Tenants Spending Record-High Shares of Income on Rent


As rent prices continue to increase nationwide, the Wall Street Journal confirmed on Thursday that tenants are now spending a higher share of their income on housing than ever before.

According to the paper, most renters can expect to pay at least 30 percent of their income on rent, which is the highest number we’ve seen since Zillow began collecting data in 1979.

“Our research found that unaffordable rents are making it hard for people to save for a down payment and retirement, and that people whose rent is unaffordable are more likely to skip out on their own health care,” said Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist.

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Wells Fargo Mortgage Chief Mike Heid Announces Retirement


Wells Fargo announced on Wednesday that its mortgage chief, Mike Heid, is preparing to retire after 28 years with the bank.

“Over a distinguished career spanning three decades, Mike has helped our company and the entire housing industry navigate unprecedented challenges,” Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf said in a statement. “His impact will be felt for many years to come.”

Following in Heid’s footsteps will be Franklin Codel, who is currently the head of mortgage production. He will begin his role as mortgage chief on Oct. 1.

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Housing Attitude Reverse Course in New Survey


After several months in a row of overall positivity in regard to the status of the U.S. housing market, the American public seems to have done an about-face in July.

According to Mortgage News Daily, the percentage of respondents who believe now is a good time to sell a house dropped by a huge 7 percent. Similarly, those who believe it is a good time to buy dropped to an all-time low of 61 percent.

“Consumer attitudes toward housing slid back this month,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of consumers who think it’s a good time to sell a home posted a sizable decrease from a record high in the prior month, even as home price change expectations strengthened. Deteriorating consumer assessments of income growth over the past year as well as increased caution around the direction of the economy and personal financial expectations may be contributing to the pullback in sentiment. Still, it is premature to read too much into this month’s results as the survey was taken around the time of increased global turmoil, including Greece’s potential default and China’s stock market plunge, which has receded somewhat. Most of our key indicators are as strong or stronger than they were at this time last year, which is indicative of an improving housing market this year.”

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Miami Housing Market Heats Up This Summer


Although the summertime is usually a slow period for the Miami housing market, the opposite has held true so far this year.

According to CNBC financial reporter Diana Olick, the city had 1,390 sales in June, which is an 8.6 percent jump from the same period last year.

“An improving jobs market, historic low mortgages rates, and Miami’s reputation as a world-class global city continue to attract domestic and international homebuyers who want to live, work, and play in one of America’s most dynamic areas,” said Christopher Zoller, residential president of the Miami Association of Realtors.

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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Send Taxpayers $8.3 Billion This Quarter


The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac are set to hand out $8.3 billion worth of profits to tax payers this quarter.

The companies, both based in the D.C. area, have been required to turn their profits over to the U.S. Treasury under the terms of the government bailout that rescued them during the Great Recession.

“We reported another strong quarter of financial performance with solid revenues and an impressive book of business that only continues to improve,” said Timothy Mayopoulos, chief executive of Fannie Mae.

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1 in 7 California Home Buyers Thinks They Overpaid


Poll results released by the California Association of Realtors earlier this week suggest that a slew of homeowners in the state may be suffering from a bit of buyer’s remorse.

According to the findings, 85 percent of buyers believed that the home they bought was worth the price they paid, while 14 percent believed the price was too high for what they got.

As Builder Online reports, the median sales price of a single-family home in California is $432,570, which is up 10 percent from a year ago.

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Home Prices on the Rise as Inventories Remain Low

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As the number of homes for sale nationwide continues to drop, much of the housing market is beginning to see a steep increase in asking prices. While the metro areas with the smallest inventories have experienced the greatest surge in prices, the trend is true for most of the country.

According to CoreLogic, their Home Price Index for June shows that home prices nationwide have shot up 6.5 percent from this time last year and that Colorado (+9.8 percent), Washington (+8.9 percent), New York (+8.3 percent), South Carolina (+8 percent) and Nevada (+8 percent) have experienced the highest home price appreciation during the same time period.

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Apartments and Condos Prevalent in Busiest Home-Building Markets


According to the Wall Street Journal, the busiest and fastest-growing large metro areas in the U.S are all starting to see an increase in the construction of apartments and condos, as opposed to detached, single-family homes.

The latest data released by the Commerce Department last week shows that – in the 10 busiest U.S. markets for home construction – the numbers of newly-build rental properties far outpaces those of single-family homes.

“Multifamily construction is the main force behind the improvement in home building,” Michelle Meyer, deputy head of U.S. economics for Bank of America Corp., told the newspaper. “It reflects that rental rates continue to move up, and there is demand for rentals, particularly close to city centers.”

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Wells Fargo Pulls Out of Marketing Agreements with Agents and Builders


Wells Fargo announced on Thursday that it has decided to begin winding down its marketing services and desk rental agreements with real estate firms, builders and other referral sources, effective immediately.

According to a press release issued by the company, it made its decision based on the increasing uncertainty surrounding the regulatory oversight of these types of arrangements, as well as “part of Wells Fargo’s ongoing efforts to simplify the profess that customers experience as they weigh all of their choices when shopping for a mortgage.”

“Because we value our strong relationships with real estate professionals and builders, the decision to exit these marketing services agreements was difficult, but we are taking this action to ensure that we continue to conduct our business in a way that represents the best interests of all of our customers and clients,” said Franklin Codel, Wells Fargo’s executive vice president for mortgage production. “We believe the best way to earn the relationship with real estate firms and builders is through timely, dependable service delivered by the best team in the business.”

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Americans Contributing More to 401(k) Plans Than Ever Before


According to a new report released by Fidelity on Thursday, Americans have begun contributing more than ever to their employer-sponsored retirement plans.

For the first time in history, at the end of the second quarter of 2015, the average annual 401(k) savings rate surpassed the $10,000 mark, hitting $10,180.

Still, total balances are down a slight 0.7 percent from last quarter and flat from a year ago, at an average of $91,100.

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