Morning Briefing: Affordability heading the right way

by Steve Randall22 Feb 2016
Affordability heading the right way
The level of affordability in America’s housing markets increased in the fourth quarter of 2015 according to figures from the National Association of Home Builders and mortgage lender Wells Fargo. The firms’ affordability index showed that 63.3 per cent of new and existing homes sold between the start of October and the end of December 2015 were affordable to families earning the median income of $65,800. The proportion was up around 1 percentage point from the third quarter.

“The signs point to continuing growth in home sales,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “We’ve seen an improvement in affordability due to favorable home prices and interest rates. Steady employment and economic growth, along with rising consumer confidence and pent-up demand will also help encourage more buyers to enter the marketplace.”

The national median home price fell from $231,000 in the third quarter to $226,000 in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, average mortgage rates edged lower from 4.18 percent to 4.09 percent in the same period.
Trump slams Manhattan developers
Presidential hopeful Donald Trump slammed developers in New York over the weekend. Trump was appearing on ABC’s The Week and was commenting on some of the tactics used by his rivals in the caucuses. He said that it was “tough politics” and called his rivals “worse than Manhattan real estate developers.” The business tycoon knows the New York market well of course with properties including Trump Tower, Trump World Tower, AXA Financial Center, the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street, Riverside South, Trump International Hotel and Tower and Trump Park Avenue; along with residential properties. 
Julia Roberts buys 6.84 million Malibu home
Julia Roberts has added to her property portfolio with a Malibu ranch-style home. The deal, which was completed off-market, completed for $6.84 million according to the LA Times. The three-bedroom, 2-bathroom home in Point Dume is across the street from her current home and records show it was in foreclosure before the actress stepped in. Roberts is currently trying to sell an estate on Hawaii’s North Shore for almost $22 million.



Is TILA-RESPA a good or bad thing long term?