News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Les Christie / CNNMoney.com / December4, 2013
Beginning Jan. 10, banks have to ensure that monthly mortgage payments are affordable, a result of the Dodd Frank law passed in 2010. The failure to do so carries strict penalties.
“My concern is that we’re going to be in an environment where some lenders are too small to comply,” said David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
During the housing bubble, some banks issued loans without even checking applicants’ income or assets.
Under the new rules, lenders must carefully determine that borrowers have the ability to repay their loans. That means, forRead More
Robert Dietz / NAHB / September 23, 2013
While the sources of finance for new home sales have changed noticeably since the start of the Great Recession, cash sales remain more common for existing homes compared to new construction.
According to data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing, the onset of the housing crisis in 2007 led to a decline in the share of new home sales due to conventional mortgage financing and increases in the shares due to mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), as well as cash purchases.
For the second quarterRead More
Justin Doom / Bloomberg / September 11, 2013
Solar panels are the next granite countertops: an amenity for new homes that’s becoming a standard option for buyers in U.S. markets.
At least six of 10 largest U.S. homebuilders led by KB Home include the photovoltaic devices in new construction, according to supplier SunPower Corp. (SPWR) Two California towns are mandating installations, and demand for the systems that generate electricity at home will jump 56 percent nationwide this year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
“In the next six months, homebuilders in California and the expensive-energy states willRead More
Tony Polito / Metrostudy / August 16, 2013
News reports, homebuilder stock prices and economists in general have shown concern over the spike in interest rates from early May to today. While this should not have been a surprise based on comments from Fed Chairman Bernanke last year that all good things come to an end (Fed stimulus), the sky is falling comments from some in the media is concerning. Let’s look at the facts: the Market Composite Index is running near the 23 year average; the Refinance Index is still running above the 23 year average; however, the Purchase Composite Index is running only about 75% of average. Low interestRead More
The New York Times / August 12, 2013
In a speech in Phoenix last Tuesday, President Obama finally entered the debate over the future of United States housing policy. But his talking points offered few details about how to reduce the government’s giant footprint in the mortgage market.
Mr. Obama vowed to keep mortgage costs affordable for first-time home buyers and working families, pleasing those who think that the government should have a large role in this arena. His call for investment in rental housing was a welcome change from past mantras that focused solely on increasing homeownership across the country.