Tax Reform Could Deliver a Tax Hike for Homeowners: New Research

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — While tax reform proposals swirling around Washington, D.C., promise lower tax bills for American families, new estimates indicate that many middle-income homeowners may actually see a tax increase if those proposals go through.

The study, “Impact of Tax Reform Options on Owner-Occupied Housing,” illustrates the effects of a tax plan that echoes certain elements of the “Better Way for Tax Reform” or “Blueprint” proposal released last year, as well as the White House tax reform outline released in April, to which the National Association of Realtors® responded

While most individuals would see a tax decrease under such a proposal, the study estimates that many middle-class homeowners could in fact see a net average tax increase. Homeowners with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would see their taxes rise by an average of $815. The study also estimates that combined tax savings from claiming the mortgage interest deduction and real estate property tax deductions would drop 82 percent between the 2018 and 2027 period.

“Tax reform and lower rates are worthy goals, but only if we can achieve them in a fiscally responsible way,” said NAR president William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. “Balancing tax reform on the backs of homeowners isn’t an option.”

The study, which was commissioned by NAR and prepared by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), estimates that this tax increase would result from the interaction of several provisions in the reforms under consideration. For many homeowners that currently benefit from the mortgage interest deduction, the elimination of other itemized deductions and personal exemptions would cause their taxes to rise, even if they elected to take the increased standard deduction. For others, the elimination of the state and local tax deduction alone would result in higher federal income taxes.

 In addition to increasing taxes on many middle-income homeowners, the report finds that such a proposal could cause home values to fall by an average of more than 10 percent in the near term. In areas with higher property taxes or state income taxes, the drop could be even greater. Although the study doesn’t directly analyze the “Better Way for Tax Reform” plan or the recent White House outline, it examines a proposal with many similar elements.

Those elements include lowering and consolidating marginal tax rates to only three rates, setting a top income tax rate of 33 percent, doubling the standard deduction, eliminating all itemized deductions (other than charitable contributions and mortgage interest) and personal exemptions, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and capping the tax rate on pass-through business income at 25 percent.

PwC estimated that roughly 35 million households will claim the mortgage interest deduction in 2018, three quarters of which have incomes between $50,000 and $200,000. According to NAR, roughly 70 percent of those eligible for the MID claim it in a given tax year.

“A tax reform proposal that hikes taxes for homeowners is a raw deal, and consumers know it,” said Brown. “Leaders in Washington who are driving tax reform have shown every indication that they have the best of intentions, and we’re hopeful they’ll consider our study as this process plays out in the months ahead.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Video” tab on the website. 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tax-reform-could-deliver-a-tax-hike-for-homeowners-new-research-300460156.html

SOURCE National Association of Realtors

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http://www.realtor.org

Realtors® Have a Positive Outlook for Commercial Markets in 2017

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — While challenges face commercial real estate markets, Realtors® specializing in the sector should have confidence that growth will continue. That’s according to speakers at a commercial economic issues and trends forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun led a panel discussion about the economic forces shaping commercial real estate markets; the panelists agreed that the market has improved and that continued growth in the economy will further drive activity, but difficulties remain regarding availability of financing for smaller commercial properties.

George Ratiu, NAR director of quantitative and commercial research, said that increased trade and the rise of e-commerce has boosted rents in the industrial and warehouse sector. “During a time of transformation in consumer shopping habit, vacancy rates will still continue to see a gradual decline in warehousing and strong rent growth will continue,” he said.

Unemployment has declined to 4.4 percent and consumer confidence is at its highest point in 15 years. As the economy improves, the commercial real estate market has continued to improve as well, said Yun. “A rising interest rate environment is likely to halt commercial price growth or even cause a minor decline; that outlook is supported by the expanding economy and the over 2 million jobs gained in the past year,” he said.

Looking at the global market, Ratiu explained that global commercial investors have hit the pause button on investments, which in the first quarter of 2017 decreased nearly 20 percent year-over-year; however, certain U.S. markets are seeing good global cash flow with $76 billion flowing to the U.S. “Overall global investments are down, while the San Francisco, Dallas, Charlotte, Houston and Baltimore markets have experienced large sales volume gains,” he said.

With the blip in overall global investments in the first quarter, international buyers are likely to play a greater role in the U.S. market this year. “Over the past five years, a near majority of Realtors® experienced an increase in the number of international clients. We expect international buying activity to grow in 2017, which will have an overall positive impact on the commercial market’s gradual recovery,” said Yun.

One major hurdle that continues to affect the market is the lack of available financing to small commercial real estate investors, due in large part to regulatory uncertainty.

“Realtors® are seeing evidence of markets being impacted by regulators’ increased scrutiny of banks’ balance sheet allocations to commercial real estate loans,” said Ratiu. “Considering that 64 percent of Realtor® clients get their financing from banks, this is likely to impact deal flow as lending conditions tightened in 37 percent of Realtors®’ markets, a four percent increase from last year.”

John Worth, senior vice president of research and investor outreach at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, discussed the performance of commercial real estate investment and its status among other investment sectors. “Real estate investment is currently the best performing asset class. Strong returns and the level of new commercial supply we are seeing today is making up for a lot of missing sectors, following the economic downturn. The first quarter of this year saw a slight decrease, but 2017 is experiencing an overall healthy trend,” he said.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the website. Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the “Research and Statistics” tab.  

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtors-have-a-positive-outlook-for-commercial-markets-in-2017-300460731.html

SOURCE National Association of Realtors

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http://www.realtor.org

LendingHome Announces Fannie Mae Approval and New CFO

Robert Stiles 5mgLendingHome, a mortgage marketplace lender, announced Wednesday that they have received Fannie Mae‘s seller and servicer approval while naming Robert Stiles, former CFO of Nationstar Mortgage, as its CFO.

LendingHome said that Fannie Mae’s approval enables the expansion of its home financing business as well as the delivery of better outcomes to its customers. By working directly with Fannie Mae, LendingHome not only can streamline its operations and offer better loan pricing to its customers; it also can retain the servicing of its customers in-house so they can rely on LendingHome throughout the life of their loan.

“Passing Fannie Mae’s stringent approval guidelines is no small feat, especially for a young company that started lending only three years ago,” said Matt Humphrey, co-founder and CEO of LendingHome. “This is a testament to LendingHome’s financial strength, leading ground-up technology platform, and the quality of our processes from end-to-end.”

“LendingHome focuses on using technology innovation to create efficiencies and deliver a great customer experience,” said Jeff Walker, SVP and Customer Delivery Executive for Fannie Mae. “We’re pleased to welcome LendingHome as one of our lender partners and look forward to working with them toward our shared vision of a better mortgage process.”

LendingHome also announced that it has named mortgage industry veteran Robert Stiles as its new CFO. They said that Stiles will be instrumental in leading LendingHome’s financial operations and taking the company through its next phase of business growth. As of April 2017, he reports to Matt Humphrey.

“I’ve watched LendingHome closely over the past year and have admired its innovative ways that it serves both customers and investors, as well as its tech-focused approach to mortgages,” said Stiles. “LendingHome has tremendous opportunity to be very disruptive, and I look forward to contributing to its increasing success.”




LendingHome Announces Fannie Mae Approval and New CFO …

Robert Stiles 5mgLendingHome, a mortgage marketplace lender, announced Wednesday that they have received Fannie Mae‘s seller and servicer approval while naming Robert Stiles, former CFO of Nationstar Mortgage, as its CFO.

LendingHome said that Fannie Mae’s approval enables the expansion of its home financing business as well as the delivery of better outcomes to its customers. By working directly with Fannie Mae, LendingHome not only can streamline its operations and offer better loan pricing to its customers; it also can retain the servicing of its customers in-house so they can rely on LendingHome throughout the life of their loan.

“Passing Fannie Mae’s stringent approval guidelines is no small feat, especially for a young company that started lending only three years ago,” said Matt Humphrey, co-founder and CEO of LendingHome. “This is a testament to LendingHome’s financial strength, leading ground-up technology platform, and the quality of our processes from end-to-end.”

“LendingHome focuses on using technology innovation to create efficiencies and deliver a great customer experience,” said Jeff Walker, SVP and Customer Delivery Executive for Fannie Mae. “We’re pleased to welcome LendingHome as one of our lender partners and look forward to working with them toward our shared vision of a better mortgage process.”

LendingHome also announced that it has named mortgage industry veteran Robert Stiles as its new CFO. They said that Stiles will be instrumental in leading LendingHome’s financial operations and taking the company through its next phase of business growth. As of April 2017, he reports to Matt Humphrey.

“I’ve watched LendingHome closely over the past year and have admired its innovative ways that it serves both customers and investors, as well as its tech-focused approach to mortgages,” said Stiles. “LendingHome has tremendous opportunity to be very disruptive, and I look forward to contributing to its increasing success.”




Are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Poised to Jump on Strong …

In this segment from Market Foolery, the team reaches into the mailbag to tackle a question from a German listener. Axel wants to know whether signs of strength in the U.S. housing market could make Fannie Mae (NASDAQOTH:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (NASDAQOTH:FMCC) attractive investment opportunities. Tune in to learn more.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on May 15, 2017.

Chris Hill: Email from Axel Bruckner in Germany: “I heard you speaking recently about good indicators for a strong U.S. housing market in the future, so I’m curious how you would evaluate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The upside for these stocks seems tremendous compared to the risk.” What do you think, Jason?

Jason Moser: I would actually probably beg to differ there. I guess, maybe, he’s thinking upside compared to risk, and risk meaning that these are companies that are more or less underwritten by the U.S. government. So, yeah, from that perspective, the risk is, generally speaking, probably pretty low. But I think understanding what these companies do, they make their money from, essentially, fees and net interest margins, so they’re more or less like a bank. But they’re not stocks that trade on any underlying business fundamentals. I think they tend to trade more on who’s in office, and what court ruling recently went in their favor or in someone else’s favor.

So to me, they’re not really businesses as much as they are necessary entities, and we’re trying to figure out where they fit in our housing market going forward. Because clearly, something went wrong not too terribly long ago. I think when we look at housing in general, the housing opportunity for investors is absolutely a must in the portfolio. You look at that as one of the bigger picture plays that you need to have in your portfolio one way or another. I would not look at one of these two businesses as a way to do that. I think if you’re concerned with one of these businesses, I don’t know why you wouldn’t just pick a big bank, because then at least you have a bank that’s going to be based on profits, and you’re going to see dividends, and stocks that trade a bit more on fundamentals. But I think the opportunity is there. If you look at home ownership rate here, going back to 2005, right about when it peaked, it’s been on a pretty steady decline since then.

Taylor Muckerman: Slow, yeah.

Moser: Yeah, it’s reverted all the way back to below where it was in 1995. So, I think there are plenty of opportunities. I think this notion that millennials are not buying houses is misguided. There is data to prove that they are. They’re certainly being a bit more particular, a bit more considerate when buying houses. But ownership is one of those things where, yeah, at 20 years old, you’re like, “No, I’m not going to buy a house, of course not, I’ll tell you I’m not going to buy a house,” but then life happens. When you hit 25 to 30 years old, things change. You don’t mean for them to change, they just do.

Hill: And that’s also one of those narratives that’s now four or five years old. There are stories that I’ve seen online that speak to that, they’re parroting that same line, and you read them and think, “I think you’re being kind of lazy.”

Moser: What do you mean, the line that millennials aren’t buying homes?

Hill: Yeah, like “That was the case five years ago and the data proved it, therefore I’m going to just repeat that line.” Maybe it’s time for some updated data.

Moser: Right. If millennials aren’t buying homes, you need to prepare for a home ownership rate more like 40%, and I’m just telling you, that’s not going to happen.

Muckerman: Yeah. They’re not getting the opportunity. It’s not that they don’t want to. A lot of new home builds are generally being priced mid-market to high-market now. They’re not really getting entry level prices to buy their first house. So they probably want to, but it’s a little bit more difficult for them to, because I think new builds are still pre-recession levels. It’s on an uphill slope right now. We’re still far, far behind in terms of opportunities to buy a brand new house for these folks. And some of the hotter cities where you’re seeing millennials move, they’re priced out of the market, and it’s become a rental society in a lot of these cities, with banks, after the recession, buying up a lot of the inventory and renting it out, and not offering these used homes for sale. And if you’re not building new homes, you’re stuck in limbo there.

Moser: Yeah, and the economics dictate it. It’s all about supply and demand, just like any other market. I was reading about this, I think it was in Minnesota, of all places, you’re seeing homes that are going on markets that, they don’t last but a couple of days on the market before they’re gone. Speaking from recently selling a townhouse of ours in Fairfax here, which is a pretty good sort of entry level price for this area, and I mean, this is an area where housing is a bit more expensive, our house was gone in less than a weekend, because the price was attractive. So you’re seeing, in areas where Millennials or first-time home buyers have that opportunity, they’re definitely jumping in there. And where there is lower supply, those home builders are going to come in and start building more for those types of buyers. So you look at all of the different ways you can participate in that market, and it’s anywhere from retail, like Home Depot, to something like Ellie Mae, which I’ve talked about a million times on our shows, taking a part of every loan that goes on out there, or something like a big bank where you can get that dividend in —

Muckerman: Timber companies, nice diversifier, softwood lumber.

Moser: Yeah, material suppliers. I look at something like Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, and I think, well …

Muckerman: There’s better options out there.

Moser: Way, way better options.

Hill: I do, however, like how Axel is thinking about it, just in terms of the upside relative to the risk. Regardless of whatever stock you’re looking at, that’s a great exercise to go through.

Moser: No question.

Hunt Mortgage Group Refinances Two Multifamily Properties in Arizona Using Freddie Mac Small Balance Loans

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

  http://www.huntmortgagegroup.com

BRIEF-Freddie Mac announces first RPL structured sale of SLST program in 2017


Wannacry cyber attack compromised Russian banks in isolated cases – c.bank

MOSCOW, May 19 The Wannacry cyber attack
compromised Russian banks’ resources in some isolated cases, but
the consequences of the attack were dealt with quickly, the
Russian central bank said on Friday.

US mortgage rates fall in latest week: Freddie Mac


NEW YORK U.S. mortgage rates fell in step with bond yields in the wake of weaker-than-expected domestic economic data and as investors scaled back expectations about interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve in 2017, according to Freddie Mac (FMCC.PK) on Thursday.

The borrowing cost on 30-year mortgages, the most widely held type of U.S. home loan, averaged 4.02 percent in the week ended May 18, down from 4.05 percent the previous week, the mortgage finance agency said.

Mortgage rates will likely fall next week as 10-year Treasury yields have declined on safe-haven demand for bonds due to concerns about potential delays in tax cuts and other fiscal stimulus amid probes into U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team and Russia.

On Thursday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield US10YT=RR fell to a one-month low at 2.18 percent as safety bids for U.S. government bonds grew on worries about a scandal around Brazilian President Michel Temer, spurring a rout in the Brazilian stock market .BVSP.

“The delayed impact of the associated decline in Treasury yields may push mortgage rates lower in next week’s survey,” Freddie Mac chief economist Sean Becketti said in a statement.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chizu Nomiyama)

D-FW home prices top national median for first time in Realtors’ survey

The Dallas-Fort Worth area had one of the biggest home price increases in the country in the first quarter.

D-FW median home sale prices were 12.6 percent higher than in 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors quarterly home price survey.

The Washington-based trade group looks at 178 U.S. metropolitan areas for its quarterly comparison of housing costs. Nationwide, median home prices were up 6.9 percent from a year ago to $232,100.

The D-FW area for the first time surpassed the rest of the nation with a $236,500 median home sales price.

“We’ve seen it coming — I think higher prices are here to stay,” said Ted Wilson, with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. “There are more and more people chasing fewer and fewer lower-priced properties.”

Wilson said that D-FW median home prices have risen by almost $100,000 in the last six years because of a shortage of properties and huge population gains in the area.

“We are getting big-city prices,” he said.

Texas economist Mark Dotzour said he’s been “seeing this coming since 2009.”

“The question now is just how high homes in Dallas can go before people can no longer afford the payment and the taxes,” Dotzour said. 

The Realtors association said that first-quarter home prices were higher in 85 percent of the U.S. markets it tracks.

“Several metro areas with the healthiest job gains in recent years continue to see a large upswing in buyer demand but lack the commensurate ramp-up in new home construction,” Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said in the report. “This is why many of these areas — in particular several parts of the South and West — are seeing unhealthy price appreciation that far exceeds incomes.”

The D-FW area was among the more than two dozen U.S. markets that saw year-over-year double-digit price gains.

To show how tight the market is in North Texas, currently there are only three properties listed for sale at the median price in Realtor.com. And two of those are already under contract.

Nationwide, the largest first-quarter annual price increases were in Cumberland, W.Va. (21.4 percent), Vero Beach, Fla. (18.2 percent) and Ocala, Fla. (17.2 percent).

About two dozen markets had declines in prices, with the worst decreases in Elmira, N.Y. (-14.5 percent) and Binghamton, N.Y. (-14 percent).

Among the major Texas cities, D-FW had the greatest gains. Prices were up 6.9 percent in Houston, 6.2 percent in Austin and 3.6 percent in San Antonio.

As long as job growth and migration to North Texas remains strong, housing analysts don’t foresee a moderation in the rate of home price appreciation in the D-FW area.

“High demand is poised to continue heading into the summer as long as job gains continue,” Yun said. “However, many metro areas need to see a significant rise in new and existing inventory to meet this demand and cool down price growth.”

Second Century Ventures adds Adwerx and immoviewer to 2017 REach® Accelerator Class

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Two more innovative technology companies have been selected to join REach®, a growth technology accelerator program from the National Association of Realtors®’ strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures. Adwerx, a digital advertising provider, and immoviewer, a 3-D virtual tour technology company, will join the seven other companies announced last month as part of the fifth REach class.

REach provides early-to mid-stage companies with access to NAR’s industry expertise, influence and key relationships to help launch companies into the real estate, financial services, banking, home services and insurance industries.

“This year we had a record number of applications, which demonstrates REach’s value proposition to participating companies and the tremendous opportunity there is for them in the trillion dollar real estate industry,” said Dale Stinton, president of SCV and NAR CEO. “We are excited by the talent and diversity of innovation among the nine selected companies and are eager to kick off our 2017 cohort with the final addition of Adwerx and immoviewer.”

Adwerx provides cost-effective, highly-targeted and localized online advertising for real estate brokers, agents and listings. “By participating in the NAR REach program, Adwerx is in a great position to expand our footprint in real estate and strengthen our relationship with NAR. The opportunity to be part of the class of 2017 is perfect timing for us with the launch of our enterprise offering of marketing automation to brokers and franchises,” said Adwerx CEO Jed Carlson.

The newest trend in real estate listing marketing is 360 degree virtual tours, and immoviewer’s 3-D virtual tour software makes the process simple and affordable. “As the European market leader in 3-D virtual tour technology and the first international company to be selected to participate in the REach program, we are excited about the opportunity to accelerate and expand the use of this technology among real estate professionals in the U.S.” said immoviewer CEO Ralf von Grafenstein.

The seven other organizations making up the 2017 REach class are Centriq, an app that transfers home repair and maintenance knowledge from the seller to the buyer and keeps agents connected to their clients after the transaction; HouseCanary, a leading source for residential valuations and analytics; Notarize: a remote electronic notary service; Occly: a portable alarm solution that helps protect real estate professionals and properties; Pearl Certification, which certifies homes with features that contribute to its comfort, energy performance, indoor air quality and value; Relola, a site for agents to share insights about local listings, neighborhoods and service providers with clients; and Trusted Mail, a certification program that uses facial-biometrics to sign and encrypt email and attachments to protect against wire fraud and email spoofing.

NAR’s 2017 REach accelerator companies will be showcasing their innovative technology solutions this week during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C., at the trade expo on Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at booth #1731.

Second Century Ventures is an early-stage technology fund, backed by the National Association of Realtors® that leverages the association’s 1.2 million members and an unparalleled network of executives within real estate and adjacent industries.  SCV systematically launches its portfolio companies into the world’s largest industries including real estate, financial services, banking, home services, and insurance. SCV seeks to define and deliver the future of the world’s largest industries by being a catalyst for new technologies, new opportunities, and new talent.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.                                                        

Information about NAR is available at www.nar.realtor. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the website

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/second-century-ventures-adds-adwerx-and-immoviewer-to-2017-reach-accelerator-class-300460036.html

SOURCE National Association of Realtors

Related Links

http://www.realtor.org