up 29% between December and January and 139% from one year ago, ATTOM reported Feb. 10. The increase in foreclosures follows a typical lull during the holiday season, but were still higher than usual due to the expiration of the foreclosure moratorium.

 

March 2022

Report Finds No Undervaluation of Black-owned Homes in Refis

A review of 1.8 million appraisals from 2019 and 2020 found that Black-owned properties were not undervalued during refinance transactions, Fannie Mae reported Jan. 20 in its Appraising the Appraisal report. Homes owned by white borrowers were more frequently overvalued than homes owned by Black borrowers, and six Southeastern states accounted for nearly 50% of overvalued properties.

 
March 2022

Agencies Say USPAP Needs Clarity Regarding Bias and Federal Law Requirements

Multiple agencies, including the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Federal Reserve Board, sent a letter to The Appraisal Foundation Feb. 4 saying there aren’t “clear warnings about the requirements of federal law in the standards it sets, and in the training it provides for appraisers” with regard to alleged bias. The agencies requested changes to the 2023 edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

 
March 2022

The Rich Spent More than $40 Billion on Luxury Homes Last Year, Report Shows

Sales of ultra-luxury real estate totaled around $40 billion in 2021, with more than 2,300 transactions for properties valued at $10 million or more, a 112% increase from the year before, according to a report from Compass, Inc., WealthManagement.com reported Feb. 11. Los Angeles led the way, followed by Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida.

 

March 2022

Fannie Mae Settles Suit Over Homes in Minority Neighborhoods

Fannie Mae reached a $53 million settlement with the National Fair Housing Alliance and 20 other organizations on Feb. 7, resolving allegations that it treated homes it owned in majority-Black and Latino communities unfavorably. Fannie Mae was accused of maintaining foreclosed homes in predominantly white neighborhoods while allowing those in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods to fall into disrepair.

 
March 2022

Build-to-rent Single-family Homes a Growing Trend, Led by Phoenix, Report Shows

Communities of single-family homes specifically built as rentals is becoming a hot residential real estate trend, RentCafé reported Jan. 20. The trend is being driven by renters’ interest in more space and privacy, especially in light of the pandemic. A record 6,740 single-family rentals were completed in 2021, and nearly 14,000 are under construction. Phoenix is the most popular metro for these properties.

 

March 2022

Florida, Ohio Have Most Overvalued Housing Markets: Data

Florida and Ohio have the largest share of metros rated as overvalued, researchers at Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University reported Jan. 25. Seven of the country’s 33 most inflated markets are in Florida and four are in Ohio. However, the nation’s most overvalued market is Boise, Idaho, where data reveals that buyers pay 77% more than they should.

 
March 2022

Almost 70% of US Households Can’t Afford Median-priced Home, NAHB Says

Nearly 70% of U.S. households can’t afford the median-priced home of $412,505 and don’t have the income to qualify for a mortgage under standard underwriting criteria, The National Association of Home Builders reported Fed. 15. Currently, about 87.5 million households can’t afford the median-price, and if it were to increase by even $1,000, another 118,000 would be unable to buy.

 
March 2022

US Home Values Grew 18.6% Last Year; Austin, Texas, Home Values Skyrocketed: Redfin

The total value of U.S. homes grew 18.6% in 2021, reaching a record $38.6 trillion by the end of the year, Redfin reported Feb. 3. Home values in Austin, Texas, surged 39.2% during the same time frame, more than twice as fast as the national average.

 

February 2022

Report Explores USPAP, AQC Inclusiveness and Objectivity

The National Fair Housing Alliance, under contract by the Appraisal Subcommittee and the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, on Jan. 19 released its report on whether the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and Appraiser Qualifications Criteria support or promote fairness, equity, objectivity and diversity in both appraisals and the training and credentialing of appraisers. The findings and recommendations are far reaching, and some will require legislative action.

 

February 2022

Fannie Mae to Allow Desktop Appraisals Starting March 19

Starting March 19, Fannie Mae will allow desktop appraisals for select properties based on property tax records and past sales, HousingWire reported Jan. 19. To be eligible, a loan must be a purchase transaction on a single-unit principal residence with a loan-to-value ratio not to exceed 90%.

 
February 2022

Vermont Top State for Inbound Migration, New Jersey Still Tops for Outbound: Study

Vermont led the U.S. in inbound migration last year as Americans sought homes in lower-density areas, according to the 45th Annual National Movers Study released Jan. 3 by United Van Lines. South Dakota and South Carolina rounded out the top three for inbound moves, while New Jersey led in outbound moves for the fourth consecutive year.

 
February 2022

Vacation Home Demand is 77% Higher than Pre-pandemic Levels, According to Redfin

Demand for vacation homes in December was 77% higher than pre-pandemic levels as people continue to work remotely and are able to take advantage of low interest rates, Redfin reported Jan. 6. While December demand was high, it was lower than the demand recorded in November and last January.

 

February 2022

State Attorneys General Target FHA Loan Violations

Attorneys general from 20 states have accused mortgage servicers employed by Federal Housing Administration-approved lenders of failing to properly implement loan modification options, including options to reduce principal and interest, that the agency introduced in July, according to a Dec. 21 letter sent to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, HousingWire reported Jan. 5.

 
February 2022

Consumers Says Now is a Good Time to Sell a Home, Bad Time to Buy One: Fannie Mae

Seventy-six percent of consumers said they believe it’s a good time to sell a home, but only 26% said it’s the right time to buy one, Fannie Mae reported Jan. 7 in its latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index. At this point last year, 52% favored selling, while 50% wanted to buy. The shift may foretell a softening of the housing market.

 
February 2022

Las Vegas and Austin, Texas, Lead December Housing Frenzy: Realtor.com Report

Nationwide home listing prices jumped 10% in December compared with the same point a year ago, led by Las Vegas (up 32.4%) and Austin, Texas, (up 28.8%), Realtor.com reported Jan. 6 in its Monthly Housing Report. The increase was partly driven by buyers looking to lock in deals ahead of projected mortgage rate increases.

 

February 2022

Home Prices Up Nearly 20% Year-over-year: CoreLogic

Home prices in November were up 18.1% year-over-year and are forecast to rise another 2.8% through December 2022, CoreLogic reported Jan. 4 in its Home Price Insights report. However, rising inflation could lead to higher mortgage rates, which could dampen the housing market.

 
February 2022

Housing Market, Economy to Reach ‘New Normal’ This Year, Fannie Mae Predicts

The housing market and overall economy are expected to reach a “new normal” this year as market disturbances and policy responses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic subside, Fannie Mae reported Jan. 19 in its newest Economic Outlook. Home sales and house price growth should reach a more sustainable pace, and home price appreciation is expected to rise 7.6%.

 
February 2022

Manchester, New Hampshire, Again Tops List of Hottest Housing Markets: Realtor.com

Manchester, New Hampshire, returned to the top of the list of hottest U.S. housing markets in December, having claimed the top spot 10 times since August 2020, Realtor.com reported Jan. 20. Burlington, North Carolina, landed second on the list and is one of four North Carolina markets in the top 20.

 

January 2022

VA Increasing Appraisal Fees, Turnaround Times

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Nov. 19 that it will raise appraisal fees and extend turnaround times in certain markets in response to “unprecedented demand,” HousingWire reported. The fee increases, which took effect Dec. 1, vary by state and county; for example, $25 in Minnesota and $400 in some parts of California.

 

January 2022

White House Mulls Restrictions on All-cash Property Sales

The U.S. Department of the Treasury will start to develop regulations that could expand reporting requirements for all-cash real estate purchases, Bloomberg reported Dec. 6. The effort aims to reduce global corruption, and could mandate that title insurance companies turn over information about cash purchases made through shell companies.

 
January 2022

Agencies Raise Appraisal Exemption Requirements for Higher-priced Mortgage Loans

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Dec. 1 that the 2022 threshold for exempting mortgage loans from special appraisal requirements will be $28,500, up from $27,300 in 2021. The increase took effect Jan. 1.

 
January 2022

Residential Appraisals Shouldn’t Reference Neighborhood Demographics: FHFA

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Dec. 14 reported that its analysis of millions of property valuations found many residential appraisal reports that contained improper references to a neighborhood’s racial demographics. Examples include the percentages of an area's racial and ethnic makeup; the languages spoken in an area; and amenities specifically geared to a race, ethnic, or religious group.

 

January 2022

Housing Market Sets 10 Records in 2021, Redfin Reports

Housing was hot in 2021, breaking 10 records, including highest median sale price, lowest inventory of for-sale properties and strongest demand for second homes, Redfin reported Dec. 13. The pandemic changed the residential sector, creating a seismic shift in how people live and work and why and where they purchased homes.

 
January 2022

NAR Expects Slower Home Price Appreciation in 2022, Reveals ‘Hidden’ Housing Markets

Home price appreciation will slow in 2022, inflation will ease and interest rates will see multiple increases, the National Association of Realtors reported Dec. 15 in its year-end real estate forecast. NAR also revealed housing markets it considers “hidden gems,” including Dallas-Fort Worth in Texas; the Daphne-Fairhope-Farley area in Alabama; and the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers region straddling the Arkansas and Missouri state line.

 
January 2022

Two-thirds of Lenders See Return to ‘Normal’ Housing Market in 2022: Fannie Mae

Sixty-five percent of mortgage lenders said they expect profit margins to drop during the next quarter, up from 46% who said so last quarter, Fannie Mae reported Dec. 15 in its Q4 2021 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. The shifting expectations suggest that the housing market may return to a more 'normal' state after a couple of boom years.

 

January 2022

Salt Lake City Top Housing Market for 2022: Realtor.com

Salt Lake City; Boise, Idaho; and Indianapolis are among the cities expected to lead the U.S. in home price appreciation in 2022, Realtor.com reported Dec. 7 in its Top Markets of 2022 forecast. Strong economies, job growth in the tech sector and relative affordability are the reason the cites are expected to excel.

 
January 2022

FHFA Increases Conforming Loan Limits for 2022 to Nearly $1 Million in Some Areas

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Nov. 30 announced that the conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2022 will be $647,200 for single-family homes and increase to $970,800 for homes in higher-cost areas. Loan limits are adjusted annually to reflect changes in the average U.S. home price.

 
January 2022

Home Prices Reach Record High, Inventory Falls to Record Low, Redfin Reports

Homebuying demand fell in line with seasonal norms during the past month, with the number of homes for sale dropping to an all-time low while median home sales prices reached record highs, Redfin reported Dec. 8. The share of homes sold within one week of listing fell to its lowest level since September while the number of pending home sales fell to its lowest since February.

 

December 2021

Housing Market at Peak, Correction May be Coming: Analyst

Wall Street analyst Ivy Zelman who correctly predicted the 2007 housing crash, views the historic increase in home values during the pandemic as a potential precursor to a correction, not necessarily a crash, WealthManagement.com reported Nov. 3. Her biggest concern is that investors who drove up home prices beyond the reach of many buyers may now unload their holdings, which could overwhelm the market with supply.

 

December 2021

Many Homeowners Plan to Sell Soon, Skip Appraisals: Report

Nearly two thirds of prospective home sellers say they plan to enter the market within the next six months, signaling hope for would-be buyers who have struggled with limited inventory, Realtor.com reported Nov. 11. Most sellers anticipate competitive bidding wars for their homes, including offers above-asking and foregoing contingencies such as appraisals and inspections.

 
December 2021

Airbnb to Increase Inventory by 25%, Units Coming from Residential Sector: Analysts

Airbnb is expected to have a significant effect on real estate in 2022 as it plans to increase its inventory by 25%, and many of its new properties will be pulled from the residential sector, the National Association of Realtors reported Nov. 14. The move to more short-term rentals likely will affect home availability and affordability, unless new options from developers fill the gap.

 
December 2021

Zillow Quits Homebuying Business; Investors to Buy 2,000 Properties: Report

Zillow is shuttering its iBuying operations and selling around 2,000 homes in 20 different markets to investment firm Pretium Partners, The Real Deal reported Nov. 10. Zillow reportedly owns 9,800 homes and is contracted to for an additional 8,200 — all of which need to be sold as part of the wind-down. The company expects to lose 5-7% on its home sales.

 

December 2021

Investors Bought Record 18% of Homes in Q3: Redfin

Real estate investors purchased 18.2% of residential properties sold during the third quarter, up 11.2% year-over-year, setting a new record, Redfin reported Nov. 15. Investors bought 90,215 homes during the quarter, an increase of 80.2% from the same point a year ago.

 
December 2021

Redfin Reports that Housing is Expected to Level Out in 2022 as Mortgage Rates Rise

The housing market is expected to become more balanced in 2022 as mortgage rates rise, new listings increase and rents continue to climb, Redfin reported Nov. 18. The report also predicted that more homebuyers will “vote with their feet,” meaning they’ll choose to move to areas with more like-minded people who share their political beliefs.

 
December 2021

Building Materials Prices Set New Record: National Association of Home Builders

The cost of materials used in residential construction ticked up 0.8% in October, pushing prices up a record 12.2% year-to-date, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index, the National Association of Home Builders reported Nov. 9. The increase follows two months of decreases primarily due to drops in lumber and plywood prices

 

December 2021

Supply of Affordable Homes up as Forbearance Ends: Redfin

The supply of the nation’s most affordable properties (those priced at the bottom 5% of the market) was up 13% year-over-year during the third quarter, reaching 78,000 active listings, Redfin reported Nov. 3. As mortgage forbearance programs ended, many owners of low-cost homes put their properties on the market.

 
December 2021

Foreclosures on the Rise; Activity Focused on Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Report

Residential foreclosures rose 5% between September and October and are up 76% from the same point last year following the end of the federal foreclosure moratorium, ATTOM reported Nov. 10 in its Foreclosure Market Report. However, the report noted that the foreclosure rate is slowing and that much of the activity is focused on vacant and abandoned properties.

 
December 2021

Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire, Atop List of Nation’s Hottest Housing Markets

The Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire, housing market retained its place atop the list of the nation’s hottest housing markets in October, assuming the number one spot for the 11th time since March 2020, Realtor.com reported Nov. 18. Burlington, North Carolina, and the Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna are in California, rounded out the top three.

 
November 2021

Buyer Interest in Second Homes Climbs in September Following Summer Slump: Redfin

Demand for second homes jumped in September, up 60% over pre-pandemic levels after slightly slowing during the summer months, Redfin reported Oct. 20. Rising mortgage rates could be spurring consumers to purchase a second home before rates climb further.

 
November 2021

Single Female Homeownership a Challenge, Some Think Buying is Improbable: Survey

The dream of homeownership among single female head of households has become more of a challenge following the pandemic, with 60% saying they feel homeownership is out of reach indefinitely and more than half reportedly feeling “cost burdened,” meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing, Freddie Mac reported in a survey released Oct. 13.

 
November 2021

Housing Inventory Reaches Yearly High: Realtor.com September Housing Report

The inventory of for-sale homes in September reached 646,053, a new high for the year and a 10% increase over the same point a year ago, Realtor.com reported Sept. 30. The largest number of new listings was reported in Austin, Texas (+19.9%); Portland, Oregon (+16.3%); Jacksonville, Florida (+15.1%); and Washington, D.C. (+10.7%).

 
November 2021

Home Prices Grow at Slower Rate in Areas Previously Ravaged by Wildfires: Data

A study of home prices in California revealed that properties in areas devastated by wildfires grew 21% in the three years following a major blaze compared with 33% for homes in areas outside of fire zones, Redfin reported Oct. 6. Also, home purchases in effected areas decreased 38% in the three years following a fire.

 

November 2021

Foreclosures Spike During Q3 as Moratorium is Lifted: Data

Foreclosure activity significantly increased in September as the moratorium was lifted, with 19,609 filings reported for the month, up 24% from August and up 102% from September 2020, ATTOM reported Oct. 14 in its latest Foreclosure Market Report. Lender foreclosures also increased, up 32% quarter-to-quarter. Florida, Illinois and Delaware reported the highest foreclosure rates.

 
November 2021

Indiana, South Dakota, Kansas, Have Top Housing Markets: WSJ/Realtor.com Index

Elkhart-Goshen in Indiana; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Topeka, Kansas, are the top U.S. housing markets, according to the Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index published Oct. 19. Raleigh, North Carolina, and Jefferson City, Missouri, rounded out the top five, based on housing market, economic vitality and quality-of-life metrics.

 
November 2021

Home Prices May Rise Another 16% by End of 2022, Goldman Sachs Economists Predict

While home prices are already 20% higher than at the same point last year, they may grow another 16% by the end of 2022, according to predictions from Goldman Sachs economists, HousingWire reported Oct. 13. Low interest rates, reduced inventory and increased millennial homeownership are all cited as reasons for the continued growth.

 

November 2021

New California Appraiser Requirements Focus on Bias

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 28 signed into law AB 948, legislation that contains multiple provisions related to appraisal bias. Beginning July 1, 2022, all residential sales contracts must include a statement promising that appraisals are unbiased and not influenced by improper or illegal considerations. Refinance transactions must include the same statement in loan documents provided to borrowers.

 

November 2021

Desktop Appraisals Are Here to Stay, FHFA Announces

The option to perform desktop appraisals will become permanent, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Oct. 19. Starting early next year, appraisals for purchase loans can be remotely conducted using public records, such as listings and tax appraisals. Desktop appraisals were intended as a temporary response to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing appraisers to safely perform their job amid lockdowns and social distancing.

 

October 2021

White House Seeks Immediate Increase in Affordable Housing

The Biden administration announced Sept. 1 efforts to add an additional 100,000 homes to the affordable housing supply, with a focus on the lower and middle segments of the market. Part of the plan involves making more single-family properties available to individuals and nonprofits instead of residential investors.

 
October 2021

HUD Disproportionately Sells Homes Located in Flood Zones, NPR Report Reveals

Homes sold by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development between January 2017 and August 2020 were 75 times more likely to be located in flood zones than other homes sold during the same period, NPR reported Sept. 13. Buyers of HUD homes received less information about flood risks and the cost of flood insurance than those who bought from private sellers.

 
October 2021

FHFA Announces Equitable Housing Plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Seeks Input

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.

 

October 2021

Freddie Mac Report Reveals Appraisal Valuation Gap

Freddie Mac on Sept. 20 released a report based on data from the Uniform Collateral Data Portal that showed appraisal values are more likely to fall below the contracted sale price of a home in areas with a higher share of minority households. Appraisal Institute President Rodman Schley, MAI, SRA, said that he supports studies on this important issue in order to promote equity in homeownership for everyone.

 
October 2021

Counties with Greatest Risk of Climate Disaster Becoming More Populous: Redfin

More residents are moving into the nation’s most disaster-prone areas, boosting population in counties with the greatest risk of high heat, drought, fire, flood and storm damage, Redfin reported Aug. 25. These disaster-prone areas are generally more affordable and offer lower property taxes, making them more desirable despite the risks.

 
October 2021

Analysis Shows Phoenix, Las Vegas Among the Most Overvalued Housing Markets

The Phoenix, Las Vegas and Stockton, California, housing markets were among the hardest hit during the Great Recession, but now they rank among the nation’s most overvalued, according to an analysis released Aug. 26 by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. Homes in Phoenix sell at a 42.31% premium, while in Las Vegas the premium is 41.88% and in Stockton it’s 38.5%.

 

October 2021

FHFA: More Than 200,000 Foreclosures Prevented During Q2

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Sept. 23 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 217,000 foreclosure prevention actions during the second quarter, bringing the number of consumers who have been assisted during conservatorship to 6.03 million. The report also noted that 47% of loan modifications lowered borrower monthly payments by more than 20%.

 
October 2021

Renters Outnumber Owners in the Suburbs of Many Major US Cities, Data Shows

Renters now make up the majority of residents in more than 100 of the nation’s suburbs, including communities outside Miami, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C, RentCafe reported Sept. 17. The population of renters in the suburbs outside the 50 largest metros grew 22% between 2010 and 2019, while the number of owners only grew 3% during those years.

 
October 2021

Condo Prices Rising in Oceanfront Counties, Especially in the South: Report

Condo prices rose by at least 20% in a majority of the nation’s oceanfront counties, according to an Aug. 26 report from ATTOM. Condo prices in the more affordable oceanfront markets in the South climbed faster than the more expensive markets in the West.

 

October 2021

3D-printed Homes Appeal to Two-thirds of Consumers: Report

Sixty-six percent of all consumers and 75% of millennials said they would consider living in a 3D-printed home, according to a survey released Aug. 20 by Realtor.com. Results also revealed that 30% of all consumers and 43% of millennials think 3D properties will eventually replace traditional ones.

 

September 2021

New Housing Goals for Fannie, Freddie Focus on Affordability

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Aug. 18 released proposed 2022-24 housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that are primarily designed to promote equitable access to affordable housing with a specific focus on low- and moderate-income borrowers, minority communities and rural areas. FHFA also is proposing new single-family subgoals.

 

September 2021

Fannie Mae: Appraisers Should Avoid ‘Problematic Phrases’

Fannie Mae in its July Appraiser Update newsletter has requested that appraisers avoid using phrases in their reports that can be viewed as problematic because they represent subjective judgments and not objective facts. Examples of phases that should be avoided are “desirable neighborhood,” “crime-ridden area,” “affordable neighborhood” and “Integrated community.”

 
September 2021

Susan Rice to Co-chair HUD Appraisal Task Force, Send Biden Report in 6 Months

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s interagency task force to address appraisal inequities will be co-chaired by former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, HousingWire reported July 29. The Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity task force, co-chaired by HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, will deliver a report to President Biden in six months.

 
September 2021

More Home Sellers Drop Asking Prices as Supply and Demand Recalibrates: Redfin

More than 5% of home sellers are dropping their asking prices each week, the highest rate since October 2019, online real estate marketplace Redfin reported Aug. 18. Still, homes are selling quickly and at high prices as inventory remains low.

 

September 2021

Colorado Springs, Colorado, Hottest Housing Market: Report

Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the hottest housing market, according to the seventh annual Hottest ZIP Codes Report released Aug. 12 by Realtor.com. The report factors in asking price, space for the money, population of high-income millennials and proximity to amenities and outdoor activities. Irondequoit, New York, and Peabody, Massachusetts, round out the top three.

 
September 2021

Owning a Home Cheaper than Renting in the Nation’s Top 50 Markets, Report Shows

Owning a home is a smarter financial choice than renting one in all of the nation’s top 50 markets as rental rates are pushed higher by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from First American Financial Corp., MBA NewsLink reported Aug. 18. The potential for home equity was one of the most significant determining factors; appreciation is up 17.5% through June.

 
September 2021

Foreclosures Up Slightly in July, Expected to Continue Climbing, Data Shows

The number of residential foreclosures fell 4% between June and July, but are 40% higher than one year ago, which signals that they are likely to climb as the government’s moratorium on foreclosures comes to an end, analytics firm ATTOM reported Aug. 10.

 

September 2021

Home Prices Climb in Nearly all Metro Areas During Q2: NAR

The median sales price for single-family homes grew in nearly all metro areas during the second quarter, rising 22.9% to $357,000, which is an increase of $66,800 from one year ago, the National Association of Realtors reported Aug. 12. Monthly mortgage payments on a typical single-family home climbed to $1,215.

 
September 2021

Prices for the Most Expensive and Most Affordable Homes Climbing Fastest: Redfin

Homes on both ends of the spectrum saw prices rise the fastest during the second quarter, with luxury home prices climbing 26% year-over-year and affordable home prices growing 19%, online real estate marketplace Redfin reported July 30. The median home sale price rose 18.7% during the quarter.

 
September 2021

Real Estate Investors Both Help and Harm Housing Inventory Shortages: Realtor.com

Real estate investors are worsening housing inventory shortages in 31 of the nation's 50 largest markets, but helping replenish supply in 19 large markets, Realtor.com reported July 29 in its newest Investor Report. Investors took the most inventory from the Phoenix market, and contributed the most to the Atlanta market.

 

August 2021

Builders Paying High Lumber Prices Despite Cost Drop: NAHB

While the cost of framing lumber dropped about 50% during the past seven weeks, the prices paid by builders have declined only a fraction of that amount because of supply chain issues, the National Association of Home Builders reported July 7. The price of July lumber futures declined 56% since peaking on May 10.

 

August 2021

FHFA Makes Significant Updates to Mortgage Database

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on June 30 released new and expanded statistical products from the National Mortgage Database for new residential mortgage originations. New offerings include a monthly, quarterly and annual series focused on home purchase and refinance mortgages and national mortgage performance and a series of national- and state-level statistics for outstanding residential mortgages.

 
August 2021

Single-family Rental Market Expected to See Major Growth in Coming Years: Report

The single-family rental market is poised for major growth in the coming years as the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the need for more diverse rental properties, according to the Low-Density Rental Housing in America report released June 28 by the Urban Land Institute and real estate consulting firm RCLCO.

 
August 2021

Federal and Local Eviction Moratoria Prevented Foreclosures: Freddie Mac

Federal and local moratoria on foreclosures during the coronavirus pandemic prevented an eviction crisis among renters, but back rent is still a looming issue, Freddie Mac reported June 30 in its Transitioning to Post-Pandemic Normal white paper. Freddie noted that a sufficient amount of rental assistance is still available.

 

August 2021

Urban Flight is a Myth, Freddie Mac Report Shows

So-called urban flight is a myth, with housing prices and sales in urban areas reaching pre-pandemic levels as of May, Freddie Mac reported in a study released July 12. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated the existing migration out of big cities, but it didn’t create an exodus. Buyer demand is now shifting to urban areas in more affordable cities.

 
August 2021

Communities in Florida, Illinois and New Jersey at Greatest Risk Due to COVID-19: Data

During the second quarter, 37 of the 50 counties most vulnerable to the economic effects from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic were located in just three states — Florida, Illinois and New Jersey, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported July 22. Those states, along with Louisiana and Delaware, were the only ones with multiple counties in the top 50.

 

August 2021

Forecast Shows Home Price Growth Through Q2 2022: Data

Home prices are forecast to continue growing for the next 12 months, rising 7% through the second quarter of 2022, analytics firm Veros reported July 7. Much of the growth will be seen in the West, with Idaho claiming five of the strongest residential markets.

 
August 2021

Consumers Believe Now is a Good Time to Sell a Home, Bad Time to Buy One: Fannie Mae

The share of consumers who believe now is a good time to sell a home rose from 67% to 77% between May and June, Fannie Mae reported July 7 in its Home Purchase Sentiment Index. However, sentiment about buying a home worsened in June, with 64% of consumers believing it’s a bad time to buy, up from 56% who thought so in May.

 
August 2021

Vacation Home Market Starts to Cool Off After Record-breaking Year, Data Reveals

Demand for vacation homes in June was down 11.1% from the same point a year ago, possibly marking the end of the pandemic-driven surge in second-home purchases, online real estate marketplace Redfin reported July 14. This decline in vacation-home sales is the first since April 2020, and it comes after months of double- and triple-digit increases in the demand for second mortgages.

 

July 2021

Appraisals Part of Effort to Reduce Wealth Gap: White House

The Biden administration announced June 1 that as part of its efforts to increase Black wealth, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Marcia Fudge, will lead an interagency taskforce to address inequity in home appraisals. The Appraisal Institute supports the task force, which is consistent with congressional legislation backed by the organization (HR 2553 the Real Estate Valuation Fairness and Improvement Act).

 

July 2021

Executive Order Reinstates Flood Risk Standards

President Joe Biden on May 20 signed the Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk, which reinstates the 2015 Federal Flood Risk Management Standard that was revoked under the Trump administration, the National Association of Home Builders reported. The FFRMS significantly expands floodplain areas without congressional oversight and mandates that climate-related financial risk be factored into underwriting standards.

 
July 2021

Biden Administration Seeks to Add $318B for Housing as Part of Infrastructure Plan

The Biden Administration announced May 26 that the American Jobs Plan will include $318 billion to produce or preserve more than two million affordable housing units around the country, Bloomberg CityLab reported. The proposal includes $105 billion in new tax credits, which should boost the number of affordable homes built and maintained every year.

 
July 2021

Immediate Action Needed to Address Nationwide Housing Supply Crisis, Report Shows

Decades of reduced investment in the housing sector and significant underbuilding have caused a dire shortage of homes that urgently needs to be addressed, the National Association of Realtors stated in its June 16 report Housing is Critical Infrastructure: Social and Economic Benefits of Building More Housing. The report revealed an “underbuilding gap” of 5.5 to 6.8 million housing units since 2001.

 

July 2021

Existing Home Sales Fall for Third Consecutive Month: NAR

Sales of existing homes were down in April — the third consecutive month in which they dropped, the National Association of Realtors reported May 21. However, despite the 2.7% monthly decrease, overall home sales are 20% higher than at the same point last year. The median price for an existing home rose 19.1% year-over-year to $341,600.

 
July 2021

Nearly All Home Builders Report Materials Shortages — Including Appliances: NAHB

Materials shortages are becoming more widespread, with more than 90% of home builders reporting problems obtaining appliances, framing lumber and oriented strand board; additionally, 87% cited a shortage of doors and windows, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released May 20. The shortages are setting new records, and appliances made the list for the first time.

 
July 2021

Home Prices Surge While Millions at Risk of Eviction or Foreclosure: Harvard Study

Home price gains surged ahead of income growth last year, elevating the national price-to-income ratio to its highest level since 2006, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies reported June 17 in its State of the Nation’s Housing 2021 report. However, the coronavirus pandemic caused millions to fall behind on housing payments, putting them on the brink of eviction or foreclosure.

 

July 2021

Numerous Potential Homebuyers Looking to Relocate: Redfin

Nearly one third of potential homebuyers who researched properties online in April looked for homes outside their current area, a 26% increase over those looking to relocate last April, online real estate firm Redfin reported May 26. Sunny cities such as Phoenix; Las Vegas; and Sacramento, California, were atop the relocation list.

 
July 2021

Residential Foreclosure Filings Increase as Moratorium Ends: ATTOM Data Solutions

Residential foreclosure filings were down in May and totaled 10,821, but on a year-to-year basis, filings were up 23% and foreclosure starts were up 36%, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported June 15. Among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000, foreclosure filings increased the most in Champaign, Illinois.

 
July 2021

Continued Home Price Growth Expected to Contribute to Inflation: Fannie Mae

Ongoing home price appreciation is expected to drive inflation higher next year, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Housing Outlook released June 16. Additionally, home sales are expected to drop slightly during the second and third quarters due to lack of available inventory and the slowing pace of new construction.

 

June 2021

House Passes Legislation That Addresses FHA Appraisals

The House on May 18 passed HR 3008, the Homebuyer Assistance Act, legislation reintroduced by Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Van Taylor, R-Texas, that would amend the National Housing Act and allow state-licensed appraisers to perform appraisals for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The legislation would require compliance with existing appraiser education requirements.

 

June 2021

Judge Tosses CDC Eviction Moratorium, Puts Ruling on Hold

A federal judge on May 5 threw out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national moratorium on residential evictions, but agreed to hold the ruling while the government works to reverse the decision on appeal, Reuters reported. The judge said that a moratorium on evictions was not part of Congress’ intent to allow the CDC to help individuals during the coronavirus pandemic.

 
June 2021

FHFA To Roll Out New Refi Option for Low-income Families, Includes Appraisal Credit

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced April 28 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will implement a new refinance option for eligible low-income borrowers that could save consumers $100 to $250 per month. An appraisal credit of up to $500 from a lender will be included if a borrower doesn’t qualify for an appraisal waiver.

 
June 2021

Rising Lumber Prices Add $36,000 to Cost of New Homes, NAHB Analysis Reveals

Lumber prices have nearly tripled during the past year causing the price of the average new home to increase by $35,872, the National Association of Home Builders reported April 30. The higher lumber prices also have added about $13,000 to the cost of the average new multifamily home.

 

June 2021

Home Prices Up Amid Materials Shortage, Supply Issues: NAHB

Housing affordability fell during the first quarter as rising materials costs and supply shortages challenged the sector, the National Association of Home Builders Reported May 6 in its latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. Families earning a median income of $79,900 could afford 63.1% of homes sold during the first quarter, down slightly from 63.3% during the fourth quarter.

 
June 2021

Indianapolis is Nation’s Hottest Market; Homes Under Contract in About 4 Days: Redfin

Indianapolis topped the list of the hottest housing markets in the U.S., with homes there typically going into contract in fewer than four days compared with the national average of 19 days, online real estate marketplace Redfin reported May 19. Homes are also selling quickly in Omaha, Nebraska; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle

 

June 2021

‘Small’ Victories for LIA’s Insured Appraisers SPONSORED CONTENT

Everyone likes a good story, especially when it has a happy ending. No insured wants to be sued, and the stress of a lawsuit can be difficult. Every “small” victory is a big relief for the appraiser involved in the case.

 

June 2021

FHFA Submits Proposal for Helping Underserved Markets

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on May 19 published its proposed 2022-24 Underserved Markets Plan that outlines how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will serve the manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing markets through increased liquidity of mortgage investments, MReport reported. The proposal also aims to facilitate a secondary market for low-income financing.

 
June 2021

CFPB Report Shows How Much COVID-19 Pandemic Has Strained Mortgage Borrowers

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain many mortgage borrowers, especially in communities of color, with 33% of borrowers in forbearance residing in predominantly Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported May 4. The CFPB also reported a growing number of borrower complaints against mortgage providers.

 
June 2021

Homebuilding Slows in April as Materials Costs Continue to Climb, NAHB Reports

Housing starts decreased 9.5% nationwide in April, including a 13.4% drop in single-family starts and a 0.8% decrease in multifamily starts, as costs for building materials continue to climb, the National Association of Home Builders reported May 18. Regionally, permits rose in the Northeast and the South.

 

May 2021

House Approves Real Estate Valuation Fairness Legislation

The House Financial Services Committee on April 20 approved HR 2553, the Real Estate Valuation Fairness and Improvement Act, legislation that would establish an interagency task force to analyze federal collateral underwriting standards and guidance, and provide resources for promoting diversity within the valuation profession. The bill now moves to a full House vote, but no date has been set.

 

May 2021

Biden Seeks More Affordable Housing with $5B in Incentives

President Biden is seeking to increase affordable housing in the U.S. by providing $5 billion in financial incentives to local governments to allow apartment buildings in neighborhoods that are restricted to single-family homes, Reuters reported April 8. The incentives to change zoning laws are part of the president’s overall $2 trillion infrastructure proposal.

 
May 2021

CFPB Rescinds Policies Providing Temporary Flexibilities; Appraisal Policy Included

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that effective April 1, seven policy statements that were issued last year to provide temporary flexibilities to financial institutions during the coronavirus pandemic were rescinded, including the Interagency Statement on Appraisals and Evaluations for Real Estate Related Financial Transactions.

 
May 2021

Multifamily Occupancy Falls in Many Markets, Boston Hit the Hardest, Trepp Reports

More than a quarter of the multifamily properties in Boston have a vacancy rate of 20% or greater — the highest in the nation, analytics firm Trepp reported April 20. Other cities where the multifamily supply is suffering significant vacancies include Santa Monica, California; Tallahassee, Florida; and San Francisco.

 

May 2021

CFPB Looks to Ban Foreclosure Starts Until 2022

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on April 5 released a notice of proposed rulemaking that would prohibit servicers from initiating foreclosure proceedings until after Dec. 31, 2021. Current rules state that borrowers have to be delinquent for 120 days before the foreclosure process can start.

 
May 2021

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Tops List of Cities Where Home Prices are Growing Fastest: Data

The median list price for homes in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, increased 82% year-over-year, which puts it atop the list of cities with the fastest growing home prices, Realtor.com reported April 6. Santa Maria, California, was second on the list with a 48% increase, and East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was third with a 43% increase.

 

May 2021

RESNET Celebrates 3 Million HERS Homes

More than 3 million homes in the United States have now been rated with a HERS Index Score, measuring a home’s energy efficiency. For appraisers, that means more homes in the Appraisal Portal to use as comparables when valuating energy-efficient green homes for appraisal. #3MHERSandCounting.

 

May 2021

Minority Households Face Affordability Issues: NAHB Analysis

Only 24% of Black households can afford the nation’s median new home price of $346,577, the National Association of Home Builders reported April 13. For comparison, 32% of Hispanic households can afford a median price home as can 44% of non-Hispanic white households and 56% of Asian households. The affordability gap is an issue across all states.

 
May 2021

The Nation’s Hottest Housing Markets are in New Hampshire, Realtor.com Reports

The Manchester-Nashua metro area in New Hampshire topped the list of the nation’s hottest housing markets based on market demand and the number of days properties spent on the market, Realtor.com reported April 14. Another New Hampshire city — Concord — was second on the hot list, followed by the Vallejo-Fairfield metro area in California.

 
May 2021

Homebuyer, Seller Sentiment Up, Mortgage Outlook Down, Fannie Mae Index Shows

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index released April 7 showed a month-over-month increase in the number of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy or sell a home, and the majority think home prices will increase this year. The mortgage rate outlook was the sole declining index, with just 6% of consumers believing that rates will drop during the year.

 

April 2021

Nearly 50% of Americans Missed Housing Payments: Data

Forty-six percent of Americans missed at least one mortgage or rent payment since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and 25% missed more than one payment, according to survey results released March 11 by personal finance website GOBankingRates. The data showed that the missed payments likely were the result of layoffs and reduced work hours.

 

April 2021

FHFA Further Extends Alternative Appraisals Due to COVID-19

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced March 11 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend until April 30 flexibilities for alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans. Other flexibilities that are being extended include alternative methods for income and employment verification, and expanded use of power of attorney.

 
April 2021

Appraisal Institute Supports Legislation Focused on Fairness in Valuation

The Appraisal Institute on March 9 sent a letter to the House Committee on Financial Services expressing its support for the Real Estate Valuation Fairness and Improvement Act of 2021. The legislation would establish an interagency task force to analyze federal collateral underwriting standards and guidance and provide resources for promoting diversity in the valuation profession.

 
April 2021

More Than 11 Million Families at Risk of Losing Their Home, CFPB Report Reveals

More than 11 million families are behind on their mortgage or rent payments, and widespread foreclosures and evictions could occur when federal, state and local pandemic protections stop, according to a report released March 1 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The report noted that 2.1 million homeowners and 8.8 million renters are at least three months behind on their payments.

 

April 2021

Economy Likely to Grow, Housing to Remain Stable: Fannie Mae

Gross domestic product and employment should expand during the coming months, and interest rates are expected to rise but have a nominal effect on home sales, Fannie Mae reported March 17 it its Economic & Housing Outlook report. Fannie expects single-family home sales to be slightly lower this year than last, and anticipates an uneven year for multifamily properties.

 
April 2021

Gen Z Renters Eschew Big Cities, Seek Smaller, More Affordable Towns: Report

Greenville, North Carolina, is the hottest market for Gen Z renters as younger people reject the large coastal cities favored by their millennial predecessors and seek smaller to mid-size towns in the South and Middle America, online real estate marketplace RentCafé reported March 5. The appeal to these areas is more space and a lower cost of living.

 
April 2021

Homes in Austin, Texas, Selling Fast and for Highest Premium in the US, Redfin Reveals

Homes in Austin, Texas, are selling for 7.1% above list price on average, the highest premium in the U.S., online real estate firm Redfin reported March 24. The housing market there picked up pace during the coronavirus pandemic, with homes selling for 23% more than a year ago and 12 days faster.

 

April 2021

Risk of Flood Damage to Homes to Reach $32B by 2051: Report

Extreme weather and rising sea levels could cause $20 billion in damage to U.S. homes this year, and damages could grow to $32 billion by 2051, according to research released Feb. 22 by nonprofit First Street Foundation, Reuters reported. The states at the greatest risk are Florida, California, South Carolina and Texas, which have a combined 4.3 million properties at risk of substantial damage.

 
April 2021

US Housing Market Remains in Uneven Recovery Since Start of Pandemic: Realtor.com

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, home prices in the U.S. are up 14.3% while new listings are down 27%, and properties are selling almost a week faster than they were pre-pandemic, according to the Housing Market Recovery Index released March 11 by Realtor.com. The Index notes that the market could stabilize as the vaccine rollout expands.

 
April 2021

COVID-19 Changing Homeowner Preferences; Outlying Suburbs Now More Popular: NAHB

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the buying preference of 25% of homebuyers, most noticeably reflected in an increased interest in living in the outlying suburbs, the National Association of Home Builders reported March 25 in its survey What Home Buyers Really Want. Preferences for close-in suburbs, rural areas and downtowns all declined.

 

March 2021

Biden: Government Had Role in Undervaluation of Property

The Biden administration on Jan. 26 released a memorandum to the Department of Housing and Urban Development acknowledging that federal, state and local governments systematically implemented racially discriminatory housing policies during the 20th century, and noted a persistent undervaluation of properties owned by families of color. The administration directed HUD to examine the effects of such policies

 

March 2021

ASB Extends Current Edition of USPAP Through December 2022

The Appraisal Foundation’s Appraisal Standards Board announced Feb. 19 that the current edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice will be extended by one year, and remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2022. USPAP recently has been updated every two years, but in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, ASB extended the effective date to provide continuity to the valuation profession.

 
March 2021

Appraisal Institute Offers President Biden Help on Fair Housing Issues, Valuations

The Appraisal Institute on Jan. 27 sent a letter to President Biden expressing support for the administration’s actions to address the federal government’s history of housing discrimination. AI pledged assistance in addressing fair housing issues and outlined how it’s seeking solutions to appraisal equity, diversity and inclusion.

 
March 2021

Rising Lumber Costs Put Damper on Single-family Housing Starts in January: NAHB

Housing starts fell 6% in January amid rising lumber and construction costs, with single-family starts falling 12.2%, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, The National Association of Home Builders reported Feb. 18. Starts are highest in the Northeast and lowest in the West.

 

March 2021

Interest in Ski Towns Picks Up Among Buyers: Report

Interest in homes in ski resort towns during the fourth quarter was up nearly 36% year-over-year as people sought outdoor recreation options closer to home during the pandemic, according to a report from Realtor.com, Forbes reported Jan. 25. Much of the increased demand came from residents of cold-weather states who traditionally have sought second properties in warmer states.

 
March 2021

Housing Market Rages as Prices Climb and Homebuyer Demand Rises: Redfin Reports

Homebuyer demand is 60% higher now than at the same point a year ago, and sale prices are up 18% during the same period as the pandemic continues to fuel an unusually hot residential market, online real estate marketplace Redfin reported Feb. 3. More than half of for-sale homes found a buyer within 14 days.

 
March 2021

Home Prices Continue to Rise, Every Major Metro Sees Year-to-year Gains: NAR

Home prices during the fourth quarter of 2020 were up in every metro from the same point a year earlier, with nearly 90% of metros seeing double-digit increases, the National Association of Realtors reported Feb. 11. Bridgeport, Connecticut, saw the greatest price gains, with homes there selling for an average 39% more than a year earlier.

 

March 2021

Suburban Denver is Top Luxury Home Market: Realtor.com

The Denver suburbs topped the list of fastest-growing luxury home markets during the fourth quarter of 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to drive interest in larger homes in less dense areas, Realtor.com reported Feb. 8. The entry point for luxury listings (the top 5% of all homes) is now $3.4 million, up 14% from a year ago.

 
March 2021

Construction of Low-income Housing Unlikely to Affect Nearby Home Prices: Report

An analysis of more than 220,000 U.S. home sales found that the introduction of low-income housing caused no major difference in the prices of properties sold nearby, real estate marketplace Redfin reported Feb. 10. In four of the eight metro areas where significant differences were detected — Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Charlotte, North Carolina — homes sold for more after construction of low-income developments.

 
March 2021

Housing Market Boom Continues, Half of Homes Under Contract within 2 Weeks: Redfin

The median home price rose 15% through early February to $318,750, and a record 52% of homes were under contract within two weeks of listing, online real estate marketplace Redfin reported Feb. 12. Compared with one year ago, pending home sales are up 29% and the number of new listings is down 11%.

 

February 2021

Essential Worker Status May Help Appraisers Get Vaccination

The Appraisal Institute on Jan. 20 advised its professionals to check with state and local government agencies where they reside to see if the real estate valuation profession falls into an essential workforce category that will give them early access to a COVID-19 vaccine

 

February 2021

FHFA Seeks Input on Appraisal Policies, Practices and Processes

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Dec. 28 issued a Request for Input on policies and processes related to appraisal modernization, the Uniform Appraisal Dataset, automated valuation models, appraisal waivers and valuation differences by borrower and neighborhood ethnic makeup. Feedback is due to the FHFA by Feb. 26.

 
February 2021

Supreme Court Denies Further Stay in FTC Case Against Louisiana Appraiser Board

The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 18 declined to intervene or issue a further stay of the administrative proceedings brought by the Federal Trade Commission against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board, making it the first case concerning real estate appraisers to reach the Supreme Court in almost 60 years.

 
February 2021

Housing Starts Finish 2020 Strong, but Trouble Could be on the Horizon: NAHB

Single-family home starts in December rose 12% year-over-year, but rising lumber prices and increasing regulatory burdens could dampen future construction, the National Association of Home Builders reported Jan. 21. Multifamily starts decreased 13.6% during the same period.

 

February 2021

Washington State has 6 of the Top Housing Markets: Redfin

Six of the 10 most competitive housing markets are in Washington state, online real estate broker Redfin reported Dec. 29. Spanaway, Washington, tops the list, with 68.9% of homes there selling above list price and the typical home staying on the market for only five days. Other hot markets are in California, Maine and Michigan.

 
February 2021

Number of Homes for Sale Hits All-time Low After Active Holiday Season: Realtor.com

The inventory of homes for sale dropped below 700,000 in December — an all-time low — as homebuyers remained active throughout the holiday season, Realtor.com reported Jan. 7. Home prices in 2020 grew 13.4% year-over-year, and properties sold in an average 66 days, which is 13 days faster than in 2019.

 
February 2021

Owning a Home More Affordable than Renting in Nearly Two-thirds of US Counties: Data

Owning a median-priced three-bedroom home is more affordable than renting an equivalent-sized property in 63% of U.S. counties, despite home prices rising faster than both rents and wages in a majority of the nation, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Jan. 7.

 

February 2021

Milwaukee Home Prices Appreciated Most in 2020: Report

Milwaukee topped the list of cities with the greatest home price appreciation last year, with prices up 17.9% for the year, buoyed by buyers leaving expensive cities for more affordable ones, WealthManagement reported Jan. 20. Memphis, Tennessee, and Detroit were second and third, respectively, for home price appreciation.

 
February 2021

New Home Listings Drop for First Time Since July; Buying Frenzy Expected: Redfin

New listings of homes for sale this month were down 3% from last January, marking the first decline since July and likely leading to a housing frenzy that will rival that of 2020, online real estate marketplace Redfin reported Jan. 15. Pending home sales increased 35% year-over-year, while active listings were down 33% to an all-time low.

 
February 2021

New York City Tops List of Markets with Most Expensive Luxury Homes, Data Shows

Manhattan is the nation’s most expensive luxury home market, with properties in this pricey category starting at $6.5 million, according to a Realtor.com report, WealthManagement.com reported Jan. 5. Los Angeles and San Diego were second and third on the high-end list, respectively.

 

January 2021

Millions Expect to Lose Homes in Next 2 Months: Survey

Around 5.8 million adults said they expect to face eviction or foreclosure over the next two months due to economic hardships wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey, Bloomberg reported Nov. 23. That’s 33% of the 17.8 million adults behind on rent or mortgage payments.

 

January 2021

‘Appraisal Issues’ Cited as a Problem in October: NAR

Twenty-one percent of real estate agents said “appraisal issues” delayed their sales contracts in October, and 13% said such issues caused contracts to be terminated, the National Association of Realtors reported Dec. 9 in its most recent confidence index. The index didn’t specify what the issues were, and noted that agents cited buyer financing as the bigger issue.

 
January 2021

US Housing Market Will Withstand Foreclosure Wave When Forbearance Ends: Redfin

The housing market should weather an expected wave of foreclosures as forbearance programs end and more than 3.3 million homeowners reckon with delinquent mortgage payments, online real estate firm Redfin reported Dec. 7. Foreclosed homes are likely to sell quickly and do little to address lack of inventory, leaving the larger housing market unaffected.

 
January 2021

Investors Seek Build-to-rent Single-family Homes: National Rental Home Council

The coronavirus pandemic has caused more households to enter the single-family rental market, and developers and investors are expected to bring 55,000 to 60,000 new properties to market, up from 40,000 last year, according to the National Rental Home Council, National Real Estate Investor reported Nov. 23. Rental home occupancy reached 94.7% during the second quarter.

 

January 2021

NYC Residential Real Estate Valued Highest in US: Data

The cumulative value of New York City’s residential real estate is $2.8 trillion, the highest in the nation, according to data published Dec. 1. by investor-focused media outlet Visual Capitalist. Los Angeles comes in second at $2.3 trillion followed by San Francisco at $1.3 trillion. Nationwide, residential real estate has a cumulative value of $32.6 trillion.

 
January 2021

Multifamily Sector Stabilizes, Rent Trends Consistent with Previous Years: Data

After some disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the multifamily sector appears to be back on track, with rents down 0.5% in November, which is consistent with historical trends during the past three years, online marketplace Apartment List reported Nov. 30 in its National Rent Report. Nationwide, rents are down 1.3% year-over-year.

 
January 2021

Sacramento, California, Will be Hottest Housing Market in 2021: Realtor.com

Sacramento, California, is projected to be the nation’s top housing market in 2021, as buyers from the San Francisco Bay area look for larger and more affordable homes without having to completely leave the region, Realtor.com reported Dec. 7. Other top markets: San Jose, California, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

January 2021

Million-dollar Homes in High Demand, MBA Data Shows

Demand for million-dollar properties is growing faster than any other housing segment as wealthy buyers seek larger properties during the pandemic, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, Bloomberg reported Dec. 8. Applications for mortgages over $766,000 were up 59% month-over-month in October while mortgages for properties in the $150,000 to $300,000 range were up just 13%.

 
January 2021

Realtor.com 2021 Housing Forecast Shows Increase in Sales, Prices and Mortgage Rates

Home sales this year are expected to be 7% higher than 2020 levels, even as home prices are anticipated to grow by 5.7% next year, Realtor.com reported Dec. 2 in its 2021 Housing Market Forecast. The forecast also revealed an expected return to a normal selling season and a slight increase in mortgage rates.

 
January 2021

Foreclosed Homes Sold for Greater Discounts During the Third Quarter, Data Shows

The price difference between foreclosed home sales and traditional home sales continues to widen, with foreclosed homes selling for about two-thirds the price of the median home ($281,438) during the third quarter, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Dec. 3. The greatest foreclosure discounts are in the Midwest and the South.

 

December 2020

Real Estate Economists See Short Recession, Strong Recovery

Real estate economists surveyed by the Urban Land Institute for its Real Estate Economic Forecast said they expect a recession to be short-lived and foresee above-average GDP growth in 2021 and 2022, MBA NewsLink reported Nov. 9. Real estate conditions should be better than what was predicted six months ago, with the single-family residential sector performing best.

 

December 2020

Agencies Maintain Appraisal Threshold for Smaller Loans

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board announced Nov. 18 that the threshold for exempting loans from special appraisal requirements for higher-priced mortgages will remain at $27,200 next year. The threshold is based on the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

 
December 2020

Difference in Home Values Grows Between White and Minority Neighborhoods: Study

The difference between home values in white neighborhoods and minority neighborhoods doubled between 1980 and 2015, according to an Oxford University Press study, the National Association of Realtors reported Nov. 2. Homes in predominantly white neighborhoods appraised an average $164,000 higher than homes in majority minority neighborhoods. The study noted that most appraisers genuinely do not consider racial composition of a neighborhood when appraising homes.

 
December 2020

COVID-19 is Making People Want to Move to More Affordable, Less Dense States: Redfin

The COVID-19 pandemic has led more Americans to consider moving out of state, with California seeing a 62% uptick in residents looking at homes elsewhere during the third quarter, real estate site Redfin reported Oct. 28. Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas were the most appealing states to those looking to relocate.

 

December 2020

Buyers Making Vacation Towns Their Permanent Home: Data

Popular vacation spots, like the Jersey Shore, Cape Cod, Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs, are seeing increased buyer activity as more people work remotely and seek a permanent home in areas that have traditionally been second-home markets, real estate marketplace Redfin reported Nov. 11.

 
December 2020

FHFA Increases 2021 Conforming Loan Limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Nov. 24 announced that the maximum conforming loan limits for single-family mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac next year will be $548,250, a 7.5% increase from this year’s limit. In high-cost areas, where 115% of the median home value exceeds the baseline, the maximum loan limit will be $822,375.

 
December 2020

Demand for Second Homes Rises 100% Amid Coronavirus Lockdown, Redfin Reports

Second home sales in October rose 100% year-over-year as many people work from home and are unable to travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, real estate firm Redfin reported Nov. 19. This is the fourth triple-digit increase in second home demand within the past five months, and has outpaced the demand for primary homes by 50%.

 

December 2020

Single-family Home Prices Up in All Metros During Q3: NAR

Single-family home prices were up in all metro areas during the third quarter, with 65% of areas showing double-digit gains, the National Association of Realtors reported Nov. 12 in its Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability and Housing Affordability Index. The increases were attributed to record-low mortgage rates and reduced nationwide inventory.

 
December 2020

Experts Differ on Future of Housing Sector Once CARES Act Protections End: Report

Foreclosure and eviction protections under the CARES Act are set to expire at the end of the year, and housing experts who spoke to Money for a report released Oct. 24 offered mixed predictions, with some expecting a dangerous increase in foreclosures and evictions and others saying an increase will be limited and not constitute a crisis.

 
December 2020

COVID-19 Vaccine Could Increase Mortgage Rates and Housing Inventory: Economists

Economists say a COVID-19 vaccine could lead to a rise in interest rates, pushing mortgage rates higher than the record lows seen during the past several months, MarketWatch reported Nov. 12. However, the rise in rates is not expected to dampen the housing outlook, as a vaccine might encourage would-be sellers to put their homes on the market.

 

November 2020

Sales of Luxury Homes Skyrocket, Redfin Data Reveals

Sales of luxury homes during the third quarter increased 41.5% over the some point last year, which is the biggest jump since 2013, real estate marketplace Redfin reported Oct. 12. However, sales of affordable properties (the bottom 5% of the market by price) dropped 4.2%, which indicates the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionally affecting lower-income Americans.

 

November 2020

Northeast Housing Markets Most Vulnerable, Report Shows

Housing markets in the Northeast are most vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with counties in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania most at risk due to the percentage of homes there facing foreclosure and those with mortgage balances exceeding property values, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Oct. 8.

 
November 2020

Apartment Rents Drop in Tech Hubs, Rise in Fast-growing Secondary Markets: Data

Apartments rents in many of the nation’s 100 largest metros showed year-over-year declines in September across studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, Realtor.com reported Oct. 13. Rents declined the most in large tech hubs like San Francisco, Manhattan, Boston and Seattle. Rents increased the most in fast-growing cities, like Rochester, New York, and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 
November 2020

Data Shows Marin County, California, is Nation’s Least Affordable Housing Market

The median single-family home price in 63% of U.S. counties is less affordable than historical averages, but in Marin County, California, just outside of San Francisco, a home purchase requires 105.7% of annualized weekly wages, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Sept. 25. Conversely, homes in Baltimore County, Maryland, require only 12% of annualized weekly wages.

 

November 2020

Summer Housing Boom Continues into Fall: Realtor.com

The active summer housing market remains strong heading into the fall, with the inventory of available homes in September down 39% compared with the same point a year ago, Realtor.com reported Oct. 1. The median home price climbed to $350,000 in September, an 11.1% increase from last September.

 
November 2020

Green Homes Sell for Premium, but Data Needed to Boost Prices Often Insufficient: Study

High-performance homes in the Midwest sold for a premium when data was available to market them as green; however, critical data is often missing or incorrect, according to a study released Oct. 12 by economic development agency Elevate Energy. Sandra Adomatis, SRA, was a key contributor to the study, along with Samuel Adesiji, SRA; Timothy Evans, SRA; Rachel Massey, SRA, AI-RRS; T.J. McCarthy, SRA; and Kern Slucter, MAI, SRA.

 
November 2020

400,000 Homeowners ‘Needlessly Delinquent’ on Their Mortgages, Researchers Say

Around 400,000 homeowners are “needlessly delinquent” on their loans because they have failed to take advantage of mortgage forbearance programs, researchers at the Urban Institute reported Oct. 5. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act allows homeowners with federal mortgages to defer their payments for up to six months if necessary.

 

November 2020

Data Shows Foreclosure Filings at All-time Low During Q3

Foreclosure filings fell 12% between the second and third quarters, and are down 81% from the same point a year ago, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Oct. 15 in its Q3 Foreclosure Market Report. Filings are now at their lowest level since the quarterly report began tracking such data in 2008.

 
November 2020

Sales of Existing Homes Up 9.4% in September; Median Home Price Also Grows: NAR

Sales of existing homes in September were up 9.4% from August, and were 21% higher than at the same point a year ago, the National Association of Realtors reported Oct. 22. The median price of existing homes rose to $311,800, a 15% year-over-year increase.

 
November 2020

Lot Sizes for Single-family Homes Smallest on Record: NAHB

The median lot size for single-family homes dropped to a record low of 8,177 square feet last year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Association of Home Builders reported Oct. 7. More than one third of single-family detached homes sit on lots smaller than 0.16 acres, and 24% occupy lots between 0.16 and 0.25 acres.

 

October 2020

Most Cities Not Seeing ‘Mass Exodus’ Due to COVID-19: Data

Reports about the COVID-19 pandemic causing a mass exodus from major cities are generally unfounded, with most states seeing fewer people moving between March 11 and June 30 this year than last, according to data from moving company platform Hire A Helper, Bloomberg reported Sept. 16. Those who did leave big cities relocated to other large metros.

 

October 2020

HUD Finalizes Revised Rule for ‘Disparate Impact’ Claims

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Sept. 4 finalized its revised standard for bringing “disparate impact” claims under the Fair Housing Act, ABA Banking Journal reported. The final HUD rule now is aligned with the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs vs. Inclusive Communities Project.

 
October 2020

Flood Risk Scores Now Available for All US Households; Results Are Concerning

The nonprofit research and technology group First Street Foundation launched an interactive website that offers flood risk data for more than 142 million U.S. properties, and Realtor.com will includes the scores in its listing information, CNBC reported Aug. 26. The forward-looking First Street data shows that 70% more homes are prone to flood risk that what’s reported by FEMA.

 
October 2020

California Legislation Clarifies Status of Appraisers as Independent Contractors

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 4 signed AB 2257, legislation that clarifies how the state’s employment laws apply to services provided by state-licensed and state-certified real estate appraisers, allowing them to work as independent contractors.

 

October 2020

Home Values, Owner Equity Up in Q2: Federal Reserve

The aggregate value of the nation’s residential mortgages at the end of the second quarter was $10.6 trillion, an $80 billion increase from the first quarter, according to the Q2 Federal Reserve Flow of Funds report released Sept. 21, the National Association of Home Builders reported. The aggregate value of household market values reached $30.8 trillion, an increase of $450 billion.

 
October 2020

Existing Home Sales at Highest Level Since 2006: National Association of Realtors

The sales of existing homes climbed for the third consecutive month in August, reaching the highest level since December 2006, the National Association of Realtors reported Sept. 22. Home sales are expected to continue their upward trajectory through the end of the year.

 
October 2020

55% of Homeowners Regret Obtaining a Mortgage During the Pandemic: Survey

Fifty-five percent of homeowners said they regret taking out a mortgage during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey released Sept. 1 by online financial marketplace LendEDU. While low interest rates drove many to take out a new mortgage or refinance an existing one, the pandemic-related recession makes it harder for borrowers to pay back their loans.

 

October 2020

11M Households Behind on Mortgages, Rent in Q2: MBA

Nearly 11 million households fell behind on their mortgage or rent during the second quarter, according to a report released Sept. 17 by the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Research Institute for Housing America. The report revealed that 65% of borrowers received permission from their lenders to delay or reduce their monthly payments.

 
October 2020

Homebuyers Flock to Affordable Counties Just Outside Major Metros: Redfin

El Dorado Country in California, near Sacramento and the Bay Area, is the nation’s hottest market as homebuyers seek more affordable areas outside of major metros but still within driving distance of them, real estate marketplace Redfin reported Sept. 21. Homebuyer interest is also heating up in Camden County, New Jersey, and Columbia Country, Oregon.

 
October 2020

2020 US Economic Forecast Improves, Housing a Leading Factor, Fannie Mae Says

The full-year 2020 real GDP is forecast to contract by only 2.6%, down from the previous month’s forecast of 3.1%, Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group reported Sept. 15. The pace of existing home sales, which increased in July to a level not seen since 2006, was cited as one of the main reasons for the improvement.

 

September 2020

AI Seeks to Work with TAF on Alleged Bias in Valuation

The Appraisal Institute on Aug. 20 sent a letter to The Appraisal Foundation offering its support to reinforce existing requirements to help combat potential bias in the appraisal process, specifically citing a need to make the AQB criteria and USPAP more illustrative on such matters.

 

September 2020

FHA Unveils Tech Module for Single-family Appraisals

The Federal Housing Administration on Aug. 18 announced the release of its FHA Catalyst: Electronic Appraisal Delivery module, which enables lenders to electronically submit, track and manage single-family property appraisals. FHA-approved lenders began using the module Sept. 4, submitting appraisal reports and updates for FHA Single-Family Title II forward mortgages.

 
September 2020

Hottest US Housing Market is in Colorado; East Coast Well Represented, Data Shows

Colorado Springs. Colorado, is once again the nation’s hottest ZIP code with regard to home sales, with houses there selling in an average 13 days, Realtor.com reported Aug. 18. However, most of the top 10 hot ZIP codes are on the East Coast, where housing markets recovered quickly and pent up demand drove buyers back to the market.

 
September 2020

Average Selling Price for Homes Rose 11%; Biggest Increase Since 2014, Redfin Reports

The average selling price for homes rose 11% year-over-year for the week ending July 26, which is the largest increase since 2014, and at $315,000, the average price reached a record high, real estate site Redfin reported Aug. 3. Pending home sales also were up, rising 12% from the same point a year ago.

 

September 2020

Residential Foreclosures Might Double by Mid-2021: Data

The number of residential foreclosures in the U.S. could surge more than 100% by the second quarter 2021 if unemployment rates worsen, which would prevent more homeowners from paying their mortgages, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported July 31. Currently, there are about 145,000 homes in foreclosure.

 
September 2020

Report Reveals More Americans Placing Offers on Homes They Never See in Person

Forty-five percent of recent homebuyers purchased their property without ever seeing it in person — an increase from the 28% who made a sight-unseen purchase last year, real estate site Redfin reported July 30. Buyers are placing offers quickly and remotely because of competitive markets and safety restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 
September 2020

Inventory of Homes for Sale Drops While Median Price Rises: Realtor.com Data

The inventory of homes for sale was 32.6% lower in July compared with the same point a year earlier, while inventory of newly listed homes was 13.4% lower during the same time period, Realtor.com reported July 30. Median home prices grew 8.5% year-over-year in July, reaching a new high of $349,000.

 

September 2020

Homes Moving Fast; 46% Selling Within 2 Weeks: Report

Nearly half of all homes listed during the past month sold within two weeks, and the supply of available properties is down 28% compared to the same point a year ago, real estate site Redfin reported Aug. 11. Pending home sales are up 10% year-over-year, but have plateaued during the last month.

 
September 2020

Luxury Home Prices on the Rise as Buyers Seek More Space and Amenities: Redfin

The median sale price of luxury homes this summer was $825,000, up 1.2% year-over-year as the coronavirus lockdown has driven interest in extra bedrooms, home offices and swimming pools, real estate site Redfin reported Aug. 19. The site defines luxury homes as those in the top 5% of market value.

 
September 2020

Realtor.com Report Shows Buyers Out in Full Force, Boosting Housing Market Recovery

A surge in homebuyers is driving the housing market recovery, as purchase decisions are no longer dictated by the school calendar due to the coronavirus, Realtor.com reported Aug. 20. Housing markets in the West led the national recovery, while markets in the Northeast and South remain above recovery pace and the Midwest shows improvement.

 

August 2020

AI Urges Swift Passage of Appraisal Portal Legislation

The Appraisal Institute on July 9 sent a letter to Reps. David Kustoff, R-Tenn., and Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., urging swift passage of HR 7688, the Portal for Appraisal Licensing Act of 2020. The legislation would amend the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 to establish a portal for appraisal credentialing and appraisal management company registration information.

 

August 2020

Median Home Prices Flat or Falling in 17 States: Data

Median home prices were stagnant or down in 17 states between April and May, a sign that the coronavirus pandemic has slowed the country’s eight-year housing boom, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported July 1. Charlotte, North Carolina, reported the greatest decline, with the median home price down 10%.

 
August 2020

Drop in Home Prices Expected to Begin Once Summer Selling Season Ends: CoreLogic

The coronavirus pandemic has created a volatile landscape for housing markets, and prices in 125 metros are expected to drop by as much as 6.6% through next May as the summer selling season ends and pent up demand has been met, according to a report from analytics firm CoreLogic, MBA NewsLink reported July 7.

 
August 2020

Millions of Properties at Greater Flood Risk Than Previously Estimated, Data Reveals

The number of U.S. properties in danger of flooding this year is 70% higher than government data suggests, according to a study released June 29 by the nonprofit research group First Street Foundation. The data shows around 14.6 million properties are at risk of flooding, compared with Federal Emergency Management Agency data showing 8.7 million properties at risk.

 

August 2020

Rent Growth Slows, Drops in Many Pricey Markets: Index

Rents are decreasing in many parts of the country, with San Francisco; Orlando, Florida; New York City; and San Jose, California, seeing the largest drops, according to rental listing site Apartment List, MarketWatch reported June 29. Nationwide, rents this year are up only 0.2%, which is the lowest year-over-year growth rate in the past five years.

 
August 2020

Family-oriented Rental Housing Lacking, Urgently Needed: Urban Land Institute Report

The demand for family-oriented rental housing isn’t being met as developers increasingly focus on young millennials, according to the report “Family Renter Housing: A Response to the Changing Growth Dynamics of the Next Decade” released June 22 by the Urban Land Institute. However, the segment is expected to skyrocket as millennials start families, creating plenty of incentive for developers and investors.

 
August 2020

East Coast and Illinois Housing Markets Most Vulnerable to Pandemic Effects: Data

Housing markets in the East Coast and in Northern Illinois are the most vulnerable to downward pressure on home prices because of the coronavirus pandemic, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported July 10. The most vulnerable markets are New York City, Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

 

August 2020

Condos Unlikely to Become Rentals if Market Drops: Report

During the Great Recession, many developers turned condominium buildings into rental apartments, but that market shift is unlikely to happen now because lenders don’t want buildings stuck in limbo, according to real estate law firm Holland & Knight, National Real Estate Investor reported July 15. The resistance to rental is due to new financing structures and stronger tenant protection laws.

 
August 2020

Prices for Affordable Homes Grew Fastest as COVID-19 Gripped the Country: Redfin

Prices for affordable homes began climbing soon after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, while prices for expensive homes barely budged, real estate site Redfin reported June 26. Affordable home prices climbed 5.5% year-over-year during the 12 weeks ending May 31, while prices of expensive homes increased 2%.

 
August 2020

Sales of Existing Homes Jump 20.7% in June, Inventory Still Limited, NAR Reports

Sales of existing homes jumped 20.7% between May and June, but remained 11.3% lower than at the same point a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the economy, the National Association of Realtors reported July 22. Home prices rose during the lockdown, and could continue to rise as buyers compete for the small inventory of available homes.

 

July 2020

Housing is Recovering; Economic Outlook Uncertain: Freddie Mac

An increase in homebuyer demand and a decrease in mortgage rates is expected to propel the housing sector forward this year, but the overall outlook is still uncertain due to concerns about the coronavirus and the nation’s fiscal policies, Freddie Mac reported June 16 in its Quarterly Forecast. Improvements in home price growth, sales and loan originations are expected next year.

 

July 2020

Homebuyer Interest in ‘Hot’ Suburbs Picks Up: Realtor.com

The suburbs of Columbia, South Carolina; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Greensboro, North Carolina, saw the greatest spikes in interest in May and were deemed the hottest markets as buyers seek to distance themselves from crowded urban centers amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Market Hotness report released June 17 by Realtor.com.

 
July 2020

FHFA Extends Through July Appraisal Loan Processing Flexibilities Offered by GSEs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced June 11 that it is extending until at least July 31 several loan origination flexibilities offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to assist borrowers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans are among the extended items.

 
July 2020

Renters Seeking Space and Affordability Could Alter Multifamily Sector, Study Shows

The residential rental sector could see significant changes due to the coronavirus pandemic as renters seek larger spaces and more affordable rents, move to less dense areas or leave the rental market altogether, according to the Multifamily Housing Renter Perspective Study released June 10 by insurance firm Assurant.

 

July 2020

7.4M Properties at Risk to Summer Storm Surge: CoreLogic

More than 7 million single-family homes and 250,000 multifamily residences along the Atlantic Seaboard and the Gulf Coast are at risk for storm damage this year, according to the Storm Surge Report from analytics firm CoreLogic, MBA NewsLink reported June 3. The reconstruction cost value could top $1.7 trillion for single-family homes and $95 billion for multifamily properties.

 
July 2020

Number of Buyers Interested in Single-family Homes Hits 4-year High, Redfin Reports

Online searches for single-family homes hit a four-year high during the past month as 36% of saved searches reveal buyers are looking for more space and privacy, online marketplace Redfin reported June 15. Tampa, Florida, saw the greatest increase in the share of buyers looking for single-family homes, followed by Las Vegas and Boston.

 
July 2020

Most Home Sellers Willing to Accept a Lower Purchase Price During COVID-19: Report

Nearly 70% of home sellers said they would accept a lower purchase offer to get to the closing table amid the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 80% of sellers expressing concern their homes won’t sell during a recession, financial firm LendingTree reported June 16. Additionally, 46% of would-be sellers said they have delayed listing their homes for sale.

 

July 2020

Mortgage Sector Off to Worst Start Since 2013: Bloomberg

The Federal Reserve has provided $688 billion to the mortgage sector since mid-March, but despite that assistance, the mortgage sector is off to its worst start in seven years, Bloomberg reported June 1. Contributing to the situation is higher than expected mortgage prepayments, increased forbearance and the Fed almost singlehandedly driving value and risk.

 
July 2020

Home Building Expected to Increase in Suburban Areas as Buyers Shift Priorities: NAHB

Home building in inner and outer suburbs and more rural areas, which was already on the rise before the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to increase as homebuyers shift their attention to properties in lower density areas and smaller towns that were less impacted by COVID-19, the National Association of Home Builders Reported June 2.

 
July 2020

Housing Demand, Home Prices Leading Factors in Housing Recovery: Realtor.com Survey

Buyer interest and home prices are now growing faster than pre-COVID-19 levels, but new supply and the rate of sales are still lagging but trending up, Realtor.com reported June 8 in its Housing Market Recovery Index. Housing markets in Boston, Denver and San Francisco have experienced the strongest recovery.

 

June 2020

HUD Extends Appraisal Inspection Options Until June 30

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced May 14 that it has extended the Federal Housing Administration’s single-family exterior-only or desktop-only appraisal inspection options until June 30, enabling appraisers to limit face-to-face contact during the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance is included in Mortgagee Letter 2020-14.

 

June 2020

Fannie Allows Collateral Underwriter Instead of Field Reviews

Fannie Mae on May 5 issued a Lender Letter addressing updated appraisal policies, stating that Collateral Underwriter and other third-party tools can be used in lieu of field reviews on 10% of a random sample of loans. Further, remote online notarization was made effective for all loans, depending on the state, and will remain in effect until further notice.

 
June 2020

Removing 1 Million Homes from Flood Zones Could Save $1 Trillion: Government Report

The U.S. could save more than $1 trillion by removing a million homes from flood-prone locales and relocating residents to higher ground, according to a report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Scientific American reported April 27. The cost to buy and raze the properties is estimated at $180 billion.

 
June 2020

Coronavirus Causes Consumer Confidence in Housing to Drop to 9-year Low: Fannie Mae

Consumer confidence in housing dropped in April to its lowest level since November 2011 as the coronavirus increased pessimism regarding job security and the ability to buy or sell a home, Fannie Mae reported May 3 in its Home Purchase Sentiment Index. Fannie noted that low mortgage rates should boost optimism in housing.

 

June 2020

Homes Priced Above $1M Hit Hardest by Coronavirus: Redfin

The supply of homes for sale over $1 million decreased by 29% year-over-year between mid-March and mid-April, making the high-end housing market the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Redfin reported May 1. The supply of affordable homes — those priced under $250,000 — increased by 34% in the same time frame.

 
June 2020

Residential Rents Drop Nationwide; Median Rent Down First Time in 6 Years: Data

Miami, New York City, Baltimore, Las Vegas and Austin, Texas, are among major metros where residential rents have dropped the most, due largely to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the May National Rent Report from real estate site Apartment List, CNBC reported May 19. Median rents declined nationwide from March to April for the first time since 2014.

 
June 2020

Single-family Home Rental Sector Poised to Surpass Multifamily: Green Street Advisors

The single-family home rental sector is expected to outperform the multifamily sector in terms of rent, revenue and net operating income for the next two to three years, according to consulting firm Green Street Advisors, GlobeSt.com reported May 18. The multifamily sector is projected to decline 6% through the end of 2021.

 

June 2020

FHFA Rereleases Proposed Capital Rule for Fannie, Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on May 20 announced that it is seeking comments on a notice of proposed rulemaking that sets a new regulatory capital framework for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The proposed rule is a re-proposal of the rulemaking previously published in July 2018, and comments are due 60 days after the rule’s publication in the Federal Register.

 
June 2020

Potential Home Sellers Gearing Up to List as Soon as Stay-at-home Orders Lift: NAR

More than three-quarters of potential home sellers said they will list their homes once stay-at-home orders end, and half are completing home improvement projects in preparation, the National Association of Realtors reported May 7. Additionally, the quarantine has led to an increased number of potential buyers who said they want a home office and outdoor space.

 
June 2020

Homebuyer Demand Leads to Drops in Sales and Listings, but Prices Still High: Redfin

Overall home sales in April dropped 22.5% and listings dropped 42% compared to the same point a year ago, marking the biggest declines on record, real estate site Redfin reported May 18. However, home prices remained steady, and were 4.9% higher than last April.

 

May 2020

Federal Banking Agencies Defer Some Appraisals, Evaluations

The federal banking agencies on April 14 issued an interim final rule to temporarily defer some appraisals and evaluations under the agencies' interagency appraisal regulations. Certain appraisals and evaluations for residential and commercial properties are deferred for up to 120 days after closing a loan transaction. The interim rule excludes transactions involving acquisition, development and construction of real estate.

 

May 2020

Credit Unions Allow Appraisals to be Delayed 4 Months

The National Credit Union Administration will allow credit unions to postpone obtaining an appraisal for up to four months after a mortgage loan closes, HousingWire reported April 23. Federal banking regulators last week established a short-term policy that allows banks to defer completed appraisals for up to 120 days.

 
May 2020

Longest Economic Expansion in US History Probably Over Due to COVID-19: Fannie Mae

The coronavirus has likely ended the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, according to an April 15 report from Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group. As consumers shelter in place and businesses indefinitely close, two consecutive quarters of negative growth in gross domestic product are expected, which is the common definition of a recession.

 
May 2020

Appraisal Institute Guide Shows Permissible Appraisal Activities Under Coronavirus

The Appraisal Institute on April 9 released "Flexibilities Guide: Permissible Appraisal Requirements During COVID-19," which helps residential appraisers navigate a multitude of reporting format allowances and requirements issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Rural Housing Service. Regularly updated, it also suggests addenda language for when appraisers are reporting third-party information.

 

May 2020

AI Tracks Statewide Stay-at-Home Orders, Business Closures

The Appraisal Institute on March 31 posted on its coronavirus page a document listing statewide stay-at-home, shelter-in-place and non-essential business closure orders. Appraisers are advised to consult local governments to determine what restrictions may be in place for their area. AI updates the document as new information becomes available.

 
May 2020

Home Prices are Flat, Rate of Delisting Has Slowed: Redfin Residential Trends Report

Residential real estate trends under the coronavirus lockdown reveal that the rush to delist homes has slowed, the number of new listings is down, properties are sitting on the market longer, pending home sales have decreased and listing price growth has flattened but is unlikely to crater, real estate site Redfin reported April 15.

 
May 2020

GSEs Publish FAQs on Temporary Policies for Mortgage Originations, Appraisals

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on April 8 released a frequently asked questions document that provide additional guidance to lenders on temporary policies that support mortgage originations, appraisals and quality control during the coronavirus pandemic. The government-sponsored enterprises have updated the document as new information has become available.

 

May 2020

Housing Showing Signs of Coronavirus Impact, Realtor.com

Housing inventory declined at a faster rate in March than in February, an early indicator that homebuyer interest could be falling amid ongoing coronavirus concerns, Realtor.com reported April 2. The number of newly listed properties also declined in March, dropping 6.4% from the same point a year ago.

 
May 2020

Real Estate Agents Optimistic About Post-pandemic Housing Rebound: NAR Survey

Fifty-nine percent of homebuyers and 57% of sellers have delayed activity due to the coronavirus, but the atypically slow spring season should lead to a busy summer and fall, the National Association of Realtors reported in a survey released April 9. The survey also revealed that 72% of sellers are holding firm on asking price.

 
May 2020

Americans Increasingly Purchase Homes Without Physically Seeing Property: NAR

One-quarter of real estate agents who had a deal go under contract during the past week said at least one client signed without ever physically seeing the home, the National Association of Realtors reported April 16. Agents also said they expect second quarter home sales to be slow, but resume once stay-at-home orders are lifted.

 

April 2020

GSEs Ease Appraisal, Employment Verification Standards

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced March 23 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will ease standards for both property appraisals and employment verification in an effort to facilitate liquidity in the mortgage marketplace during the coronavirus outbreak, HousingWire reported. Specifically, the FHFA said appraisal alternatives will be used to prevent appraisers from having to inspect a home's interior.

 

April 2020

AI Issues Coronavirus-related Direction for Appraisers

The Appraisal Institute issued guidance cultivated from its Professional Practice staff on March 16 to help AI professionals and other real estate valuers serve their clients during the rapidly evolving global coronavirus pandemic.

 
April 2020

Appraisal Institute Webinar Assists Appraisers in Addressing Coronavirus Challenges

The Appraisal Institute announced March 24 that its free 90-minute webinar covering the latest appraisal developments on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is now available on AI's website and on its YouTube channel.

 
April 2020

Appraisal Institute Says It Opposes Biden’s Call for Additional Appraisal Standards

Responding to presidential candidate Joe Biden's call to "establish a national standard for housing appraisals," the Appraisal Institute sent a letter to Biden's campaign on March 2 saying that a new standard is "unnecessary ... because one already exists."

 

April 2020

Homes Overvalued in Q4, but Coronavirus to Cause Price Drop: Fitch

Home prices at the end of the fourth quarter were overvalued by 1.5%, up from 1.2% during the third quarter, but the coronavirus is expected to slow home buying activity and cause home prices to drop — perhaps only temporarily, according to credit rating agency Fitch Ratings, National Mortgage News reported March 19.

 
April 2020

Americans are Over-paying $34 Billion for Homes in Flood Plains, Research Shows

At least 3.8 million homes in the U.S. are in flood plains and may be overvalued by $34 billion, according to research released March 2 by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Bloomberg reported. The research revealed that markets don't incorporate risks from flooding and climate-related disasters.

 
April 2020

Millennial Home Buying Preferences Mirror Those of Silent Generation, NAR Reports

Despite their age gap, millennials and members of the silent generation have the same home buying preferences: they seek proximity to friends and family and want the amenities that new construction provides, the National Association of Realtors reported March 5 in its Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report.

 

April 2020

Colorado Springs, Colorado, is Top Housing Market: Report

Colorado Springs, Colorado, was named the hottest housing market in the U.S., with half the homes there selling in less than 38 days — which is 42 days faster than the national average, Realtor.com reported March 9. While larger urban markets dropped in the rankings, Phoenix bucked the trend and saw its greatest year-over-year improvement.

 
April 2020

US Housing Market is Short by More Than 3 Million Units, According to Freddie Mac

The U.S. housing market is currently undersupplied by 3.3 million units, and the shortage is growing by around 300,000 each year because home builders can't keep pace with demand, according to Freddie Mac, HousingWire reported March 2. Oregon is the most under-supplied state, followed by Colorado, Florida and California.

 
April 2020

Frisco, Texas; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are Most Recession-proof Cities, Data Reveals

Frisco, Texas, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, topped the list of recession-proof cities, based on an analysis of housing costs, employment and social assistance, the financial website SmartAsset.com reported March 5. Texas cities scored well, with Plano, Denton and Austin rounding out the top five.

 

March 2020

AI Supports GAO Study of Valuation Safety and Soundness

The Appraisal Institute on Feb. 14 submitted a letter to the chairs of the House Financial Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance, thanking them for requesting that the Government Accountability Office study the implementation of Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 to protect homeowners from appraisal loopholes.

 

March 2020

Opportunity Zones Boost Median Home Prices, Data Shows

The median home price in almost half of all opportunity zones increased more than the national average between the fourth quarter 2018 and fourth quarter 2019, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Feb. 20. Arizona, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania had the most zones with prices higher than the national average.

 
March 2020

Foreclosures on the Rise; California Sees Biggest Increase, Iowa Biggest Decrease: Data

Foreclosure filings jumped 13% between December and January, and are up 7% from the same point a year ago, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Feb. 19. California saw the greatest jump in foreclosures, increasing 27% year over year. Iowa had the greatest decrease in foreclosure filings, down 44%.

 
March 2020

Southeast Has Nation’s Hottest Neighborhoods, Homes for Under $500,000: Redfin

More than half of the most popular neighborhoods in the U.S. had median sale prices under $500,000 and are concentrated in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, online real estate marketplace Redfin reported Jan. 30. The hottest neighborhoods: Willowsford in Ashburn, Virginia; Bal Harbour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Wildwood in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

March 2020

63 Million Households Unable to Afford a $250,000 Home: NAHB

More than half of the nation's nearly 120 million households cannot afford a $250,000 home, according to the Priced-Out Estimates report released Feb. 6 by the National Association of Home Builders. The report also found that a mortgage rate increase as small as a quarter point would prevent 1.3 million households from purchasing a median-priced home of $344,652.

 
March 2020

Apartment Rents up Nationwide; San Francisco Units Top the List, Report Shows

San Francisco has the nation's highest residential rental rates, with a one-bedroom averaging $3,520 per month and a two-bedroom averaging $4,550 per month, an increase of 0.06% and 1.1%, respectively, from January, real estate rental site Zumper reported Feb. 5. The nation's median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,200, while a two-bedroom is $1,464.

 
March 2020

Housing in the West Recovered Most Since the Great Recession, East the Least: Data

Housing markets in the West have experienced the greatest recovery since the Great Recession, while markets in the East have recovered the least, and nearly a quarter of the nation's housing markets are not fully recovered, finance firm SmartAsset reported Jan. 27. Housing in Boise, Idaho, recovered the most, followed by the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

March 2020

Nation's Average Rent Continues to Rise, but Slowly: Report

Rents are steadily increasing, up 3% in January compared with the same point a year ago, although growth is at its slowest pace in 18 months, according to a report from online real estate marketplace RentCafe, HousingWire reported Feb. 19. The nation's average monthly rent is $1,463; Manhattan had the highest average at $4,210.

 
March 2020

Los Angeles Unseats San Francisco as Least Affordable US Housing Market: NAHB

Los Angeles topped the list of least affordable housing markets in the country, unseating San Francisco which held the title for two years, the National Association of Home Builders reported Feb. 13. Only 11.3% of homes sold in Los Angeles during the fourth quarter of 2019 were affordable for families making the city's median income of $73,100.

 
March 2020

Homebuyers Want to Move to Phoenix, Leave San Francisco, Redfin Data Reveals

More than a quarter of Redfin home searches during the fourth quarter were from people looking to relocate, and Phoenix attracted the greatest interest, Redfin reported Feb. 7. On the other hand, San Francisco had the highest share of residents looking to leave the city — and its $1.32 million median home price.

 

February 2020

Past Decade Produced Fewest Houses in 60 Years: NAHB

During the 10-year period from 2010-19, single-family housing production in the U.S. totaled just 6.8 million units compared to 12.3 million units the previous decade, the National Association of Home Builders reported Jan. 6. That level of production was the lowest in 60 years, and is primarily attributed to supply-side headwinds and reduced affordability.

 

February 2020

Buying is More Affordable than Renting in 53% of Markets: Report

Owning a median-priced, three-bedroom home is more affordable than renting a similar property in 53% of the nation's markets, according to the 2020 Rental Affordability Report released Jan. 9 by analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions. The report showed that owning is generally more affordable in rural markets while renting is better in urban and suburban markets.

 
February 2020

Apartments Shrink to Meet Demand for Single-person Households, Research Shows

Apartments are shrinking due to the growth in single-person households, with new units averaging 940 square feet, down from 1,000 square feet a decade ago, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council, National Real Estate Investor reported Dec. 19. New construction is mainly studios and one-bedroom units; the once-popular three-bedroom unit is virtually extinct.

 
February 2020

US Home Values Reached a Record $29 Trillion In Q3 2019, Federal Reserve Reports

The value of owner-occupied homes in the U.S. hit a record $29.2 trillion in the third quarter 2019, up 4.2% from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Reserve's Flow of Funds report released Jan. 8, HousingWire reported. The overall value of U.S. homes is now 21% higher than the bubble peak in 2006.

 

February 2020

Multifamily Boom Continues, Completions Rise: Reports

Demand for rental apartments continues to outpace supply, with 2.3 million units completed since 2010 in the nation's top 150 markets — roughly 500,000 more than were completed between 2000 and 2009, according to a report from financial services firm Berkadia and analytics firm Realpage, MBA NewsLink reported Jan. 1.

 
February 2020

Small Cities Make a Big Impact on Hottest Housing Markets Survey, Realtor.com Reports

Fort Wayne, Indiana, topped the list of hottest housing markets for the sixth consecutive month in December, based on length of time that properties stay on the market and the number of online views they receive, Realtor.com reported Jan. 7. Half the 20 hottest markets are smaller, more affordable cities.

 
February 2020

Housing Expected to Stay Strong as Market Optimism Continues, Freddie Mac Reports

Home sales this year are expected to reach 6.2 million, up slightly from the 6 million sold last year, and an even better 2021 is expected with sales potentially reaching 6.3 million, Freddie Mac reported Dec. 23 in its Housing Forecast. Home prices also are expected to grow, but at a slower pace.

 

February 2020

FHFA Seeks Comments on Residential PACE Loan Programs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Jan. 16 issued a Request for Input regarding proposed changes to the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, which covers energy retrofitting for residential and commercial properties. This RFI focuses primarily on the residential sector.

 
February 2020

Home Prices Up and Expected to Grow 5.3% by November 2020, CoreLogic Reports

Home prices rose 0.5% between October and November 2019, and are expected to increase another 5.3% by this November as low mortgage rates continue to bolster the residential sector, according to the Home Price Forecast from analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported Jan. 14.

 
February 2020

New Homes with 4 or More Bedrooms Trend Lower as 3 Bedrooms Rise: NAHB

The number of new single-family homes with four or more bedrooms is declining, with three-bedroom homes becoming the new norm and accounting for 45% of home starts, according to the Census Bureau's Survey of Construction, the National Association of Home Builders reported Jan. 13. The change is attributed to millennials entering the market and seeking starter homes.

 

January 2020

FHA Raises Loan Limits Following Fannie, Freddie Action

The Federal Housing Administration on Dec. 5 announced that its loan limit for much of the U.S. will increase about $17,000 to $331,760 for 2020, HousingWire reported. The FHA loan limit is calculated as a percentage of the conforming limit established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which will increase to $510,400 next year.

 

January 2020

FHFA Increases Conforming Loan Level for GSEs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Nov. 26 that it will raise the conforming loan level for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $510,000, up from $484,350, Housing Wire reported. This will be the fourth consecutive annual increase for the government-sponsored enterprises, during which time the limit has increased by more than $93,000.

 
January 2020

Aging in Place Could Cause 'Gridlock' in Housing Market Next Year: Realtor.com

Home sales are expected to fall next year as aging baby boomers hang on to their properties and cause "gridlock" that could make 2020 a challenging year for hopeful buyers, Realtor.com reported Dec. 4 in its 2020 housing forecast.

 
January 2020

More Bidding Wars, Climate Change Impact Among 2020 Housing Predictions: Redfin

Next year's housing market is expected to include the return of bidding wars and a greater financial impact resulting from climate change, according to 2020 housing market predictions released Nov. 25 by online real estate marketplace Redfin. Other predictions: increased homebuying from Hispanic Americans and more car-free city streets.

 

January 2020

Blackstone Group Exits Single-family Rental Business

Investment firm Blackstone Group sold the last of its shares in Invitation Homes, the firm's rental business, bringing to a close its interest in the single-family rental space, DS News reported Nov. 21. The exit is purely financial, with Blackstone having reaped about $7 billion in profit since creating the business in 2012.

 
January 2020

Rental Prices Decline in Most Major US Markets — Even San Francisco, Report Shows

Most of the nation's rental markets saw rent prices decline or remain relatively flat in December, real estate rental site Zumper reported Dec. 4 in its National Rental Report. San Francisco, the nation's most expensive rental market, saw prices decline 1.1% for one-bedroom units and 3.6% for two-bedrooms.

 
January 2020

Report Shows Raleigh, North Carolina, Housing Market Has the Most iBuyer Activity

Raleigh, North Carolina, had the nation's largest share of iBuyer activity during the third quarter, accounting for 6.8% of all homes purchases, according to a report from online real estate marketplace Redfin, HousingWire reported Dec. 11. Also topping the list are Phoenix (iBuyers accounted for 5.1% of purchases) and Atlanta (iBuyers accounted for 4.4% of purchases).

 

January 2020

Home Prices Rise, Marking 8 Years of Gains: FHFA

Home prices rose 1.1% between the second and third quarters, and were up 4.9% from the same point a year ago, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index released Nov. 26. Prices have risen every quarter for the past eight years.

 
January 2020

Home Building Higher in Millennial-heavy Areas, but Construction Not Enough: NAHB

The majority of single-family and multifamily home building is happening in counties with the highest concentration of millennials, but construction still falls short of what is needed to keep up with increased household formation and population growth, the National Association of Home Builders reported Dec. 3.

 
January 2020

Cities in the South and West Expected to be Top Performers for 3 to 5 Years: NAR

Charleston, South Carolina; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida, are among the 10 markets expected to outperform expectations during the next three to five years, the National Association of Realtors reported Dec. 11. The listings are based on such variables as housing affordability, consistent job growth and population age structure.

 

December 2019

First-time Buyers to Flood Market Through 2022, Data Shows

Nearly 8.5 million first-time homebuyers are expected to enter the housing market between 2020 and 2022, as home price appreciation slows, unemployment drops and wages increase, according to a report released Oct. 29 by credit agency TransUnion. The number of potential buyers could reach 9.2 million if economic growth exceeds expectations.

 
December 2019

'Amazon Effect' is Real, Boosts Housing Market in Second HQ Location: Realtor.com

A year after e-commerce giant Amazon chose Arlington, Virginia, as the location for its second headquarters, the housing market there is seeing major inventory shortages, high prices and rapid sales, Realtor.com reported Nov. 13. Conversely, New York City, which had also been selected as a headquarters location before being dropped, has seen annual home sales drop 15%.

 
December 2019

'Zombie' Properties Slowly Dying Off as Housing Continues its Recovery, Data Shows

"Zombie" properties — those abandoned by owners facing foreclosure and left to sit vacant — continue to decline, with only 2.96% of homes in foreclosure sitting vacant at the beginning of the fourth quarter, down from 3.2% during the third quarter, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Oct. 31. The Midwest had the highest rate of zombie foreclosures.

 

December 2019

AQB Clarifies Sanctions Criteria, Reviews PAREA Guidelines

The Appraiser Qualifications Board at its Nov. 1 public meeting adopted the second exposure draft of proposed changes to the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria pertaining to supervisor qualifications. The changes clarify that sanctions levied against an appraiser over administrative matters do not prevent that individual from acting as a supervisory appraiser. The changes take effect Jan. 1.

 

December 2019

DOJ, HUD Ease Off False Claims Act, Eye More FHA Lending

The government will limit use of the False Claims Act against mortgage providers in pursuit of settlements related to Federal Housing Administration loans, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson told attendees at the Mortgage Bankers Association Annual Conference Oct. 28 in Austin, Texas, HousingWire reported. HUD wants to coax big banks back to FHA lending.

 
December 2019

Widespread Acceptance of Digital Mortgages Still Years Away, Fitch Ratings Says

Concerns over enforceability, technology and security could delay broad acceptance of digital mortgages for several years, according to ratings agency Fitch Ratings, HousingWire reported Nov. 5. While some government and mortgage industry entities have made progress, the use and acceptance of electronic promissory notes remains a big hurdle.

 
December 2019

Single-family Zoning Abandoned Nationwide to Allow for Higher-density Housing: Report

Increased demand for housing is putting single-family zoning at risk throughout the U.S., with California at the forefront since Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation in October that increases density and allows up to three homes on property previously zoned for single-family, according to the M Report.

 

December 2019

FHFA to Again Propose Enterprise Capital Rule for GSEs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Nov. 26 that it will raise the conforming loan limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $510,000, up from $484,350, Housing Wire reported. This will be the fourth consecutive annual increase, during which time the limit has increased by more than $93,000.

 
December 2019

Climate Change Could Eliminate 30-year Mortgages: San Francisco Federal Reserve

The 30-year mortgage could disappear in some markets due to climate change, according to research released Nov. 8 by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, CBS News reported. Currently, mortgage lenders check whether a property sits within a 100-year floodplain but do not consider risk of climate-induced flooding — an oversight that could lead to massive defaults on long-term home loans.

 
December 2019

Early Mortgage Delinquencies Up, Especially Among First-time Buyers: Black Knight

Early-stage mortgage delinquencies have grown over the past 24 months, led by first-time homebuyers who took advantage of affordable home prices and low mortgage rates and then fell into delinquency within six months of closing, according to a report from analytics firm Black Knight, HousingWire reported Nov. 11.

 

November 2019

Residential Appraisal Threshold Increase Becomes Official

The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Sept. 27 announced the official adoption of a final rule that increases the threshold for residential real estate transactions requiring an appraisal from $250,000 to $400,000. Transactions exempt from the appraisal requirement must instead obtain an evaluation.

 

November 2019

Banking Committee Leaders Seek Answers on Appraisal Waiver

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on Sept. 24 submitted a letter to the Appraisal Subcommittee seeking answers about its July decision to grant a waiver of appraiser certification and licensing to the state of North Dakota. The letter expressed "surprise and concern" about the "unprecedented" waiver.

 
November 2019

Fannie, Freddie Shareholders May Be ‘Wiped Out’ to Protect Taxpayers: FHFA Director

Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told the House Financial Services Committee Oct. 22 that he's willing to "wipe out" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders if necessary to protect taxpayers from another bailout, HousingWire reported. The government-sponsored enterprises have been in conservatorship since 2008.

 
November 2019

FEMA Could Purchase Millions of Homes in Flood-prone Areas, Agency Data Suggests

Only 43,000 properties at high risk of flooding have been sold to the government since 1989, but data released Oct. 9 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency showed that millions more may need to be purchased due to climate change, Bloomberg reported. The data also revealed that FEMA is unprepared for a massive, government-subsidized real estate buyout.

 

November 2019

Q3 Median Home Prices Unaffordable in Most Markets: Data

Median home prices in the third quarter were unaffordable for average wage earners in 74% of U.S. counties, according to the Home Affordability Report released Sept. 24 by analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions. The most populated counties with unaffordable median-priced homes were Los Angeles County in California, Cook County in Illinois and Maricopa County in Arizona.

 
November 2019

Properties Near Public Transportation See Significant Increase in Sale Prices: Report

Residential properties within a half-mile of public transportation had median sale prices up to 24% higher than properties located further away, according to a joint report released Oct. 14 by the American Public Transportation Association and the National Association of Realtors.

 
November 2019

Northeast Has Nation's Most Expensive Residential Rental Markets, Data Reveals

New York City is the most expensive U.S. city in which to rent an apartment, with units in the 10282 ZIP code averaging $6,211 per month, according to a report of the country's most expensive rental markets from analytics firm Yardi Matrix, HousingWire reported Sept. 27. Regionally, the Northeast has the largest concentration of expensive ZIP codes.

 

November 2019

Rising Wealth, Low Rates Boost Vacation Home Demand: NAR

Greater wealth and low mortgage rates have increased both demand and prices for vacation homes, the National Association of Realtors reported Oct. 10 in its U.S. Vacation Home Counties Report. The median price for homes in counties popular with second-home buyers increased 36% between 2013 and 2018, compared with a 31% increase for all existing and new homes sold.

 
November 2019

Home Price Gains, Low Rates, Expected During the Next 12 Months, CoreLogic Says

CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said the pace of home price gains should quicken during the next 12 months, and he expects home prices to increase 5.8% through August 2020 due to continued low mortgage rates, HousingWire reported Oct. 2. Nothaft said he expects interest rates to stay under 4% through the end of the year.

 
November 2019

Homeowners Have Few Regrets About Buying, Can't See Renting Again: BofA Survey

Paying a mortgage is more desirable than paying rent, with 83% of homeowners surveyed by Bank of America saying they can't imagine going back to renting, the financial institution reported Sept. 25 in its Homebuyer Insights Report. Additionally, 88% of homeowners said that buying a home is the best decision they ever made.

 

October 2019

White House Unveils Plan to End Fannie, Freddie Control

The Trump administration on Sept. 5 shared its plan for releasing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from more than 10 years of government control, including the creation of new competitors, Bloomberg reported. The plan involves cooperation from multiple federal agencies and calls for reforms that protect the government-sponsored enterprises from another housing crash.

 

October 2019

Next Recession Won't Cause Housing 'Fire Sale:' Economists

Economists predict that the U.S. will experience a recession within the next two years, but Americans shouldn't fear a real estate "fire sale" because the next downturn is expected to be short and have limited impact on the market, according to a Realtor.com report released Aug. 26.

 
October 2019

Boise, Idaho, and Frisco, Texas, are Best Markets for Homebuyers, Research Reveals

Boise, Idaho, and Frisco, Texas, are the nation's best markets for homebuyers, according to a market analysis released Aug. 27 by credit firm WalletHub. The analysis tracked 23 indicators of housing-market attractiveness and economic strength in 300 cities. Other top markets are Overland Park, Kansas, and Cary, North Carolina.

 
October 2019

Housing Market Shows Signs of Slowdown Amid Economic Uncertainties: Realtor.com

Economic anxieties may be causing a slowdown in the housing market earlier than expected, as fewer homes are being offered for sale — exacerbating existing inventory issues — and the homes available for purchase are sitting on the market longer, Realtor.com reported Sept. 10 in its August 2019 Monthly Housing Trends Report.

 

October 2019

Peoria, Illinois, at Highest Risk of Housing Crash: Data Shows

Peoria, Illinois; Lakewood, New Jersey; and Portsmouth, Virginia, are at the greatest risk of a housing market crash during the next recession, according to a review of foreclosure data and underwater mortgages in 500 cities, personal finance site GoBankingRates reported Sept. 9. Overall, Florida has the highest concentration of cities with potentially problematic real estate.

 
October 2019

Fort Wayne, Indiana, Metro Area Remains Top Housing Market in US, Says Realtor.com

The Fort Wayne, Indiana, metropolitan market, with a median home price of $162,000, maintained its top spot as the hottest U.S. housing market in August, Realtor.com reported Sept. 12. Also atop the list: Pueblo, Colorado; Midland, Texas; Rochester, New York; and Columbus, Ohio.

 
October 2019

80% Americans Say Housing Affordability is a Nationwide Problem: NAHB Survey

Housing affordability is a nationwide problem, according to 80% of respondents to a National Association of Home Builders survey released Sept. 10. Of the proposed solutions, 64% said they support expanded affordable housing programs, 57% said they support higher taxes on the rich and 52% said they support reduced regulations.

 

October 2019

Renters, Owners Would Pay to Choose Neighbors: Rent.com

Renters would pay an additional $225 per month and homeowners an additional $125 per month for the privilege to choose their neighbors, according to a Rent.com survey reported Aug. 30. Millennials were willing to pay more than four times what baby boomers would spend. The results were similar for rural, suburban and urban residents.

 
October 2019

The Nation's Most Recession-proof Housing Markets are in Upstate New York: Redfin

The housing markets in Rochester and Buffalo in upstate New York are the least likely to be affected by the next recession, real estate marketplace Redfin reported Sept. 6. Markets in the Northeast are reportedly the strongest for several reasons: local economies that can resist volatility, fewer investor-owned properties and homes priced below bubble-bursting levels.

 
October 2019

House Prices Rising Fastest in Neighborhoods Where Cars Are Required, Report Shows

Home prices in car-dependent neighborhoods are rising faster than those in walkable neighborhoods, a trend likely the result of many homebuyers getting priced out of the most walkable neighborhoods, real estate marketplace Redfin reported Aug. 29. Philadelphia and Cleveland saw the greatest annual growth in car-dependent neighborhoods.

 

September 2019

AI Opposes Banks' Residential Appraisal Threshold Increase

Federal banking regulators on Aug. 20 approved a final rule to increase the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000, effective after publication in the Federal Register, which should happen within days.

 

September 2019

FHA Passes Condo Approval Rule to Promote Ownership

The Federal Housing Administration on Aug. 14 published a final regulation establishing new condominium approval rules, notably allowing some individual condo units to be eligible for FHA mortgage insurance even if the condo project is not FHA approved. The regulations, which take effect Oct. 15, also permit more mixed-use projects to qualify for FHA insurance.

 
September 2019

Seattle is the Fastest Growing US City; Detroit is the Slowest: Census Bureau Data

Seattle is the fastest growing U.S. city, with a 14.2% increase in population between 2012-17, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, CityLab reported Aug. 21. Other fast-growing cities include Austin, Texas (12.8%); Fort Worth, Texas (12%); and Miami (12%). As for slowest growing city: Detroit saw its population decrease 4.1%.

 
September 2019

1.5 Million Vacant Homes Represent 1.6% of All Homes in US, Analytics Firm Reports

There are more than 1.5 million vacant homes and condos in the U.S., representing 1.6% of all residential properties, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Aug. 13 in its Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report. More than 304,000 homes were in foreclosure at the start of the third quarter, with about 3.2% categorized as "zombie" foreclosures.

 

September 2019

Many Homeowners Stressed and Want to Rent, Not Own, Survey Shows

Twenty-nine percent of homeowners said owning property caused them anxiety and stress, while 26% said homeownership is not worth the burden and wished they were renters, according to a survey conducted by debt relief company Freedom Debt Relief, HousingWire reported July 31.

 
September 2019

Nation’s Hottest ZIP Code is Grand Rapids, Michigan, Where Housing Sizzles: Report

Grand Rapids, Michigan, topped the list of the nation's hottest ZIP codes, with homes there receiving three times as many online views than elsewhere and selling in about 17 days — 40 fewer days than average, according to a report from Realtor.com, HousingWire reported July 31. Other hot ZIP codes: Omaha, Nebraska, and Boise, Idaho.

 
September 2019

Charleston, South Carolina, Draws Most Out-of-State Homebuyers, Realtor.com Reports

Homes in Charleston, South Carolina, received the most out-of-state views online during the second quarter as homebuyers look for metros that offer affordable homes and strong employment, Realtor.com reported Aug. 21. Boise City, Idaho, and Honolulu were second and third most-searched, respectively.

 
September 2019

Builder Confidence in Single-family Homes Grows: NAHB

Builder confidence in the newly built single-family home market is growing, but the industry continues to struggle with rising construction costs, a shortage of workers and a lack of buildable lots, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released Aug. 15.

 
September 2019

Housing Market is 'Anemic,' but Inflation is Low and Job Market is Good: New York Fed

The housing market is "anemic" and "lackluster," but inflation is below the Fed's target and the job market is strong, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York stated in an Aug. 12 report, HousingWire reported. As evidence, the Fed cited flat single-family home starts in June and a drop in the sales of existing homes.

 
September 2019

Luxury Home Prices See Slight Uptick, but Sales Continue to Decline, Report Shows

High-end home prices rose 1% during the second quarter — a nominal gain, but one that reverses a string of quarters during which luxury home prices fell, according to a report from real estate firm Redfin, HousingWire reported Aug. 6. However, the report noted that sales of homes priced above $1.5 million are still down.

 

August 2019

ASC OKs North Dakota Request for Temporary Appraisal Waiver

The Appraisal Subcommittee on July 9 granted a request from North Dakota for a temporary waiver from appraisal licensing requirements after state officials claimed a scarcity of appraisers. The ASC granted the one-year waiver from licensing requirements by a 5-2 vote; an additional year is possible if state officials again seek a waiver based on the scarcity argument.

 

August 2019

'iBuyer' Service Changes Selling Process, Cuts Some Requirements

A new partnership between real estate brokerage Redfin and homebuying service Opendoor will purchase properties directly from homeowners who list with Redfin, MarketWatch reported July 14. Sellers who accept the iBuyer offer avoid having to make pre-sale repairs and can skip some closing procedures — including, potentially, the appraisal — but risk receiving less than market value.

 
August 2019

$1 Trillion in Coastal Properties at Risk for Flooding by End of the Century: Report

Nearly 2.5 million coastal properties worth $1.07 trillion are at risk for flooding by the end of the century, according to the report "Underwater: Rising Seas, Chronic Floods, and the Implications for U.S. Coastal Real Estate" released July 17 by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 247tempo.com reported. The country's 48 contiguous states have roughly 13,000 miles of coastline.

 
August 2019

HUD Indefinitely Suspends Rule Change to FHA Down Payment Assistance Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on July 23 suspended "until further notice" a rule change made in April that affects its down payment assistance guidelines for Federal Housing Administration loans, HousingWire reported. A federal judge in Utah had ordered the suspension pending confirmation of the program's legality.

 

August 2019

FHA Delays Digital Signature Requirement for EAD System

The Federal Housing Administration is delaying its requirement for XML Digital Signatures on all appraisals uploaded to the Electronic Appraisal Delivery System, the agency announced July 11. The requirement was to have taken effect Aug. 5; no new date has been set, and XML Digital Signature Hard Stops remain eligible for automatic overrides.

 
August 2019

Report Names Boulder, Colorado, as Best Housing Market for Growth and Stability

Boulder, Colorado, topped the list of housing markets with the most growth and stability over the past 25 years, with home values increasing 286% since 1994, according to a July 24 report from technology company SmartAsset. The Texas cities of Midland and Austin were second and third on the list, respectively.

 
August 2019

Boomers, Millennials Share Housing Goals, Have Different Resources, Reports Show

Baby boomers and millennials prefer big-city life, but boomers are better able to afford those locations, according to studies released July 5 by apartment listing firm RENTCafé and real estate firm Clever Real Estate, MBA NewsLink reported. The highest number of city boomers are in New York, while millennials typically reside in the South and Midwest.

 

August 2019

Housing Inventory to Decline, Affect Buyers for Months: Realtor.com

The recent gains in housing inventory are expected to trickle off in the coming months, which likely will lead to the resurgence of bidding wars, quick home sales and stronger price appreciation, Realtor.com reported July 9.

 
August 2019

Residential Real Estate Prices Up; Homeownership Tenure Reaches New Peak: Data

Single-family home prices rose 10.8% during the second quarter, and those who sold a home had owned it an average eight years — a new peak for ownership tenure, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported July 18. The data also revealed that all-cash transactions were down 9.7% from the first quarter.

 
August 2019

Home Price Appreciation in Most Markets to Hold Steady Through 2020, Report Shows

Home price appreciation in the nation's 100 largest markets is expected to hold steady at 3.7% through June 2020 — although 5% of markets are expected to depreciate during the same period, according to a report from analytics firm Veros Real Estate Solutions, MBA NewsLink reported July 18.

 

July 2019

AI President Urges Congress to Pass Key Legislation

Appraisal Institute President Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, recommended at the House Financial Services Committee's Housing, Community Development and Insurance Subcommittee's June 20 hearing on Capitol Hill that Congress pass HR 2852, which would allow licensed appraisers to perform appraisals for Federal Housing Administration loans.

 

July 2019

Licensed Alabama Appraisers May Now Perform Evaluations

Alabama enacted legislation, effective May 29, allowing state-licensed appraisers to perform evaluations for federally regulated financial institutions.

 
July 2019

Louisiana Legislation Allows Appraisers to Start Performing Evaluations on Aug. 1

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on May 30 signed HB 340, legislation that allows appraisers in the state to provide evaluations for federally insured depository institutions. The law takes effect Aug. 1.

 
July 2019

FHFA Director Encourages Congress to Take Fannie, Freddie Out of Conservatorship

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.

 

July 2019

Local Governments Have Worst Homebuilding Regulations: FHFA

Local municipalities need to reduce the number of regulations and the costs associated with them in order to spur homebuilding, Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told attendees June 3 at a conference in Washington, HousingWire reported. Calabria said the supply of homes under construction is not enough to keep up with demand.

 
July 2019

Housing Market to Remain Stable Through 2020, Recession Likely in 2021, Study Shows

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.

 
July 2019

Properties Located in Opportunity Zones Show Sales Growth: Real Capital Analytics

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.

 

July 2019

Jacksonville, North Carolina, Has Most Affordable Beach Homes: Report

Jacksonville, North Carolina, is the most affordable market in which to buy a beach house, MarketWatch reported June 17. Affordability is based on median prices for homes for sale between May 2018 and April 2019. Aberdeen, Washington, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, rounded out the top three spots on the list.

 
July 2019

Sales of Flipped Homes Reach 9-Year High, Average 38.7% Profit, Data Firm Reports

Home flipping accounted for 7.2% of all homes sold during the first quarter, the highest home-flipping sales rate since the first quarter 2010, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported June 4. Flipped homes sold for an average gross profit of $60,000, a 38.7% return on investment.

 
July 2019

Idaho Named Best State for Homeowners for Second Consecutive Year, Report Reveals

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.

 

June 2019

Housing Could Be Hurt by ‘Underbuilding,’ Data Shows

The housing market — especially the entry-level segment — could stumble this year due to "underbuilding," a situation exacerbated by rising materials costs, tariffs on imported materials and labor shortages, according to consulting firm Grant Thornton, HousingWire reported April 29. Housing starts and household formation analytics suggest the worst underbuilding since the 1970s.

 

June 2019

GSEs Can End Oversight Without Congress Approval: FHFA

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can be freed from government oversight even if Congress doesn't pass a housing-financial overhaul involving the government-sponsored enterprises, the Federal Housing Finance Agency Director, Mark Calabria, told Bloomberg May 8. He noted that Congress will get at least an entire session to act.

 
June 2019

Rural Communities Likely to See Continued Decline, Commerce Department Data Reveals

Rural areas, which comprise 42 percent of the nation's counties, suffered significant population and job losses due to the Great Recession and likely won't recover, leaving their housing and commercial bases to struggle, according to Commerce Department data, CityLab reported May 7. Communities in the Northeast and the Midwest were hardest hit.

 
June 2019

Government Agencies Want to Break Down Barriers with Lenders, Encourage Loans: FHA

Regulatory compliance standards are discouraging lenders from working with various government housing agencies, Brian Montgomery, Federal Housing Administration commissioner, told attendees May 23 at a Mortgage Bankers Association conference, MBA NewsLink reported. Montgomery said the agencies are seeking to create a friendlier environment to encourage more lending.

 

June 2019

Survey Shows 47% of Homebuyers Affected by Tax Changes

Tax changes affected the house hunt of 47% of potential homebuyers this year, down from 56% last year when the effects of tax reform were mostly still speculative and not yet realized in paychecks, the online real estate marketplace Redfin reported in a survey released May 16.

 
June 2019

Single-family and Multifamily Housing to Remain 'Robust' for Next Decade: Report

Demand for housing — both single-family and multifamily properties — will remain "robust" for the next decade, according to a Commercial Real Estate Finance Council markets report, Mortgage Media reported May 15. The report noted that new household formations are outpacing new unit supply.

 
June 2019

Number of ‘Seriously Underwater’ Homes Increases During First Quarter, Data Shows

The number of underwater homes rose to 5.2 million during the first quarter, an increase of 17,000 properties compared to the same point one year ago, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported May 7. Underwater homes represented 9.1% of all U.S. homes with a mortgage, compared to 8.8% a year ago.

 

June 2019

Idaho Falls, Idaho, to See Fastest Home Price Growth: Study

Idaho Falls, Idaho, is expected to see home prices grow 10.2% in the next year, a faster rate than any other market, according to analytics firm Veros Real Estate Solutions, HousingWire reported May 7. Odessa, Texas, and Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, rounded out the top three on the list.

 
June 2019

Madison, Wisconsin; El Paso, Texas; Seattle Among Top Markets for Millennials: NAR

Madison, Wisconsin; El Paso, Texas; and Seattle are among the 10 top markets for millennials, according to the report Most Popular Areas for Millennials: Where They Move and Stay released April 25 by the National Association of Realtors. The top reasons millennials seek out certain cities: the job market and housing affordability.

 
June 2019

55+ Housing Market Soars as Baby Boomers Look for New Homes, NAHB Study Shows

The housing market for those aged 55 and older is thriving as baby boomers seek out new properties for their retirement years, according to the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index, HousingWire reported May 6. Builder confidence was at its highest level since the index began a decade ago.

 

May 2019

Mortgage Environment 'Desperately' Needs Reform: Chase CEO

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon stated in his annual shareholder letter that the U.S. housing market "desperately" needs reform and believes that at least $1 trillion in mortgages could have been made — but were not, HousingWire reported April 4. Dimon said the lending environment is too conservative, and reforms could help economic growth.

 

May 2019

Homebuyers Will Pay Extra for Energy Efficiency: NAHB

The housing market — especially the entry-level segment — could stumble this year due to "underbuilding," a situation exacerbated by rising materials costs, tariffs on imported materials and labor shortages, according to consulting firm Grant Thornton, HousingWire reported April 19. Housing starts and household formation analytics suggest the worst underbuilding since the 1970s.

 
May 2019

Tax Reform Is Hurting the Housing Market, New York Federal Reserve Study Shows

New home sales dropped 7.6 percent between the third and fourth quarters in 2018, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released April 18, MarketWatch reported. Researchers cited changes to the federal tax code as the key factor in the slowdown.

 
May 2019

BofA Seeks to Boost Homeownership, Offers Borrowers up to $10,000 to Close a Loan

Bank of America has pledged up to $5 billion to boost affordable housing, including offering up to $10,000 to help borrowers close loans, HousingWire reported April 2. The lender further committed another $5 billion over the next five years for its Neighborhood Solutions program to boost homeownership rates.

 

May 2019

Home Prices Reach Record High, Realtor.com Reports

Home prices reached an all-time high in March with the median price topping $300,000 for the first time, according to a Realtor.com report released April 4. Listing prices in March were up 7.2 percent compared to the same point last year and are expected to continue rising.

 
May 2019

Gen Xers Buying Multigenerational Houses to Accommodate Adult Children: NAR

One in six members of Generation X purchased a multigenerational home last year, overtaking younger boomers as the generation most likely to do so, the National Association of Realtors reported April 1 in its Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. More than half Gen X multigeneration homebuyers reported adult children living with them.

 
May 2019

Newark, New Jersey, Tops List of Markets Most at Risk for Housing Crash, Data Shows

Newark, New Jersey, is most at risk for a housing crash, with 27.9% of homes there underwater, 6.4% of homes delinquent on their mortgage and a high vacancy rate for rental units, the finance website GoBankingRates reported April 8. Detroit and Bridgeport, Connecticut, rounded out the top three on the list.

 

May 2019

Conservatorship Prevented Almost 4.3M Foreclosures: FHFA

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have completed nearly 4.3 million foreclosure prevention actions since they were put into conservatorship in September 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced March 21 in its 2018 Foreclosure Prevention Report.

 
May 2019

Spring Housing Market to 'Bifurcate;' Good for Mid-market, Bad for High-end: NAR

The housing market is expected to bifurcate this spring, with demand for homes near or below the $250,000 price point increasing and demand for homes priced above $750,000 decreasing, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, HousingWire reported April 10.

 
May 2019

Median Home Prices Higher than Average Wages in 71 Percent of Counties, Data Shows

The median price for homes in 71 percent of the nation's counties is not affordable for the average wage earners living there, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported March 26. Homes in nearly half the counties studied were less affordable than their historic averages.

 

April 2019

AI, Freddie Mac to Teach Valuation of Manufactured Homes

The Appraisal Institute and Freddie Mac on March 6 announced a partnership targeted to help real estate appraisers when valuing manufactured housing. The partnership will provide practical appraisal training to all appraisers, as well as specifically targeted training and case studies to address manufactured housing valuation assignments for Freddie Mac's CHOICEHome.

 

April 2019

Enhanced Appraisal Review Drops Refinance Risk, Data Shows

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.

 
April 2019

California Property Worth $150B at Risk Due to Rising Sea Levels: US Geological Survey

Around $150 billion in coastal California real estate is at risk of flooding by the end of the century, according to a study from the U.S. Geological Survey, the Los Angeles Times reported March 13. The study considered the combined effects of sea level rise and storms, as well as wave action, cliff erosion and beach loss.

 
April 2019

Baltimore Plans to Demolish 2,000 Structures, Lower its Abandoned Building Count

The city of Baltimore will demolish 2,000 vacant buildings over the next year as part of a $50 million project that aims to bring the city's number of abandoned buildings below 15,000 for the first time in 15 years, The Baltimore Sun reported March 15.

 

April 2019

Farmington, New Mexico, to See Largest Drop in Home Values: Forecast

Homes in Farmington, New Mexico, are expected to see the greatest depreciation in value this year, with an expected drop of 2.6 percent, according to analytics firm VeroForecast, HousingWire reported Feb. 27. Three Illinois cities took the second through fourth spots, with homes in Danville, Decatur and Peoria expected to see annual depreciation.

 
April 2019

The Multifamily Rental Market Expected to Remain Strong, Research Group Reports

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.

 
April 2019

Housing Groups Ask FHFA to Go Easy on GSE Reform, Focus on Affordable Housing

Twenty-four housing industry organizations on March 6 sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency encouraging it to end conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in order to protect the safety and soundness of the market, but to proceed slowly and to prioritize affordable housing, HousingWire reported.

 

April 2019

Home Price Growth Shows Signs of Slowing: Case-Shiller

Home price growth is starting to modulate, increasing in December at the slowest rate since November 2016, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Feb. 26 by S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic, HousingWire reported. The index noted that more modest and sustainable levels of price growth are expected this year.

 
April 2019

Pittsburgh Best Metro for First-time Homebuyers, San Francisco the Worst, Data Shows

Pittsburgh is the best metro for first-time homebuyers, followed by Raleigh, North Carolina; and Oklahoma City, financial services firm Bankrate reported March 18. Six of the 10 worst metros for first-time homebuyers were in California, with San Francisco taking the top spot.

 
April 2019

Home Sales Are Expected to Stabilize as Affordability Improves, Fannie Mae Reports

Home sales are expected to stabilize because demand can be supported by a solid labor market and strong household formation, Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group reported March 20. Housing affordability also improved due to slowing home price appreciation and lower mortgage rates.

 

March 2019

No Hearing on Residential Appraisal Threshold Increase

The Appraisal Institute on Feb. 19 received notice from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that a request for a hearing on the proposal to raise the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000 was denied.

 

March 2019

CFPB Releases List of Rural and Underserved Counties

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Feb. 12 released its 2019 list of rural and underserved counties, which those entities can use to determine if they are exempt from certain appraisal and ability-to-pay rules.

 
March 2019

Appraisal Institute Among 6 Organizations Opposing Federal Banking Agencies Action

The Appraisal Institute on Feb. 4 was one of six organizations signing a comment letter that "strongly opposed" a proposal from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to raise the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000.

 
March 2019

Court Sides With Zillow Over Marketing of Zestimate, Affirms it’s not an Appraisal

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 12 that Zillow is correctly marketing its Zestimate as an estimate and not an appraisal, GeekWire reported. A group of Illinois homeowners sued Zillow claiming that the Zestimate tool was marketed as being equivalent to an appraisal and was undervaluing their homes.

 

March 2019

California Solar Rule Could Add $10,000 to New Home Prices

California will require solar panels on all new homes starting next year, and the mandate could increase property prices by $8,000 to $10,000 and hurt affordable housing, according to the California Energy Commission, CNBC reported Feb. 17. However, homeowners are expected to recoup costs through lower utility bills.

 
March 2019

FHA Delays Launch of Electronic Appraisal Delivery System and Related Updates

The Federal Housing Administration announced Jan. 28 it is postponing changes to its Electronic Appraisal Delivery system Appraisal Logging Screen due to a lapse in appropriations. FHA also is delaying the Appraisal Case Transfer screen in FHA Connection and the start date for business-to-government appraisal logging and transfer connections to an undetermined future date.

 
March 2019

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Has Most Underwater Homes in the Nation, Report Shows

One in 11 homeowners nationwide is seriously underwater on house payments, with homeowners in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the worst off — 20.7 percent are seriously underwater, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Feb. 8.

 

March 2019

Home Purchases Expected to Slow: Capital Economics

The housing market likely won't see notable growth this year, with the number of mortgage applications down even as mortgage rates continue to drop, according to analytics firm Capital Economics, HousingWire reported Feb. 6.

 
March 2019

Low Housing Inventory Exacerbated by Seniors Aging in Place, Freddie Mac Reports

Approximately 1.1 million houses have remained off the market due to seniors staying in their homes as they age — a phenomenon that's contributing to the shortage of for-sale inventory, Freddie Mac reported Feb. 6 in its February Insight report.

 
March 2019

Maui, Hawaii, is Nation’s Hottest ‘Power Market’ for Luxury Homes: Coldwell Banker

Maui, Hawaii, is the nation's hottest "power market" for the wealthiest homebuyers, according to real estate firm Coldwell Banker, HousingWire reported Feb. 13. Other markets in vogue with high-net-worth buyers and sellers: Palm Beach, Florida; Washington, D.C.; Kauai, Hawaii; and Brooklyn, New York.

 

February 2019

AI Opposes Residential Appraisal Threshold Increase

The Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers participated in bipartisan meetings with members of Congress Jan. 15, urging them to review a proposed increase to the residential appraisal threshold.

 

February 2019

FHFA Won't Defend Its Structure, Constitutionality in Court

The Federal Housing Finance Agency determined its structure is unconstitutional and will no longer defend it in court, HousingWire reported Jan. 21. The FHFA asked the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to dismiss the case; the agency previously challenged the court's ruling that the FHFA violates the Constitution's separation of powers.

 
February 2019

AI Among Organizations Seeking Hearing on Proposed Appraisal Threshold Increase

The Appraisal Institute and 15 other organizations submitted a letter Dec. 21 to the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency requesting that they hold a public meeting as part of the process to determine whether to increase the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000.

 
February 2019

Economic Growth Expected to Moderate Through 2020: American Bankers Association

The pace of economic growth is expected to moderate through 2020, the American Bankers Association reported Jan. 9, citing data from its Economic Advisory Committee. The forecast shows economic growth at 2.1 percent this year and 1.7 percent in 2020, which would make the current expansion the longest in U.S. history.

 

February 2019

Renting More Affordable than Buying in Most Markets: Report

As home prices continue to outpace rent growth, renting a three-bedroom property is cheaper than buying a median-priced home in 59 percent of U.S. housing markets, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Jan. 8 in its Rental Affordability Report.

 
February 2019

Unconventional Mortgages on the Rise; Experts Worry Increase Could Hurt Housing

Unconventional mortgages, which don't require borrowers to verify incomes or assets, were up 24 percent last year to $34 billion, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, Fox Business reported Jan. 23. Experts say the increase could prove problematic, as unconventional mortgages were partly to blame for the last housing crisis.

 
February 2019

Housing Market Expected to Slow, Allow Inventory to Catch Up, LendingTree Reports

Homebuyers could benefit from an anticipated slowdown in the housing market this year, allowing inventory to catch up, according to a report from online mortgage marketplace LendingTree, HousingWire reported Jan. 8. The report indicates some markets will experience home price declines, but a national decline is not anticipated.

 

February 2019

Home Prices, Mortgage Rates Likely to Rise: CoreLogic

Home prices are expected to rise nearly 5 percent year-over-year by September, according to analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported Dec. 31. The forecasts also has mortgage rates rising by as much as half a percentage point before September.

 
February 2019

Orlando, Florida, Top Market for Real Estate Investment This Year, Report Shows

Orlando, Florida, was ranked as the best market in the nation for real estate investment, according to a report from home forecast firm Local Market Monitor, Forbes reported Jan. 7. Rounding out the top five markets: Raleigh, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Cleveland.

 
February 2019

Study Shows Substance Treatment Facilities Don't Negatively Impact Home Values

Having a substance-abuse treatment center in the neighborhood does not negatively affect property values, according to a study from the National Bureau for Economic Research, MarketWatch reported Jan. 11. Researchers from the University of New Mexico and Temple University studied property values in Seattle from 2003 to 2016, and found no measurable difference in values.

 

January 2019

Comments Sought on Residential Appraisal Threshold

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Dec. 4 that they are seeking comment on a proposal to raise the threshold for residential real estate transactions requiring an appraisal from $250,000 to $400,000.

 

January 2019

AI Opposes Proposed Credit Union Administration Action

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.

 
January 2019

US Department of Veterans Affairs Eliminates Fannie Mae Form 1004MC Requirement

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Dec. 11 that, effective immediately, it will no longer require appraisers to include Fannie Mae Form 1004MC in VA appraisal reports. However, appraisers still are responsible for analyzing and accurately reporting market conditions.

 
January 2019

Federal Housing Administration Announces Loan Limits for Country, High-cost Areas

The Federal Housing Administration on Dec. 14 announced new loan limits for 2019, with most of the country seeing increases. Effective Jan. 1, the new loan limit will increase to $314,827, up from $294,515 this year. In high-cost areas, the new loan limit will increase to $726,525, up from $679,650.

 

January 2019

Pittsburgh Nation's Most Affordable Large Metro: Survey

Pittsburgh is the nation's most affordable large housing market, with an average home price of $143,000, according to the think tank American Enterprise Institute, which released on Dec. 14 a survey of home prices and incomes in the 50 largest metros. The least affordable market is San Jose, California.

 
January 2019

Study: Florida and Texas are Top Relocation Destinations; Alaska Least Popular

Florida and Texas are top relocation destinations, while Alaska is the state residents most want to leave, according to a study released Dec. 5 by online mortgage marketplace LendingTree. The study, which involved more than 2 million purchase mortgage loan requests, revealed that southern states were most popular overall.

 
January 2019

Colorado Springs, Colorado, Hottest Real Estate Market for 2019: Trulia Reports

Colorado Springs, Colorado, is expected to be the hottest real estate market in 2019, as homebuyers look to inland cities where homes are more affordable, according to real estate site Trulia, The Real Deal reported Dec. 9. Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Jacksonville, Florida, rounded out the top three.

 

January 2019

Housing Market Remains Challenging in ’19: Realtor.com

Rising interest rates and home prices are expected to overshadow inventory increases in 2019, 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.

 
January 2019

Three-quarters of Americans Foresee Local, National Housing Crisis, NAHB Reports

Nearly 75 percent of Americans believe that a lack of affordable housing is a national concern and, 68 percent said they feel it's currently a problem in their state, according to results of a survey conducted on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders and released Dec. 4.

 
January 2019

Building Codes Targeting Fire Resistance Do Not Raise Home Costs, Prices: Study

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.

 

December 2018

Weakening Housing Market Resembles 2006, Says Economist Robert Shiller

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index released Oct. 31 showed that home price gains have moderated, with Robert Shiller saying the weakening market reminds him of 2006 before the bubble burst, MarketWatch reported. However, Shiller noted that he doesn't expect a crisis as severe this time.

 
December 2018

Appraisal Institute Encourages FHA to Strengthen HECM Appraisal Program

The Appraisal Institute on Nov. 20 submitted a letter to Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Brian Montgomery in response to the FHA's requirement in certain situations of a second appraisal for its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, asking the FHA to reevaluate eligibility requirements for placement on the FHA Appraiser Roster.

 

December 2018

AI Strongly Rejects Proposed Residential Appraisal Threshold Increase

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve on Nov. 20 released a proposal to increase the threshold at which residential home loans require an appraisal from $250,000 to $400,000.

 
December 2018

Residential, Commercial Property Values Increase Near Pot Dispensaries: NAR

Ten percent of real estate agents reported higher values for residential properties located near marijuana dispensaries, the National Association of Realtors reported Nov. 3. About 75 percent of agents revealed no difficulty selling homes in those areas. Additionally, nearly 20 percent said they saw higher prices for commercial properties.

 

December 2018

Fed Investigation Results in Tougher Rules for All-cash Home Purchases

Title insurance companies must now provide additional information on all-cash real estate deals valued at $300,000 or higher, according to new rules from the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, HousingWire reported Nov. 19. The new rules stem from an investigation of foreign buyers who used shell companies to launder money.

 
December 2018

Wells Fargo Says Software Error Caused Hundreds of Bad Foreclosures

A Nov. 3 filing by Wells Fargo with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that the lender's software erroneously resulted in nearly 900 improperly denied mortgage modifications and more than 500 faulty foreclosures, HousingWire reported. Both figures are higher than was previously disclosed.

 

December 2018

Housing Sector Growth Likely to Slow in 2019, Fannie Mae Report Shows

The housing sector likely will slow next year as it fails to get a boost from the strong labor market, Fannie Mae reported Nov. 20 in its November Economic and Housing Outlook. The report noted that homebuyers remain discouraged by rising mortgage rates, elevated home prices and a shortage of inventory.

 
December 2018

Low Inventory Pushes Up Home Prices: National Association of Realtors

Home prices in the third quarter were nearly 5 percent higher than at the same point a year ago, with low inventory slowing down the market, the National Association of Realtors reported Nov. 1. Homes in San Jose, California, were the priciest while those in Youngstown, Ohio, were the cheapest.

 

December 2018

Data Shows Increase in Both Home Price Reductions, Purchase Prices

A third of all homes for sale in October experienced at least one price reduction, the highest number of reductions in eight years, according to real estate broker Redfin, MBA NewsLink reported Nov. 21. However, purchase prices continue to rise, and are up 4.5 percent from the same point a year ago.

 
December 2018

Flint, Michigan, Has Nation's Highest Percentage of Vacant Homes: Data

Nearly 7 percent of homes in Flint, Michigan, are vacant, significantly higher than the 1.52 percent of all homes nationwide that were vacant at the end of the third quarter, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Oct. 28.

 

November 2018

Federal Agencies Release FAQs Clarifying Appraisal, Evaluation Rules

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on Oct. 16 published answers to frequently asked questions about appraisals and evaluations for real estate transactions that are covered by the interagency appraisal rules.

 
November 2018

FHA to Require Second Appraisal for Some Reverse Mortgage Applications

The Federal Housing Administration on Sept. 28 said it will require lenders that originate new Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, known as reverse mortgages, to provide a second property appraisal under certain circumstances. The requirement takes effect Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2019, unless extended.

 

November 2018

Appraisal Issues Found on 37 Percent of Reverse Mortgage Loans: FHA

The Federal Housing Administration announced Oct. 1 that its investigation into potential appraisal inflation on reverse mortgage loans found that 37 percent were off by at least 3 percent, HousingWire reported.

 
November 2018

A Recession is Possible, but Experts Say Housing Won't Be the Cause This Time

While the stock market remains volatile and another recession is possible, experts say that real estate likely won't be the cause this time around, MarketWatch reported Oct. 10. Home prices have seen large gains in the last year, more renters are becoming buyers and builder confidence continues to increase.

 

November 2018

FHA Cites Appraisal Concerns Because of 'Technological Shortcomings'

"Technological shortcomings" are preventing the Federal Housing Administration from checking for mortgage defects on a number of loans, potentially leading to a rise in appraisal-related issues, the FHA commissioner told Mortgage Bankers Association conference attendees Oct. 15, HousingWire reported. The FHA previously identified "appraisal bias" issues with reverse mortgages.

 
November 2018

Home Affordability Lowest Since 2008 as Mortgage Rates Rise: Report

Home affordability hit a 10-year low in the third quarter, as high mortgage rates have pushed home prices higher, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Oct. 4. Nearly one-third of Americans now live in counties that require at least $100,000 in annual income to purchase a home.

 

November 2018

Kentwood, Michigan, Tops List of Housing's Hot Zip Codes: Realtor.com

The housing market in Kentwood, Michigan, is the hottest in the country, according to a report released Sept. 26 by Realtor.com that analyzed home search data and records on how quickly homes sell. Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Watauga, Texas, rounded out the top three.

 
November 2018

Annual Home Sales to Decrease, Home Prices to Increase: Freddie Mac

Total home sales for the year are expected to be slightly lower than 2017 as the spring and summer homebuying season was slower than expected — despite a robust economy, Freddie Mac reported Sept. 24. Total home sales are forecast to decrease 0.9 percent while home prices are expected to grow 5.5 percent.

 

November 2018

Home Prices, Sales and Inventory Stable Despite Tax Law, CoreLogic Says

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that took effect Jan. 1 has not caused a drop in U.S. home prices, sales or inventory, including in high-cost markets, which had some analysts worried, CoreLogic reported Oct. 15. While the tax cuts are expected to increase demand for housing, fewer homeowners will benefit from property tax deductions.

 
November 2018

Existing Homes Sales Past Peak, Affordability Falls: Bank of America

Sales of existing homes peaked last year and are no longer a positive force on the economy amid continued affordability challenges, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists, HousingWire reported Oct. 1.

 

October 2018

Mortgage Fraud Rose Sharply During the Second Quarter: CoreLogic

The risk for mortgage fraud jumped 12.4 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Application Fraud Index released Sept. 13 by analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported. The index includes data for such fraud indicators as identity, income, occupancy, property, transaction and undisclosed real estate debt.

 
October 2018

Appraisal Institute Unveils New Property Use Classification System

The Appraisal Institute on Sept. 11 unveiled the Property Use Classification System, known as PUCS, an information system that classifies and describes property uses and can be used by appraisers, appraisal firms, data companies and others aligned with the industry to sort and organize real estate property information.

 

October 2018

Home Prices May Head Downward: Lender

Home prices may have reached a tipping point, following an 11.4 percent year-over-year increase, forcing potential buyers out of the market and requiring sellers to lower listing prices, according to lender First American, HousingWire reported Aug. 27. However, a slow drop in prices is expected, not a dramatic bust.

 
October 2018

Lenders Concerned About Continued Drop in Mortgage Demand: Fannie Mae

Lenders participating in the Q3 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey released Sept. 13 by Fannie Mae said they anticipate the worst purchase mortgage demand for a third quarter in the survey's history. They also foresee net-negative profit margins for the eighth consecutive quarter, blaming the compression on competition from other lenders.

 

October 2018

Housing Market Faces Challenges; Activity Expected to Slow: Freddie Mac

Continued supply and demand imbalances and declining affordability are expected to slow home sales through the end of the year, Freddie Mac reported Aug. 27. New home construction and sales of new and existing homes are down as homebuilder challenges, limited inventory and steady price gains create headwinds for the housing market.

 
October 2018

Manufactured Homes Appreciate as Well as Site-built Homes: Report

Manufactured homes appreciate at levels similar to those of site-built homes, according to a report released Sept. 13 by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Urban Institute reported. The number of manufactured homes shipped in recent years is down, partly due to the perception that appreciation rates are lower.

 

October 2018

Three Texas Cities Top List of Best Markets to Buy a House, Data Shows

The three best overall markets to buy a house are the Texas cities of Frisco, McKinney and Allen, according to a study released Sept. 5 by credit ratings firm WalletHub. Large cities with the best housing markets are Seattle, Denver and Fort Worth, Texas.

 
October 2018

Flip-friendly Neighborhoods Earn Big Profits for Investors, Data Shows

The best neighborhoods for selling flipped homes earned a 79 percent return on investment, resulting in an average profit of nearly $86,000, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Sept. 11. Neighborhoods that were less flip-friendly only saw a 48 percent return on investment.

 

October 2018

Report Shows Majority of Generation Z Plans to Enter Homebuying Market

Eighty-three percent of Generation Z plans to purchase a home in the next five years, noting they are willing to sacrifice location in order to find larger homes with the technology and amenities they want, according to a report from analytics firm PropertyShark, HousingWire reported Sept. 12.

 
October 2018

Starter Home Prices Reach Highest Point in a Decade, NAR Announces

The prices for starter homes are at their highest level since 2008, which means first-time homebuyers need to allocate 23 percent of their income to purchasing an entry-level property — 2 percent more than was required last year, according to the National Association of Realtors, National Real Estate Investor reported Aug. 27.

 

September 2018

IRS Final Rules Involve Qualified Appraisers, Standards Flexibility

The IRS on July 30 finalized rules for substantiating and reporting cash and noncash charitable deductions, stating that any tax deduction of more than $500,000 requires a qualified appraisal conducted in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards. The rules take immediate effect.

 
September 2018

AI Among Organizations Opposing North Dakota Appraisal Waiver Request

The Appraisal Institute on Aug. 13 joined nearly 30 valuation organizations opposing North Dakota's appraisal waiver request to bypass appraisal requirements for business/farm transactions below $1 million and residential transactions below $500,000. The state cited unreasonable appraisal delays, excessive costs and a scarcity of appraisers in rural areas when submitting its request.

 

September 2018

Fannie Mae No Longer Requires Form 1004MC in Updated Selling Guide

Appraisers are no longer required to use form 1004MC, effective immediately, Fannie Mae announced Aug. 7 when releasing its updated Selling Guide. The change was anticipated and is expected to simplify reporting for appraisers and review for lenders. Appraisers still are responsible for analyzing and accurately reporting market conditions.

 
September 2018

President Signs Bill Authorizing 4-month Flood Insurance Extension

President Trump on July 31 signed legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program by four months — until Nov. 30, the White House reported. The extension gives lawmakers a small window to craft a longer-term extension for the program, which is underfunded by about $20 billion.

 

September 2018

Existing Home Prices Reach New High; California Cities Top List: NAR

The median price of existing single-family homes during the second quarter reached a record high of $269,000, a 5.3 percent increase from the same point last year, the National Association of Realtors reported Aug. 8. The three most expensive markets were in California: San Jose, San Francisco and Anaheim/Santa Ana.

 
September 2018

National Mortgage Settlement Involving Feds, States and Banks Wraps Up

The National Mortgage Settlement between the federal government and 49 states and five of the nation's largest banks and mortgage servicers has concluded after netting $25 billion in consumer relief and other payments, HousingWire reported Aug. 22. The settlement, announced in February 2012, involved allegations that mortgage documents were being "robo-signed."

 

September 2018

Gen X Only Generation Fully Recovered from Housing Crash: Pew Research

Generation X homeowners (born between 1965 and 1980) saw the biggest drop in home equity during the Great Recession — falling 43 percent — but also experienced the greatest recovery, with equity doubling since 2010, according to data from think tank Pew Research Center, MarketWatch reported July 25.

 
September 2018

Properties with Solar Panels Have Other Energy Features, Survey Finds

More than half of real estate appraisers say they have found that properties with solar panels also have energy-efficient upgrades or are built to a high-energy efficiency standard, such as Energy Star or LEED, according to a joint Appraisal Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory survey, AI announced Aug. 15.

 

September 2018

Cumberland, Maryland, Top Depreciating Housing Market, Report Shows

The housing market in Cumberland, Maryland, is forecast to depreciate more than any other market over the next 12 months, according to analytics firm VeroForecast, HousingWire reported Aug. 8. The forecast is based on slow population growth, population declines or proximity to a slow-growth metro.

 
September 2018

Existing Home Sales at 2-year Low: NAR

Sales of existing homes dropped for the fourth consecutive month, with purchases in July at their slowest pace in more than two years, the National Association of Realtors reported Aug. 22. Many potential homebuyers are delaying their search until more affordable homes come on the market.

 

August 2018

Freddie Mac Now Allows ACE Eligibility for Condo Unit Purchases, Refis

Freddie Mac announced June 28 that consumers purchasing a condo or refinancing a condo mortgage might be eligible for its automated collateral evaluation appraisal waiver. The ACE program, which launched in 2017 for single-family homes, gives eligible borrowers the opportunity to forgo a traditional appraisal.

 
August 2018

Baby Boomers Could Burst a ‘Generational Housing Bubble:’ Fannie Mae

Baby Boomers comprise 20 percent of all U.S. homeowners, and the impacts of their departure from the housing market could burst a "generational housing bubble" too large for current homeownership demand to meet, according to the Fannie Mae report "The Coming Exodus of Older Homeowners," MBA NewsLink reported July 17

 

August 2018

Housing Industry Loses Status as Economic Driver, Fed Chair Testifies

The housing industry isn't the economic driver it once was and doesn't have much pull in monetary policy decision making, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the House Financial Service Committee July 17 as he delivered the semi-annual monetary policy report, HousingWire reported.

 
August 2018

Fed Beige Book Reveals Mixed Results in Residential, Commercial Sectors

Some Fed districts reported moderate improvements in the residential real estate sector, but their reports on commercial activity revealed largely stagnant conditions, the Federal Reserve reported July 18 in its newest Beige Book.

 

August 2018

Construction Material Costs Lead to Drop in Housing Starts, Data Shows

Rising lumber prices contributed to a drop in June housing starts, with single-family down 9.1 percent and multifamily down 19.8 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department, the National Association of Home Builders reported July 18.

 
August 2018

Most Million-dollar Homes Found in 3 California Cities, Report Shows

San Jose, California, topped the list of cities with the largest share of million-dollar homes, followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles, online loan marketplace LendingTree reported July 2. Buffalo, New York, ranked last, with only 0.10 percent of its homes in the million-dollar range.

 

August 2018

Hamptons Enclave Nation’s Most Expensive Place to Live, Data Shows

Sagaponack, New York, with a median home price of $2.8 million, requires individuals to earn nearly $900,000 annually to reside there, making it the nation's most expensive community, according to finance site GoBankingRates, HousingWire reported July 17. Beverly Hills, California, and Alpine, New Jersey, round out the top three.

 
August 2018

Luxury Markets Emerge in Traditionally Secondary Markets, Report Shows

Increasing digital connectivity and the resulting flexibility for remote work have increased demand for luxury homes in traditionally second-home markets, such as Golden Isles, Georgia, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, Forbes reported July 6. Demand has also grown in Bozeman, Montana, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

 

August 2018

Recovering Home Values Force Median-Income Households Out of the Market

Birmingham, Alabama; Detroit; and Indianapolis have the highest home price inequality in the nation, online marketplace LendingTree reported July 17 in a study on how escalating home prices in many cities have made median-priced homes unaffordable for median-income households.

 
August 2018

Young Homebuyers Hampered by Costs, Societal Shifts: Freddie Mac

Financial challenges and societal shifts — such as declining marriage and fertility rates — have depressed homeownership levels among young adults since 2000, Freddie Mac reported June 28. Its research noted that historically low mortgage rates and favorable employment conditions should have — but didn't — spur home purchases by young adults.

 

July 2018

Half of Nation's Housing Markets are ‘Overvalued,’ CoreLogic Reports

More than half the nation's largest housing markets were overvalued in April, meaning home prices have topped long-term, sustainable levels, according to analytics firm CoreLogic, CNBC reported June 5.

 
July 2018

US Home Prices Rise Faster Than Inflation and Income: Reuters Poll

The shortage of affordable homes is expected to vex the nation for a few more years, driving prices up faster than inflation and wage growth, according to a Reuters poll released June 6. Property market analysts who participated in the poll expect prices to rise 4.3 percent next year and 3.6 percent in 2020.

 

July 2018

Report Shows Growing Impact of ‘Hypervacancy’ on Real Estate Markets

Hypervacancy — defined as areas where at least one in five properties is vacant — is a growing problem that can devastate local real estate, according to a Lincoln Institute of Land Policy report, MBA NewsLink reported June 7. Homes rarely sell in these neighborhoods, which become areas of concentrated poverty and crime.

 
July 2018

Ohio Enacts Law Establishing AMC Oversight and Certification

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on June 14 signed Substitute House Bill 213, legislation that establishes the state's appraisal management company licensing and oversight program and makes minor changes to the state's existing appraiser licensing and certification law.

 

July 2018

Treasury, IRS Select Final ‘Opportunity Zones’ for Tax Incentive Program

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS announced June 13 that they have selected Opportunity Zones in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; the Opportunity Zones program provides federal tax incentives to spur investment in distressed communities. Nearly 35 million people live in the selected zones.

 
July 2018

Home Equity Growth Hits $1 Trillion in First Quarter, CoreLogic Reports

Home equity during the first quarter increased by 13.3 percent over the same point last year, revealing an average gain of $16,300 per homeowner and totaling more than $1 trillion for the quarter, according to analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported June 8. Homes in Washington state saw the largest equity gains.

 

July 2018

Almost 7 Million Homes at Risk of Hurricane Storm Surges: CoreLogic

Nearly seven million properties along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of damage from hurricane storm surges, according to the 2018 Storm Surge Report released May 29 by analytics firm CoreLogic.

 
July 2018

High Home Prices Put Damper on House Flipping Activities, Data Shows

House flipping activities reached a two-year low during the first quarter, down 4 percent from the previous quarter and 3 percent year-over-year amid high home prices driven by low inventory, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported June 7.

 

July 2018

Appraisal Institute Releases User Guide for Residential ‘Green’ Addendum

The Appraisal Institute on June 19 released a guide on how to use and complete its Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum. The guide is intended to help appraisers, real estate agents, lenders, builders and other users understand how each section of the addendum applies to property valuation and marketing.

 
July 2018

Home Seller Confidence Reaches All-time High, Fannie Mae Reports

Consumer confidence in the housing market has reached an all-time high, as 46 percent of Americans said they think now is a good time to sell a home, Fannie Mae reported June 7 in its Home Purchase Sentiment Index. Only 28 percent said they think now is a good time to buy a home.

 
June 2018

Experts Cite Monetary Policy as 'Likeliest Cause' for Recession by 2020

The country's next recession is expected to occur between 2019 and 2021, according to a survey of more than 100 real estate experts, analytics firm Pulsenomics reported May 22. The experts cited monetary policy as the "likeliest cause" for the downturn.

 

June 2018

Treasury Department Report Touts Multiple Deregulation Achievements

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on April 24 reported that its plan to decrease regulatory burdens resulted in the modification or elimination of 100 financial regulations since the last report was released in 2016, HousingWire reported. Treasury noted that only two regulations were categorized as significant.

 
June 2018

CoStar Cracks down on ‘Freeloaders’ Using Real Estate Database

Data firm CoStar announced plans April 23 to target so-called "freeloaders," users accessing its database without paying, The Real Deal reported. The firm said it suspects as many as 30,000 individuals are illegally using its commercial real estate database.

 

June 2018

AI Lobbies Lawmakers on Safety and Soundness Concerns, Regulatory Relief

More than 100 Appraisal Institute professionals went to Capitol Hill May 17 to discuss safety and soundness concerns and urge congressional support for regulatory relief and appraisal modernization, the Appraisal Institute reported.

 
June 2018

Apartment Developers Rethink Parking Needs, Report Shows

Multifamily developers often struggle to determine the perfect parking ratio, noting that successful projects often depend on getting parking requirements right — often reduced but not entirely eliminated — because tenants today are less dependent on automobiles, according to property management firm RealPage, National Real Estate Investor reported May 8.

 

June 2018

Economic Growth Poised to Continue this Year, Drop Next Year: Fannie Mae

Economic growth is expected to remain at 2.7 percent through the end of the year, but then take a downward turn next year as the fiscal stimulus from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 starts to fade, Fannie Mae reported May 17 in its newest Economic and Housing Outlook.

 
June 2018

Ride-sharing Services Reduce Property Values Near Public Transit: Report

Properties near public transportation are losing value due to ride-sharing services, according to a report released May 1 by insurer MetLife, Bloomberg reported. In San Francisco, for example, apartments near transit stops typically showed a 20 percent premium, which dropped to around 15 percent once Uber began operating in the city.

 

June 2018

Midland, Texas, is the Nation’s Top Housing Market, Realtor.com Reports

Midland, Texas, is the nation's top housing market, based on how quickly homes there sell and online traffic, Realtor.com reported April 26. Typically, cities in California take the top spots, but only six Golden State cities appeared on the list of the 20 hottest markets, marking a steep decline.

 
June 2018

Senators Report GSE Reform Halted — for Now

Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Mark Warner, D-Va., told the Senate Banking Committee May 23 that legislative efforts to end government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are dead for now, Bloomberg reported. Corker's and Warner's attempt to write a bill to preserve the government-sponsored enterprises' operations failed to garner enough support.

 

June 2018

President Signs Dodd-Frank Reform Bill Complete with Appraisal Revisions

President Trump on May 24 signed into law S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, legislation intended to bring regulatory relief to small and midsized banks by rolling back parts of the Dodd-Frank Act.

 

May 2018

The Appraisal Subcommittee Denies Bank’s Request for Appraisal Waiver

The Appraisal Subcommittee unanimously rejected a temporary waiver request from TriStar Bank of Dickson, Tennessee, during a special meeting April 23 in Washington. The Appraisal Institute led industry efforts opposing the bank's request for a waiver of certification requirements, which would have allowed appraisals to be completed by non-certified appraisers.

 
May 2018

Appraisal Institute Requests Appraisal Standards Board to Rework Q&As

The Appraisal Institute in an April 13 letter to the Appraisal Standards Board expressed concern that two Q&As may be amending Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice definitions and creating new requirements rather than interpreting USPAP itself. The letter formally requested changes to or the retraction of the Q&As.

 

May 2018

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Single Mortgage-backed Security Arrives in June

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced March 28 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on June 3 will start issuing the long-awaited single mortgage-back security, called the uniform mortgage-backed security. The UMBS replaces TBA-eligible mortgage-backed securities; more than 90 percent of agency MBS trading occurs in the TBA market.

 
May 2018

FTC Denies Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Motion to Dismiss Complaint

The Federal Trade Commission on April 10 denied the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging it violated federal antitrust law. The hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 11.

 

May 2018

Tennessee Publishes Comprehensive Q&A Focused on Real Estate Evaluations

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance, which includes the state's Real Estate Appraiser Commission, published on its website April 17 a Q&A focused on real estate evaluations performed by state-licensed and state-certified appraisers.

 
May 2018

CoreLogic Buys a la mode technologies

Analytics firm CoreLogic announced on April 12 that it acquired a la mode technologies, a subscription-based software firm serving more than 40,000 valuation professionals, HousingWire reported. The acquisition expands CoreLogic's valuations division, which includes technology solutions firm FNC and appraisal management companies RELS and LandSafe Appraisal Services.

 

May 2018

Fannie Mae Permits Lenders to Contribute to Borrower Closing Costs

Fannie Mae announced April 3 that it will allow lenders to contribute to borrowers' closing costs if the funds are a gift and not part of the down payment. There is no limit on the amount a lender can give to a borrower, provided it does not exceed the total closing cost amount.

 
May 2018

Apartment Vacancies on the Rise, Rent Growth Starts to Cool: Report

Apartment occupancy dropped to 94.5 percent in March, down from 95 percent at the same point last year, and annual rent growth fell to its lowest point since 2010, analytics firm RealPage reported March 29.

 

May 2018

3 Texas Cities Among Nation’s Hottest Real Estate Markets, Experts Say

The Texas cities of Austin, Houston and Dallas are among the nation's hottest real estate markets, according to the Forbes Real Estate Council, Forbes reported April 3. Other top markets: Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix.

 
May 2018

Boomers, Gen Xers Want to Rent: Report

Baby boomers and Gen Xers said their interest in buying a home is waning because renting is more affordable, Freddie Mac reported April 4 in its Profile of Today's Renter report. Sixty-seven percent of current renters said they will continue to rent, up from 59 percent just two years ago.

 

April 2018

CFPB Names Rural, Underserved Counties

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on March 6 released its 2018 list of rural and underserved counties, which those entities can use to determine if they are exempt from certain appraisal and ability-to-pay rules, ABA Banking Journal reported.

 
April 2018

North Carolina Supreme Court OKs Brokers’ Fair Market Value Testimony

The North Carolina Supreme Court in an opinion filed March 2 held that real estate brokers may legally testify regarding the fair market value of real property in condemnation cases. The case involved the state's condemnation of approximately two acres of commercial property for a highway construction project.

 

April 2018

FHFA Compares AMC, Non-AMC Appraisals

A new working paper produced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency explores how appraisals contracted through appraisal management companies compare to those contracted directly by lenders, DSNews reported March 26. The paper suggests that the appraisals are statistically very similar to each other.

 
April 2018

AI Backs Revisions as Senate OKs Banking Reform Bill

The Appraisal Institute led nearly three dozen valuation organizations in supporting revisions to a bipartisan Senate bill that passed March 14. The measure, which now goes to the House, rolled back many post-financial-crisis banking rules found in the Dodd-Frank Act.

 

April 2018

Millennials Flocking to San Francisco While Baby Boomers Like Phoenix

San Francisco is the hottest housing market for millennials, who are flocking to larger cities despite the high housing costs, according to a Realtor.com report released Feb. 26. Houston topped the list of Gen Xers, who are seeking larger homes at a more affordable price, while Phoenix attracts the highest number of baby boomers looking to downsize.

 
April 2018

FHA Expands Foreclosure Relief Options

The Federal Housing Administration on Feb. 26 told mortgage servicers to expand options for eligible disaster victims impacted by recent natural disasters in California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FHA unveiled a "Disaster Standalone Partial Claim" option to help struggling borrowers.

 

April 2018

Appraisal Institute Partners with RESNET to Create Appraisal Portal

The Appraisal Institute on March 13 announced its partnership with the Residential Energy Services Network to launch an appraiser portal that allows AI professionals to access data for properties with Home Energy Rating System Index scores.

 
April 2018

Lowest-priced Homes Appreciate Fastest

Properties in the lowest 20 percent of home prices saw their appreciation rise the fastest during the past five years, putting strain on lower-income buyers looking to purchase affordable homes, according to financial services firm Black Knight, MBA NewsLink reported March 6.

 

April 2018

Confidence in Housing Market Wanes

Consumer confidence in the housing market fell in February, with fewer people thinking it’s a good time to buy or sell a home, Fannie Mae reported March 7 in its Home Purchase Sentiment Index. The falling confidence was attributed to rising mortgage rates and questions about new tax laws.

 
April 2018

Nation’s Top Vacation Home Market is Ocean City, New Jersey

Ocean City, New Jersey, is the top secondary home market in the U.S., finance technology company SmartAsset reported March 7. Other top vacation home spots: Barnstable Town, Massachusetts; Salisbury, Maryland/Delaware; Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii; and Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina/North Carolina.

 

March 2018

Fannie Mae Says Tax Cuts Hurt, $3 Billion in Treasury Assistance Needed

Fannie Mae will need $3.7 billion from the U.S. Treasury to prevent its net worth from becoming negative in March, Bloomberg reported Feb. 14. The government-sponsored enterprise hasn't required taxpayer funding since 2012, but newly passed cuts to corporate taxes led to a $6.5 billion fourth-quarter loss.

 
March 2018

Appraisal Alternatives Decrease RMBS Credit Quality, Moody’s Reports

The use of technological alternatives to standard residential property appraisals is expected to increase, a move that could decrease the credit quality of residential mortgage-backed securities, according to ratings agency Moody's Investors Service, HousingWire reported Feb. 20. Moody's reported mixed degrees of reliability for alternative methods.

 

March 2018

CFPB Strategic Plan Shows Limited Responsibilities and Enforcement Goals

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Feb. 12 released its five-year strategic plan that states its goal is to "fulfill the Bureau's statutory responsibilities, but go no further." The plan draws directly from the Dodd-Frank Act and refocuses the CFPB's mission as regulating consumer financial products and services under existing federal law.

 
March 2018

US Takes Lenders to Task Over VA Loans

The U.S. warned nine lenders that they may be kicked out of a top mortgage program unless they stop rapid refinancing of veterans' mortgage loans, Bloomberg reported Feb. 8. A probe by Ginnie Mae found that some lenders are enriching themselves through repeated, unnecessary and costly refinancing actions.

 

March 2018

AI Joins Coalition Opposing Bank’s Temporary Appraisal Waiver Request

The Appraisal Institute was part of a coalition of more than 20 real estate industry organizations that submitted a letter to the Appraisal Subcommittee on Feb. 13 opposing TriStar Bank's request for a temporary waiver from appraiser certification requirements.

 
March 2018

Loan Application Defects and Misrepresentations Up Sharply, Data shows

Defects, fraud and misrepresentation jumped 20.3 percent between 2016 and 2017, and could rise even higher this year, according to the Loan Application Defect Index released Feb. 7 by lender First American Financial Corp. MBA NewsLink reported. The defect index rose for both purchase and refinance loans.

 

March 2018

FHFA Announces New GSA Housing Goals

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Feb. 6 announced new 2018-20 housing goals for government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The goals for single-family homes remain largely unchanged, but the goals for multifamily properties call for increased mortgage purchases for properties with affordable units.

 
March 2018

Fitch Sees Modest Home Price Growth

Home price growth in much of the U.S. this year is expected to be a "modest" five percent, which is near the 25-year average, according to ratings agency Fitch Ratings, MBA NewsLink reported Jan. 30. Some "overvalued" cities in the West likely will experience slower growth or a price correction.

 

March 2018

Rental Home Investors Bargain Hunting

Investors who snapped up single-family homes in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis and turned them into rental properties are now scooping up cheaper houses they previously overlooked because such properties can bring much higher yields — although with much higher risk, according to multiple investor reports, Bloomberg reported Feb. 16.

 
March 2018

Data Shows Prices for Homes in ‘Riskier’ Zip Codes Climb Faster

The median price for homes in zip codes with the highest risk for natural disasters have risen faster than the national average for the past decade, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported Feb. 22. Denver topped the list of riskiest zip codes, followed by San Bernardino, California; and Sheridan, Oregon.

 

February 2018

Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Seeks Dismissal of FTC Complaint

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.

 
February 2018

Fed Beige Book Shows Mixed Results for Residential, Commercial Sectors

Most Fed districts reported low housing activity due to constrained housing inventory — an ongoing concern — while non-residential activity continued to experience slight growth, the Fed reported Jan. 17 in its newest Beige Book.

 

February 2018

FHFA Allows Fannie, Freddie to Hold Reserves for First Time Since 2008

The Federal Housing Finance Agency allowed the government-sponsored enterprises to each retain $3 billion in capital, a policy change agreed to in late December that enables Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to maintain reserves for the first time since 2008, HousingWire reported Dec. 29.

 
February 2018

New Amazon Headquarters Could Boost Housing Demand by 27 Percent: Report

Amazon's proposed second headquarters could increase housing demand by as much as 27 percent in the chosen city, according to investment firm Amherst Capital Management, HousingWire reported Jan. 24. Amazon said it plans to invest more than $5 billion in its new headquarters, which could create 50,000 "high-paying jobs."

 

February 2018

Experts Predict Changes to Home Prices, Inventory

The pace of home sales is expected to slow early this year, and a lack of inventory should continue to plague the market, according to experts who voiced their yearly housing market predictions, Forbes reported Jan. 3. Other predictions: price growth will slow and more millennials will become buyers.

 
February 2018

Economists Predict Tax Reform Will Boost Housing Market

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.

 

February 2018

Rust Belt, Midwest Have Cheapest Housing Markets: Report

Marion, Indiana, with a median home price of $66,750, has the most affordable houses among the largest 500 U.S. metros, Realtor.com reported Jan. 15. Also on the most affordable list: Danville, Illinois, and Pottsville, Pennsylvania, two cities hit hard by industrial decline.

 
February 2018

The Number of Renters Drops for the First Time in 13 Years, Data Shows

The nation's rental population decreased in 2017 — the first drop since 2004, according to the Annual Rent Report from apartment listing service Abodo, HousingWire reported Jan 3. However, the number of renters still outpaces that of owners, and rents continue to rise.

 

February 2018

Washington Has Top Residential Markets

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.

 
February 2018

Las Vegas Among Cities Expected to be a Top 2018 Housing Market: Report

Las Vegas is expected to be the hottest housing market this year, with increasing home sales and rising but still relatively affordable prices, according to predictions from Realtor.com, HousingWire reported Jan. 3. Other expected hot spots: Dallas and Deltona, Florida.

 

January 2018

Bank Request for Appraisal Waiver has Huge Implications for Profession

A community bank in Tennessee has submitted a request to the Appraisal Subcommittee seeking a one-year waiver from appraisal regulation requirements to use a certified appraiser, the Appraisal Institute learned Nov. 29. If the waiver is approved, it would apply to all institutions, not just the requesting organization.

 
January 2018

FHA to Stop Purchasing Loans with PACE Assessments

The Federal Housing Administration announced Dec. 7 that it would stop issuing mortgages on properties that include Property Assessed Clean Energy assessments. The decision is part of a broader effort to protect the agency's Single Family Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which has a net worth of $25.6 billion.

 

January 2018

8 Florida Cities Included on List of Top 10 ‘Boomtowns’ of 2017: Report

Florida cities occupy eight of the 10 slots on the list of 2017 boomtowns, with Cape Coral taking the top stop, financial technology firm SmartAsset reported Dec. 14. The report ranked cities on five metrics, including housing unit and population changes and unemployment rates.

 
January 2018

FHFA to Increase Conforming Loan Limits for 2018

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Nov. 28 that the maximum conforming loans limits for mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac next year will be $453,100 for most single-unit properties, up from $424,100 this year. The limit is based on the average U.S. home price.

 

January 2018

Las Vegas Scores Housing Market Win

Las Vegas landed atop the list of hottest housing markets for 2018 due to its relatively low home prices and cost of living, Realtor.com reported Dec. 4. The city also is seeing an influx of consumers returning to the housing market after having gone through a foreclosure during the Great Recession.

 
January 2018

Young Male, Female Mortgage Applicants Treated Differently: Report

Mortgage applications listing a young man as the primary borrower were approved more often than applications listing a young woman and for an average $11,000 more, Ellie Mae reported Dec. 6 in its Millennial Tracker. Women, however, received mortgage approval with lower FICO scores and closed loans faster.

 

January 2018

Ginnie Mae After Lenders Cheating Vets

Ginnie Mae announced Dec. 7 that it is going after lenders that pressure veterans into mortgage refinancing they don't need and that offer rates 1.5 points above market, Bloomberg reported. Ginnie Mae guarantees payment on $2 trillion in mortgage-backed securities, including loans made through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

 
January 2018

Experts Say Managing Mortgage Systems, Risk Key to Housing

America's homeownership rate is near a 50-year low, but the path to homeownership is improving, congressional representatives and economists told attendees Dec. 6 at the National Association of Realtors/S&P Global conference in Washington. Discussions focused on improving mortgage financing, reforming the government-sponsored enterprises and managing risk.

 

January 2018

Milwaukee Among Cities Seeing Biggest Jump in Homeownership, Data Shows

Milwaukee topped the list of cities with fast-growing homeownership rates, seeing an 11 percent bump since 2014, Realtor.com reported Nov. 27. Charlotte, North Carolina, and Memphis, Tennessee, ranked second and third on the list, respectively.

 
January 2018

Chicago Top Market for Single-family Rentals: Report

Chicago topped the list of best cities for single-family rental properties, seeing a 30 percent increase in investment home sales during the past year, National Real Estate Investor reported Dec. 6. Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta rounded out the top three.

 

December 2017

Banks Delayed Foreclosures to Influence Dodd-Frank, Research Shows

Banks servicing delinquent mortgages in 2009 and 2010 are alleged to have delayed foreclosure proceedings in electoral districts of then-members of the House Financial Services Committee to influence congressional action on Dodd-Frank, according to the Federal Reserve in Chicago and university researchers, MarketWatch reported.

 
December 2017

Stop Penalizing Banks for ‘Innocent’ Mortgage Mistakes: HUD

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said he wants to stop penalizing big banks for "innocent" mortgage lending mistakes, Bloomberg reported. Speaking Oct. 23 at a Mortgage Bankers Association conference, Carson said he wants lenders to help lower-income borrowers without fear of being sued by the federal government.

 

December 2017

Airbnb Drives Up Rents, Home Prices, Research Shows

Home-sharing service Airbnb contributes to an increase in both rents and home prices by making it financially viable for homeowners to refrain from selling their house or finding a long-term renter, further reducing the already limited supply of available properties, according to researchers at UCLA, MarketWatch reported Oct. 31.

 
December 2017

Home Prices Climb to ‘Overvalued’ Levels, CoreLogic Reports

Home prices nationwide continue to climb, rising 7 percent year over year in September and pushing home values into the "overvalued" category in nearly half the top 50 markets, according to the Home Price Index from analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported Nov. 7.

 

December 2017

No National Housing Bubble, but Report Shows Some Cities at Risk

While home prices haven't risen to bubble levels nationally, some cities, including San Francisco; San Jose, California; and Miami, are at risk as home prices there are rising faster than household income, the Urban Institute reported Oct. 25.

 
December 2017

Apartment Markets Decline for Eight Consecutive Quarters: Report

The apartment market has declined for eight consecutive quarters, the National Multifamily Housing Council reported Oct. 23 in its quarterly survey of apartment market conditions. The market is headed into a seasonally slow period, which should ease pressure on rents and occupancy rates.

 

December 2017

Homes Certified as ‘Green’ Sell for Premium, Appraiser Study Shows

Homes certified as green sold for 5 percent more than similar homes without certification, according to a Pearl National Home Certification study released Oct. 30. The study of homes in Maryland and Virginia was authored by Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA, with support from Donald S. Boucher, SRA; Woody Fincham, SRA, AI-RRS; and Betsy Hughes, SRA.

 
December 2017

Report Ranks Seattle as Top Growth City

Seattle is poised for growth and has the best market outlook in the U.S., PwC and the Urban Land Institute reported Nov. 2 in their Emerging Trends in Real Estate report. Many top-ranked cities, which also include Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, are smaller, secondary markets with robust economies and young, skilled workers.

 

December 2017

Now is Not the Time to Buy or Sell a Home: Fannie Mae Survey

The number of Americans who believe now is a good time to buy or sell a home dropped in October as the summer homebuying season ended, Fannie Mae reported Nov. 7 in its Home Purchase Sentiment Index. Increased concerns about job security and wages helped dull housing market interest.

 
December 2017

Many Americans Ditch Dreams of Homeownership, Study Finds

Nearly half of Americans believe they will never be able to afford a home, despite more than 60 percent who said they want to purchase one, according to a study from financial services firm ING, MSN Money reported Nov. 7. Rising home prices and stagnant wages have discouraged many consumers.

 

November 2017

Agencies Ease Appraisal Requirements in Hurricane Disaster Areas

Acting in response to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Oct. 17 that they would temporarily ease appraisal requirements in major disaster areas.

 
November 2017

San Jose, California, Hottest Housing Market, Report Shows

San Jose, California, landed atop the list of September's hottest housing markets, Realtor.com reported Sept. 28. San Francisco and Vallejo, California, rounded out the top three. The report indicated that low inventory and rising home prices remain an ongoing problem.

 

November 2017

FHFA Implores Congress to Act on GSE Reform

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt on Oct. 3 told the House Financial Services Committee that the capital buffer for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will reach zero in less than three months without congressional action on housing finance reform, HousingWire reported. Future losses could require a taxpayer bailout.

 
November 2017

FEMA Slow to Map Flood Risks, Cabinet Agency Reports

The Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to map flood risks in a timely manner, giving homeowners the false impression that they don't need flood insurance, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog, The Hill reported Oct. 9. FEMA currently has more than 240 mapping projects on hold.

 

November 2017

Home Prices Rising, ‘Overvalued’ in Many Cities: CoreLogic

Home prices were 7 percent higher in August than at the same point last year, and homes in a third of the nation's cities are considered "overvalued" – including those in Denver; Nashville, Tennessee; and Austin, Texas – according to research firm CoreLogic, MBA NewsLink reported Oct. 4.

 
November 2017

Freddie Mac Updates Appraisal Requirements for Settlement Dates

Freddie Mac announced Oct. 18 that it updated the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp's appraisal policies, eliminating the requirement that a new appraisal be obtained when the settlement date is 120 days following the note date. Sellers will now have to certify that the property value is not less than the appraised value as of the appraisal's effective date.

 

November 2017

AI Advises on Disaster Appraisal Exemptions, Collateral Risks

The Appraisal Institute on Oct. 25 advised real estate appraisers servicing areas affected by recent disasters that the exemption from appraisal requirements issued by federal bank regulatory agencies does not itself reduce collateral risks. Rather, regulated financial institutions are seeking greater flexibility in reviewing loan applications and loans held in portfolios.

 
November 2017

Pending Home Sales Drop, Market Stalled: NAR

The number of pending home sales fell in August, stalling the housing market and causing the National Association of Realtors to rescind previous estimates and revise its Pending Home Sales Index to reflect fewer home sales this year than were recorded last year, HousingWire reported Sept. 27.

 

November 2017

Wells Fargo Refunding Improper Mortgage Fees

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan on Oct. 3 told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that the bank would refund borrowers who were improperly charged fees for mortgage rate lock extensions, HousingWire reported. Approximately 110,000 borrowers were charged nearly $98 million in fees between September 2013 and this past February.

 

November 2017

AI's Residential Update E-Newsletter Wins Gold Award

The Appraisal Institute's Residential Update monthly e-newsletter received a Gold MarCom Award on Nov. 1 from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The awards competition honors excellence in marketing and communication and this year involved more than 6,500 entries from 19 countries.

 

October 2017

ASC Releases Final Rule for AMC Fees; AI Reiterates Concerns

The Appraisal Subcommittee on Sept. 25 published the final rule on the Collection and Transmission of Annual Appraisal Management Company Registry Fees, which establishes the formula for transmitting registry fees to the ASC by states that elect to register and supervise AMCs. The Appraisal Institute reiterated its concern about the final rule.

 
October 2017

AI Guide Note Can Help Appraisers in Disaster Areas

As disaster recovery efforts continue throughout the U.S., the Appraisal Institute on Sept. 6 reminded appraisers assisting property owners and lenders in communities affected by hurricanes and fires that they can find guidance in AI Guide Note 10: Development of an Opinion of Market Value in the Aftermath of a Disaster.

 

October 2017

Ginnie Mae Investigates Lenders for Targeting Military Members

Ginnie Mae is investigating allegations that lenders pressured current military members and veterans into unnecessary mortgage refinancing in order to reap high fees from the process, Bloomberg reported Sept. 14. The loans in question are tied to Ginnie securities, which support loans made through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

 
October 2017

House Flippers Caused Housing Crisis, Report Finds

House flippers with good credit scores caused the housing market collapse by defaulting on loans, according to a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research, Quartz Media reported Aug. 29. Data showed that borrowers with low credit scores accounted for only 35 percent of foreclosures during the crisis period.

 

October 2017

Mortgage Fraud Increases 17 Percent: CoreLogic

The risk of mortgage fraud during the second quarter increased nearly 17 percent from the same point last year, and is expected to continue rising as buyers shift to purchase transactions, according to the Mortgage Fraud Report from research firm CoreLogic, MBA NewsLink reported Sept. 20.

 
October 2017

AI Among 35 Groups Seeking to Halt Appraisal Waivers

The Appraisal Institute on Sept. 6 joined with nearly three dozen appraiser organizations in asking Congress to call on the Federal Housing Finance Agency to prevent Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from issuing appraisal waivers.

 

October 2017

Wells Fargo Faces Another Lawsuit over Mortgage Fees

A lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo last month alleged that the lender improperly charged fees to close on mortgage loans, and class action status is being sought, USA Today reported Sept. 5. Wells Fargo previously has been accused of improperly charging borrowers for fees the lender should pay.

 

October 2017

Homes in High-risk Cities Have Higher Values: Report

Home values in U.S. cities at high risk for natural disasters have increased more than twice as fast as values in cities at low risk for natural disasters, according to analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions, MBA NewsLink reported Sept. 21.

 
October 2017

GSE Reform Coming Next Year, Treasury Says

The process of taking the government-sponsored enterprises out of conservatorship likely will begin next year — once the U.S. Department of the Treasury handles tax reform, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a Sept. 15 policy summit, HousingWire reported.

 
October 2017

Report Shows Home Flipping Slowdown

Home flipping during the second quarter declined 6.9 percent as high home prices and lower returns made flipping projects less desirable, according to a report from analytics firm Attom Data Solutions, CNBC reported Sept. 14.

 

September 2017

Mnuchin Says Housing Finance Reform Still Priority for Trump

Speaking before the House Financial Services Committee July 27, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reaffirmed the Trump administration's commitment to housing finance reform, HousingWire reported. Mnuchin also reiterated the belief that the government-sponsored enterprises should be removed from conservatorship.

 
September 2017

Home Prices ‘Overvalued’ in 4 Major Metros: CoreLogic

Home prices in Denver, Houston, Miami and Washington have grown faster than other major metros, causing analytics firm CoreLogic to deem them "overvalued" and caution that the markets are becoming increasingly unaffordable and unsustainable, HousingWire reported Aug. 1.

 

September 2017

Vallejo, California, is Hottest Real Estate Market, Realtors Say

Vallejo, California, topped the list of hottest real estate markets in August, Realtor.com reported Aug. 24. The nearby cities of San Joe and San Francisco ranked second and third, respectively, as tight inventory in the Bay Area pushes home prices even higher.

 
September 2017

Wells Fargo to Pay $108M Over Veteran Refinance Fees

Wells Fargo agreed to pay $108 million to the federal government to settle accusations that it overcharged veterans who refinanced their mortgages, HousingWire reported Aug. 4. The bank was alleged to have collected unauthorized fees, which would have made some loans ineligible for Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees.

 

September 2017

PACE Loan Defaults on the Rise, Analysis Shows

Defaults on loans that are part of the Property Assessed Clean Energy program have increased, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of tax data in 40 California counties, Dow Jones Newswire reported Aug. 15. Data shows roughly 1,100 borrowers missed two consecutive payments through June, compared to 245 last year.

 
September 2017

Americans Believe Housing Market is Overheated: Survey

A majority of Americans believe the housing market is overheated and that current home prices are unsustainable and a correction is imminent, according to the Modern Homebuyer Survey from insurer ValueInsured, HousingWire reported Aug. 9.

 
September 2017

Zillow ‘Zestimate’ Lawsuit Dismissed

Zillow on Aug. 23 won dismissal of a federal lawsuit that challenged the accuracy of its "Zestimate" home valuation tool, Reuters reported. The lawsuit alleged that Zestimates constituted illegal appraisals and undervalued properties making them harder to sell. The court ruled that Zestimates were simply a starting point.

 

September 2017

Freddie Mac OKs Appraisal Alternative for Some Mortgages

Freddie Mac announced Aug. 18 that it will utilize automated collateral evaluations to determine when an automated appraisal can supplant a traditional appraisal for new home mortgages and refinancing. ACE became available Sept. 1 and uses data from multiple listing services, public records and historical home values to determine collateral risks.

 
September 2017

Fannie Mae Eases Appraisal Requirements on Lower LTV Mortgages

Fannie Mae announced Aug. 18 that lenders can forego appraisals on some loans with low loan-to-value ratios as part a larger program that waives property inspection requirements on lower-LTV mortgages. Fannie Mae said it will continue to require full appraisals on most mortgages.

 

September 2017

Fannie Mae Wants to Reduce Appraisal Turnaround Times

After updating its appraisal policies earlier this year, Fannie Mae is working to reduce appraisal turnaround times and exploring technology that can help streamline the appraisal process for Fannie-approved lenders, HousingWire reported Aug. 3.

 

August 2017

FTC Grants Stay of its Complaint Over Louisiana Appraisal Laws

The Federal Trade Commission, which alleged May 31 that Louisiana's laws mandating how appraisal management companies pay appraisers amount to price-fixing, on July 28 granted the Louisiana Real Estate Appraiser Board's request for a stay to allow the state to repeal its laws and implement new policies, HousingWire reported.

 
August 2017

Quicken Loans Fined $11 Million for Appraisal Tampering

A federal court found that Quicken Loans provided appraisers with inflated estimates of property values to secure higher-value loans, The Washington Post reported July 19. More than 2,750 plaintiffs filed a class-action suit claiming their loans were underwater from the start.

 

August 2017

Many Financial Regulatory Changes OK without Congress: Treasury

An official with the U.S. Department of the Treasury stated on June 22 that most of the 100-plus regulatory changes it's proposing can be made without congressional approval, MarketWatch reported. The official said Treasury needs to manage regulatory risk in preparation for the next financial crisis.

 
August 2017

Housing Finance System 'Unsustainable,' Fed Governor Says

Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell on July 6 said that the U.S. housing finance system is "unsustainable" and continues to put taxpayers at risk, CNBC reported. Powell cited as particularly problematic the amount of mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

August 2017

Tennessee has Top Vacation Home Market, Data Shows

Crossville, Tennessee, topped the list of most affordable cities in which to buy a vacation home, thanks to its temperate climate and affordable median home price of $87,500, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported July 1. Waynesville, North Carolina, and Port Charlotte, Florida, rounded out the top three.

 
August 2017

AI Releases Exposure Draft on Evaluations

The Appraisal Institute on July 20 sent an Exposure Draft regarding a proposed statement of policy relating to evaluations. Comments are due within 30 days of the exposure draft's distribution and will be compiled for distribution to the Government Relations Committee and to the Board of Directors.

 

August 2017

Number of Renters Hits 50-year High, Census Data Shows

More than 36 percent of household heads rented their homes last year, the highest amount since 1965 when 37 percent of household heads were renters, according to Census Bureau data analyzed by the Pew Research Center, CNBC reported July 20.

 
August 2017

Home Prices Rising, Inventory Dropping: CoreLogic

Home prices in May were 6.6 percent higher than at the same point a year ago, but sales activity is still hampered by low inventory, according to CoreLogic's Home Price Index and HPI Forecast, HousingWire reported July 5. Low inventory also led to a 3.1 percent rent increase for single-family homes.

 

August 2017

Report Shows Record-breaking Housing Market

The housing market likely will set a record this year, as increased sales volume, rising home prices and abbreviated days on the market drive market activity, according to the July National Housing Report from broker RE/MAX, Builder reported July 17.

 
August 2017

FHFA Proposes Housing Goals for Fannie, Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on July proposed 2018-20 housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which create new single-family and multifamily benchmarks for the government-sponsored enterprises. The current goals expire at the end of 2017, and comments on the new ones are due by Sept. 5.

 

July 2017

Supreme Court Sides with State on Property Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court settled a property-rights dispute June 23, ruling that Wisconsin regulators were within their rights to block construction of separate houses on adjoining lots, writing, "the expert appraisal relied upon by the state courts refutes any claim that the economic impact of the regulation is severe," Bloomberg reported.

 
July 2017

Banking Agencies Address Availability of Rural Appraisers

The federal banking agencies on May 31 released an interagency advisory that outlines ways to address a shortage of appraisers working in rural areas. The advisory is in response to concerns expressed by community banks and other financial institutions about the difficultly they have had finding appraisers to complete rural assignments.

 

July 2017

Trump Administration Wants Wall Street Rules Overhauled

The Trump administration wants to ease but not eliminate rules that were imposed on Wall Street by the Dodd-Frank Act, according to a report released June 12 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bloomberg reported. Included in the report is a request to reduce the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 
July 2017

Fannie Mae Eases Debt-to-Income Requirement

Fannie Mae announced June 6 that it will ease its debt-to-income requirements, raising the ceiling from 45 percent to 50 percent starting July 29, a move that's expected to make it easier for more individuals — particularly millennials with significant student loan debt — to qualify for a mortgage.

 

July 2017

Oregon Establishes Statute of Limitations on Appraiser Liability

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on May 25 signed HB 2189, legislation that establishes a statute of limitations on civil actions against appraisers and appraisal firms over real estate appraisal activity. The law takes effect Jan. 1 and applies only to appraisals performed after that date.

 
July 2017

FTC Claims Louisiana Appraiser Board Stifles Competition

The Federal Trade Commission on May 31 filed a complaint against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board alleging that it is restricting price competition for appraisal services in violation of federal antitrust laws. The FTC claims that the LREAB is exceeding its authority under the customary and reasonable fees provision in the Dodd-Frank Act.

 

July 2017

Feds List Communities Eligible for Reinvestment Act Credit

The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on June 21 released the 2017 list of distressed or underserved non-metro areas where banks are eligible for Community Reinvestment Act credit, HousingWire reported. The credits are intended to enhance community development efforts.

 
July 2017

Study Shows Significant Decline in Homeownership

Fewer adults aged 25 to 44 have purchased homes over the past decade, helping homeownership rates drop to near 50-year lows, according to a joint study released June 20 by Fannie Mae and the University of Southern California.

 

July 2017

Colorado Springs has Nation’s Hottest Market: Analytics Firm

Colorado Springs, Colorado, has the country's hottest real estate market, according to the Pre-Mover Housing Index from analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions, MarketWatch reported June 13. The index tracks such things as ratio of mortgage applications to available homes and closing speed. Other hot markets: Charleston, South Carolina, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

 
July 2017

Housing Report Reveals Low Inventory, Smaller Footprints

Continued declines in for-sale inventory, sluggish home building and smaller square footage are three of the "surprising" finds included in the State of the Nation's Housing report released June 21 by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

 

June 2017

Fiduciary Rule Excluding Appraisals Takes Effect

Major parts of the U.S. Department of Labor's fiduciary rule takes effect June 9, Investment News reported May 23. While the final rule excludes appraisals and fairness opinions, as requested by the Appraisal Institute, the DOL said it would address those issues later, but did not provide specifics.

 
June 2017

AI Lobbies to Modernize Appraisal Regulatory Process

More than 100 Appraisal Institute professionals went to Capitol Hill May 4 to urge congressional support for the modernization of the appraisal regulatory process.

 

June 2017

Dodd-Frank Overhaul Is Unlikely, McConnell Says

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Bloomberg News May 16 that Congress is unlikely to make major changes to the Dodd-Frank Act due to lack of support from Democrats. McConnell specifically cited the need to help community banks because he believes they are unduly harmed by the legislation.

 
June 2017

New Jersey, South Carolina Enact AMC Laws

New Jersey and South Carolina enacted new laws requiring the registration and oversight of appraisal management companies; 42 states now have such laws.

 

June 2017

Minnesota Makes Significant Changes to Appraiser Law

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on May 11 signed HF 593, legislation that makes several important changes to the state's appraiser licensing and certification law, including issues concerning non-compliance with the appraiser licensing law and background checks.

 
June 2017

AI Expresses Concern about Possible Appraisal Waivers

The Appraisal Institute was one of several organizations that met with officials from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on May 23 to discuss concerns about initiatives under consideration that would waive appraisals in purchase and refinance loan transactions. AI followed up its meeting with a letter to the government-sponsored enterprises reiterating its position against the waiver.

 

June 2017

Tennessee Governor Signs Law Protecting Appraisers

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on April 28 signed HB 376, legislation that establishes a new statute of limitations regarding civil lawsuits and disciplinary actions against real estate appraisers.

 
June 2017

Florida Makes Significant Changes to Appraiser Licensing Law

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on May 23 signed HB 927, legislation that makes significant changes to the state's appraiser licensing law and requires appraisal management companies to comply with federal minimum requirements for registration and oversight. The law takes effect Oct. 1.

 

June 2017

US Mortgage Fraud on the Rise: CoreLogic

Mortgage fraud risk across the U.S. is up 8 percent from first quarter and is at the highest level since third quarter 2010, according to the CoreLogic National Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index released April 24, DS News reported. The Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania, area saw the largest increase in the Index.

 
June 2017

Northwest is Nation’s ‘Hottest’ Real Estate Market: Report

The Pacific Northwest stands out as the nation's hottest residential real estate market, with the Seattle and Portland, Oregon, markets outperforming the country's other major metros areas, according to real estate analytics firm Clear Capital, MBA NewsLink reported May 17.

 

May 2017

Trump to CEOs: Dodd-Frank is Target for Major Overhaul

President Trump told a gathering of CEOs at the White House April 4 that the era of "horrible regulations" is coming to an end, specifically citing the Dodd-Frank Act as a target for regulatory reform, HousingWire reported. The president said he sees Dodd-Frank as an impediment to the banking industry.

 
May 2017

AI Tells Congress Appraiser Independence Critical to VA Home Loans

Appraisal Institute Vice President Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, testified at an April 4 Congressional subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, urging Congress to protect the independence of real estate appraisers in the federal program that provides housing loans to military veterans.

 

May 2017

House Introduces Another Alternative to Dodd-Frank, CFPB

The House Financial Services Committee on April 19 unveiled the updated version of the Financial CHOICE Act, which would replace the Dodd-Frank Act and significantly alter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, HousingWire reported. A hearing to discuss the Act is scheduled for this week.

 
May 2017

Appraisal Institute Supports Legislation to Modify PACE Loans

The Appraisal Institute was among more than two dozen real estate trade organizations April 24 announcing their support of S 838/HR 1958, the Protecting Americans from Credit Entanglements Act of 2017 – legislation that would modify consumer protection requirements for Property Assessed Clean Energy loans, known as PACE loans.

 

May 2017

Comp Data in Appraisal Reports Mostly Accurate: CoreLogic

Data in the MLS accurately matched public-record data 91 percent of the time, according to a CoreLogic study on the accuracy of comparable property data used in appraisal reports. The March 23 study showed that 6 percent of the time, data showed property price discrepancies of less than 0.25 percent.

 
May 2017

Chase Says Servicing Rule Changes May Add $300B in Mortgages

JPMorgan Chase sees the possibility of generating an additional $300 billion in mortgages annually if the U.S. Department of the Treasury and government agencies established service standards to simplify mortgage origination and servicing, according to Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, HousingWire reported April 4.

 

May 2017

Infrastructure Bill May Include HUD Funding, Agency Reports

The Trump administration will seek to add housing funding to its upcoming infrastructure spending bill, according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, The Washington Post reported April 3. President Trump reportedly is considering cutting $6 billion from the HUD budget.

 
May 2017

Vacation Home Sales Drop in 2016

Sales of vacation homes fell 21 percent between 2015 and 2016 as home prices rose and availability dropped, the National Association of Realtors reported April 11. Many vacation homebuyers have been replaced by traditional buyers looking to live in areas traditionally known as vacation destinations.

 

May 2017

Tampa Named Nation’s Hottest Real Estate Market

Tampa, Florida, topped the list of hottest real estate markets due to strong employment numbers and rising property values, online real estate marketplace Ten-X reported April 12. Dallas and Columbus, Ohio, rounded out the top three.

 
May 2017

Housing Inventory Reaches 10-year Low

The inventory of for-sale housing is at its lowest point in a decade, which is causing home prices to outpace incomes and creating difficulty for prospective buyers, Freddie Mac reported April 18 in its monthly outlook. Based on tight inventory, Freddie predicts a drop in home sales for the year.

 
April 2017

Fannie, Freddie Reportedly Could Require another Bailout

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to lose capital because the U.S. Department of the Treasury takes most of the government-sponsored enterprises' earnings, an action that could necessitate another bailout, Politico reported Feb. 27. The Trump administration's plans for corporate tax reform could cause the GSEs to take large write-downs.

 

April 2017

CoreLogic Reports Potentially ‘Significant’ Mortgage Fraud Increase

Mortgage fraud could increase significantly this year due to rising risk in purchase transactions and an increase in such transactions overall, CoreLogic reported Feb. 16 in its Fraud Index report. Mortgage fraud has been relatively low since strong lending controls were put in place following the financial crisis.

 
April 2017

Treasury Expands Money Laundering Investigation over Home Sales

Title insurance companies in designated geographic areas are now required to identify the person behind shell companies that pay cash for high-end U.S. residential real estate as part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's expanded investigation into money laundering, HousingWire reported Feb. 24.

 

April 2017

Baby Boomers Buying Multigenerational Homes: NAR

A growing number of baby boomers are buying homes they intend to share with their adult children, the National Association of Realtors reported March 7 in its Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. Twenty percent of boomers reported purchasing a multigenerational home, up from 16 percent last year.

 

April 2017

HUD Issues Fraud Alert for Appraiser Identity Theft

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General issued a Fraud Alert on Feb. 22 after uncovering a series of appraiser identity theft cases.

 
April 2017

Appraisal Institute Urges Caution on Appraisal Threshold

The Appraisal Institute on March 21 responded to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's Joint Report to Congress by cautioning federal regulators against increasing from $250,000 to $400,000 the appraisal threshold for commercial real estate transactions. The report indicated the threshold for residential real estate transactions would remain unchanged.

 

April 2017

Agency Report Delayed, Appraisal Questions Unanswered

Questions concerning appraisals and appraisal threshold levels remain unanswered more than two years after outreach and requests for comments were initiated by federal bank regulatory agencies regarding the final report they're required to submit to Congress that outlines potential regulatory relief for banks, the Appraisal Institute reported March 15.

 
April 2017

7 California Cities Among Hottest Housing Markets: Realtor.com

Vallejo, California, tops the list of hottest residential real estate markets for February, Realtor.com reported Feb. 23. Seven cities in the Golden State made the top 10. Other hot spots: San Francisco and San Jose.

 

April 2017

Will Deregulation Spur Big Banks to Rejoin Mortgage Market?

JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are two big banks that have stopped issuing mortgage loans, but deregulation under the Trump administration could prompt large financial institutions to re-enter this lending space, CNBC reported Feb. 21. One big draw: deregulation may end the practice of forcing banks to repay soured loans.

 
April 2017

Real Estate Markets Suffer Without Flood Insurance Program: FEMA

The Senate Banking Committee on March 14 held the first of several hearings on reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program. Roy E. Wright, deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, testified that failure to reauthorize NFIP could hurt real estate and mortgage markets.

 

March 2017

Fannie Mae Selling Guide Addresses Appraiser Trainees, Adjustments

The updated Fannie Mae Selling Guide released Jan. 31 clarifies rules for property inspections by appraiser trainees and dollar adjustments for financing or sales concessions. All clarifications and updates are effective immediately.

 
March 2017

Mortgage Market in ‘Disarray,’ Analysts Say

Mortgage markets are in greater disarray now than in 2008, according to analysts from the financial firm Rafferty Capital Markets, Yahoo Finance reported Jan. 25. Concerns focused on a breakdown in mortgage rules and mortgage insurance, and the inability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to back loan guarantees.

 

March 2017

Fed Expects to Unwind Trillions in MBS

Federal Reserve officials said the central bank may begin to reduce its mortgage-backed securities holdings, which total $1.75 trillion and were amassed as part of a quantitative easing program during the financial crisis, Bloomberg reported Feb. 5. However, some worry that the drawdown could harm the U.S. housing market.

 
March 2017

State Agency Warns Appraisers of ‘Phishing Scheme’

The California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers on Jan. 31 issued guidance to appraisers across the country who received an email stating that a complaint had been filed against their practice.

 

March 2017

Fannie Mae Unveils Updated Collateral Underwriter

Fannie Mae announced Jan. 31 enhancements to Collateral Underwriter, including updates to property value representations and warranties as well as user interface enhancements. Version 4.1 is scheduled for release the weekend of March 25.

 
March 2017

White House Eyes Rollback of Dodd-Frank

The Trump administration announced Feb. 3 that it plans to order a rollback of financial services industry regulations created under the Dodd-Frank Act, The Washington Post reported. The "fiduciary rule," which requires advisers to work in the best interest of their clients, also is being targeted.

 

March 2017

Home Prices Near Peak, New York Reports Highest Appreciation

Home prices grew 5.7 percent between January and November 2016 and are now within 0.3 percent of a new national peak, Black Night Financial Services reported Jan. 30 in its Home Price Index. Homes in New York saw the highest level of price appreciation month-over-month in November.

 
March 2017

Report Shows Strong Apartment Fundamentals

Apartment fundamentals are expected to remain strong this year, with rents rising faster than inflation and units experiencing healthy occupancy rates, according to real estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap, National Real Estate Investor reported Feb. 14.

 

March 2017

Distressed Sales Hit 9-year Low, Report Shows

Distressed sales made up 16.2 percent of all homes sold in 2016, marking the smallest percentage of such sales since 2007, analytics firm Attom Data Solutions reported Jan. 31 in its Year-End 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report.

 
March 2017

Denver Has Nation’s Hottest Suburb, Realtor.com Finds

Northeast Denver topped the list of the country's suburban hotspots, and its median home price jumped 27 percent between 2015 and 2016, Realtor.com reported Feb. 13. Suburban enclaves outside Dallas and San Francisco rounded out the top three.

 

February 2017

Updated HUD Standards Allow More Noise, Amenities

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development changed its noise standards to reflect the market shift toward urban sensibilities and environments where noise levels generally are higher, MBA NewsLink reported Jan. 12. As a result, developers will be able to add more balconies and other exterior amenities.

 
February 2017

Basel Accord with Valuation Component Delayed

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision announced Jan. 3 that it will delay voting on a new accord, part of which focuses on real estate risk requirements, including valuation. The Basel Accords establish regulatory capital requirements for bank regulatory agencies worldwide. The committee will resume work on the accord in the "near future."

 

February 2017

Beige Book Shows Mixed Results for Residential, Commercial Sectors

Sales and construction of residential real estate were mixed across most Fed districts, except in San Francisco where activity remained strong, the Federal Reserve reported Jan. 18 in its newest Beige Book. Commercial real estate across most districts was stable, but especially strong in Atlanta and Cleveland.

 
February 2017

Dallas Top Spot for Residential Real Estate Investment

A fast-growing population, strong job gains and rising home prices put Dallas atop the list of the best residential real estate markets in which to invest, Forbes reported Jan. 10. Florida cities Jacksonville and Orlando rounded out the top three on the list.

 

February 2017

Fed Expects Economy to Grow, not Boom Under Trump

Notes from the Federal Reserve's mid-December meeting indicate that Donald Trump's presidency is expected to foster economic growth but not create the boom the president-elect has promised, The New York Times reported Jan. 4. The Fed indicated it will raise rates faster if growth accelerates.

 
February 2017

Report Shows San Francisco Land Values Eclipse Home Values

Land accounts for up to 81 percent of the average home value in San Francisco, according to a Jan. 11 Realtor.com report on top cities where land exceeds property value. The California cities of San Jose and Santa Ana also topped the list.

 

February 2017

Homes Lose Square Footage, Gain Efficiency: NAHB

The average square footage of newly built homes dropped last year for the first time in seven years as more millennials entered the market as first-time homebuyers, the National Association of Home Builders reported Jan. 12. Buyers reportedly seek less space and more amenities, including energy-efficient features and home automation.

 
February 2017

Experts Predict Home Shortage, Rising Prices

Housing experts predict home prices will continue to rise this year, albeit at a slower pace than last year, Forbes reported Jan. 3. Experts also expect the supply of homes to remain low, and anticipate more millennials becoming homeowners.

 

February 2017

Owning is Cheaper than Renting, Report Shows

The cost of buying a home is cheaper in 66 percent of U.S. markets, but that could change if mortgage rates continue to climb, analytics firm Attom Data Solutions reported Jan. 3 in its 2017 Rental Affordability Report.

 
February 2017

Housing Markets Improve Nationwide: Freddie Mac

More than 80 percent of major U.S. housing markets have improved, with the real estate market in Georgia a stand out as it reaches historically high housing activity, Freddie Mac reported Dec. 28 in its Multi-Indicator Market Index.

 

January 2017

Trump Adviser Expects ‘Very Substantial’ Regulation Reversal

Blackstone Group Chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman, speaking Dec. 6 at an investor conference, said he anticipates "very substantial reversal of regulations of all types" for the financial sector under President Trump, Reuters reported. Schwarzman chairs a panel of business leaders who will advise Trump during his presidency.

 
January 2017

Trump Treasury Pick Wants to Privatize Fannie, Freddie

Steve Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, said he wants to restructure and privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, stating that leaving them under "government ownership" displaces private lending in the mortgage market, HousingWire reported Nov. 30.

 

January 2017

Carson Accepts Offer to Head HUD

Retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate Ben Carson on Dec. 5 accepted President-elect Donald Trump's nomination to head the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Reuters reported. At HUD, Carson would oversee mortgage lending and multiple housing programs.

 
January 2017

Home Prices Increase Nearly 7 Percent in October: CoreLogic

Home prices in October were up 6.7 percent from a year earlier, analytics firm CoreLogic reported Dec. 7 in its Home Price Index. Prices saw the biggest jump in the Pacific Northwest and western states.

 

January 2017

Suburbs Draw Young Homebuyers: Urban Land Institute

Nearly 80 percent of the residents of the nation's 50 largest metro areas live in the suburbs, including nearly three-quarters of millennials, many of whom actively reject city living, the Urban Land Institute and the real estate advisory firm RCLCO jointly reported Dec. 5. Since 2000, suburban populations grew 91 percent.

 
January 2017

S&P 500 Real Estate Sector is Market’s ‘Worst Performer’

The Standard & Poor's 500 real estate sector has been the market's worst performer since it launched in September, down 10 percent with further declines expected if rates go up, CNBC reported Dec. 6. The S&P has increased 2 percent during the same timeframe.

 

January 2017

Fannie Mae Sees Negative Homebuyer Sentiment in November

The number of people who think that home prices will go up increased 4 percent in November while the number of people who believe now is a good time to sell a home dropped 6 percent during the month, Fannie Mae reported in its Dec. 7 Home Purchase Sentiment Index.

 
January 2017

Millennials, Boomers Lead 2017 National Housing Forecast

Millennials and baby boomers are expected to dominate the housing market for the next 10 years, Realtor.com reported Nov. 30 in its 2017 National Housing Forecast. The report identified Phoenix as the country's strongest housing market, followed by Los Angeles and Boston.

 

January 2017

FHFA to Increase Loan Limits in 2017

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Dec. 1 that most areas will see a slight increase in loan limits Jan. 1, 2017 due to rising housing prices. In high-cost areas, loan limits will increase to $636,150 from $625,500. There were no areas with a decrease in the maximum loan limits.

 
January 2017

House Flipping Slows Down, Analytics Firms Finds

The number of residential properties flipped during the third quarter was 45,718, a 15.1 percent drop from the second quarter when 53,892 properties were flipped, representing a six-year high, analytics firm Attom Data Solutions reported Dec. 8 in its U.S. Home Flipping Report.

 
December 2016

Court Blocks New Overtime Rule

A federal judge on Nov. 22 blocked a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor that would have made an additional four million salaried employees eligible for overtime pay, Reuters reported. The rule would have taken effect Dec. 1 and doubled to $47,500 the salary a worker could make and still qualify for overtime.

 

December 2016

NAR Reports New Homes Gradually Getting Smaller

The average square footage of new single-family homes is gradually shrinking, dropping during the third quarter to 2,602 square feet from 2,620 square feet, the National Association of Realtors reported Nov. 22. The downsizing is the result of a renewed focus on the entry-level market.

 

December 2016

Trump Administration Could Gut CFPB, Repeal Dodd-Frank

An incoming Republican president and Republican-controlled House and Senate could have a significant impact on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Dodd-Frank Act, HousingWire reported Nov. 9. CFPB could see a change in structure or be completely eliminated, while the Dodd-Frank Act could be repealed.

 

December 2016

Appraisal Institute ‘Concerned’ with Freddie Mac Policy Changes

Citing similarities to previous policies that “turned out to be disastrous for the entire economy,” the Appraisal Institute on Oct. 31 expressed “serious concerns” with changes to Freddie Mac’s Loan Advisor Suite. Under its new policy announced Oct. 24, Freddie Mac will waive appraisals in lieu of an “appraisal alternative” in a host of situations, including first-purchase loans.

 
December 2016

Appraiser Regulatory Requirements ‘Stuck in the Past,’ Luetkemeyer Says

After hearing the Appraisal Institute testify Nov. 16 before the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee about how appraisers are being choked by rules and regulations, Subcommittee Chair Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-MO, said that the regulatory requirements for appraisers remain "stuck in the past" and that the system is "unnecessarily complicated and outdated."

 

December 2016

Wells Fargo Agrees to $50M Settlement over Appraisals

Wells Fargo agreed to pay $50 million to settle allegations that it overcharged hundreds of thousands of homeowners for appraisals ordered after they defaulted on mortgages, Reuters reported Oct. 31. The proposed settlement requires court approval and would resolve claims that the bank charged considerably more than it paid for appraisals.

 
December 2016

Congress Hears AI's Ideas to Modernize Regulation

The Appraisal Institute told a Congressional hearing Nov. 16 there is a "better, less-complicated approach" that would modernize the U.S. appraisal regulatory structure by improving quality, reducing costs and addressing fundamental concerns that drive appraisers from the profession. AI suggested that Congress realign the appraisal regulatory structure with those of other industries in the real estate and mortgage sectors.

 

December 2016

FHFA Raises Conforming Loan Limits for First Time in a Decade

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Nov. 23 that it will increase the conforming loan limit for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the first time in 10 years. The current limit of $417,000 for single-family homes will go up to $424,100 in 2017.

 
December 2016

Low-income Housing Outlook Strong, Reis Reports

Affordable housing vacancy rates are expected to remain steady in the coming years, signaling strong opportunities for investors to take advantage of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, according to real estate research firm Reis, National Real Estate Investor reported Nov. 3.

 

December 2016

Millennials Spur Home Construction, Census Bureau Reports

Construction of single-family and multifamily units increased in October as more millennials entered the housing market, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, HousingWire reported Nov. 17. This growth marks the strongest construction pace since 2007.

 

November 2016

Yellen: Agencies Focus on Reducing Appraisal Burdens

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the House Financial Services Committee Sept. 28 that federal banking agencies have identified a need to reduce appraisal requirement burdens. The finding followed a review by the agencies required every 10 years by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act to find outdated, burdensome or unnecessary provisions.

 

November 2016

FHA Updates Single Family Handbook Appraisal Requirements

The Federal Housing Administration on Sept. 30 updated its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook to clarify that appraisers must indicate that certain appliances contributing to the market value of the property are physically present. FHA previously required appraisers to physically observe and operate appliances on the property.

 
November 2016

Retirees Returning Home to Colder States, Realtors Say

Many retirees aged 70 or older have reversed course, leaving sunbelt states such as Florida and Arizona to return to the colder states where they originally lived, the National Association of Realtors reported Oct. 13.

 

November 2016

Fed Cites ‘New Housing Crisis’ in US

Residential spending in the third quarter remained weak due to a "new housing crisis" caused by a scarcity of building lots and a lack of skilled labor, according to the Federal Open Market Committee's September meeting notes released Oct. 12, Business Insider reported. The notes further revealed that property supply is not meeting demand.

 
November 2016

FHFA Could Raise Lending Caps Again

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has increased its market rate lending caps at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac twice this year and might do so again before the end of the year, National Real Estate Investor reported Oct. 12. The increases were prompted by strong multifamily lending and slumping commercial mortgage-back securities.

 

November 2016

Hot Housing Market Predicted for 2017: NAR

Home sales in 2017 are expected to reach 6 million, topping the 5.8 million homes forecast to be sold this year, the National Association of Realtors reported Oct. 3. Members of Generation Y - who have been dragging their feet when it comes to home buying - are expected to help boost sales.

 
November 2016

Freddie Mac Expects Millennials to Boost Homeownership Rates

Despite predictions of declining homeownership in the coming years, Freddie Mac reported Oct. 12 that it thinks the rate of ownership will be driven up by millennials who finally will settle down and purchase homes at the same pace as previous generations. Freddie also predicted an increase in homeownership among minorities.

 

November 2016

Research Shows Changing Demographics Can Be ‘Lucrative’

Changing gender roles and greater affluence among immigrants will present "lucrative" real estate opportunities during the next decade, according to the Demographic Strategies for Real Estate report from the Urban Land Institute and John Burns Real Estate Consulting, MBA NewsLink reported Oct. 20.

 
November 2016

Nation’s Homes Becoming Less Affordable, Reports Show

Home affordability decreased in 24 percent of U.S. counties during the third quarter, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions (formerly RealtyTrac) reported Sept. 29. Counties less affordable than their historic averages include Harris County (Houston); Kings County (Brooklyn), New York; Dallas County, Texas; Bexar County (San Antonio), Texas; and Alameda County (Bay Area), California.

 

November 2016

Orlando, Florida, Has Highest Homebuilding Momentum: Report

The Orlando, Florida, metro area has the nation's strongest housing market momentum, property investment firm RCLCP reported Sept. 26 in its momentum index, which tracks the 25 most active housing markets. Orlando landed on top due to its projected growth in population, employment and permitting activity.

 

October 2016

Tampa Top Single-family Rental Market, Study Finds

Investors looking for single-family rental properties should focus on Tampa, Florida, which real estate investment firm HomeUnion rated as the top city for this property type in its Housing Market Power Rankings report. The Sept. 16 report tracks single-family rentals in 31 major metros.

 

October 2016

States Still Struggle with Bubble-era Loans: Report

Ten years after the housing bubble burst, nine states and the District of Columbia still have a foreclosure backlog of loans originated between 2004 and 2008, according to analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions, Forbes reported Aug. 26. Topping the list is the District of Columbia, where 76 percent of loans originated during that four-year period are in foreclosure.

 
October 2016

California, Florida at Biggest Risk of Natural Disaster: Report

Five California counties ranked at or near the top of the list of U.S. counties at highest risk of natural disaster, Realtor.com reported Sept. 19. San Bernardino County in Southern California took the top spot on the inauspicious list. Multiple Florida counties also ranked highly.

 

October 2016

Investors Still Sold on Single-family Rentals: Report

Despite rising prices, institutional investors continue to buy single-family rentals because the volatile stock market has them wary of other investment options, National Real Estate Investor reported Sept. 12. During the first six months of the year, investors accounted for 2.9 percent of all single-family home transactions, up from 2.6 percent last year.

 
October 2016

Residential, Commercial Activity Grows: Fed Beige Book

Residential real estate activity in August expanded in most Fed districts while construction was mostly moderate, the Federal Reserve reported Sept. 7 in its newest Beige Book. Commercial construction and sales grew slightly, and most districts reported expanded activity.

 

October 2016

Apartment Rents Continue to Rise

Average apartment rents reached $1,220 in August, a $3 increase from the previous month and a 5 percent increase over the past year, according to a report from market researcher Yardi Matrix, MBA NewsLink reported Aug. 31.

 
October 2016

Freddie Mac Launches Loan Program for Underserved Communities

Freddie Mac, in partnership with New American Funding and Alterra Home Loans, launched a pilot loan program Sept. 19 called Your Path, which considers a wider range of factors than traditional underwriting methods in order to provide homeownership opportunities for underserved communities, National Mortgage Professional Magazine reported.

 

October 2016

Existing Homes Sales Fall for Second Month

Existing home sales fell in August, marking the second consecutive month with a decline despite mortgage rates hovering near record lows, the National Association of Realtors reported Sept. 22. August sales of single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums declined 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million.

 
October 2016

NAR Report Says Potential Buyers Aren’t in the Mood

Many renters and current homeowners believe that now is not a good time to buy a home, with only 60 percent of renters and 78 percent of homeowners saying the timing is right, the National Association of Realtors reported Sept. 14 in its Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey.

 

October 2016

Home Flipping Hits 6-year High: RealtyTrac

Competitive loan rates led to an increase in home flipping during the second quarter, up 14 percent from the previous quarter and up 3 percent from one year ago, analytics firm RealtyTrac reported Sept. 13 in its U.S. Home Flipping Report.

 

September 2016

FEMA Proposes New Rules for Construction in Flood Zones

The Federal Emergency Management Agency proposed regulations Aug. 22 that would require developers and homeowners using federal funds for construction projects in flood zones to build on higher ground - in some cases as much as two feet higher than 100-year floodplains.

 

September 2016

Fannie, Freddie May Require Billions in Crisis Bailout

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Aug. 8 released stress test results for government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that showed the GSEs could need as much as $125.8 billion in bailout money during a severe economic downturn, Bloomberg reported. FHFA said the minimum bailout figure would be $49.2 billion.

 
September 2016

CFPB Publishes 900-page Mortgage Lending Final Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Aug. 4 finalized mortgage servicing regulations to ensure borrowers are treated fairly, HousingWire reported. Included in the 900-page final rule are mandates that certain borrowers receive foreclosure protections more than once during the life of the loan and that foreclosure protections cover those inheriting property.

 

September 2016

ASB Releases Second Exposure Draft on 2018-19 USPAP

The Appraisal Standards Board of The Appraisal Foundation on Aug. 16 released its second exposure draft on proposed changes for the 2018-19 edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Changes in this version primarily address draft reports and preliminary communication of an appraiser’s assignment results. Comments are due Oct. 21.

 
September 2016

FHFA Extends HARP into 2017, Launches New Refi Program

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Aug. 25 that its Home Affordable Refinance Program will be extended to Sept. 30, 2017, and that a new refinance product aimed at borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios will be available next year through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

September 2016

Banks Implement Tighter Mortgage Guidelines

Credit requirements for construction, multifamily and land development loans remained tight in the second quarter, according to the Wells Fargo Securities Commercial Real Estate Chartbook, MBA NewsLink reported Aug. 17. The pace of multifamily and construction lending is slowing, and lenders are noting "pockets of risk."

 
September 2016

Florida Leads in Home Price Appreciation

Investors looking for residential real estate should set their sights on Florida, where the rate of home price appreciation after one year in Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando, is among the highest in the nation, Realtor.com reported July 25. Other top spots: Las Vegas and Phoenix.

 

September 2016

More People, Including Millennials, Moving to Suburbs

Suburban areas continue to hold a strong place in the real estate market, including among millennial homebuyers, who are moving to the suburbs at a higher rate than those moving into cities, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE, MBA NewsLink reported Aug. 11.

 
September 2016

'McMansions’ Don’t Hold Value: Report

So-called "McMansions," which are tract-built luxury homes, do not hold their value as well as other types of residential properties, Bloomberg reported Aug. 23. The premiums buyers can expect to pay for such properties fell in some areas by as much as 84 percent between 2012-16.

 

September 2016

Miami Tops List of Apartment Sub-markets

Apartments in Miami sold at higher prices compared to local incomes than apartments in any other market in the country, according to research firm Real Capital Analytics, National Real Estate Investor reported Aug. 2. New York City's Upper East Side and San Francisco's business district rounded out the top three.

 

August 2016

AQB Alters Supervisory Appraiser Criteria

The Appraiser Qualifications Board of The Appraisal Foundation on June 24 adopted changes to the Real Property Qualification Criteria, altering the minimum requirements for supervisory appraiser qualification.

 

August 2016

Senators Tell FHFA to Leave GSE Reform to Them

While some in Congress are pushing the Federal Housing Finance Agency to let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recapitalize, a bipartisan coalition of senators is urging FHFA Director Mel Watt to let legislative efforts guide housing finance reform, HousingWire reported July 11.

 
August 2016

White House Unveils Clean Energy Initiative

The White House on July 19 announced the Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative, a joint effort from the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Energy, Agriculture, Veteran's Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services to increase access to solar energy, promote energy efficiency and ensure homeowner access to solar options.

 

August 2016

NAR: Renters Not Ready to Purchase

Current renters, especially those younger than 35, reportedly think now isn't a good time to enter the housing market, the National Association of Realtors reported July 13 in its Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey. Conversely, 80 percent of current homeowners believe now is a great time to purchase a home.

 
August 2016

‘Down-and-Out’ Neighborhoods Make a Rebound

Many so called “rough-and-tumble” neighborhoods have bounced back in recent years, as tight inventory and new construction has helped convince homebuyers to consider such neighborhoods, analytics firm RealtyTrac reported July 20 in its best of the “bad” neighborhoods report.

 

August 2016

New York First to Buy Delinquent FHA Mortgages

Officials in New York City on June 30 announced plans to purchase a limited number of delinquent loans from the Federal Housing Administration in what's being called a "first of its kind" program, HousingWire reported. The Community Restoration Program will oversee the purchase, which should help struggling residents avoid foreclosure.

 
August 2016

NY Adopts Law to Combat ‘Zombie’ Foreclosures

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 23 signed into law legislation that reforms the state's foreclosure processes and imposes a pre-foreclosure duty on banks and servicers to maintain "zombie" homes - properties vacated as a result of foreclosure, HousingWire reported.

 

August 2016

FHFA Clarifies Principal Reduction Eligibility

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported July 11 that an estimated 31,000 borrowers nationwide are eligible for a one-time principal reduction, with most of the homeowners concentrated in five states: Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and New York.

 
August 2016

CoreLogic: Home Prices Keep Rising

Home prices hit a nine-year high in May, increasing 5.9 percent from the same point a year ago, according to the U.S. Home Price Insights Report from analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported July 5. Prices are expected to keep rising as mortgage rates keep dropping.

 

August 2016

Experts: Homes Prices Are High, but no Bubble

Real estate experts deny the housing industry currently is in a bubble, instead blaming low inventory for rising home prices, Bloomberg reported July 18. Prices are expected to decline organically when prices get high enough to drive buyers away.

 

July 2016

Wells Fargo Fined $70M over Mortgage Servicing

The U.S. Comptroller of the Currency on May 25 fined Wells Fargo $70 million over its mortgage servicing practices but ended restrictions it had placed on the bank, Reuters reported. The bank is accused of making inaccurate escrow calculations resulting in incorrect loan modification denials.

 

July 2016

3 States See Action on AMC Legislation

Minnesota, Louisiana and Illinois all took action in late May on legislation concerning appraisal management companies, the Appraisal Institute reported June 8. The governors in two states signed AMC legislation into law while a third governor is reviewing the legislation proposed in his state.

 
July 2016

Republicans Detail Plan to Overhaul Dodd-Frank

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, on June 7 detailed a plan to dismantle major portions of the Dodd-Frank Act, The New York Times reported. The proposed Financial Choice Act would take significant authority away from regulators who oversee some of the nation's largest financial institutions.

 

July 2016

Report: Single-family Home Rental on the Rise

Single-family rental homes make up 13 percent of all occupied housing and 37 percent of the total rental market, and the segment is poised to continue growing, according to a National Rental Home Council white paper, HousingWire reported June 8.

 
July 2016

Fannie Mae Delays Desktop Underwriter Update

Fannie Mae announced June 21 that it will delay until late September its updates to the Desktop Underwriter program. The updates, which originally were slated for June 25, should provide more certainty to lenders while expanding access to credit and homeownership to a larger pool of borrowers.

 

July 2016

GSE Single Security on Track for This Year

Freddie Mac is expected to go live with its common securitization platform later this year while Fannie Mae will follow in 2018, Mortgage Orb reported June 1. The government-sponsored enterprises designed the single-security platform to enhance liquidity and stability in the secondary market.

 
July 2016

USDA Final Rule on B&I Loans Raises Appraisal Threshold

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service on June 3 released its final rule that makes changes to its Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program to improve program delivery, clarify regulations and reduce delinquencies. Additionally, the final rule raises the appraisal requirement threshold.

 

July 2016

Appraisal Institute Seeks Improvements to FHA Appraisal Operations

The Appraisal Institute on June 9 submitted a letter to the Federal Housing Administration clarifying its concerns relative to the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, 4000.1.

 
July 2016

Freddie: Older Owners to Significantly Impact Housing

Homeowners age 55 and over are expected to significantly reshape the housing market because they control almost $8 trillion of the nation's home equity, they believe homeownership makes financial sense and they prefer to make major renovations allowing them to age in place, Freddie Mac reported June 8.

 

July 2016

Fannie Mae Plans Significant Data Release on Modified Loans

Fannie Mae announced June 6 that it will release a huge collection of data on previously modified loans in its portfolio as part of an effort to securitize re-performing loans later this year, HousingWire reported. Fannie plans to release the data in July.

 

June 2016

CFPB: TRID Rules Changing Soon

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced April 28 that it will make changes to its Know Before You Owe rule, which took effect last October as part of the bureau's TRID regulations and increased the average time it takes to close on home loans, HousingWire reported.

 

June 2016

AI Professionals Lobby to Modernize Appraisal Regulatory Process

More than 100 Appraisal Institute professionals went to Capitol Hill May 26 to urge congressional support for the modernization of the appraisal regulatory process, the Appraisal Institute reported May.

 
June 2016

Fannie Mae: TRID Gives Advantage to Large Lenders

Forty-four percent of large lenders responding to a Fannie Mae survey about the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule said that it gave them a competitive advantage in the marketplace, whereas only 16 percent of small lenders said the rule gave them any advantage, MBA NewsLink reported May 12.

 

June 2016

Fannie: Economic Growth Continues Downward Slide

Fannie Mae on May 17 lowered its full-year economic growth forecast to 1.7 percent, down from 1.9 percent noted in a previous forecast and 2.2 percent reported at the beginning of the year. However, growth is expected to recover with a boost from home sales and low mortgage rates.

 
June 2016

Gap Between Appraiser, Homeowner Value Opinions Drops

The disparity between appraiser and homeowner opinions of property value slightly narrowed during the past month, with appraiser valuations only 1.95 percent lower than homeowner estimates in April, down from 2.17 percent in March, Quicken Loans reported May 10 in its Home Price Perception Index.

 

June 2016

Millennials Changing Residential, Commercial Markets

The millennials' preference to rent rather than own has boosted the rental market but depressed home sales, and their desire for open floor plans and amenities has altered office space options, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts reported May 9.

 
June 2016

HARP Refinance Surpasses 3.4 Million Borrowers

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced May 16 that more than 3.4 million homeowners have refinanced their mortgage loans via the Home Affordable Refinance Program, including more than 19,000 in the first quarter. HARP expires Dec. 31, and more than 325,000 borrowers are still eligible to refinance.

 

June 2016

Home Price Appreciation Stays Strong

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 6.7 percent in March compared to the same point a year ago, and experts forecast that prices will increase by 5.3 percent on a year-over-year basis at least through March 2017, according to analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported May 3.

 
June 2016

Cash Home Sales Hit 8-year Low

Cash sales made up 35.7 percent of all home sales in February, accounting for the smallest portion of total home purchases since the start of 2008, according to a report from analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported May 19.

 

June 2016

Foreclosure Inventory Falls to 9-year Low

The number of foreclosures in the U.S. has hit its lowest point since October 2007, with only 1.1 percent of the nation's homes in foreclosure, according to the National Foreclosure Report from analytics firm CoreLogic, HousingWire reported May 10.

 

May 2016

Lenders ‘Pouring Money’ into Affordable Housing

Banks are becoming "incredibly aggressive" when loaning money to affordable housing developers, and both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have greatly stepped up efforts in this sector, National Real Estate Investor reported March 30.

 

May 2016

Collateral Underwriter Updates Coming this Month

Fannie Mae announced April 11 that Collateral Underwriter Version 3.2 will launch May 21. The biggest change is the addition of CU appraisal-sharing functionality that lets aggregators access their correspondents' appraisal results in the web application. Other updates include user interface enhancements and new help center phone numbers.

 
May 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule: Short-term Victory, Long-term Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Labor on April 6 released its final rule on "Conflicts of Interest" regarding advisors to retirement savings accounts. The Appraisal Institute views the rule as a victory for its professionals because all appraisal provisions were removed.

 

May 2016

Wells Fargo Reaches Largest Settlement in FHA History

Wells Fargo and the U.S. Department of Justice on April 8 reached a $1.2 billion settlement over claims the bank made about certain residential home mortgage loans being eligible for Federal Housing Administration insurance when they actually were ineligible, HousingWire reported.

 
May 2016

Apartment Vacancies, Rents Increase

Apartment vacancy rates during the first quarter increased for the third consecutive quarter, and asking and effective rents also rose during the same period, according to analytics firm Reis, MBA NewsLink reported April 13. The firm noted that it expects the trend to continue for five more years.

 

May 2016

Goldman Sachs Reaches $5 Billion MBS Settlement

Goldman Sachs and the U.S. Department of Justice on April 11 agreed to a $5 billion settlement that resolves claims related to the bank's sale of toxic residential mortgage-backed securities to investors, HousingWire reported.

 
May 2016

FHFA: Principal Reduction Coming

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on April 14 announced a principal reduction program for certain consumers whose loans are owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, HousingWire reported. Calling it the final "crisis-era modification program," the FHFA indicated that only around 33,000 borrowers will qualify for the program.

 
May 2016