Tuesday , 27 June 2017
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Truth from Trulia: The Unrecovered Housing Economy

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Donald Trump’s rise through the GOP primaries and a surprise victory in November unmasked a deep and widespread angst over the quality of nation’s economic recovery. While national numbers on job growth and income levels have looked encouraging to national journalists and Washington-centric politicians, from the perspective of corner cafes and assembly line floors in heartland states, the picture has ... Read More »

January Home Sales: Don’t Break out the Bubbly

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  The good news about January home sales is that the year over year rate reached the highest they reached an all-time high, an annualized total that was a little bit higher than it was last November. The bad news is that the serious problems facing the residential real estate economy grew even more serious during the slowest month of ... Read More »

Meet Tomorrow’s Rising Star Chief Economists

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Not so ago, national reporters covering housing relied on four or five chief economists in the housing sector to help to understand and interpret real estate economic data for their readers. These gurus were on everyone’s Rolodex because they worked for big organizations like NAR, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Home Builders and megabanks. With the housing ... Read More »

The Return of the Prodigal Single Family Rentals

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It’s no secret that inadequate inventories have been stunting the housing recovery.  Through November, total housing inventory has fallen year-over-year for 18 straight months and supplies are now 11.4 percent lower than they were two years ago.[1] As inventories decline, rising income, improved employment, and historically low mortgage rates have given demand a shot in the arm.  Sales in November ... Read More »

Homebuyers Aren’t Fazed by Rate Run-up

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The super sensitivity of home buyers to the slightest uptick in mortgage interest rates is one of the more puzzling examples of human misperception.  Buyers will rush to close or put their buying plans on ice when rates are rising a wrinkle, even if the actual monthly impact on a mortgage is less than a dinner out at McDonald’s.  They ... Read More »

Five Reasons Rentals are Winning the War for the Millennials

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The national homeownership rate has just fallen to its lowest level since June 1965, the month that the Rolling Stones released “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and Peter Sellers and Romy Schneider starred in “What’s New Pussycat”.  Only 62.9 percent of families now own the homes in which they live.[1] “They’ said homeownership wouldn’t get any lower because the largest ... Read More »

Retirees Still Still Struggle with Mortgage Payments

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A new Freddie Mac study of older Americans over 55 finds that more than a third still have a mortgage—36 percent–, and a majority of those with a mortgage have more than ten years left until their loan is paid off.  In many ways , the Freddie Mac survey that was released last month, “Fun After Fifty”,  found that the ... Read More »

All You Need to Know to Master Market Literacy

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  Perhaps the most valuable lesson that real estate consumers learned from the housing crash was that home values can fall as well as rise.  More than seven million families lost their homes to foreclosures and short sales; a brutal wake-up calls that though homeownership is safer than most investments it still involves risk.  Today’s buyers are very aware that ... Read More »

Five Good Reasons to be Cool Over Higher Interest Rates

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One of strongest drivers of demand in today’s housing markets is buyers’ fear that interest rates will rise, and they will never again see rates as low as they are today.  That’s one reason the first-time buyer volume of government-guaranteed mortgages, low down payment loans like FHA and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Advantage program surged 18 percent in April.[1] Buyers ... Read More »

The Mortgage Interest Deduction: Is the Sacred Cow Worthless?

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Chronically low interest rates may have accomplished something that the housing lobby has spent millions of campaign contributions and decades of political pressure to prevent. Did the mortgage interest deduction, long the holy grail of homeownership, become worthless eight years ago when low rates and falling prices so reduced the value of the interest that owners can deduct that the ... Read More »

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