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What’s Up With Housing?

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You don’t have to declare war with your bank account — it is possible to achieve a happy compromise. Low-cost decor that looks expensive really exists.
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The construction industry is running out of workers to build all those new condo towers, housing developments and highway projects. The shortages span the trades, with pipelayers, sheet metal workers, carpenters, concrete workers, pipefitters and welders in particularly high demand.
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If all continues on its current track, construction costs could continue to increase, and mortgage rates could reel in.
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Blueprint is a bold color choice, but not overwhelmingly so—it’s still soft enough to fit into homes full of neutrals and pastels.
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Even in a tight labor market, single-family builders are less likely to offer health, dental, and 401(k) plans compared with larger U.S. companies.
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NAHB Economist Robert Dietz offers a way to break the low inventory, high home price cycle.

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What’s Up With Housing This Week?

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Skinny HomesSt. Petersburg’s middle-class housing dilemma may have an answer: Skinny Homes
It’s a new name for an old concept found in many other cities like Chicago, Charleston, New Orleans and Nashville. Think of a two-story gussied-up shotgun house.

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Suburbia's FutureThe American Dream of suburbia is evolving — here’s what it’ll be like to live in the suburb of the future.
Since the 50s, the American Dream of suburbia included a huge home, white picket fence, and shiny car. How will that dream change over the next decade?

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Mortgage RatesEven with Mortgage Rates Inching up, Now is Still the Time to Buy.
Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

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National Association of Home BuildersBuilder Confidence Hits 12-Year High…
“Builders continue to face a number of challenges, including rising material prices, higher mortgage rates, and shortages of lots and labor.”

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MortgagesWhy are there so few mortgages in Tampa Bay these days?
Along with the dramatic drop in Tampa Bay foreclosure filings has been this equally striking if less-noticed trend — a huge decline in new mortgages.

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Spring Buying SeasonWhat Can Buyers Expect in the Spring Housing Market?
Higher mortgage rates and low inventory among the things the potential buyers can expect to see.
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Recent Housing News

Piggy Bank LoansA Smaller Down Payment, and No Mortgage Insurance Required…  Traditionally, home buyers needed 20% down to avoid the added cost of mortgage insurance. Now there are ways to get around that.

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Modular Row HousesA Modular Take on Row House-Style Residences.  Interesting concept of the cult-classic 1980s video game Tetris forming a structure of individual homes through a system of interlocking blocks.

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Fed Holds RatesFed holds rates, lowers growth forecast…
The Federal Reserve has left interest rates unchanged in response to slowing economic growth and says rate increases will come more slowly than planned.

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Housing Supply3 Reasons It’s Not A Housing Bubble.
Rising home prices and looser credit may make today’s market look like a housing bubble, says NAR’s Lawrence Yun. But it’s different than pre-recession run-ups.
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Housing Inventory CrunchInventory Crunch Likely to Hamper First-Time Buyers.
Spring is a home buying season, but inventory was down 8.2% in January from a year earlier for properties priced below $250,000, according to NAR.

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