California price increases slowest in 4 years
The pace of house price increases in California are predicted to be the lowest since 2011. The California Association of Realtors’ chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young says that the median price of a detached house will rise by 3.2 per cent to $491,300 in 2016, less than half that of 2015 so far. Sales volume is predicted to rise by 6.3 per cent. The economist says that although home buying has been boosted by low interest rates and a stronger jobs market, headwinds for next year including the global economy and increasing mortgage rates will have an effect. Appleton-Young’s outlook is for mortgage rates to rise to an average of 4.5 per cent in 2016 from 3.8 per cent in 2015.
Boston still failing on rental apartment inspections
City officials are only inspecting a quarter of the rental apartments that they aimed to in targets set in 2013. The Boston Globe reports that the Inspectional Services Department was aiming to inspect 60,000 units by the end of 2015 and then reduced that target to 44,000. However only 10,000 have been inspected so far. The department says that it is making progress on the inspections but housing activists say that it is not sticking to its own rules. The City Council voted in 2012 to inspect all 160,000 rental units in the city once every five years.
Builders applaud suspension of EPA water rule
The National Association of Home Builders has welcomed the suspension of nationwide regulations which it says would increase housing costs. A federal court has put a stay on the Environment Protection Agency’s planned regulations which would expand the definition of “the waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. The NAHB president Tom Woods commented that the building sector wants to protect the nation’s waters but that it needs clear rules.