November 4, 2015
TheStreet.com quoted me in First-Time Homebuyers Often Wait to Buy House After Marriage. It reads, in part,
The number of people purchasing their first home, especially Millennials, could be impacted negatively by shifting demographics as the median age for marriage is rising.
A recent survey by NeighborWorks America, the Washington, D.C.-based affordable housing organization, found that 43% the respondents said they intended to buy a home when they “got married or moved in with a life partner.” The median age for a first marriage has risen to 29.3 years old for men and 27 years old for women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2000, men first got married at 26.8 years old while the median age for women was 25.1 years old.
Other respondents said they would wait to buy a home when other changes occurred, with 22% who will purchase one when they have children and 18% who are still seeking their first full-time job.
Many Millennials are delaying the purchase of a home because not only are they waiting until they are older to get married, a large percentage are also saddled with a large amount of student loans. The survey also demonstrated that 57% respondents admitted that student loans were either “very much” or “somewhat” of an obstacle, a rising concern compared to 49% who expressed this sentiment in 2014.
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“The state of the economy has interfered with their ability to maintain a steady income and this has likely delayed marriage,” said David Reiss, a law professor at Brooklyn Law School. “As a result, they are less likely to become homeowners.”
What’s more, the lack of job security in the current economy has dampened many people’s enthusiasm to own a home.
“Buying a home is a big commitment to your future self and your family: ‘I will make that mortgage payment come hell or high water,’” he said. “Fewer people are going to want to make that commitment if the job market does not give them a reasonable basis to believe that they can live up to it.”
- A Joint Release of a Final Swap Margin rule by the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), “establishes minimum margin requirements for swaps and security-based swaps that are not cleared through a clearinghouse. The margin requirements help ensure the safety and soundness of swap trading in light of the risk to the financial system associated with non-cleared swaps activity.”
- The U.S. Senate has enacted the Bipartisan Budget Act to lift the debt ceiling until March 2017. Affordable housing advocates are hopeful that the budget agreement will lead to an increase in funding for programs such as HOME Investment Partnership program, for more information see Enterprise Community Partners Blog Post on #saveHome efforts.
November 2, 2015
Michael Stegman, a White House Senior Policy Advisor, offered up the Obama Administration’s “perspective on critical housing issues” recently. (1) I found the remarks on the future of Fannie and Freddie to be of particular interest:
- Federal judge grants the SEC request for appointment of a receiver for the $136 million EB-5 fraud case involving Path America LLC and its two subsidiaries to monitor the companies to ensure their assets are not lost during the proceedings.
- Ninth Circuit affirms JPMorgan Chase Bank’s win in $15.7 million suit against Meritage Homes Corp. over loan repayment.
- The CFPB brought suit against a law firm that does foreclosure work alleging that it scammed struggling homeowners by imposing large advance fees and failing to provide promised legal representation. The firm argues that the court should not grant the CFPB an early win because the bureau is attempting to create new federal law rather than enforcing current state law.
October 30, 2015
NYU’s Furman Center has released a Research Brief, Planning for Resilience: The Challenge of Floodproofing Multifamily Housing. The Brief opens,
As sea levels rise and storms become more frequent and severe due to climate change, many urban areas along the coasts and rivers of the United States are facing a flood-prone future. Especially in the older urban areas along the eastern seaboard, there is a significant stock of multifamily housing that will be increasingly at risk. Much of this housing is out of compliance with federal flood-resistant design and construction standards. Some of these buildings have housing units that are out of compliance because, regardless of their age, they were only recently mapped into the floodplain. And, even buildings that have been in the floodplain for longer may be out of compliance with the rules because their construction predated their jurisdiction’s adoption of the standards. (2)
And it concludes,
As the nation’s floodplains expand, the number and types of housing units at risk of flooding also grows. Multifamily housing makes up a larger share of the at-risk housing in the floodplain than was previously understood, and mitigating the risk to this housing and its residents presents unique challenges that local governments must be prepared to face. While there is no easy answer to how to fund the often costly and disruptive retrofit measures needed in these buildings, there are steps that local governments can take to make it easier for buildings to adapt, such as educating owners about risks, providing them with information about retrofit strategies, and helping them finance improvements. Including strategies like these in a long-term resilience plan will make communities stronger and will ensure that multifamily buildings and their residents are not left behind as flood-prone areas adapt. (10)
There is no doubt that this is right. New York City under both Mayors Bloomberg and De Blasio have taken this issue very seriously, but a lot of work remains to be done. And the odds are that the amount of work will only increase with time as sea levels rise higher and higher. Because many other local governments do not have the resources of NYC, they will get their wake up calls the hard way.
Given the broad effects of climate change, resiliency efforts would ideally be led by the federal government. But I don’t see that happening for a long time, probably after an avoidable tragedy on a large scale spurs Congress to action, notwithstanding its ideological commitments.