September 6, 2017

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

HUD Extends Disaster Relief to Hurricane Harvey Victims

Estimates 200,000 FHA-insured homeowners live in disaster area
The Houston area continues to see heavy rainfall due to Hurricane Harvey and the heaving flooding plaguing the city is only expected to worsen as rain continues to fall. Some areas could eventually see up to 50 inches of rainfall, and five people have died due to the Category 4 hurricane with another 12 reported injured. Now, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it is offering mortgage and foreclosure relief as well as other assistance to some families, including to the 200,000 FHA-insured homeowners, living in the impacted areas.

Harvey Flooding Focuses Attention on Troubled Flood Insurance Program

Hurricane Harvey's ghastly flooding in the Houston area is sure to focus political attention on the National Flood Insurance Program, a controversial government benefit that makes home ownership affordable to many in south Louisiana. It's $24 billion in debt, and unless Congress acts in the next 34 days, it will expire. Whether Congress reforms the troubled program -- forcing more expensive premiums, for example, or discouraging rebuilding in high-risk areas -- or merely extends it despite its structural problems, is the big question.

New Research Dispels Common NIMBY Myth

One of the most common arguments put forth by opponents of affordable housing is that it will reduce property values and increase crime. The Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at VCU just released a study that answers this concern. The verdict? Homes built for modest-income households have no impact on surrounding property values or crime rate. Researchers looked at six affordable communities, both apartments and for sale townhomes, in the City of Richmond and three surrounding counties. Property values, sales prices, and crime rates were studied for at least the previous three years and up to ten years after construction. VCU concluded that there is "no evidence" that these affordable communities had "any significant impact on property values, sales prices, or crime rates in the immediately surrounding neighborhoods."

Changes to Popular Deduction Wouldn't Have Big Effect on Housing Market

There may be rumblings about lowering the cap on mortgage interest rate deductions, but it would have a "rather small effect" on the housing market, Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller told CNBC. He thinks what's driving the real estate market is our sense of where we're going and the uncertainty with the new administration in Washington. He believes lowering the cap would have more of a psychological effect on home prices than a calculated one.

Diversity: Influencing the Mortgage Industry

Making homebuyers’ dreams a reality is the goal of every great lender, and in the past few years, how that goal is achieved has changed—influenced by laws, technology and an emerging homebuyer demographic. This is where many articles go down the path of discussing “millennials”, but in the spirit of DS News' upcoming September Diversity issue, will highlight another trend: female homebuyers. According to the 2017 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, single women are buying more houses than single men today. While the majority of total homebuyers are married couples (66 percent), 17 percent were single females (compared to single men, who comprise seven percent of the total).

Fannie Mae: Mortgage Lenders Shift Focus to Enhancing Consumer Experience

The company's Economic & Strategic Research Team surveyed lenders about their 2017 business priorities and risk concerns, based on results from its second quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, in which lenders reported subdued mortgage demand growth, a pessimistic profit margin outlook and strong concerns about increased competition.The survey found mortgage lenders are refocusing their efforts to address challenges of the post-crisis era--in particular, providing a better experience for consumers.

No comments:

Post a Comment