California’s Cooling Housing Market: Symptom of National Affordability Issue

The latest UCLA Anderson Forecast of California’s economic and housing market reports that housing will continue to cool into the year 2020 despite current job growth and strong economy. The economists attribute the weakening to falling home prices in major markets and decreased demand.

Economists anticipate the demand for housing will decrease in California’s major markets even though recent trends indicate the state’s overall economic strength, including improvements in the job market.

According to a report by CNBC, California’s average unemployment rate is expected to rise to an average of 4.5 percent this year and then decrease to 4.3 percent in 2020 and 2021. Also, the state has added the highest number of construction jobs, amounting to 28,500, in the past year.
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Kaiser Permanente Finds Homes for 250 Aging Homeless

In January of last year, Kaiser Permanente and Oakland-based Bay Area Community Services (BACS) partnered to find homes for 515 aging homeless residing in their hometown in order to tackle the Bay Area’s homeless problem. This month, Kaiser and BACS announced that they have found homes for 250 aging homeless, about half of their projected goal. 

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Housing Starts at Lowest in More Than Two Years

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the number of homes that were being built as of December 2018 was at its lowest level in the more than two years. The decrease in housing starts during this period indicates that developers are anticipating fewer new houses that will be sold this year. Building permits increased by just 0.3 percent, suggesting that growth in new housing will continue to be sluggish in the future.

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Congress Introduces Bill to Reinstate Dodd-Frank Reform Measures

In 2018, Congress passed a bill that rolled back reform measures under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that required banks and credit unions to report loan characteristics. The measures required lenders to submit reports for 25 or more mortgages and 100 or more home equity loans made per year.

The bill raised the threshold significantly to 500 mortgages and 500 home equity loans per year, which resulted in 85 percent of banks and credit loans being exempted from reporting. This has sparked concern over fairness in lending as some minorities and women are still subject to loan discrimination.

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U.S. Metro Cities Investing the Most in New Housing

Increased demand for new housing in a specific geographic area can be an indicator of job growth and a prospering economy, while a halt in demand in new housing might signify an economic slowdown.  Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau Building Permit Survey, researchers from Construction Coverage identified the metropolitan areas in the nation that are investing the most funds in new housing.

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HUD Releases National Housing Market Indicators for 3rd Quarter of 2018

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released the National Housing Market Indicators (NHMI) for the third quarter of 2018. This quarterly publication gives a review of sales transactions through the third quarter and house price trends through November 2018. Read on for some of the key highlights of the report, including housing trends to look out for in the future.

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LA Family Housing is One of Dateline’s “Angels of Skid Row”

Of the half a million people across America homeless at any given time, a quarter reside in California, with 55,000 in Los Angeles alone. Los Angeles’ Skid Row, 52 square blocks of blight, has the highest concentration of homeless in America.

Skid Row came about under unofficial policy of containment, but now thousands of homeless are spilling out into other areas in LA creating an even greater crisis.

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Who is Freddie Mac Today?

Often in the industry, when we think of the forty-eight-year-old Government Sponsored Entity The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, otherwise known as Freddie Mac, we think: “I’d love to be an REO broker with them” or “I’d love to be in a vendor relationship with them.” However, as we discovered in our “Who is Freddie Mac Today?” presentation, the GSE is way more than meets the eye, staying on the young side of forty-eight with an eye toward innovation and staying current.   Continue reading