Sunday, April 15, 2018


Source: The Los Angeles Times

Ahead of its first legislative committee hearing scheduled for next week, a Bay Area lawmaker has narrowed his bill aimed at building more housing near transit across California.

Making sense of the story:Under the newly amended Senate Bill 827 from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), cities would be allowed to restrict building heights to four or five stories, down from a maximum of eight stories, within a half-mile of rail and ferry stops. Wiener also limited changes surrounding bus stops.

The new version of the bill wouldn’t mandate height increases around bus stops, insteadallowing for increased density and lower parking requirements. It also would apply only at bus stops with frequent service throughout the day, rather than just during rush hour.

SB 827 tries to address the state’s longstanding shortage of homes and a push by climateregulators to build near mass transit through dramatically changing development rules,particularly in the state’s largest metropolitan areas. Earlier versions of the bill would haveaffected nearly all of San Francisco and, according to a Times analysis, about 190,000 parcels currently zoned for single-family homes in Los Angeles — roughly half such parcels in the city.

Additional changes to the bill made this week try to address concerns relating to the promotion of gentrification. All projects greater than 10 units will have to set aside a portion for low- income residents. It further restricts the demolition of rent-controlled or formerly rent- controlled properties. And the developers will have to provide monthly recurring transit passes to all residents at no cost.

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Source: Realtor Mag

About one in five conventional mortgage loans issued this winter went to borrowers who spent more than 45 percent of their monthly incomes on their mortgage payment and other debts. This is the highest proportion since the housing crisis, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data firm. Further, that is nearly triple the proportion of such loans issued in 2016 and the first half of 2017.

Real estate professionals told WSJ that they are concerned a growing number of buyers are becoming priced out of the housing market. Besides rising home prices, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has increased to 4.40 percent, compared to 3.95 percent at the beginning of the year, according to Freddie Mac.

Rising mortgage rates “are working against affordability and that’s why you get the pressure to ease credit standards,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. That's leading mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to test programs aimed at making homeownership more affordable. For example, they’re experimenting with backing loans made by lenders who agree to help pay down a buyer’s student loan debt or programs that ease standards so that self-employed borrowers can get a mortgage more easily. Also, last summer, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started to back a greater number of loans from borrowers with debt-to-income ratios of up to 50 percent (45 percent was usually the typicallimit prior). Fannie’s new policy has added 100,000 new mortgages that wouldn’t have otherwise beenmade last year and early this year, according to the Urban Institute.

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Source: Curbed

In 2016, millennials made up 32 percent of the homebuying market, the lowest percentage of young adults to achieve that milestone since 1987. Nearly two-thirds of renters say they can’t afford a home.

Even worse, the market is only getting more challenging: The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rose 6.3 percent last year, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. This is almost twice the rate of income growth and three times the rate of inflation. found that the supply of starter homes shrinks 17 percent every year

It’s not news that the homebuying market, and the economy, were very different 60 years ago. But it’simportant to emphasize how the factors that created the homeownership boom in the ’50s—widespread government intervention that tipped the scales for single-family homes, more open land for development and starter-home construction, and racist housing laws and discriminatory practices that damaged neighborhoods and perpetuated poverty—have led to many of our current housing issues.

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