Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Market Matters

5 things to know about Governor Brown’s proposed housing plan
Source: KPCC
A $122 billion state budget was approved by Californian legislators this week and housing proved to be an unresolved issue that still lingers due to the potential for $400 million to go toward low-income housing projects. The main snag is that Governor Brown tied those funds to the Streamlining Affordable Housing Bill, which will allow developers to bypass much of the approval process for building new homes. Lawmakers would need to accept this proposal for the $400 million in funds to be made available. But those opposed to the proposal say the governor’s streamlining process threatens to cut residents and neighbors out of the development process.
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Homebuilders finally feel more positive
Source: CNBC
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders improved in June after a period of stagnancy for four straight months, according to a monthly survey of builder sentiment from the National Association of Home Builders. NAHB Chairman Ed Brady commented, “Builders in many markets across the nation are reporting higher traffic and more committed buyers at their job sites. However, our members are also relating ongoing concerns regarding the shortage of buildable lots and labor and noting pockets of softness in scattered markets.” June's reading is the highest since January of this year but the same as June of 2015. Of the index's three components, all posted gains.
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Mortgages and Buyers with Blemished Credit Records
Source: Bloomberg
First-quarter numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's consumer credit panel reveal that the U.S. mortgage finance market today is tough for those without pristine credit. Some 58 percent of the $389 billion in mortgages originated went to people with an Equifax Risk Score of 760 or higher (scores range from 280 to 850). Counting by the number of loans, instead of dollars, the share was 51 percent, the New York Fed said. That means borrowers with a score in the range of 620 to 659, which many lenders view as below-prime credit, received just 4.6 percent of the dollar volume of mortgages in the quarter. While surveys say credit is loosening for some types of loans, standards are still far tighter than they were pre-crisis.
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Student loan debt is hurting the housing market, survey finds
Source: Washington Post
Nearly three-quarters of people who are repaying student loans say their debt is hindering them from buying a home. The survey found that many would-be homeowners are increasingly burdened by student debt, according to the survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® and the nonprofit American Student Assistance. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed said their student loan debt is delaying them from buying a home. More than half said they expect that delay to last longer than five years. Because of their student debt, 69 percent said they don’t feel financially secure enough to buy a home, while 80 percent said they can’t save for a down payment.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Video: Here's What Living in a

There's growing hype about tiny homes and micro-apartments. But what's it really like to live in one? ANew York Times reporter recently spent the night in a 302-square-foot micro-apartment. Read his in-depth account and watch a video here to understand the benefits and the drawbacks of this niche.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Does Increase in Home Renovation Plans Suggest People Unwilling To Move?

Source: Marketplace

Twenty-eight percent of U.S. homeowners plan to remodel, expand, or otherwise improve their homes in the next 12 months, according to the latest Bankrate Money Pulse survey. Even lower-income homeowners are planning to renovate by using savings, credit cards, or bank loans. Some people might just be sprucing up their houses to sell them, but planning big projects seems to indicate many homeowners plan to stay put and finally tackle projects they put off during the recession. About 52 percent of homeowners planning a project over the next year indicate they want to work on their driveways, decks, patios, pools, landscaping, or fencing. One professor commented that the housing crisis forced many people to give up on the idea of buying a big, fancy house, especially since housing prices have risen out of reach.

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