Apologies to Paul Simon, but when I looked at the long list of design ideas I compiled while at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, I thought I’d try to mention 50 of them—a nice round num
All signs are pointing to a boom in the apartment market, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting. While housing affordability may be high, tighter lending standards, a shortage of consumers with a down payment, and demographics all point to a surge in rentals as the economy recovers.
After a slow but steady climb, mortgage rates eased up last week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In a strange twist, the number of homes listed for sale actually fell in January, according to The Wall Street Journal.
America’s shadow inventory — mortgages that are either delinquent or in foreclosure but haven’t hit the market yet — continues to shrink, according to an S&P report. One potential reason for the decline is that fewer loans are resulting in foreclosures since banks are trying to modify them so that homeowners can stay.
NAHB sees challenge to mortgage-interest deduction ahead
The mortgage-interest deduction, a pillar of the nation’s long-held support for housing and the American Dream, is under assault, say NAHB observers who make it their full-time job to stay on top of the shifts in thinking in Washington. According to NAHB chief lobbyist Joe Stanton, the mortgage-interest deduction is in the mix this spring as a new Congress meets for the first time and begins wrestling with ideas for reducing the deficit. Some economists estimate that removal of the deduction would lower home values another 15 percent.
A report from the liberal Center for American Progress calls for attracting as much private money as possible into the mortgage market, The Wall Street Journal reported. Currently, nine of out 10 new loans have some kind of government backing. The proposal recommends private firms, chartered by a federal regulator, issue mortgage-backed securities.
In this exclusive one-hour webinar, Ivy Zelman, the leading home building and building products research analyst on Wall Street, discusses recent dynamics in the home building, mortgage, home improvement, and non-residential construction sectors and offers her firm’s outlook and forecast for 2011. This free webinar will take place Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM CST.
Fannie Mae tests foreclosure-prevention plan in Florida
Fannie Mae has started testing a foreclosure-prevention program in Florida that is designed to bring banks and troubled borrowers together earlier. The idea behind the program is to get banks and borrowers to negotiate mortgage modifications and other alternatives before foreclosure becomes the only option. The program gets borrowers meeting with the banks four months after falling behind on late payments.
NAHB: Housing starts to climb 21 percent in 2011
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe is forecasting 575,000 single-family home starts in 2011, a 21 percent bump over an estimated 475,000 units started in 2010, according to his annual state of the market report at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando last week. Crowe and other economists at the show agreed that the housing market will see steady improvements in activity this year, followed by considerable gains in 2012.
For the second straight year, real estate stocks ended the year with gains twice as high as the general stock market, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to Dow Jones, REITs were up 27 percent as of Dec. 28. And while that figure is down slightly from last year’s gains of 28.5 percent, it more than doubled the Dow Jones Industrial Average.