Morning Briefing: Rate risk to housing, mortgage market says Fannie Mae economist

by Steve Randall22 Nov 2016
Rate risk to housing, mortgage market says Fannie Mae economist
Fannie Mae has issued its latest outlook for the US economy and housing market with a note of caution regarding the impact of rising mortgage rates.

While the outlook is little changed from last month, Fannie Mae’s chief economist Doug Duncan says that an uptick in GDP is expected for the fourth quarter of 2016, although this is likely to be moderated by uncertainty over future government policy.

For housing, he highlights the struggle for first-time buyers who are facing low supply while demand is rising. This is adding to house price appreciation, especially for entry level homes, exacerbating the challenge for newcomers to the market.

“Home purchase affordability will be constrained further if the recent pickup in mortgage rates persists, which would present a downside risk to our forecast of housing and mortgage activity,” Duncan warned.
 
‘Cowardly Lion’ home could be yours for $22.8 million
A home that was built for the actor Bert Lehr, famous for playing the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, is currently listed at $22.8 million, down from its original $28 million asking price.

The 9-bedroom, 10-bathroom house in Beverly Hills has more than 15,000 square feet of living space but also includes a 2-bedroom guest house, MansionGlobal.com reports.

Famous owners of the Los Angeles home include former Hollywood couple Don Johnson and Melanie Griffiths and Betty Grable. Listing agent Stacy Gottula of The Agency said that the Osbournes have previously rented it.
 
US real estate franchise expands north of the border
Boston, MA based commercial real estate franchisor SVN International Corp. has expanded its footprint with a new office in Alberta, Canada.

The new franchise office SVN 360 Commercial provides full-service commercial real estate brokerage services throughout the Edmonton and northern Alberta markets and is led by president Dennis Aubin.

The business operates under a model of ‘compensated cooperation’ which its website says guarantees that “equitable co-brokerage fees are paid on all properties, and not only to brokers within the same company, but to any and all outside brokers involved.”

“I think this new brokerage model will be a welcome addition to commercial markets in Edmonton, Alberta and across Canada,” Aubin commented.

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