Top News Of The Week

– Fed: No Interest Rate Hike
– Home Price Gains Slow Again in February
– Homebuilder CEO Says Buyers Are Coming Back
– Top Choices for Millennials: Where the Jobs and Affordability Are
– Nashville’s Ambitious Affordable Housing Plan
– Congressional Bill Would Help Self-Employed Homebuyers
– Home Values Rise Where Marijuana is Legal
– Residential Construction Spending Declines in Q1
– Analyst Sees ‘Rosy Spring’ For Housing
– The Return of the Boomerang Buyers
– Louisiana Town Moves En Masse to Higher Ground
– Investors Consider Climate Change
– Oklahoma Launches Homebuyer Savings Accounts
– Low Mortgage Rates Spawn Spike in Refinancing
– Gun Rooms in Listings Can Backfire
– Shocker: Renters Sometimes Lie to Landlords


Fed: No Interest Rate Hike
As was expected, the Federal reserve is leaving short-term interest rates unchanged. What’s the impact on mortgage rates?

Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride spoke to Fox Business.

The Fed’s actions don’t directly affect mortgage rates, but the mortgage market is indirectly influenced by the Fed.

Home Price Gains Slow Again in February
The latest numbers confirm that home prices just aren’t growing as fast as they did a couple of years ago.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index finds that in February, annual home price gains slowed for the eleventh month in a row. Year-over-year, prices rose just 4-percent in February.

Price growth is now at its slowest pace since October 2012.

But S&P Indices reports, “we’re not yet in a national buyer’s market.”

Homebuilder CEO Says Buyers Are Coming Back
The head of one of America’s largest home builders says lower mortgage rates are bringing buyers back.

TRI Pointe Homes CEO Doug Bauer spoke to CNBC.

And Bauer says demand will continue to rise in the long run if job and wage growth remains strong.

Top Choices for Millennials: Where the Jobs and Affordability Are
Jobs and home affordability are the main factors that influence where Millennials choose to live, and for how long, according to new research by THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

According to NAR’s report, “Most Popular Areas for Millennials,” Madison, Wisconsin, is one of the top destinations. So is Bakersfield, California, Denver, El Paso, Grand Rapids, and Omaha.

And Steve will have more on this story right after the news.

Nashville’s Ambitious Affordable Housing Plan
Nashville is embarking on an ambitious plan to create thousands more units of affordable housing.

Mayor David Briley unveiled the initiative.

Under the initiative, Nashville would set aside money to build ten thousand affordable housing units over the next decade.

Congressional Bill Would Help Self-Employed Homebuyers
A bill’s been introduced on Capitol Hill to make it easier for those working in the so-called “gig economy” to get a mortgage.

The bill sponsored by Minnesota Democratic Congressman Tom Emmer would allow lenders to verify income earned by self-employment through alternate forms of documentation.

The Mortgage Bankers Association has thrown its support to Emmer’s bill.

Home Values Rise Where Marijuana is Legal
Legal marijuana may help raise your home’s value.

A new study by Clever Real Estate suggests that pot is a positive.

Thomas O’Shaughnessy is head of research at Clever Real Estate.

O’Shaughnessy told Yahoo Finance that after San Jose legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, the city saw its biggest percent increase in home values in 20 years.

Residential Construction Spending Declines in Q1
Private residential construction spending in March fell to its lowest level since the end of 2016.

An analysis of Census Bureau data by the National Association of Home Builders finds that spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 500-billion dollars in March.

Construction spending has now fallen for three straight months after an increase in December 2018.

Analyst Sees ‘Rosy Spring’ For Housing
We’re looking at a healthy spring rebound in housing, says one analyst.

Villere Funds Portfolio Manager Sandy Villere told Yahoo Finance.

But after the traditionally busy spring and summer, Villere says he expects the market will, quote, “taper off and moderate for the rest of the year.”

The Return of the Boomerang Buyers
They call them “boomerang buyers,” Americans who lost their homes to foreclosure or a short sale during the housing crisis who are now coming back into the market/

And according to a report in USA Today, their numbers are growing.

Economists are encouraged, telling the paper that boomerang buyers — especially those between 35 and 64 — are a critical component to for a healthy housing market in the next few years.

Between 2006 and 2014, there were some 7.3 million foreclosures and 1.9 million short sales. Experts say that’s a huge body of potential boomerang buyers.

Louisiana Town Moves En Masse to Higher Ground
A small flood-prone Louisiana town is moving to higher ground. The whole town.

The forty or so residents of Pecan Acres, Louisiana will be getting new homes, by way of a federal grant.

Pat Forbes, head of the Louisiana Office of Community Development, told CNBC the relocation makes sense.

The cost of relocating Pecan Acres will be about two million dollars. The land where the town now sits will be cleared and turned into wetlands.

Investors Consider Climate Change
A growing number of real estate investors are taking climate change into account.

A new report from the Urban Land Institute and global investment management firm Heitman finds that institutional investors, investment managers, consultants and other stakeholders are paying more attention to the future impact of climate change on their properties’ value.

But the report also notes that, quote, “the industry has not yet developed a standardized response” to climate change.

Oklahoma Launches Homebuyer Savings Accounts
Starting this fall, a new law will allow first-time homebuyers in Oklahoma to set up tax-free savings accounts to help them make that purchase,.

The bill signed by the governor was originally introduced by former state lawmaker Josh Cockcroft, who is now Senior Director of Government Affairs with the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®. He told Oklahoma’s News 4 TV.

Oklahoma becomes the tenth state to offer tax-free homebuyer savings accounts.

Low Mortgage Rates Spawn Spike in Refinancing
Falling mortgage rates in the first quarter set off a surge of prepayment activity in March.

Figures from Black Knight Financial Services show the rate of prepayments rose 28% compared to February, fueled by the increased refinancing activity. That month-to-month increase was the biggest in two and a half years.

Still, Black Knight says the prepayment rate is down more than 4% year-over-year.

Gun Rooms in Listings Can Backfire
How about this kind of listing: Four bedrooms, three baths, big yard .. and a gun room.

REALTOR®.com researchers found more than 400 homes currently on the market that feature a gun room. Typically a gun room is found below ground, in a vault or basement, with specific safety features.

But putting in your listing could be risky. REALTOR® Eric Vaughn with Upchurch Realty in Athens, Georgia cautions that, quote,”when potential buyers read that a house has a gun room, they will likely not have a neutral reaction.”

Shocker: Renters Sometimes Lie to Landlords
Landlords, are your renters lying to you?

A recent survey by the home remodeling website Porch.com found that lots of renters admit they’ve told a fib or two.

The number one lie: they don’t tell you they have a pet.

Or they lie about someone else living in the home who’s not on the lease.

But the same survey revealed that renters sometimes feel they’ve been lied to.

One fourth of them say they believe a former landlord unfairly held back part of their security deposit.

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