First-time Buyers Maintain Control of Mortgage Market: Urban Institute

By Karan Kaul

First-time homebuyers face a difficult housing market: high prices, low supply, tight credit, and renting costs that make it difficult to save for a down payment. But compared with repeat buyers, first-timers have dominated the mortgage market for the past 10 years, and their share today is still high. We don’t see this changing anytime soon.

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Freddie Reports Steady Mortgage Rates Despite Second Consecutive Drop

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that mortgage rates decreased slightly for the second consecutive week.  

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says mortgage rates remained mostly flat over the past week, which has been the dominant theme since late spring. “This stability in borrowing costs comes despite the highest core inflation rates since 2008 and turbulence in the currency markets,” he said. “Unfortunately, this pause in rates is not leading to increasing home sales.”

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Multifamily Market to Stay Strong Well into 2019, Freddie Mac Projects

A new analysis by Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC), finds that the strong performance experienced by the multifamily market in the first half of 2018 will continue throughout the end of the year and well into 2019. The findings were released as part of Freddie Mac Multifamily’s 2018 Mid-Year Outlook pdf and companion video. The Outlook predicts that in 2018, multifamily origination volume is expected to grow by 3.3 percent to $305 billion. 

In the Outlook, Freddie Mac Multifamily Research and Modeling vice president Steve Guggenmos and manager Sara Hoffmann find that overall, the multifamily market continues to experience very healthy performance. While fundamentals have started to moderate over the past few years, the factors most critical to market strength continue to remain strong, for example, with rents rising above inflation and vacancy rates only increasing slowly.

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Commercial Real Estate Executives See 'Balanced, Stable' Market: Survey

By Michael Tucker

Commercial real estate executives see "balanced and stable" market conditions despite growing concerns the market could be nearing the end of its current cycle, the Real Estate Roundtable reported.

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High Demand for Warehouse Facilities in Coastal Markets, Report Shows

By Patricia Kirk

Industrial developers in coastal U.S. markets are cashing in on the extraordinarily high demand by small businesses for for-sale modern warehouse facilities of between 25,000 and 40,000 sq. ft.

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Jim Amorin Named Appraisal Institute CEO

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced it has hired Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Austin, Texas, as its chief executive officer after a nearly year-long search.

“Jim did an outstanding job as acting CEO, and we’re fortunate to have his leadership going forward,” Appraisal Institute President James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA said. “His experience in many Appraisal Institute leadership roles makes him highly qualified for this position, and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

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FHFA Extends Comment Period for Proposed GSE Capital Requirements

The Federal Housing Finance Agency extended the public comment period for the Agency's proposed rule on Enterprise Capital Requirements by an additional 60 days, citing "high level of interest in the proposed rule and requests from multiple stakeholders for more time to evaluate it."

The previous deadline for comments was September 17; the new deadline is November 16.

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President Signs Bill Authorizing 4-month Extension of Flood Insurance Program

President Trump on July 31 signed legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program by four months — until Nov. 30, the White House reported. The extension gives lawmakers a small window to craft a longer-term extension for the program, which is underfunded by about $20 billion.

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Construction Costs, Zoning May Slow Office Sector: Cushman & Wakefield

Written by Patricia Kirk

While new office construction has been robust so far in 2018, next year developers might begin pulling back, according to David Bitner, head of Americas capital markets research with real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. He cites rising construction costs, concerns about the end of the real estate cycle and zoning issues as the reasons.

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IRS Final Rules Define Qualified Appraisers, Standards Flexibility

The IRS on July 30 finalized rules for substantiating and reporting cash and noncash charitable deductions, stating that any tax deduction of more than $500,000 requires a qualified appraisal conducted in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards. The rules take immediate effect.
 
“The final rules confirm that professionally designated appraisers, such as those conferred by the Appraisal Institute, are well positioned to satisfy the qualified appraiser requirements of the IRS,” said AI President James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA. “This is a highly contested area of tax law and appraisal practice, and users of appraisal services can remove doubt by turning to competent Appraisal Institute Designated Members.”  
 
“We also are pleased to see the agency provide for standards flexibility to appraisers, recognizing generally recognized appraisal standards as opposed to strict adherence to one particular standard,” said Murrett. “This protects taxpayers and the public interest, while providing more flexibility to appraisers and taxpayers procuring real estate appraisals for conservation and historic preservation easement purposes.”
 
The IRS received mixed feedback about the standards issue, but ultimately sided with the Appraisal Institute’s position on standards flexibility, noting in the final rule: 
 
Several commenters recommended that the final regulations require appraisal documents to be prepared “in accordance with USPAP” and not merely in accordance with the “substance and principles of USPAP.” Other commenters indicated that strict compliance with USPAP would eliminate use of all other appraisal standards, including some that are generally accepted in the appraisal industry. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that it is beneficial to provide some flexibility by requiring conformity with appraisal standards that are consistent with the substance and principles of USPAP rather than requiring that all appraisals be prepared strictly in accordance with USPAP. Accordingly, the final regulations do not adopt the recommendation to require strict compliance with USPAP and retain the requirement of consistency with the substance and principles of USPAP.
 
Review the final rule.

Appraisal Institute Honors 13 National Award Winners

Craig M. Harrington, SRA, AI-RRS, of Prior Lake, Minnesota; and Leslie P. Sellers, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Clinton, Tennessee, were honored Tuesday with the Appraisal Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Timothy P. Runde, MAI, of San Francisco, was named the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award during the Appraisal Institute Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Two individuals also were announced as winners of the annual President’s Award from the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers with nearly 18,000 professionals in almost 50 countries. Additionally, eight individuals were honored by the Appraisal Institute Education and Relief Foundation, the Appraisal Institute’s charitable organization that offers education scholarships and disaster assistance to appraisers.

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More than 550 Attend AI Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (July 30, 2018) – More than 550 real estate professionals from around the world today attended the opening session of the valuation profession’s most important annual event, hosted by the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

The 2018 Appraisal Institute Annual Conference, being held at the downtown JW Marriott Nashville today through Wednesday, features world-renowned keynote speakers, nearly 30 breakout sessions on trend-setting valuation topics, networking opportunities for industry professionals, an exhibit hall featuring cutting-edge products and services, and an awards ceremony honoring the valuation profession’s best and brightest.

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Fannie Mae Drops Form 1004MC, the GSE Reveals at AI Annual Conference

Fannie Mae is discontinuing the use of Form 1004MC (Market Conditions), the government-sponsored enterprise announced July 30 at the Appraisal Institute Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The GSE is expected to officially announce the change when it releases its updated Selling Guide in the coming weeks. 
 
Form 1004MC was released in November 2008, and from the start many appraisers said they found its use inappropriate for many market situations and conditions. Members of the AI Government Relations Committee expressed this opinion to Fannie Mae during recent discussions on ways the GSE could improve its policies and procedures. 
 
Reporting market trend activity will remain an important undertaking for appraisers and they will continue to do so even without the requirement to complete Form 1004MC. 
 
Freddie Mac has yet to make a similar announcement about discontinuing use of 1004MC, but the move by Fannie Mae may compel a similar policy change to maintain competitive posture. 
 
AI will monitor the situation and report new developments when they are announced. 

Commercial Real Estate Prices Steady as Market Matures: Report

Written by Michael Tucker

Commercial real estate asset prices have "plateaued" and transaction volume has moderated as the real estate cycle matures, reported Green Street Advisors, Newport Beach, Calif., and CoStar, Washington, D.C.

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Fed Beige Book Reveals Mixed Results in Residential, Commercial Sectors

Some Fed districts reported moderate improvements in the residential real estate sector, but their reports on commercial activity revealed largely stagnant conditions, the Federal Reserve reported July 18 in its newest Beige Book.

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Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, AI-RRS, awarded Appraisal Institute President’s Award

Congratulations to NCAI member Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, AI-RRS, who was presented with the Appraisal Institute President’s Award today at the Institute’s National Meetings in Nashville! Scott was the President of the Appraisal Institute in 2016 and has been integral to the success of the organization at the state, national, and global levels before, during, and after his Presidency. Scott has chaired multiple committees at the national level and continues his service to the organization by leading the CEO search. The North Carolina Chapter is proud of Scott and his many accomplishments!

  

Housing Industry Loses Status as Economic Driver: Fed Chair

Written by Kelsey Ramirez

Last Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell had his second hearing this week, this time before the House Committee on Financial Services for his semi-annual monetary policy report.

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Appraisal Institute Opposes Effort to Reduce Risk Management for SBA Loans

The Appraisal Institute today announced its opposition to proposed federal legislation that would reduce the requirements for appraisals in major Small Business Administration loan programs.

The Appraisal Institute objects to the provisions of H.R. 6347, the 7(a) Real Estate Appraisal Harmonization Act, and H.R. 6348, the Small Business Access to Capital and Efficiency Act, both of which would adjust upward the real estate appraisal thresholds for SBA loan programs. An appraisal threshold is the amount of a real estate transaction above which an appraisal is required.

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Nationwide Rents at New High: Report

Written by Ben Lane

We’ve known that the rent may be too high for quite a while now, but a new report shows that rent has never been this high before.

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Net Lease Retail Market Sees Cap Rate Increases, Report Shows

Written by Liz Wolf

Cap rates for net lease retail properties have finally pushed upward.

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