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Is Rent Control Making A Comeback?

From Berkeley to Chicago Washington, D.C, the rent control movement is having a resurgence. The impetus is fueled by the current housing crisis, but opposition from the real estate industry is strong. In New York State, legislators are considering an array of rent-control bill. Elizabeth Ginsburg, senior program officer with Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit housing group says that “under the current system, landlords can revoke preferential rent upon lease renewal, putting families at risk of losing their homes,” Ginsburg said. However, not all things are looking rosy for rent control supporters. Last month, voters in California soundly defeated Proposition 10 which would have over

Mall REITs: Stronger Than You May Think

The great Mark Twain once famously said, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The same can be said about the financial condition of America’s shopping malls. Malls, by and large, are having a pretty good year. According to the website seekingalpha.com, the common narrative that there’s a “retail apocalypse” dooming brick-and-mortar retailers flies in the face of the facts. Following a record year in 2017, this holiday season looks to strong with 3-5% growth expected. In fact, reports claim that there was a healthy rise in foot traffic during the recent Black Friday weekend. As a consequence, mall REITs have been among the best performers this year, reporting a 5.8 percent ris

Goldman Sachs: Why the Housing Market is Slowing Down

It’s no secret that the U.S. housing market is slowing down. And Goldman Sachs believes the slowdown will continue. In a recent note to clients, Goldman Sachs economists had bleak news: the post-2012 boom in home prices is over. “The U.S. housing market appears to have shifted into a lower gear in 2018H2,” the firm writes. And this lower gear is the new reality for the housing market. From 2014-2017, home prices rose by almost 7%. Over the next three years, Goldman expects home appreciation to slide back to a 3%-4%. Why the slowdown? Here are the big three reasons: 1. Higher mortgage rates 2. Home prices have outpaced rents and incomes since 2012 3. Changes in the 2017 tax l

Chicago is Number 1… For Weakest Housing Market

Yikes! According to a forecast from Realtor.com, the Chicago area will have the weakest housing market among 100 U.S. metropolitan areas next year. Even Cleveland fared better. This is a return to 100th place for Chicago, which also ranked at the bottom of the list in the forecast for 2017. It’s predicted that both the median price and the number of homes sold locally will fall in 2019. "The real estate market will be a reflection of what we're seeing in the Chicago economy in general," said Danielle Hale, the author of the report and chief economist for Realtor.com. But Hale said she doesn't see either figure as terribly worrisome. The drop in prices, she said, "may not be the best news for

Homebuilder Confidence at its Lowest Level Since 2014

Uh oh? The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence dropped eight points to 60 in November. So, what does that mean? NAHB, the building industry’s Washington lobby, noted in a press release that the reading of 60 is still “positive,” but that “customers are taking a pause.” However, the overall reading is the lowest since mid-2016. Any reading over 50 signals improvement. A drop like this may be the proverbial canary in a coalmine as another recession seems to be on the horizon. Adding some fuel to the fire: Moody’s Investors Service recently downgraded its outlook on the U.S. building materials industry, saying that “private residential construction growth is decelerating.”

Construction of Smaller Entry-Level Homes is on the Rise

When it comes to the big construction biz, things are looking smaller. Pricey homes that cater to big-money buyers are now slowly giving way to more modest homes. This is encouraging news particularly for people who are just entering the homebuying marketplace. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average and median home sizes have been steadily falling for the last few years, In the third quarter of 2018, the one-year average of new single-family home sizes fell to 2,564.5 square feet, while the one-year moving median fell to 2,369.75 square feet. National Association of Home Builders economist Robert Dietz opines that home sizes usually decrease when a recession is l

2019 Housing Market May Be Tough for Buyers and Sellers

According to a forecast from Realtor.com, next year will most likely be a tough environment for both buyers, particularly for entry-level buyers, and sellers. Higher mortgage rates are one culprit. It’s expected that rates will climb to 5.5% by the end of 2019 and that home prices will rise by 8%. That mix of bad numbers is making prospective buyers bearish about homeownership. "We don't expect a buyer's market on the horizon within the next five years," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. For people who want to sell their homes, the news is not much better. Home price growth is expected to hover around a meager 2.2%. Read on at: https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-bi

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