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Tag Archives: National Association of Home Builders

Freddie: Rental Housing Surges Past Homeownership Rates

Rising homebuilder confidence seen Tuesday coupled with news of a surge in multifamily housing development ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the sector typical for rental construction ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reported Monday. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac offered up the data and analysis in an October 2011 Economic and Housing Market Outlook, with the consensus that tenant-occupied properties are on track to continue outpacing homeownership rates. New construction starts rose this year with a minimum 20 dwellings.

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Housing Industry Groups Wrestle With Federal Policies

Industry trade groups and lobbyists upped the ante in the war of policy, words, and influence following testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke before a joint congressional committee this week. News reports and statements contributed to the exchange Thursday, with outlets referencing punches pulled by the Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Home Builders, and National Association of Realtors, among others. The Qualified Residential Mortgage remains under attack, while others upheld the role of the GSEs in markets.

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What the Lower Conforming Loan Limits Mean

Making good on promises by policymakers from both parties, Congress allowed the $729,750 threshold for conforming loans with federal guarantees to expire Saturday, pinching high-end borrowers in a marginal number of counties and potentially leaving a swath of new market share for private bankers. Homebuyers looking for more than $625,000 in financing for their mortgage loans will accordingly fall short of eligibility requirements needed for federal insurance.

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Economic Worries Trample on New-Home Sales Over August

Despite the lure of record-low mortgage rates, fewer consumers stepped out from behind the fear of a global economic slowdown to purchase new homes, curtailing new sales by 2.3 percent month-over-month in August. Market watchers chalked up a six-month dearth to consumers wary about their job security, stock markets, and the threat of a new recession. The Census Bureau signaled a fallback to 295,000 housing units on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 302,000 from July.

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Analysts: Mortgage Rates Stay Low, Likely to Fall Further

Debt crises and stimulus measures stole the mortgage-rates show as more investors flee to U.S. Treasury debt, with mortgage giant Freddie Mac holding that rates dithered by a few percentage rates and finance Web site Bankrate.com finding a fifth-consecutive week for record lows. Homebuyers nonetheless remain on the sidelines despite all-time highs for affordability, reflecting a dearth in demand, confidence, and jobs. Analysts fault a dismal economy and suggest that mortgage rates will remain low.

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After Irene, Housing Starts Fall 5% from July

Fewer-than-expected housing starts fell in line Tuesday with dismal forecasts threatening a global economic slowdown, with the Commerce Department and HUD jointly revealing a 5-percent slide back for single-family home construction over August. Market watchers slapped severe weather with the blame for a slump in new home starts across New England, while a nudge up in building starts framed the dark recession cloud with a silver lining. Housing starts plunged to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 over August.

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NAHB: Few Gains in Homebuilder Confidence

The market remains a dim one for new single-family homes, according to an index jointly released by Wells Fargo and the National Association of Home Builders. The index registered confidence at 15 on a 0-to-100 scale, staying largely the same since July. The low confidence follows a hit taken by homebuilding companies in the stock market last week. Analysts and economists weighed in with MReport about how slowing momentum in home construction and sales, as reflected by homebuilder confidence, impacts job creation and consumer confidence.

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Super Committee May Axe Home Benefits, Agency Debt

On the heels of Standard & Poor's controversial downgrades for U.S. debt ratings, Congress passed the deficit reduction axe to a bipartisan, six-member "super-committee" for each chamber, with both parties finally naming lawmakers to the commission Thursday. Capitol watchers say important housing laws and provisions may await the congressional guillotine, with the mortgage tax rate deduction, mortgage debt, and other housing-related giveaways in line. The appointments follow a recent deduction-slashing proposal.

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Markets Squeeze Banks, Homebuilding Companies

The Dow Jones Industrial Average swept clean Tuesday's historic gains with a 519.83-point nosedive Wednesday, reflecting widespread fears about contagious European debt, the impact of Standard & Poor's downgrades, and an economic slowdown worldwide. Signaling further distress for housing markets, banks with thick mortgage portfolios and homebuilding companies saw their stocks tumble in an investor stampede for the exits. Following the Dow closely, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 plunged 101.47 points and 51.77 points, respectively.

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Report: New-Home Sales Limp Over June

Fewer homebuyers purchased new single-family homes over June, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Tuesday, with sales falling to an annual rate of 312,000 from 315,000 the previous month. Economists say these numbers nonetheless reflect progress from February, when single-family sales hit a record low, while others point to a slowly vanishing foreclosure fleet. The report held that June sales amounted to 1.0 percent, plus or minus 12.5 percent, beneath revised May estimates, still 1.6 percent above estimates from June last year.

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