Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, December 12-19, 2019

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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories 

Builder confidence is at a 20-year high; Borrowers gained nearly $457 billion in home equity in the last year; the 10 most popular homes of 2019 and more…

Housing to recession-proof U.S. economy in 2020 (HW, Dec. 18)

Homebuilding will drive GDP growth, Fannie Mae chief economist says

The U.S. housing market will be an “engine of growth” for the economy in 2020, dispelling the risk of recession, according to Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan.

“Housing appears poised to take a leading role in real GDP growth over the forecast horizon for the first time in years,” Duncan said. “We now expect single-family housing starts and sales of new homes to increase substantially.”

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L.A. is the hottest housing market in California (HW, Dec. 17)

Los Angeles’ median price was $550,000, up 7.4% from a year earlier

The median price of a single-family home in the L.A. metro area was $550,000, up 7.4% from a year earlier, and sales gained 3.4%. The median price in the San Francisco Bay area was $925,000, up 2.2%, and sales fell 4.8%, according to the report issued on Wednesday.

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US housing starts rise more than expected, with permits at a 12-1/2-year high (CNBC, Dec. 17)

-U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected in November and permits for future home construction surged to a 12-1/2-year high.

-Lower mortgage rates continued to boost the housing market and support the broader economy.

-Housing starts rose 3.2% to 1.365 million units last month, with single-family construction racing to a 10-month high.

-Activity in the volatile multifamily sector increased for a second straight month, the Commerce Department said.

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Homebuilder confidence jumps to highest level in 20 years (CNBC, Dec. 16)

A stronger economy and a severe housing shortage have the nation’s homebuilders feeling better than they have in two decades.

Builder confidence in the newly built, single-family home market jumped 5 points in December to 76, the highest reading since June 1999, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Anything above 50 is considered positive.

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Decade in review: Number of U.S. renters surpasses 100 million (HW, Dec. 18)

RentCafé says renters now make up 34% of America’s general population

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Renters paid $4.5 trillion in rent in the last 10 years (HW, Dec. 12)

In 2019 alone, $512 billion in rent was paid to landlords

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Borrowers gained nearly $457 billion in home equity in the last year (HW, Dec. 12)

Homeowners with a mortgage gained about $5,300 in equity over the last quarter

Homeowners with a mortgage – about 64% of all homeowners – saw their equity increase by 5.1%, a total of nearly $457 billion, since the third quarter of last year.

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Just for Fun

Best of the Best: The 10 Most Popular Homes of 2019 (Realtor.com, Dec. 13)

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