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What’s Up With Housing?

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These 16 sky-high urban green spaces and edible gardens will grow on you.
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The short answer: Federal flood insurance is a mess and expensive to fix. Government-subsidized NFIP celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, but it hasn’t aged well. It’s deeply in debt and critics say below-market premiums encourage risky construction.
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Borrowers may have a little bit of breathing room if the Federal Reserve delays future interest rate increases that directly impact ARMs and, indirectly, FRMs.
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Gulf Coast commercial real estate markets are poised to continue to generate high growth again in 2019, mirroring — or even eclipsing — the region’s robust stalwart performance of the past year. 
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With more millennials eyeing homeownership, builders are appealing to the city-dweller demographic by designing luxury townhomes.
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Drawing upon the expertise of the industry’s 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals, NALP annually predicts trends that will influence the design and maintenance of backyards across America in the year ahead.
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Falling mortgage rates energized builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes. 


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What’s Up With Housing This Week?

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Dodd-FrankDodd-Frank Law Is Falling Short…
New evidence shows that on a few key measures, the Dodd-Frank law hasn’t put new market pressure on large banks, and that it’s also failed to protect consumers.
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Mortgage MathMortgage math doesn’t have to be intimidating!
Here are the numbers you need to know, broken down into simple terms:
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Ex Fed Chairman GreenspanGreenspan: Axe Dodd-Frank and Watch Economy Soar
“If you get rid of Dodd-Frank, it’s going to have a very significant positive impact on the economy,” ~Greenspan
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Lower Mortgage RatesCheaper Mortgages Could Spur Housing Market.
Will the drop to 3.97% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage encourage home buyers?
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Seller's MarketHomes are flying off fast this spring in the ‘strongest seller’s market ever’
Spring homebuyers are pounding the pavement at a furious pace, but the pickings are getting ever slimmer.

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Could Rising Mortgage Rates Be Good For Housing?

Federal ReserveRick Sharga | HousingWire:  Much of the commentary surrounding the Federal Reserve’s decision Wednesday to raise the Fed Funds rate by 25 basis points has been about how this is likely to increase mortgage rates, have a negative effect on home affordability, and potentially derail the still-wobbly recovery of the US housing market.

Respectfully, I disagree, and think the Fed’s actions might actually be good for the housing market for several reasons.

First, there will be an effect on consumer psychology: having now seen the Fed raise rates in 2017, and with two more rate increases considered very likely, potential homebuyers will get off the fence and into the market, in order to buy a house before rates go any higher.

Best case, this will increase the number of homes purchased in 2017; but in any case, it will almost certainly pull home sales that might have occurred later in the year into the spring and summer, which will have a stimulative effect on the economy.

Second, lenders will very likely loosen some of the ridiculously tight lending standards that have prevented millions of credit-worthy borrowers from getting mortgages.

This will happen partly just due to higher mortgage interest rates, which will provide a bit of a cushion for lenders to take on a little more risk. And higher rates will also drastically reduce the number of refinance loans being issued, which lenders will try to offset by doing more purchase loans.

Finally, the 25 basis point hike was well within the range that most industry analysts had expected, which means it’s possible that today’s hike won’t cause mortgage rates to rise significantly from current levels, which are already the highest they’ve been in several years.

In this scenario – motivated buyers, relaxed lending standards, and marginal mortgage rate increases, coupled with what appears to be strong wage and job growth – the spring-selling season could be the strongest one we’ve seen in many years.


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Housing News of Interest

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Inexpensive Home Projects6 Home Projects That Cost Less Than a TV
Giving your home a little extra “umph” doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. In fact, you can dramatically improve the looks of your home for less than the cost of a new TV.
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Florida's Home PricesFlorida’s home market sizzled in the past year
The state’s home prices rose 9.95% from mid-2015 to mid-2016, the fourth-best showing in the U.S., according to the latest home price index.

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Housing IssuesWhy housing doesn’t care about the Fed
Home sales, home construction and the whole housing economy are dealing with all kinds of pressing issues that take precedence over mortgage rates.
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Rising Interest RatesThe Good and Bad of Rising Interest Rates
Whether interest rates are good or bad can all come down to your generation. Because people spend, borrow, save and invest in different ways at different points in their lives, it is worth examining how each generation stands to be affected.
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Tampa Bay Home PricesTampa Bay home prices soared nearly 20% in August, outpacing all other metro areas in Florida
The big year-over-year price gain was great news for sellers, pushing the bay area’s median price for single-family homes to $209,900 with even higher amounts in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

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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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Interesting Housing News

Merry Christmas

 

Micro HousingMicro-apartments Are Coming to the U.S… Are You Moving In?  Interesting conversation about the newest New York living space, what its appeal could be, and how the future of apartment hunting in urban America may look in the near future.

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Transfer TaxTransfer Tax‬ should be a major consideration in structuring and funding a property transaction. And the requirements for complying with, or being excluded from, transfer taxes have multiplied.
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Interest Rate HikeEverything you need to know about the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate hike… something that it hasn’t done in nearly 10 years.
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Florida Voted Best Place To LiveFlorida rated best place to live. The Sunshine State is back on top as the most desirable state to live in… it’s all about the beach and living on the water.

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Realtor.com vs. ZillowRealtor.com is taking on Zillow in a “mockumentary” campaign.  A series of online spots for Realtor.com that poke fun at rival real estate site Zillow featuring the silhouette of a house that has disappeared because it’s not listed on Zillow, and neighbors and homebuyers fretting about the growing crisis of missing homes.

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Mortgage Payoff?Choosing Between Risk and Certainty…
With rates so low, is it wise for people to pay off their mortgage? Won’t investing that cash in stocks and bonds be a smarter move? In a word: Certainty.

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