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Office Vacancies at Highest Rate in 30 Years: NAIOP 

Originally published in June 2023 by Hany Guirguis, Ph.D., Manhattan College and Michael J. Seiler, DBA, College of William & Mary for NAIOP.

Demand for Office Space Expected to Shrink Through Early 2024

The national office market experienced total negative net absorption of 21.3 million square feet through the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, bringing the vacancy rate to 17.8 percent, the highest level since the second quarter of 1993.1 The COVID-19 public health emergency officially ended in the United States on May 11, 2023, but remote and hybrid work arrangements remain largely in place and continue to negatively affect demand for office space.

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Consumers Feel Good About Selling Homes, Bad About Buying, Fannie Mae Index Shows

Originally published on June 7, 2023, by Matthew Classick for Fannie Mae.

Affordability Constraints Have Consumers Increasingly Convinced It’s a Good Time to Sell, Bad Time to Buy

WASHINGTON, DC – The Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTCQB) Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased in May by 1.2 points to 65.6, as affordability constraints continue to color consumers’ perceptions of homebuying and home-selling conditions. Four of the HPSI’s six components decreased month over month, most notably the component polling consumers’ belief that it’s a “good time to buy,” which is once again nearing its survey low. The “good time to sell” component, however, increased in May to its highest level since last July. Additionally, for the second consecutive month, a greater share of consumers indicated that they expect home prices to increase over the next year. The full index is down 2.6 points year over year.

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CRE Transaction Volume, Prices Expected to Drop, According to ULI Forecast

Originally published on May 25, 2023, by The Urban Land Institute.

Positive but slow growth is in store for the U.S. economy over the next two years with a return to stronger growth and average inflation in 2025. Changes over this three-year forecast period are expected to reflect this pattern, according to the latest edition of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) semiannual Real Estate Economic Forecast.

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White House Unveils New Tactics to Address Appraisal Bias

Originally published on June 1, 2023, by The White House.

Homeownership remains a central part of the American dream and the primary contributor to generational wealth building and housing stability for millions of families. For far too long, bias in home valuations has limited the ability of Black and brown families to enjoy the financial returns associated with homeownership, thereby contributing to the already sprawling racial wealth gap.

Two years ago today, on the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Biden announced the creation of the Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE): a first-of-its-kind interagency effort to root out bias in the home appraisal process. As its first order of business, the Task Force developed and released the most wide-ranging set of actions ever announced to advance equity and root out racial and ethnic bias in home valuations – the PAVE Action Plan. Since its release in March 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration has made critical progress towards fully implementing the Action Plan, including by empowering consumers with new tools to address appraisal bias; leveraging data to identify trends and crack down on offenders of appraisal bias; and supporting a well-trained and more representative appraiser profession.

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Legislators Seek to Double Capital Gains Exclusion for Sellers

Originally published on May 25, 2023 by Aarthi Swaminathan for MarketWatch.com.

Homeowners are sitting on ultra-low mortgagesrefusing to sell and deal with higher mortgage rates and few home listings to choose from. One Congressman says the solution is in D.C.’s hands.

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Mortgage Rates Jump Amid Possible Federal Reserve Action, Freddie Mac Reports

Originally published on June 1, 2023, by Angela Waugaman for Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.79 percent.

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Top 20 Housing Markets in the US are in Northeast and Midwest: Realtor.com

Originally published on May 23, 2023, by Hannah Jones for Realtor.com.

Highlights

  • Concord, NH was the country’s hottest housing market in April, topping the list for the second time in the data’s history.
  • The top 20 hottest markets are spread out across 11 states, with three metros in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.
  • As price growth continues to slow nationwide, affordability remains a feature of the majority of April’s hottest markets.
  • Only the Northeast and the Midwest were represented on this month’s hottest market list for the second month in a row. The Northeast was represented by 12 markets while the Midwest boasted 8.
  • The St. Louis metro area saw the largest increase in its hotness ranking among larger metros compared to last year, climbing 115 spots to rank as the 91st hottest US market in April.

Concord, New Hampshire ranked as April’s hottest housing market. This is the 2nd time in the metro’s history that Concord has ranked as the nation’s hottest market. The first time Concord topped the list was in June 2022 and Concord has only been absent from the Top 20 list for 3 of the last 16 months. 

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Economic Uncertainty Remains High for Commercial Real Estate: JPMorgan Chase  

Originally published on May 24, 2023, by Michael Tucker for Mortgage Banker's Association.

Economic uncertainty remains high for commercial real estate through the rest of 2023, reported JPMorgan Chase & Co., New York.

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US Only Has 4 Metros Where Buying a Home is Cheaper Than Renting: Redfin

Originally published on May 19, 2023, by Ally Braun for RedFin.

here are just four major U.S. metropolitan areas where it would be cheaper to buy than rent the typical home—that is, the typical home has an estimated monthly mortgage cost lower than its estimated monthly rental cost. That’s according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

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Hotel Sector to Have Better Year Than Initially Forecast, CBRE Reveals

Originally published on May 30, 2023, by Anneliese Mahoney for Mortgage Banker's Association.

CBRE, Dallas, raised its hotel performance outlook for this year once again, improving its forecast for revenue per available room to $97.89, up 6% year-over-year, and an increase of 43 cents from its previous forecast.

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Appraisal Institute PAREA Program Receives Approval from Appraiser Qualifications Board

Originally published on May 18, 2023, by the Appraisal Institute.

The Appraisal Institute announced today that the Appraiser Qualifications Board has provided approval of AI’s Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal program for the licensed residential path.

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FHFA Seeks Input on Single-family Pricing Framework

Originally published on May 15, 2023, for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a Request for Input (RFI) on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises) single-family pricing framework. The RFI solicits public feedback on the goals and policy priorities that FHFA should pursue in its oversight of the pricing framework.

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Inflation Remains High but Shows Signs of Easing, Fannie Mae Reports

Originally published on May 12, 2023, by Nathaniel Drake for Fannie Mae.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.4 percent in April, an acceleration of three-tenths from March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over the year, prices rose 4.9 percent. Food prices were flat for the second straight month while energy rose 0.6 percent on higher gasoline prices. Excluding food and energy, core CPI rose 0.4 percent over the month and 5.5 percent over the year. Core goods prices, which rose 0.6 percent, reversed a trend of general cooling as used car and truck prices jumped 4.4 percent. Shelter cost inflation, while still high, was cooler than earlier in the year for the second straight month as rent was up 0.6 percent and owners’ equivalent rent (OER) increased 0.5 percent.
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) increased 0.2 percent in April after a 0.4 percent decline in March, according to the BLS. Prices were up 2.3 percent compared to a year ago, the slowest annual rate since January 2021. Core PPI (less food, energy, and trade services) rose 0.2 percent over the month and 3.4 percent over the year, the slowest annual rate since March 2021.
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Apartment Rents See Single-digit Annual Growth: Realtor.com

Originally published on May 18, 2023, by Realtor.com.

The Realtor.com® April Rental Report found that the U.S. rental market experienced single-digit growth for the ninth month in a row after 15 months of slowing. Median rent across the top 50 metros was up just 0.3% year-over-year, the lowest growth rate since the onset of the pandemic. The median asking rent was $1,734, up by $4 from last month, but down by $43 from the peak.

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Retail Fundamentals on the Decline Due to Inflation, Banking Issues: JLL

Originally published on May 9, 2023, by Keisha Virtue for JLL.

Executive summary:

  • Retail fundamentals have started to pull back as a consequence of sustained inflation and banking troubles. Consumers have responded to persistent inflation by shifting money away from discretionary goods purchases in favor of groceries and other key necessities. Discounters and online retailers win consumers’ dollars, as real disposable income wanes.
  • Net absorption totaled a modest 9.1 million square feet for the quarter – a substantial decline from the 20.1 million square feet absorbed in the fourth quarter.
  • Demand is still coming largely from discounters like Burlington and dollar stores, as well as QSRs and fast casual restaurants. In fact, aggressive expansion by QSRs and coffee chains have contributed to a record-low availability rate of single-tenant retail space at just 2.4%.
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FHFA Rescinds Upfront Fees for Mortgages Based on DTI Ratio

Originally published on May 10, 2023, by Adam Russell for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that it has rescinded the upfront fees based on borrowers' DTI ratios for loans acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises). FHFA announced in March it would delay implementation in order to engage with industry stakeholders and better understand their concerns.

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Home Prices Rise in Seven of 10 Metro Areas in First Quarter, NAR Report Shows 

Originally published on May 9, 2023, by Troy Green for the National Association of Realtors.

Nearly seven out of 10 metro markets registered home price gains in the first quarter as 30-year fixed mortgage rates fluctuated between 6.1% and 6.7%, according to the National Association of REALTORS®' latest quarterly report. Seven percent of the 221 tracked metro areas registered double-digit price increases over the same period, down from 18% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

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Distressed CRE Loans Continue to Rise, Report Shows

Originally published on May 11, 2023, by Erik Sherman for Globest.com.

Distressed CRE loans continue to rise, according to CRE data, analytics, and valuation firm CRED iQ, which reports that most of the top metropolitan statistical areas saw significant jumps of up to 2.5%.

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Appraisal Standards Board Adopts New Edition of USPAP

Originally published on May 5, 2023 by Amy Kaufman for The Appraisal Foundation.

New edition will be effective January 1, 2024

(Washington, DC) May 5, 2023 –The Appraisal Standards Board today voted to adopt the Fifth Exposure Draft of proposed changes to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The new edition will be available this fall and will become effective on January 1, 2024. Unlike previous editions, it will not have an end date.

“Conducting this comprehensive review and revision of the Ethics Rule will benefit the profession and the public,” said Appraisal Standards Board Chair Michelle Czekalski Bradley. “The Board was pleased by the results of this process and feels that this new edition of USPAP will be an asset to appraisers and the public alike who are seeking to gain a better understanding of an appraiser’s ethical obligations and requirements under fair housing laws and regulations. Bias and discrimination have never been permitted by our standards, and now that is clear to all who read them.”


All exposure drafts are developed by the Appraisal Standards Board and released for public comment. Successive exposure drafts are updated and released based on public comments on previous drafts.




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Agencies Outline Enforcement Efforts Against Discrimination, Bias in Automated Systems

JOINT STATEMENT ON ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS
AGAINST DISCRIMINATION AND BIAS IN AUTOMATED SYSTEMS

Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Charlotte A. Burrows, Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Lina M. Khan, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission issued the following joint statement about enforcement efforts to protect the public from bias in automated systems and artificial intelligence:

America’s commitment to the core principles of fairness, equality, and justice is deeply embedded in the federal laws that our agencies enforce to protect civil rights, fair competition, consumer protection, and equal opportunity. These established laws have long served to protect individuals even as our society has navigated emerging technologies. Responsible innovation is not incompatible with these laws. Indeed, innovation and adherence to the law can complement each other and bring tangible benefits to people in a fair and competitive manner, such as increased access to opportunities as well as better products and services at lower costs.

Full Statement