Category Archives: News

News about the U.S. real estate market and profession.

Single-Family Starts Drop in November as Builders Face Affordability Concerns

Rising housing affordability issues continue to hinder single-family production even as total housing starts increased in November.

According to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department, overall housing starts rose 3.2 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.26 million units from a downwardly revised October reading. Year-to-date, new housing starts are 5.1 percent above their level over the same period last year.

The November reading of 1.26 million is the number of housing units builders would start if they maintained this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family fell 4.6 percent to 824,000. Single-family production has now dropped for the third straight month. Meanwhile, multifamily starts—which include apartment buildings and condos—rose 22.4 percent to 432,000.

“The decline in single-family production over the last few months makes sense given the drop in our builder confidence index,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “Builders are cautious to add inventory as housing affordability concerns are causing consumers to pause on making a home purchase.”

“Favorable demographics support healthy housing demand, so it is frustrating that the housing affordability crisis is preventing many consumers from achieving their goal of buying a home,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While homeownership has increased over the last nine quarters, we can expect that upward momentum to stop due to rising home costs. Because housing leads the economy, we need to stabilize residential market conditions.”

Overall permits—which are an indicator of future housing production—rose 5 percent in November to 1.39 million. Single-family permits inched up 0.1 percent to a 848,000 unit pace while multifamily permits rose 14.8 percent to an annualized rate of 480,000.

Looking at the regional numbers on a year-to-date basis, combined single-family and multifamily housing starts rose 11 percent in the West and 5.3 percent in the South. Starts fell 0.8 percent in the Northeast and 1.9 percent in the Midwest.

Also on a year-to-date basis, permit issuance rose 8.2 percent in the South and 3.2 percent in the West. Permits were down 2.7 percent in the Midwest and 2.8 percent in the Northeast.

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Mortgage Broker Andy Elder Featured as December Cover Story for Top Agent Magazine

Mortgage Broker Andy Elder Featured as December Cover Story for Top Agent Magazine

 

BINGHAM FARMS, Mich./ Dec. 17, 2018 (STL.News)

Michigan-based mortgage lender and broker Andy Elder has been featured on the cover of the December issue of Top Agent Magazine’s nationwide mortgage edition. Top Agent Magazine is a premier real estate publication featuring the foremost real estate agents, mortgage professionals, and affiliates in the USA, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The magazine features the top producing and most accomplished professionals in the real estate industry, offering an in-depth look at their careers and providing a blueprint for their success.

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Fannie Mae Completes First Multi-Tranche Credit Insurance Risk Transfer Transaction on over $10 Billion of Multifamily Loans

Fannie Mae Completes First Multi-Tranche Credit Insurance Risk Transfer Transaction on over $10 Billion of Multifamily Loans

 

WASHINGTON/ Dec. 17, 2018 (STL.News)

Fannie Mae (OTC Bulletin Board: FNMA.) announced that it has completed its first multi-tranche Credit Insurance Risk Transfer™ (CIRT™) transaction covering a pool of approximately $10.9 billion of existing multifamily loans in the company’s portfolio. This new transaction, CIRT 2018-M02, is the fourth CIRT transaction as part of Fannie Mae’s ongoing effort to increase the role of private capital in the multifamily mortgage market.

“We are happy to introduce our first tranched multifamily credit risk sharing transaction, which allowed us to expand reinsurer and insurer participation and realize favorable blended pricing on the tiered risk sharing,” said Jonathan Gross, Vice President, Multifamily, Fannie Mae.

Continue reading Fannie Mae Completes First Multi-Tranche Credit Insurance Risk Transfer Transaction on over $10 Billion of Multifamily Loans at STL.News.

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Ke Finance Partners with Ke.com to Launch Online Consumer Real Estate Financing Services in China

Ke Finance Partners with Ke.com to Launch Online Consumer Real Estate Financing Services in China

 

BEIJING/ Dec. 17, 2018 (STL.News)

Ke Finance (also known as Beike Finance) is partnering with Ke.com to enable China’s real estate consumers to access Ke Finance’s comprehensive offering of consumer real estate financing services.

This partnership expands the range of comprehensive financial products available to customers, with services ranging from home renovation and rentals to mortgage related products. Customers benefit from a user-friendly single platform experience that is superior in speed and broader in selection compared with bank-provided loans.

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RE/MAX National Housing Report for November 2018

RE/MAX National Housing Report for November 2018

 

DENVER/ Dec. 17, 2018 (STL.News)

Years of shrinking inventory gave way in November to a second consecutive month of year-over-year growth in the number of homes for sale, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. The apparent reason: Home sales declined for the fourth consecutive month when compared to the same months in 2017. Even so, home prices remained strong.

Across the 53 metro areas surveyed, inventory rose 3.0% – the highest monthly year-over-year gain in the 10-year history of the report, following October’s 1.0% increase that ended a streak of 119 months of year-over-year declines dating back to November 2008.

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ENGIE Residential Customers Can Now Contact Their Energy Company via WhatsApp

ENGIE Residential Customers Can Now Contact Their Energy Company via WhatsApp

 

SAN FRANCISCO/ DECEMBER 17, 2018 (STL.News)

The largest energy supplier on the Belgian market, ENGIE, a subsidiary of global energy leader ENGIE Group, is pleased to announce that its 2 million retail customers can now contact their energy company via WhatsApp. By enabling WhatsApp as a new customer engagement channel, Engie is clearly at the European forefront of driving innovation in its customer service operations.

“Innovation is at the heart of our business,” said Philippe Van Troeye, CEO of ENGIE BENELUX.

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