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Jacksonville, North Carolina, Named Most Affordable Market for Beach Homes: Report

For many Americans, the ultimate summertime fantasy has less to do with washboard abs and a killer tan than owning their own piece of beachfront real estate — aka bliss. From Memorial Day through Labor Day (and beyond), beach lovers across the U.S. find themselves dreaming of escaping the hellish deadlines, soul-sucking commutes, and humdrum daily grind — and trading it all in for salty ocean breezes, caipirinhas on the sand, and fresh lobster rolls from a seafood joint around the corner.

Now just imagine doing it from your very own place.

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Economic Growth to Slow, Housing to Improve: Fannie Mae

By Matthew Classick

The Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group downgraded its projections for full-year 2019 and 2020 U.S. economic growth to 2.1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, due to expected weakness in business fixed investment and softening global economic conditions. The ESR Group had previously forecast growth of 2.3 percent in 2019 and 1.8 percent in 2020. The ESR Group now projects that the Federal Reserve will cut the federal funds rate by 25 basis points at the September meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee to fend off greater deceleration in domestic growth.

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Housing Market on the Move as 1 in 5 Americans to Relocate within a Year, Fed Says

By Kathleen Howley

About 19% of American households surveyed in May expected to move in the next 12 months, according to the Survey of Consumer Expectations report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York published Monday. That was the highest May reading in two years.

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Properties Located in Opportunity Zones Show Sales Growth: Real Capital Analytics

By Erika Morphy

The general consensus about Opportunity Zones has been that while interest in these areas is intense, there has been little activity. Most of the capital poised to invest in Opportunity Zones, so the theory goes, is waiting on the sidelines until the Treasury Department clarifies more regulations. Indeed, a recent report by Reonomy found that investment levels and prices in Opportunity Zones are actually declining, as investors wait for more clarity.

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Local Governments Have Worst Homebuilding Regulations: FHFA

By Ben Lane

Despite rising in April, new housing construction had previously been trending down for several months. In fact, just one month earlier, housing starts fell to the lowest pace in nearly two years.

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Office Vacancy Steady in April, Rents Up Slightly: Yardi Matrix

By Michael Tucker

Despite steadily growing new office supply, robust absorption held the sector's vacancy rate steady at 13.7 percent in April, said Yardi Matrix, Santa Barbara, Calif.

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Fannie, Freddie Launch Uniform Mortgage-backed Security

Last Monday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac marked the completion of their Single-Security Initiative with the launch of the Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (UMBS).

“UMBS is the result of close collaboration with FHFA, Freddie Mac, Common Securitization Solutions, and hundreds of housing finance stakeholders and we congratulate all involved on this achievement,” said Renee Schultz, SVP, Capital Markets, Fannie Mae in a statement. “We remain focused on ensuring that all market participants continue to make a smooth transition to UMBS and maintaining a highly liquid housing finance market.”

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30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rate Nears Two-Year Low

Freddie Mac(OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to 3.82 percent, the sixth consecutive weekly decline and its lowest level since September 2017.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “While the drop in mortgage rates is a good opportunity for consumers to save on their mortgage payment, our research indicates that there can be a wide dispersion among mortgage rate offers. By shopping around and getting a single additional mortgage rate quote, a borrower can save an average of $1,500.”

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U.S. Home Flipping Rate Reaches a Nine-Year High in Q1 2019

ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its Q1 2019 U.S. Home Flipping Report, which shows that 49,059 U.S. single family homes and condos were flipped in the first quarter of 2019, down 2 percent from the previous quarter and down 8 percent from a year ago to a three-year low.

The 49,059 homes flipped in the first quarter represented 7.2 percent of all home sales during the quarter, up from 5.9 percent in the previous quarter and up from 6.7 percent a year ago — the highest home flipping rate since Q1 2010.

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Average Single-family Home Size Increases, Reversing a Shrinking Trend: NAHB

By Robert Dietz

New single-family home size increased slightly at the start of 2019, as the market slowed.

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Commercial Real Estate Price Growth Led by Industrial Sector: Real Capital Analytics

By Michael Tucker

U.S. commercial real estate prices rose 0.8 percent in April, led by industrial property price growth, reported Real Capital Analytics, New York.

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US Office Sector Steady During First Quarter, Bodes Well for New Construction: JLL

By Patricia Kirk

U.S. office market performance in the first quarter of 2019 showed resilience, with roughly 14 million sq. ft. of absorption and dropping vacancy, despite increasingly cautious economic sentiment, reports real estate services firm JLL.

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Industrial and Office Property Values On the Rise, Retail Headed Down, Survey Reveals

By Barbra Murray

The future still bodes well for the office and industrial sectors, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 2019 Q1 U.S. Commercial Property Monitor report. However, survey participants indicate that more downward movement is on tap for the retail sector.

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Food-and-Beverage Real Estate Expected to See an Increase in Occupancy: CBRE

By Erika Morphy

A significant shift is underway for the US restaurants and grocery industries and the real estate these operators occupy, according to a new CBRE analysis. These changes include a greater push for convenient, prepared foods, a growing millennial influence, and the emergence of inner-ring suburbs as the industry’s hottest market. 

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New FHFA Director to Focus on Fannie, Freddie Overhaul

By Austin Weinstein

The new chief regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac says he takes the role with a “great sense of urgency” to address the biggest piece of unfinished business from the 2008 financial crisis: U.S. control of the mortgage-finance giants.

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In-Depth Scrutiny of Published Data Improves Property Market Understanding: The Appraisal Journal

A detailed analysis of population and employment data, along with the use of fair share comparisons, increases the accuracy of assumptions made by appraisers when completing commercial valuation assignments, according to a study published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

The Appraisal Journal is the quarterly technical and academic publication of the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers. The materials presented in the publication represent the opinions and views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Appraisal Institute.

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Vast Majority Think 2019 First Quarter is Good Time to Buy Home, says Realtor® Survey

New findings from a National Association of Realtors® survey show that more Americans believe that now is a good time to purchase a home. Consumer opinions about home buying bounced back in the first quarter of 2019, with 37 percent stating that they strongly believe now is a good time to buy, up from 34 percent in the last quarter of 2018 but down from 38 percent one year ago. Only 35 percent of respondents said that now is not a good time to buy a home, compared to 37 percent in 2018's fourth quarter.

NAR's first quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey 1also found that a majority of those polled, 53 percent, said that the economy is improving – down slightly from 59 percent at the end of last year. In 2019, optimism is the greatest among those who earn $100,000 or more and those who reside in rural areas. Fifty percent of Generation X said the economy is improving, while 42 percent of urban area residents reported the same.

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JLL to Acquire HFF, Become Largest US Commercial Real Estate Debt Practice: Report

By Matt Grossman

A merger between two of the country’s most active debt-advisory shops is set to create the largest commercial real estate debt practice in the country.

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CRE Sector Expected to Stay Strong: Cushman & Wakefield

By Michael Tucker

Three themes anchor the U.S. commercial real estate investment outlook: U.S. economic performance, cycle maturity and the monetary policy outlook, said Cushman & Wakefield, New York.

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Cap Rates to Remain Steady Through June, Experts Predict

By Kerry Curry

With late 2018 jitters gone and investor optimism returning, the commercial real estate market should experience mostly steady cap rates through the first half of 2019, although there are particular market segments and geographies that could experience some bumps.

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