Real Estate

Warren questions Kushner's $800 million Freddie Mac loan

Asks if "special treatment" played a part in massive government-backed loan
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, recently called attention to a loan received by Kushner Cos., the real estate company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and advisor to President Donald Trump. In a letter to Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton, Warren and Sen. Tom Carper, D-DE, questioned whether the $800 million Freddie Mac loan was pushed through because of the real estate company’s connection to Jared Kushner.
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Freddie Mac announces fixer-upper mortgage

Funds can be used to buy fixer-uppers or renovate homes
Freddie Mac is launching a new mortgage product that allows borrowers to buy a fixer-upper and finance the renovation all with one loan. The government-sponsored enterprise announced its new CHOICERenovation loan product on Wednesday, saying it’s available immediately to all approved lenders. The new product has a unique feature: it can be used to address or prevent damage from natural disasters.
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Fed drops "patient" from outlook, signaling rate cut may come at next meeting

Central bankers cite "uncertainties" clouding their outlook
The Federal Reserve left its benchmark rate unchanged on Wednesday at the end of its two-day meeting in Washington, D.C., and dropped the word "patient" from its statement, signaling a rate cut may be coming as soon as next month. The Fed downgraded its assessment of economic activity to a "moderate" rate from "solid."
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Anti-trust lawsuits contesting buyer broker compensation rules heat up

Plaintiffs join forces, strengthen allegations against NAR, MLS providers
In recent months, the National Association of Realtors and four leading multiple listings service providers have been hit with two class-action lawsuits taking aim at buyer broker compensation rules. Now, things are heating up as the two plaintiffs have teamed together, filing an amended complaint in Chicago federal court that consolidates their cases, tosses six more plaintiffs into the mix, and elaborates on the allegations.
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RentCafe: The national average rent climbs to $1,442 in May

But rents in 64% of the country’s largest cities fall below the average
Although 36% of the country’s largest 260 cities now have rents that exceed the national average of $1,442, RentCafé’s data indicates that a whopping 64% of rents still fall below the median. According to the company's data, cities in the Midwest and the South continue to maintain the most affordable rental prices.
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Even with high expectations for digital, homebuyers want a human touch

Partnering with an independent mortgage broker delivers the expertise buyers are looking for
Real estate agents provide the high-touch experience buyers need to navigate finding a home and negotiating the final price. By partnering with an independent mortgage broker, agents can give their buyers access to that same kind of personalized service to secure a loan.
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The NRP Group appoints new VP of development

David Brown will expand the company's presence in the DFW metroplex
The NRP Group, a builder and manager of multifamily housing, recently appointed David Brown as a regional vice president of development. In this new role, Brown will focus on building the company’s pipeline in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
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Democrats, Republicans vote unanimously to pass flood insurance reforms

NFIP 5-year extension skips divisive issues, requires modernization of the nation's flood maps
In a rare show of unity, Democrats and Republicans on the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass a five-year extension to the National Flood Insurance Program that includes a mandate to improve the nation’s flood maps. The bill provides $500 million a year over five years for updating maps and modernizing technology to identify high-risk zones.
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Housing starts decline in May, signaling a slowdown in production

Housing starts fall 0.9% in May
Housing starts reversed course in May, signaling a slowdown in production, according to the latest report from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Navy Federal Credit Union Economist Robert Frick said another weak housing report shows the housing industry is far from producing homes at a rate to satisfy demand.
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Cook & James expands with new attorney hire, Georgia office

Stacey Besser joins the real estate law firm
Atlanta-based real estate law firm Cook & James is expanding, announcing the opening of a new office in Woodstock, Georgia, and welcoming a new attorney to its team. Stacey Besser has joined the firm to help managed its increased transaction volume in South Carolina, Cook & James announced recently.
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