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News Clips

CNBC, Thursday, October 20, 2016
(RECAP: More Americans bought homes in September despite a persistent shortage of properties for sale. The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes rose 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million, highest since June. Sales rose across the country. The supply of available was 2.04 million, down 6.8 percent from a year ago. Tight inventories drove the median price of existing homes up 5.6 percent from a year ago to $234,200.)
Richmond BizSense, Wednesday, October 19, 2016
(RECAP: As it looks to fill the commercial space left vacant by the departure of anchor tenant Southern Season earlier this year, Libbie Mill Midtown is moving forward with construction of the mixed-use development’s first residential pieces. Construction is underway on the Neighborhood of Libbie Mill Midtown, a mix of townhomes and condos totaling 994 units for purchase. Work has also started on the development’s first apartment building, a five-story structure in the heart of Libbie Mill that will total 327 rental units and 494,000 square feet. Construction started in June and is slated to wrap up on the apartment building in 2018. Models for the townhomes and condos are slated to open in the first quarter of next year.)
Daily Press, Wednesday, October 19, 2016
(RECAP: A Richmond-area development group has purchased the vacant Whittaker Memorial Hospital and could begin renovating the historic building into a 62-unit apartment building by the beginning of next year. Whittaker Development II LLC closed on the purchase for the Southeast Community landmark last Thursday. The sale price is "substantially north" of the $600,000 that C'est La Guerre LLC, the old owners, paid for the building last March. The project will put 62 one- and two-bedroom apartments into the existing building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The new group will be applying for tax credits through VHDA. If they get those and have a sound financing package, Newport News' housing authority will grant $709,000 to the project from HOME funds — money HUD gives to localities for rehab projects, among other things. It will also offer eight Section 8 housing vouchers for future tenants.)
The Virginian-Pilot, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
(RECAP: Municipal officials and community advocates turned out in a big way for Thursday’s groundbreaking of the Housing Resource Center. The new structure signaled a serious commitment to finding shelter in Virginia Beach for the homeless people – often around 400 – counted annually in parks, along streets and in cars throughout the city. Tim McCarthy, chair of Bringing an End to All City Homelessness, relayed how folks journeyed to communities around the country to devise the best model for the $30 million, three-story building. It will rise at 104 N. Witchduck Road, near Southern Boulevard, and is scheduled to open in spring 2018. The resource center will house more than 100 people, from single adults to families. Some 30 efficiency apartments are part of the mix.)
National Real Estate Investor, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
(RECAP: Bank lenders are making a lot more permanent loans on apartment properties. These banks are lending to owners of stabilized apartment buildings even as they step away from funding new construction projects. New regulations and worries about overbuilding are driving many banks to make smaller construction loans, and to lend on fewer properties. Banks lenders originated more than a third—38 percent—of all permanent apartment loans in the first half of 2016. That’s not far behind the share of apartment loans made by agency lenders, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have been the dominant source of lending on stabilized apartment properties since 2012. Agency lenders still originated more apartment loans than any other type of lender, but their lead is shrinking, with less than half—just 44 percent—of all permanent apartment loans in the first half of 2016.)
The Virginian-Pilot, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
(RECAP: Council members agreed Tuesday night to let a developer move forward with one apartment community near the Virginia Beach border, but they denied another. Chesapeake Development Holdings LLC plans to build Kempsville Road Retreat II, a community for adults ages 55 and older, in the 1200 block of Kempsville Road. The developer got approval to rezone almost 30 acres from agricultural to residential for the development of 81 units, a mix of townhomes and fourplexes – apartments built in blocks of four. The council denied Coleman Holdings LLC’s request to rezone 18 acres for Eastwyck Crossing Apartments on Miller Avenue next to Indian River Park. Some Indian River residents had opposed the project, citing a city staff report that said its impact on schools would not be adequately addressed.)
Reston Now, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
(RECAP: Four developers are teaming up to turn a 17.5-acre tangle of office buildings and parking lots into more than 1 million square feet of multifamily residential, as well as significant office and retail space. Representatives from JBG/1831 Wiehle LLC, Bethesda’s EYA Development and The Chevy Chase Land Company gave a first look at the development application to the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee on Monday night. The development will be about 78 percent residential, with the remaining retail and commercial. Some of the planned features closest to the Metro include a multifamily building for independent senior living along Sunset Hills Road and two five-story multifamily buildings. On the East side of the development, the plan calls for a 200-unit multifamily building, Condo Flats and three-story condo townhouses above retail stores and a neighborhood of 60 more traditional townhomes. The application has been accepted by Fairfax County, but has a long way to go in the process.)
Loudoun Now, Monday, October 17, 2016
(RECAP: The Loudoun Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved changes to the county’s Affordable Dwelling Unit program that will open the program up to VHDA and HUD grants. Developers who rezone land for large subdivisions—more than 50 units, with exceptions— are required by county zoning rules to dedicate 12.5 percent of those units to the county’s ADU program. That program sets price restrictions on those units, but the rules don’t line up with what is required for grants VHDA or HUD. The rules change is yielding immediate benefits. Windy Hill expects to bring in $15 million in tax credits for its Heronview Apartments, with construction planned to begin at the Kincora development later this year.)
Reuters, Friday, October 14, 2016
(RECAP: The Federal Reserve may need to run a "high-pressure economy" to reverse damage from the 2008-2009 crisis that depressed output, sidelined workers, and risks becoming a permanent scar, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday in a broad review of where the recovery may still fall short. Though not addressing interest rates or immediate policy concerns directly, Yellen laid out the deepening concern at the Fed that U.S. economic potential is slipping and aggressive steps may be needed to rebuild it. Yellen's comments, while posed as questions that need more research, still add an important voice to an intensifying debate within the Fed over whether economic growth is close enough to normal to need steady interest rate increases, or whether it remains subpar and scarred, a theory pressed by Harvard economist and former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers, among others.)
Scotsman Guide, Friday, October 14, 2016
(RECAP: A nonbank mortgage trade association renewed calls this week for the government to cut insurance premiums on FHA loans, but the president of the nation’s largest trade group, the Mortgage Bankers Association, says that would be a bad idea. MBA President David Stevens said FHA’s insurance fund still has not achieved a level of stability to warrant another reduction at this time. He’s also against removing a post-recession rule that requires borrowers to hold insurance for the life of the loan. Earlier this week, the Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA) sent FHA a letter, urging the agency to cut the annual insurance premiums to 55 basis points, the level it was before the agency increased premiums after the financial crisis. CHLA also wants the agency to rescind the requirement on borrowers to hold insurance until the loan is fully amortized.)
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