Will Biden’s Housing Plan Make A Difference?

By CHUCK GREEN The President recently released a Housing Supply Action Plan designed to pull back the throttle on the challenges of housing costs over time by increasing the inventory of quality housing in every community. The plan bills itself as the most comprehensive effort to close the housing supply shortfall in history. It includes legislative and administrative actions that could help close America’s housing supply shortfall in five years. It will begin by creating and preserving scores of affordable housing units in the next three years. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there’s a national shortage of seven million homes. There’s fewer than four affordable and available rental homes for every 10 extremely low-income renter households and…

Affordability Declining As Monthly Payments Eat Up The Typical Borrower’s Income

The national median payment applied for by homebuyers rose 8.8% to $1,889 in April, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Purchase Applications Payment Index (PAPI). PAPI measures changes in monthly mortgage payments relative to income across time. An increase shows the payment to income ratio is up due to increasing application loan amounts or mortgage rates, or a decline in earnings. The national PAPI was up 7.8% to 162.7 in April. This shows affordability declining as payments increase, accounting for a larger share of a typical person’s income. The index is up 27% YOY. Borrowers in the 25th percentile of prices saw their mortgage payment rise 9.6% to $1,236. “Rapid home-price growth, low inventory, and an 80-basis-point surge in…

Americans Report Highest Level Of Financial Well-Being Since 2013

Americans reported their highest level of financial well-being since 2013 in the Federal Reserve Board’s Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2021 report. The data comes from the Board’s 9th annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED), which was conducted in October and November 2021. “The SHED results provide valuable insight into Americans’ financial conditions during the late fall of 2021. This important perspective helps the Federal Reserve better understand the economic challenges that existed during that phase of the pandemic recovery,” Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle W. Bowman said. In Q4 2021, 78% of adults reported either doing okay or living comfortably financially, while financial well-being rose among all racial and ethnic groups measured. Hispanic adults saw a…

Builder Confidence Falls, Signaling A Market Slowdown

Builder confidence fell eight points in May, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The HMI registered a reading of 69 in May, a significant drop from April. This is the fifth consecutive month of decline and the lowest reading since June 2020. The low reading suggests that the housing market is slowing thanks to affordability challenges. “The housing market is facing growing challenges. Building material costs are up 19% from a year ago, in less than three months mortgage rates have surged to a 12-year high and, based on current affordability conditions, less than 50% of new and existing home sales are affordable for a typical family,”  said NAHB Chief Economist Robert…

Fannie Mae Commits $5M To 2022 Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge

Fannie Mae has committed $5 million to its second annual Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (IC22), the GSE announced. The challenge seeks to “attract innovative ideas that will help advance racial equity in housing,” according to the press release. Fannie Mae will receive proposals from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, as well as from individuals and teams.  Proposals should address supply, funding, and credit barriers. IC22 is part of the GSE’s Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation Initiative, which helps to develop collaborative, cross-sector approaches to advancing sustainable communities. “Fannie Mae is proud to launch the next iteration of the Innovation Challenge and support innovative projects that promote racial equity in housing in the United States,” said Maria Evans, Vice President…

Fannie Mae HPI Rises To Fastest Pace On Record

The Fannie Mae Home Price Index (FNM-HPI) rose to its fastest annual pace ever on record in Q1 2022, measuring 20% YOY, the company reported. This is up from an annualized rate of 19.1% in Q4 2021, the fastest pace in the index’s 47-year history. Seasonally adjusted home prices rose 4.8% from last quarter. The FNM-HPI is a national, repeat-transaction home price index that measures average quarterly price change on all single-family properties in the U.S., excluding condos. The FNM-HPI will now be publicly available as a quarterly series with a start date of Q1 1975. “We’re pleased to begin sharing the Fannie Mae Home Price Index with external audiences. We have long used this index within the company, including…

March Home Sales Dropped 4% From Feb, Sign Of A Potential Slowdown

Home sales dropped by 4% last month and 8% YOY, closing out a fast-paced March with signs of a potential cooldown, Redfin reported. Homes sold at their fastest pace ever and for more above list price than any other March in history. The median home-sale price rose 6.2% to $412,700, a record high and the fastest month-over-month gain for this time of year since 2013. But seasonally adjusted home sales fell 4% thanks to severe inventory shortages, rising rates, and accelerating home prices. Seasonally adjusted active listings—the count of all homes that were for sale at any time during the month—fell 13% YOY to an all-time low. “Although pricey coastal markets began showing early signs of a slowdown in late…

$3.3 Million In Funding Available To Combat COVID-19 Housing Discrimination

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are making an additional $3,285,353 in American Rescue Plan funding available to help fight housing discrimination related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made on Tuesday and according to a press release, this is the third round of American Rescue Plan funding that targets COVID-19 related discrimination. About $16.1 million in funding has been awarded to 62 HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agencies to address the impact the pandemic has had on communities of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations. Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal…

Disability Discrimination Alleged In Hawaii

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the U.S. Department of Justice are claiming that condominiums and apartment complexes in Hawaii were built without accessible features required by the Fair Housing Act. The federal act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, sex, familial status, and national origin. An amended complaint was filed Monday at the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Two of the five properties cited were built with financial assistance from the federal government’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. They are Kahului Town Terrace, in Kahului, Maui, and Palehua Terrace, in Kapolei, Oahu.  The other three properties are Napilihau Villages and Napili Villas, in Lahaina, Maui, as well as Wailea Fairway Villas,…

Builder Confidence Dips As Costs Rise

Builder confidence dropped slightly in January, disrupting a four-month trend of rising builder sentiment despite high consumer demand, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder confidence in the markets for newly-built, single-family homes dropped one point to 83. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. Notably, the HMI has remained at 83 or 84 for the past three months, the same level as the spring of 2021. The drop was attributed to inflation concerns and ongoing supply chain disruptions. “Higher material costs and lack of availability are adding weeks to typical single-family construction times,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa,…