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News Clips

Reuters, Monday, December 22, 2014
(RECAP: U.S. home resales tumbled to a six-month low in November after two straight months of strong increases, underscoring the uneven nature of the housing market recovery. The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales dropped 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.93 million units, the lowest level since May. November's steep decline probably does not signal the start of a weakening trend and in part reflected stubbornly low inventories, which touched an eight-month low, giving buyers limited options. Sales were up 2.1 percent from a year ago.)
CNBC 25, Friday, December 19, 2014
(RECAP: The huge drop in gasoline prices is just the boost the housing market needs heading into 2015. Not only are they padding people's pocketbooks, they're fueling consumer confidence. That may already be translating into more home sales. The economics for home buying are clear. Analysts at Deutsche Bank estimate that the 23 percent decline in gas prices adds about $100 in monthly income for the average American. That, in turn, translates to an 11 percent boost in purchasing power on a starter home.)
WSET 13, Friday, December 19, 2014
(RECAP: Just off of Route 29 Business in Madison Heights sits a vacant old school. The property could one day be home to paying tenants. Phelps Road School Development Company LLC filed an application with Amherst County on Friday to rezone the property from public use to residential 3. Osborne, a spokesperson for the company, says the plan is to build 36 apartments inside four buildings, keeping the elementary school, high school and classroom additions and demolishing the cafetorium. The proposed use of the property is affordable housing, according to the application.)
RealEstateRama, Thursday, December 18, 2014
(RECAP: HUD’s $45 billion budget allows the Department to support the individuals and organizations that we currently serve, but also limits HUD’s ability to help some new families reach the middle class or pursue their dream of homeownership. As the President has said, the legislation is a compromise and no one got everything they wanted. But, it is a step towards proving that a divided government can work without governing by crisis or threatening an economic recovery that’s growing stronger – which the President believes is a hopeful sign for next year.)
DSNews , Thursday, December 18, 2014
(RECAP: HUD Secretary Julián Castro said the Department will continue to focus on its top priorities in 2015 with the $45 billion budget allotted as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, despite the lack of funding for some key HUD initiatives. Among those priorities are securing sustainable housing for American individuals and families, preserving rental house assistance for poor Americans, ending homelessness, protecting people from discrimination in housing, and helping neighborhoods become more resilient from natural disasters.)
CFPB Monitor , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: Congress has unanimously approved legislation to extend until January 2016 a provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that prohibits foreclosing on a servicemember’s house for one year following the servicemember’s return from active duty. The CFPB has made SCRA compliance a priority issue.)
USA Today , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it could raise near-zero short-term interest rates within months amid an accelerating economy despite low inflation that has been subdued by falling oil prices. But it hedged its intentions amid conflicting economic indicators, sending a mix of signals to financial markets.)
Washington Business Journal , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: An Arlington-based nonprofit affordable housing developer is pitching a large market-rate building for Alexandria's West End as a means of financing a companion affordable building next door. The project, now in Alexandria's planning pipeline, will be located on property AHC Inc. has acquired from the Trustees of St. James Methodist Church. AHC proposes to redevelop the property with two six-story buildings, one containing 92 affordable units and the other 132 market-rate units. The reason for building market-rate, said Catherine Bucknam, AHC's director of community relations, "is to subsidize the cost of constructing the affordable housing.")
HousingWire , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: When the Federal Housing Administration announced its “Blueprint for Access” in May, it said the program was designed to open up the credit box for “underserved borrowers.” One of the main features of the FHA’s Blueprint for Access was a pilot program called Homeowners Armed with Knowledge, or HAWK. Under the four-year HAWK pilot program, homebuyers who committed to housing counseling would qualify for tangible savings on their FHA-insured loans. But funding for the HAWK program was not included in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, signed by President Obama this week, therefore the program will not be moving forward for at least a year.)
The Washington Post , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: Lenders say they’ve consistently eased their credit standards throughout the year, but potential home buyers still aren’t biting, according to a Fannie Mae survey of top mortgage executives at 192 institutions. The survey results released Wednesday suggest that the lenders are loosening up, perhaps because they need to boost their profit margins or because they’re responding to recent federal policy changes to encourage them to widen access to credit – or both. But they’re still having trouble luring buyers, which suggests that 2015 will not be a breakout year for the housing market.)
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