Articles by Jessica Guerin

Annual home-price growth reverses course, finally rises

Falling rates give home sales a "shot in the arm"
After 14 months of slowing home-price gains, the pace of growth picked up speed in May, increasing by 3.6% on an annual basis, according to the latest from CoreLogic. And, it seems things may pick up steam, with the forecast predicting home prices will rise 5.6% by May next year.
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Opendoor lays off 50, asks hundreds to relocate to Phoenix

Makes plans to beef up Arizona headquarters
It’s been a banner year for Opendoor, as the digital real estate disrupter continued to rake in serious investor cash, earning it a valuation of $3.8 billion. But, apparently, with all that cash comes growth, and that often leads to change. Opendoor laid off 50 of its 1,300 employees last month, and it’s asked as many as 300 working in offices around the country to relocate to its Phoenix headquarters.
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Here's why falling mortgage rates won't spark recovery in the housing market

Capital Economics predicts muted activity as economic concerns loom
The housing market won’t recover much in the second half of 2019, says Capital Economics. Mortgage interest rates have fallen this year, but that hasn’t spurred much action in the housing market, and things are unlikely to turn around for the remainder of the year as concerns about the economy continue to grow, the economists say.
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Home equity withdrawals fall to new low

Homeowners tapped just 1% of available equity in Q1
After declining for two consecutive quarters, tappable equity rose in the first quarter of the year, but it appears homeowners are still reluctant to touch it. According to the latest report from Black Knight, homeowners tapped just 1% of available equity in Q1 – the lowest share since it began tracking the metric in 2008.
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FHA's reverse mortgage changes have slashed the default rate

Policy of assessing borrower's credit risk appears to be doing the trick
It’s been four years since the Federal Housing Administration instituted a policy requiring all prospective reverse mortgage borrowers undergo a financial assessment to determine their suitability for the loan, and so far, it appears to be working. According to the latest analysis from New View Advisors, Financial Assessment has slashed tax and insurance default by more than three-quarters and serious defaults by more than two-thirds.
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Harvard: There's a housing shortage, and it's eroding affordability

Tight supply is putting the squeeze on prices
There’s a shortage of homes on the market, and it’s driving up house prices and rents, especially for average earners living in high-cost markets. This is the big takeaway from Harvard’s massive study from the Joint Center for Housing Studies released recently on the state of the nation’s housing market. The gist is that the housing market is constrained by production that has been below historical levels for more than a decade.
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Canada's reverse mortgage program is seeing tremendous growth, so what's the U.S. doing wrong?

Reverse mortgage debt in Canada reached an all-time high in April
Canada’s reverse mortgage market continues to see explosive growth while its U.S. counterpart struggles to stay afloat. Reverse mortgage debt in the country reached an all-time high in April by climbing to $3.66 billion, according to Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. This represents a 28.15% increase from the previous year.
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More renters than ever before say renting is cheaper than buying, but are they right?

Freddie Mac survey reveals more than a third believe homeownership is less accessible
Most Americans who rent their homes think this option is more affordable than buying. According to a recent survey by Freddie Mac, 82% of renters now view renting as more affordable than homeownership, that’s up 15 points from last year and an all-time high for the survey. But are they right?
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