Posts by Editor

Expanding Economy Makes Foreclosure Wave Less Likely

Two-thirds of homeowners in forbearance have already started making monthly payments – and March had the best single-month improvement in delinquencies in 11 years. SAN FRANCISCO – Many homeowners granted forbearance on their mortgage payments during the pandemic will reach their 18-month program eligibility limit at the end of September. However, two-thirds of the 7.1 million homeowners granted forbearance during the pandemic have already left forbearance, with most of this “bellwether” group either resuming their monthly loan payments or paying them off. Black Knight classified about 160,000 homeowners who had exited forbearance as being at “high risk” of foreclosure as
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New York City to Fla. Relocations: Flight or Hype?

By Erica Plemmons Florida Realtors economist: Florida’s population benefited from residents leaving New York City, but other states experienced gains too – some with triple-digit increases. With Fla. migration, residents of NYC’s Manhattan flocked in the highest numbers. ORLANDO, Fla – Are New Yorkers, specifically those from the city, coming to Florida? Yes! Are all New York City residents fleeing to the Sunshine State? No. Florida had a significant increase in movers from NYC in 2020, but many states benefitted from the area’s out-migration. Although definitive migration data, such as information tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau, is not yet
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Fannie, Freddie to Create ‘Living Wills’ in Case They Fail

By Kerry Smith The lending giants keep mortgage originations humming but failed during the Great Recession and the feds took over. They must now create a Plan B in case it happens again. WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published a final rule that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to develop credible resolution plans – also known as “living wills.” During the Great Recession, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – the giant secondary banks that keep the mortgage market humming by buying mortgages and empowering lenders to make more – essentially failed. Considered “too big
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Fla.’s Housing Market: Sales, Median Prices Up in 1Q 2021

By Marla Martin Florida Realtors’ data: Single-family home sales up 19.4% year-over-year, median sales price up 17.6% to $317.5K; condo sales up 37%, median price up 14.8% to $235.4K. ORLANDO, Fla. – In the first quarter of 2021, Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more new pending sales compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 78,353 in 1Q 2021, up 19.4% from the 1Q 2020 level. “A year ago, in early March, the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in Florida,”
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Zillow Responds to Real Estate Startup’s Antitrust Suit

REX’s lawsuit against Zillow alleges that separating MLS listings from other listings gives the MLS listings an unfair advantage. Zillow says MLS rules leave it no choice. NEW YORK – In April 30 court filings, Zillow said an antitrust lawsuit it faces over how it displays real estate listings could debilitate its platform. REX, a real estate startup, asked a federal court to compel Zillow and its subsidiary, Trulia, to stop separating homes for sale into those listed by National Association of Realtors® (NAR) members and those listed by others. The NAR listings come from local Multiple Listing Services (MLSs).
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NAR MLS Committee: Property Addresses Should Be Mandatory

By Christina Hoffmann NAR’s board of directors will consider a motion submitted by the MLS committee last week: That all MLS listings must include a street address or other legal description. WASHINGTON – After some debate, the National Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Issues & Policy Committee Friday passed a motion requiring that property addresses be filed in the MLS when listings are submitted. If no address exists, the listing must include a parcel identification number or legal description of the property’s location at filing. The recommendation will now be considered by NAR’s board of directors on Friday, May 14.
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Now Available: Landlord Applications for $850M in Rent Relief

By Kerry Smith Landlords can now apply for money to recoup lost rent. DCF debuted a website, OurFlorida.com, last week and started offering applications Monday. Landlords receive payments directly, but both landlords and tenants can apply for help. ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) now accepts applications from landlords and tenants, as well as utility providers, for past-due payments on a website created specifically for distribution of $850 million in federal recovery funds. DCF announced the debut of a new website last week – OURFlorida.com (Opportunity for Utilities and Rental Assistance) – and the applications for
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NAR Counters Proposal Limiting 1031-Exchanges to $500K

By Lynn Ettinger Under Pres. Biden’s proposal, 1031 like-kind exchanges only defer $500K from taxation. NAR says not to panic, though. There’s time before any decisions are made. WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s recent tax proposal includes a $500,000 limit on the amount of deferred gain from Section 1031 like-kind exchanges. If the proposal becomes part of the official package that moves through Congress, it could present adverse consequences for communities and their economic development, according to Evan Liddiard, director of federal taxation for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Liddiard spoke during the Commercial Federal Policy Meeting at the
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FHFA May Create New Lending Rules for ‘Condotels’

By Kerry Smith If a development has a large number of short-term rentals – individually owned units or single-family homes rented out similar to a hotel’s operations (condotel) – what unique lending standards for home sales should apply? FHFA opened a comment period that runs through July 5. WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) is questioning whether lending standards should be changed for homes destined to be used exclusively as short-term rentals. The issue impacts loans that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will eventually buy from lenders. A bank or other lender can make a loan
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Big RE Question: Will Workers Return to Offices?

By Paul Davidson Future demand for both the residential and commercial markets is based, in part, on the number of workers who commute again – but their numbers remain low so far. NEW YORK – A growing number of states are lifting business constraints as the numbers of Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to rise, leading people to shop, dine out and travel. But the revival of one activity has been agonizingly slow: Working from the office. The number of employee office visits in 10 large cities reached 26.1% of the pre-pandemic level the week ending April 21, according to
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