Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, March 14-21, 2019

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March 14, 2019
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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories 

Where to find affordable housing in Oregon, remodeling is on the rise, and more…


Fed downgrades U.S. growth forecast and signals no more rate hikes until 2020 (LA Times, March 20)



Time for the housing market to spring forward (CNN, March 17)



Remodeling on the Rise (Trulia, March 20)

A new Trulia survey of more than 1,300 U.S. homeowners aged 18 and older, conducted online by The Harris Poll, sheds some light on the state of remodeling. We found that: 90 percent of homeowners plan to remodel their home at some point, up from 84 percent last year.



Older homeowners are driving the home improvement market (HW, March 15)

Harvard study says Baby Boomer spending on accessibility improvements will soar

Armed with record amounts of home equity and an expressed desire to remain in their homes as they age, older homeowners are driving the home improvement market. A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed that households 55 and older account for half of all current home improvement spending. And, as Baby Boomers reach their 70s and 80s, researchers say their investments in home modifications to enhance accessibility will soar.

Home improvement spending set a new high in 2017, reaching $424 billion, according to the report, which attributed the upward trend to a steady increase in home prices and an aging population.



Hillsboro Is the Top City in Oregon to Find Affordable Housing, New Study Says (Willamette Week, March 15)

Portland is number eight.

According to a new study, Hillsboro is the Oregon city with the most affordable housing. The Portland-area suburb’s top ranking was followed by Salem and Beaverton. Portland took the number eight slot.

Using Census Bureau data, Home Area compared local home prices and local incomes in Oregon cities with populations of 60,000 or more. In order to rank the cities with the most affordable housing, researchers calculated a median multiple that answers the question: “How many years would it take for the median income to pay off the median home price?”



Is San Francisco the world’s most expensive rental market? (HW, March 15)

It is. Are you surprised?

Rent for San Francisco tops out at $3,690 while New York City’s rent is $2,870, according to the site. The third most expensive rental market in the world is Hong Kong, with an average rent of $2,350.



Homebuilder confidence stabilizes, hinting at solid spring home buying season (HW, March 18)

Builders say market is finding its footing following late 2018 slowdown

Despite affordability and labor concerns, homebuilder confidence held steady at 62 points in March, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells FargoHousing Market Index.

“Builders report the market is stabilizing following the slowdown at the end of 2018 and they anticipate a solid spring home buying season,” NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said.



Facebook making massive changes to ad platform after being accused of enabling housing discrimination (HW, March 19)

Fair housing groups spur changes to housing, employment, lending ads

Facebook is making significant changes to its advertising platform after the social media monolith was accused of enabling discrimination in housing, employment, and lending.

The changes come after years of scrutiny into Facebook’s ad practices, which appeared to allow advertisers to purposefully exclude certain people from seeing housing, employment, or lending ads.

Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint against Facebook, claiming that the social media giant’s advertising platform enabled property owners to discriminate against prospective renters and buyers based on their race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, or other factors.



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