Trump Administration Wants to Privatize Fannie & Freddie


The Wall Street Journal is reporting (reposted on that President Trump supports returning mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to private hands, which they say is a development that could keep the two companies at the center of the housing market for decades.  The WSJ said that if the administration follows through on privatizing the firms, they would essentially return to a status similar to before the financial crisis, with their effective duopolies intact, for lack of a better alternative.

“Our view is that the government footprint has become too big,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview ahead of Thursday’s report. “There are people in Washington who are happy to leave this the way it is for another 10 or 20 years, and that’s not us. We feel an obligation to try to fix this.”

Click here to read the full story at

Click here to read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.

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Condo Owner Busted for Splitting Floor into Tiny Half-Height Apartments

(NY Post) A Lower East Side building owner is facing fines after inspectors uncovered makeshift apartments. NYC Department of Buildings; William Miller

We’ve had several posts about “Tiny Houses” but this one pushes the concept over a bit over the edge.  Apparently, a condo owner in New York City turned his small apartment in to what the NY Post dubs a “mini-village” by converting it into an illegal duplex with 11 sub-units with ceilings as low as 4 and a half feet.  The landlord even put up protective bubble-wrap to keep residents from hitting their heads on the [now]low-hanging pipes (how nice).  According to the article, the unit was raided and shutdown by local authorities citing numerous code violations.  In addition, the unit also shared an illegal bathroom.  Indeed….You can’t make this stuff up:

“The units lacked light, ventilation, fire protection systems and proper egress, the spokesman said….I’ve never seen air conditioners stacked atop one another like that — five air conditioners in three windows,” said Kallos, upon reviewing a photo of the building’s exterior.”


Click here to read the full story at the NY Post.

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Home Prices Well Below National Levels in Opportunity Zones

According to new report about Opportunity Zones from ATTOM Data Solutions, roughly 80 percent of the zones had median home prices in the Q2 2019 that were below the national figure of $266k and that half had median prices of less than $150k.  In addition, they compared Opportunity Zones to surrounding regions and found that median Q2 2019 prices in about one in four zones were less than 50% of the typical value in the Metropolitan Statistical Areas in which they exist.  Indeed…

“Opportunity Zones are among the poorest areas of the country, with some of the lowest home prices. This should come as no surprise because the zones are designed to be in or alongside economically distressed neighborhoods,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions.

Some key findings:

  • States with the highest percentage of census tracts meeting Opportunity Zone requirements include Wyoming (17%), Mississippi (15%), Alabama (13%), North Dakota (12%) and New Mexico (12%). Washington, DC, also is among the leaders (14%). Nationwide, 10% of all tracts qualify.
  • Among the 3,073 Opportunity Zones with sufficient data to analyze, California has the most, with 374, followed by Florida (317), Texas (164), Pennsylvania (154), North Carolina (145) and Tennessee (138).
  • Of the tracts analyzed, 47 percent had a median price in Q2 2019 of less than $150,000. The median ranged from $150,000 to $199,999 in 17 percent, from $200,000 up to the national median of $266,000 in 16 percent and more than $266,000 in 19 percent.

Click here to read the full report at ATTOM DATA Solutions.


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Foreclosures Down 18% from 2018

We recently posted about rising delinquencies in the 2nd quarter which also made reference to the fact that foreclosure inventory was at its lowest level since 1995.  According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Midyear 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, there were 296,458 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the first half of 2019.  This figure is 18% lower than one year ago and down 82% its peak in 2010.  They say their data help reinforce the view that foreclosure activity is trending downward.  However they do point out:

“Of course, you still have pockets across the nation where foreclosure activity is seeing some flare-ups. Foreclosure starts is a good indication of markets to watch. For instance, in looking at the largest markets across the nation with the greatest annual increase in foreclosure starts, 4 out of the 5 markets were in Florida.”  Said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions.

Click here to read the full report at


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Existing Home Sales up 2.5% in July

The National Association of Realtors is reporting that existing home sales were down 2.5% in July, which the NAR says is a positive reversal after total sales were down slightly in June.  According to their release, total existing-home sales (completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) were up 2.5% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.42 million in July.  Total housing inventory at the end of July was 1.89 million, representing a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

“Falling mortgage rates are improving housing affordability and nudging buyers into the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. However, he added that the supply of affordable housing is severely low. “The shortage of lower-priced homes have markedly pushed up home prices.”

Click here to read the full release at the National Association of Realtors.


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What the Rate Cut Means for Real Estate Investors

BY  ON AUGUST 8, 2019

For the first time since 2008, the Federal Reserve recently cut rates by one quarter point.  In a recent a recent episode of Real Estate News for Investors Kathy Fettke explains what the rate cut means for real estate investors and sheds more light on the current economic landscape.  She says this action marks a dramatic shift in monetary policy.

“So we will most likely see a strong economy through the rest of 2019, and probably up until the election. And, if the economy remains robust, there’s a strong chance Trump will get re-elected….These are however, uncertain times. The best advice for real estate investors is to sell your high priced, low cash flow properties while interest rates are low, and exchange them for low cost properties with high cash flow.”


Click here to read the transcript on Real Wealth Network.

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How Millennial Homebuyers Plan to Pay Their Mortgages

BY  ON AUGUST 8, 2019

Redfin says that millennial homebuyers are less likely to undertake creative measures to help pay for their mortgage.  According to their research, only 51% said they’d use a creative strategy to help buy their new home versus 60% who would, just one year ago.   To get their data, Redfin surveyed over 2k people who planned to buy or sell a home over the next 12 months, zeroing-in those born between 1981 & 1986 (millennials).  Indeed…

“Millennial homebuyers in 2019 are less likely to take extraordinary measures to afford their mortgage payments, such as getting help from their parents or co-ownership with someone other than a spouse or partner, than they were last summer.” 

Click here to read the full report at

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Grocery Stores' Impact on the Housing Market

BY  ON AUGUST 23, 2019

Did you know that a Trader Joe’s or an ALDI near your property might increase its ROI?  This is according to ATTOM Data’s recent Grocery Store Battle analysis that looked at how living near a Trader Joe’s, a Whole Foods or an ALDI can affect your home’s value – or flipping ROI!    Interestingly, for investors they found that properties near an ALDI are an investor’s cornucopia with an average gross flipping ROI of 62%, compared to those near a Whole Foods which had an average gross flipping ROI of 35% and Trader Joe’s at 31 percent. The average gross flipping ROI for all zip codes with these grocery stores nationwide is 52%.  Take that to the pantry!  Happy Friday!!

Hat tip to ATTOM Data.

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Turning Obsolete Buildings into Climate Controlled Self-Storage

BY  ON AUGUST 22, 2019

Have you ever thought about turning obsolete buildings into climate controlled self-storage?  That subject was tackled in a recent episode of the Rental Property Owner & Real Estate Investor podcast.   Host Brian Hamrick interviews Scott Krone, the managing partner of Coda Management Group, a company that teams up with investors to purchase and convert undervalued warehouse space into climate controlled Self-Storage Facilities.  Scott explains how the adaptive re-use of commercial space can be turned into an asset class that is very attractive & extremely profitable.  He explains the process of converting old warehouse space into self-storage, including his typical costs per sq. ft. for acquisition, construction & soft costs.

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Mortgage Delinquencies Rise in Q2

BY  ON AUGUST 22, 2019

According to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) National Delinquency Survey, mortgage delinquencies increased 11 basis points from the first quarter of 2019 and 17 basis points from one year ago.  The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties increased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.53% of all loans outstanding at the end of the second quarter of 2019.  The foreclosure inventory rate came in at 0.9%  at the end of Q2, which was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 1995.  In addition, they point out that on a year-over-year basis, total mortgage delinquencies increased for all loans outstanding.  The delinquency rate increased by 16 basis points for conventional loans, increased 52 basis points for FHA loans, and increased 27 basis points for VA loans from the previous year.

“The unemployment rate remains quite low, but the national mortgage delinquency rate in the second quarter rose from both the first quarter and one year ago. The economy is slowing, and this poses the risk of further increases in delinquency rates,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s Vice President of Industry Analysis. “Across loan types, the FHA delinquency rate posted the largest variance, increasing 29 basis points from last quarter and 52 basis points from a year ago.”

MBA Chart of the week 8/16/19

Click here to read the full report at

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