Monthly Archives: July 2016

Find the great real estate in San Francisco

There are two competing propositions on the ballot in San Francisco that both claim to be the solution to the city’s affordable housing problem, according to an article by Emily Green for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The problem is, each of these propositions is competing against the other, as one of them even cancels the other out.

From the article:

One is the brainchild of the local Realtors association. The other is a countermeasure by the progressives on the Board of Supervisors. Both have political motivations, and both would have major policy implications.

Proposition P, which the Realtors are pushing, would require the city to consider at least three bids when contracting with affordable housing developers. Proposition M, by the progressives, would render Prop. P void and also create a housing commission to oversee responsibilities currently handled by the mayor’s office.

While some say that Proposition P would only slow down the process, supporters say it would encourage more builders even outside the city to bid on developments, according to the article.

On the other hand, Proposition M would void the first proposition, even if it passes, and create a council that would oversee all big developments that have public-private partnerships.

The real impact of landmark

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news coming across the HousingWire weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues.

The mortgage business is still reeling in the wake of the landmark ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which last week declared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s leadership structure unconstitutional and vacated a $103 million fine against mortgage lender, PHH.

While PHH and many in the financial services industry were hoping that the court would wipe the CFPB from the face of the earth, that didn’t happen.

The CFPB will continue to operate, albeit with the director of the CFPB now serving at the pleasure of the President, which basically means that that position is now no longer any different than any other cabinet position.

In the wake of the ruling, some argued that the court’s ruling can and will be used as a weapon by Republicans to further blunt the CFPB’s power (or perhaps abolish it altogether).

One prominent Republican, Rep. Scott Garrett, R-NJ, took the opportunity to tell his constituents about the ruling and how the CFPB’s influence is hurting consumers not helping them.

In an email, Garrett wrote:

This week, a federal court found that one of the most secretive Washington bureaucracies violates the constitutionally-mandated system of checks and balances designed to protect Americans from abuses of government authority. The court decided that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional because of its toxic combination of immense power and little accountability. As Chairman of the Financial Services subcommittee that is responsible for making sure our country has competitive and robust capital markets, I have worked with my colleagues on solutions to restructure the CFPB in a way that protects consumers while holding Washington accountable to We the People.

Garrett goes on to say that the CFPB “alone decides” which financial products consumers are “allowed” to buy.

“Everything from mortgages, to car loans, to retirement savings, the CFPB’s current structure allows it to unilaterally infringe on the economic choices of every American,” Garrett writes.

“With a single, politically appointed head and its ability to bypass Congress to get funding, the CFPB acts as a rogue federal bureaucracy,” Garrett continues. “And while the CFPB has an important mission, it’s unacceptable to allow a single government agency to control how Americans can spend their own money.”

Garrett also agrees with the wording of the court’s ruling, in which Judge Brett Kavanaugh called the director of the CFPB the most powerful member of the government outside of the president.

Garrett also reiterates his support for the Financial CHOICE Act, which is currently moving forward in the House of Representatives.

If passed, the bill would abolish the Dodd-Frank Act, the law that created the CFPB, and would dramatically change, if not abolish, the CFPB as well.

The bill is unlikely to pass during the current congressional and presidential term, but if Republican nominee Donald Trump wins, all bets on the CFPB are likely off, as Trump has often spoken of doing away with government regulations should he become president.

Had You Choose Housing markets for next year

The past year showed a rise in housing markets in the Northwest, and a cooling in the West in previously hot markets such as San Francisco. It seems that trend will continue into next year.

A new report from Veros Real Estate Solutions, which works in enterprise risk management and collateral valuation services, shows the strongest and weakest markets for the next 12 months ending in Sept. 1, 2017.

However, the trials that plagued the California housing market in 2016 aren’t expected to get too much better in 2017 as the real estate market is projected to face another year of supply shortages and affordability constraints, according to the “2017 California Housing Market Forecast” released by the California Association of Realtors.

Of the top 25 markets, 15 were confined to four states in the Northwest, which is almost unprecedented, according to the report.

“In markets with this level of national appreciation it is most common to see a broad distribution of markets contributing to the rise,” said Eric Fox, Veros vice president of statistical and economic modeling.

“What is remarkable from where we stand today is the possible concentration risk when home price appreciation and market activity become highly clustered in only a few regional areas,” Fox said.

The forecast from Veros says the housing market will heat up in the Northwest, however while it is still clearly a seller’s market in the Northwest, some signs seem to be pointing towards a shift to a more balanced market, according to a report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Here are the top five strongest markets predicted by Vero:

5. Boise City, Idaho, with a forecasted appreciation of 9.7%

 

4. Seattle, Washington, with a forecasted appreciation of 10.2%

 

3. Fort Collins, Colorado, with a forecasted appreciation of 10.3%

 

2. Boulder, Colorado, with a forecasted appreciation of 10.5%

 

1. Denver, Colorado, with a forecasted appreciation of 10.8%