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News Clips 

Chesterfield Observer, Wednesday, July 30, 2014
(RECAP: County officials are moving forward with efforts to ramp up work on revitalization of older neighborhoods even though a proposed plan that would guide that work over the long haul has yet to be approved. The fact that this year’s county budget was approved without any specified funding for new revitalization programs doesn’t mean work can’t start on intensifying the county’s efforts in that direction, according to Bill Dupler, deputy county administrator for community development.)
DS News, Wednesday, July 30, 2014
(RECAP: As the newly sworn-in Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Julian Castro will need to perform a complicated balancing act to move the agency forward during the current unsteady recovery. He takes over an agency with 8,000 employees and a $46 billion annual budget. With home prices finally starting to stabilize after the massive housing market drop in 2009, Castro will likely focus on providing HUD funding to boost disadvantaged communities.)
CNN Money, Wednesday, July 30, 2014
(RECAP: The Fed decided to once again reduce its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion, as expected. The central bank has been gradually reducing, or tapering, its monthly bond purchases since January. It will now buy just $25 billion a month. That's down from a peak of $85 billion when the Fed started its third round of quantitative easing, a policy dubbed QE3 on Wall Street. At this rate, the Fed will stop purchasing bonds this fall. The next task ahead -- deciding when to raise interest rates -- still seems a long way off, and the Fed didn't give many hints. Instead, its top policymakers issued a statement that acknowledged inflation is nearing its sweet spot, but also cited ongoing weakness in the job market.)
USA Today, Tuesday, July 29, 2014
(RECAP: The number of big real estate companies involved in renting single-family residences is growing. New York-based financial services Blackstone Group L.P. is now the largest landlord of single-family homes, having spent roughly $8 billion over the last two years buying 43,000 homes. California-based American Homes 4 Rent, the second largest such firm, started in 2012 and now owns more than 25,000 homes in 22 states. Plummeting home prices in recent years opened the door to the investment opportunity, said Dave Bragg, managing director of the residential research team at Green Street Advisors. Meanwhile, the armies of homeowners who saw their residences foreclosed still needed housing.)
Mortgage News Daily , Tuesday, July 29, 2014
(RECAP: The rate of homeownership in the U.S. continued to slide in the second quarter of 2014, reaching a 19 year low. The Commerce Department said that the seasonally adjusted homeownership rate fell to 64.8 percent during the quarter, down 0.1 percentage point from the first quarter and 0.3 points compared to the second quarter of 2013. The recent rate was the lowest for the statistic since the second quarter of 1995.)
PD&R Edge , Monday, July 28, 2014
(RECAP: In March 2012, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia saw the completion of its first permanent supportive housing complex, The Crossings at Fourth and Preston. The 60-unit building provides housing for people experiencing homelessness and those earning less than 50 percent of the area median income. The development has adopted the Housing First model, in which people experiencing homelessness are provided with a stable place to stay before being connected to employment and health services. The cost of the development was slightly more than $7 million, with most of the funding coming from $4.25 million in low-income housing tax credits. The other major sources of funding were loans from VHDA, DHCD and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.)
National Low Income Housing Coalition , Monday, July 28, 2014
(RECAP: The Virginia Housing Coalition (VHC), an NLIHC State Coalition Partner, waged a strong campaign in the 2014 Virginia General Assembly regular session to secure up to $8 million in the next biennium for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. Unfortunately, the regular session ended with no agreement on the state budget due to a dispute regarding Medicaid expansion. Consequently, funding for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund was left uncertain at the end of the regular session. With a housing wage of $20.93, Virginia remains the most expensive state in the Southeast for low-income renters. Much of the advocacy work in next year’s campaign will center on information from VHC’s recent Virginia Home Matters report.)
DS News, Sunday, July 27, 2014
(RECAP: Credit standards at large lenders appear to be loosening somewhat, while criteria at small and mid-sized lenders appear to be tightening, according to a new survey from Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae surveyed executives at its lending customers during the first two quarters of this year for its first ever Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. Lenders that reported tightening credit standards most often stated "changing regulatory requirements" as the rationale for their stricter standards.)
The Wall Street Journal , Friday, July 25, 2014
(RECAP: Many first-time and entry-level buyers have been sidelined for the past two years for a variety of reasons, including stringent mortgage-qualification standards, mounting student debt and tepid wage growth. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that first-timers will account for 16% of new-home sales this year, down from a range of 25% to 28% between 2001 and 2007. The anticipated return of first-time buyers to the housing market remains, like many economic indicators, prone to fits and starts. This week, two more leading home builders differed on whether first-timers are on their way back.)
HousingWire, Friday, July 25, 2014
(RECAP: Two analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch are celebrating the 4-year anniversary of Dodd-Frank, the financial reform law, by calling it “persistent financial repression.” Analysts Chris Flanagan and Adam Katz joined a chorus of voices using the birthday opportunity to express displeasure of the legislation and disdain in the inability to effect more meaningful reform — that is one that promotes more responsible mortgage lending.)
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