Tag Archives: HUD

Justice Withdraws from Settlement with National Association of Realtors

 

Settlement will not adequately protect the department’s rights to further investigate Realtors

 

Realtors settlement with justice stalled

National Association of Realtors (NAR) policies affect millions of real estate agents and real estate consumers. Data shows consumers paid over $85 billion in real estate commissions last year. The Justice Department

previously filed a complaint and proposed settlement alleging that the National Association of Realtors established and enforced policies that illegally restrained competition in real estate services

. The settlement sought to remedy those alleged practices and encourage competition among Realtors®. However, it also prevented the department from pursuing other antitrust claims against NAR. The justice department settlement is now being withdrawn.

On July 1, 2021, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division filed to withdraw the proposed settlement with NAR. In addition, the department is voluntarily dismissing its complaint without prejudice. It was determined that the settlement will not protect the department’s rights to investigate other conduct by NAR that could potentially affect competition and harm consumers. The justice department wants to allow for a broader investigation of NAR’s rules and conduct.

“The proposed settlement will not sufficiently protect the Antitrust Division’s ability to pursue future claims against NAR,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Real estate is central to the American economy, and consumers pay billions of dollars in real estate commissions every year. We cannot be bound by a settlement that prevents our ability to protect competition in a market that profoundly affects Americans’ financial well-being.”

Under a stipulation entered by the court and signed by the parties, the department has sole discretion to withdraw its consent to the proposed settlement. The proposed settlement may also be modified with consent from the department and from NAR. The department sought NAR’s agreement to modify the settlement to adequately protect and preserve the department’s rights to investigate and challenge other conduct by NAR. Still, the department and NAR could not reach an agreement.

According to the complaint, NAR’s anti-competitive rules, policies, and practices include prohibiting MLSs that are affiliated with NAR from disclosing to prospective buyers the commission that the buyer broker will earn; allowing buyer brokers to misrepresent to buyers that a buyer broker’s services are free; enabling buyer brokers to filter MLS listings based on the level of buyer broker commissions offered; and limiting access to the lockboxes that provide licensed brokers with access to homes for sale to brokers who work for a NAR-affiliated MLS. These NAR rules, policies, practices have been widely adopted by NAR-affiliated MLSs resulting in decreased competition among real estate brokers.

The National Association of Realtors is a trade association of more than 1.4 million-member REALTORS® in real estate brokerages across the United States. There arRealtor key box accesse over 1,400 local REALTOR® associations (called “Member Boards”) organized as Multiple Listing Services through which REALTORS® share information about homes for sale in their areas. Among other activities, the National Association of Realtors establishes and enforces rules, policies, and practices for its Realtor Member Boards and their affiliated Multiple Listing Services.

The Justice Department hopes to increase competition to benefit consumers and allow for more innovation in markets by having the National Association of Realtors repeal and modify its rules for greater transparency to homebuyers about the commissions when representing homebuyers, cease misrepresenting that buyer broker services are free, eliminate rules that prohibit filtering multiple listing services listings based on buyer broker commissions, and change rules limiting access to lockboxes to only REALTOR-affiliated real estate brokers.

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Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums on Federally-backed Single-family Mortgages Extended Through March 31, 2021

HUD has implemented President Biden’s requests to immediately extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(January 25, 2021)

US Dept. of HUD – Acting U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Matthew E. Ammon today announced that the Department has implemented President Biden’s requests to immediately extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on federally-backed single-family mortgages through March 31, 2021, to provide meaningful support to homeowners struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:

“President Biden asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to consider an immediate extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on federally-backed single-family mortgages. To provide much-needed economic relief and support to working families, HUD has implemented the President’s requests.

“Millions of Americans are at risk of eviction or foreclosure because of the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic crisis, and the Biden Administration is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to prevent widespread housing loss. As we have seen throughout the pandemic, this looming wave of evictions and foreclosures disproportionately impacts communities of color. These executive actions are a critical first step to ensure that families hit hard by the economic crisis will not be forced from their homes during their time of need.

“Specifically, HUD has extended the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) eviction and foreclosure moratorium until March 31, 2021 and extended the Public and Indian Housing (PIH) eviction and foreclosure moratorium until March 31, 2021.

“Failing to prevent widespread evictions and foreclosures would lead to untold hardship for families and overwhelmed emergency shelter capacity, increasing the likelihood of COVID-19 spread in our communities. The Biden Administration is committed to using the tools at its disposal and working with Congress to help struggling households keep a roof over their heads. These agency actions support the Administration’s broader strategy by immediately extending nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures.”

 

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author. Nothing posted in this or any other article is intended as legal or any other type of professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate professional when professional advice is needed. Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the author’s sole property; no permission to reprint articles or portions thereof not arising from this blog but reprinted here is given or implied. Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication. Still, the author does not guarantee articles to be accurate, and information may have been obtained from third-party sources and cannot be further verified for correctness. Due to the subject matter’s fluid nature, information may or may not be correct after the publication date and should be verified.

Housing Starts Plummet 12%

Housing Starts Collapse in June

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(July 18, 2018)

(Washington, D.C.) US Department of HUD – The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for June 2018. Here’s how they stack up:

Building Permits
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,273,000. This is 2.2 percent (±1.2 percent) below the revised May rate of 1,301,000 and is 3.0 percent (±1.1 percent) below the June 2017 rate of 1,312,000. Single-family authorizations in June were at a rate of 850,000; this is 0.8 percent (±1.5 percent)* above the revised May figure of 843,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 387,000 in June.

Housing Starts
Privately-owned housing starts in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,173,000. This is 12.3 percent (±8.3 percent) below the revised May estimate of 1,337,000 and is 4.2 percent (±10.2 percent)* below the June 2017 rate of 1,225,000. Single-family housing starts in June were at a rate of 858,000; this is 9.1 percent (±8.8 percent) below the revised May figure of 944,000. The June rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 304,000.

Housing Completions
Privately-owned housing completions in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,261,000. This is 0.0 percent (±11.3 percent)* below the revised May estimate of 1,261,000, but is 2.2 percent (±14.5 percent)* above the June 2017 rate of 1,234,000. Single-family housing completions in June were at a rate of 862,000; this is 2.3 percent (±8.4 percent)* below the revised May rate of 882,000. The June rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 393,000.

[View the complete report.]

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OnlineEd blog postings are the personal opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

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HUD Announces $1.5 Billion to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Relief

Disaster recovery funds to help repair damaged housing and businesses

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(February 2, 2018)

Washington, D.C. (HUD) – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has granted more than $1.5 billion to help Puerto Rico to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. HUD’s Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude announced the disaster recovery grants with Governor Ricardo Rosselló during her third visit to the island since Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The funds are provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program and will support long-term recovery of seriously damaged housing and local businesses in Puerto Rico.

“On behalf of the many thousands of survivors here in Puerto Rico, I want to express our appreciation to the Administration and HUD for recognizing the tremendous needs that remain in so many of our neighborhoods. This grant will make a huge difference in repairing damaged homes and businesses and facilitating the social and economic recovery here in the island,” said Governor Rosselló

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

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HUD Reports Home Sales Rise 26.6 Percent (±16.6 percent)

Median Sale Price Hits $377,100

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(December 22, 2017)

hud(WASHINGTON, D.C. – HUD) Sales of new single-family houses in November 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000. This is 17.5 percent (±10.4 percent) above the revised October rate of 624,000 and is 26.6 percent (±16.6 percent) above the November 2016 estimate of 579,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2017 was $318,700. The average sales price was $377,100.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 283,000. This represents a supply of 4.6 months at the current sales rate.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Homelessness Increases

There were 58,000 families with children experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2017

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(December 7, 2017)

canstockphoto20042851homeless4WASHINGTON – There is a great deal of variation in the data in different parts of the country, however, and many places continue to see reductions in homelessness. Thirty (30) states and the District of Columbia reported decreases in homelessness between 2016 and 2017. Challenges in some major metropolitan areas, however, have had a major impact on the national trend lines.

For example, the City and County of Los Angeles reported a nearly 26 percent increase in overall homelessness since 2016, primarily among those persons found in unsheltered locations. Meanwhile, New York City reported a 4.1 increase, principally among families in emergency shelters and transitional housing. Excluding these two areas, the estimated number of Veterans experiencing homeless in other parts of the nation decreased 3.1 percent since 2016.

“In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast, the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets. This is not a federal problem-it’s everybody’s problem.”

“The fact that so many parts of the country are continuing to reduce homelessness gives us confidence that our strategies-and the dedicated efforts of communities to embrace best practices-have been working,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council of Homelessness. “At the same time, we know that some communities are facing challenges that require us to redouble our efforts across all levels of government and the public and private sectors, and we are committed to doing that work.”

“Our joint community-based homelessness efforts are working in most communities across the country. Despite a slight increase in overall Veteran homelessness, I am pleased that the majority of communities in the U.S. experienced declines over the past year,” said U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. “VA remains committed to helping Veterans find stable housing. We will continue to identify innovative local solutions, especially in areas where higher rents have contributed to an increase in homelessness among Veterans.”

HUD’s national estimate is based upon data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the nation. Every year on a single night in January, planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care” and tens of thousands of volunteers seek to identify the number of individuals and families living in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered settings. These one-night ‘snapshot’ counts, as well as full-year counts and data from other sources (U.S. Housing Survey, Department of Education), are crucial in understanding the scope of homelessness and measuring progress toward reducing it.

Key Findings of HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report:

On a single night in January 2017, state and local planning agencies (Continuums of Care) reported:

  • 553,742 people were homeless representing an overall .7 percent increase from 2016 and a 13.1 percent decrease since 2010.
  • Most homeless persons (360,867) were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while 192,875 persons were unsheltered.
  • The number of families with children experiencing homelessness declined 5.4 percent since 2016 and 27 percent since 2010.
  • Veteran homelessness increased 1.5 percent (or 585 persons) since January 2016, primarily in California cities. Since 2010, however, Veteran homelessness declined nationally by 46 percent. On a single night in January 2017, 40,056 veterans were experiencing homelessness.
  • Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals increased 12.2 percent over 2016 levels though declined by 18 percent (or 19,100 persons) since 2010.
  • The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in 2017 is estimated to be 40,799. This year, HUD and local communities launched a more intense effort to more accurately account for this important, difficult to count population. HUD will treat 2017 as a baseline year for purposes of tracking progress toward reducing youth homelessness.

Homelessness Among All Persons

The total number of persons experiencing homelessness on a single night last January is 553,742, an increase of 0.7 percent from January 2016 largely attributed to the jump in unsheltered homelessness in larger cities in the West Coast

Family Homelessness

There were 58,000 families with children experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2017, a decline of 5.4 percent from the year before and a 27 percent reduction since 2010. These significant reductions in family homelessness is largely attributed to the expansion of Rapid Rehousing Programs across the country and a concerted effort by local planners to reallocate scarce resources in a more strategic way. These ‘Housing First’ models have proven to be a more effective and efficient response to families experiencing temporary crisis as well as those enduring the most chronic forms of homelessness.

 

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

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Trump Administration Considers $6 Billion Cut to HUD

“Dependency on HUD programs could become “a way of life” for recipients”

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(March 10, 2017) – The Trump administration has considered more than $6 billion in cuts at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to preliminary budget documents obtained by The Washington Post. The WP reports that the plan would squeeze public housing support and end most federally funded community development grants, which provide services such as meal assistance and cleaning up abandoned properties in low-income neighborhoods.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has taken a staunchly conservative stance on public assistance in the past, saying dependency on HUD programs could become “a way of life” for recipients, says the WP.

[Bounce to the full story: The Washington Post]

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

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FHA to Reduce Annual Insurance Premiums on Most Mortgages

hudFHA’s reduction in premium rates is an appropriate measure to support the path to the American dream

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(January 13, 2017) – As the nation’s housing market continues to improve, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce the annual premiums most borrowers will pay by a quarter of a percent.  FHA’s new premium rates are projected to save new FHA-insured homeowners an average of $500 this year.

FHA is reducing its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) by 25 basis points for most new mortgages with a closing/disbursement date on or after January 27, 2017.  For a full schedule of the new premium rates announced today, read FHA’s mortgagee letter.

This action reflects the fourth straight year of improved economic health of FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF), which gained $44 billion in value since 2012.  Last year alone, an independent actuarial analysis found the MMI Fund’s capital ratio grew by $3.8 billion and now stands at 2.32 percent of all insurance in force—the second consecutive year since 2008 that FHA’s reserve ratio exceeded the statutorily required two percent threshold.

Secretary Castro said FHA’s action reflects today’s risk environment and comes at the right time for consumers who are facing higher credit costs as mortgage interest rates are increasing.

“After four straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it’s time for FHA to pass along some modest savings to working families,” said Secretary Castro.  “This is a fiscally responsible measure to price our mortgage insurance in a way that protects our insurance fund while preserving the dream of homeownership for credit-qualified borrowers.”

Ed Golding, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for HUD’s Office of Housing added, “We’ve carefully weighed the risks associated with lower premiums with our historic mission to provide safe and sustainable mortgage financing to responsible homebuyers.  Homeownership is the way most middle-class Americans build wealth and achieve financial security for themselves and their families.  This conservative reduction in our premium rates is an appropriate measure to support them on their path to the American dream.”

In the wake of the nation’s housing crisis, FHA increased its premium prices numerous times to help stabilize the health of its MMI Fund.  Since 2010, FHA had raised annual premiums 150 percent which helped to restore capital reserves but significantly increased the cost of credit to qualified borrowers.  This step restores the annual premium to close to its pre-housing-crisis level.

This action is expected to lower the cost of housing for the approximately 1 million households who are expected to purchase a home or refinance their mortgages using FHA-insured financing in the coming year.

[Source: HUD press release]

 

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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

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July 2016 Housing Starts Climb 5.6% Over July 2015

New residential construction report for July 2016

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

housing graph 3(August 18, 2016) – The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for July 2016:

BUILDING PERMITS Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,152,000. This is 0.1 percent (±1.2%)* below the revised June rate of 1,153,000, but is 0.9 percent (±1.5%)* above the July 2015 estimate of 1,142,000. Single-family authorizations in July were at a rate of 711,000; this is 3.7 percent (±1.4%) below the revised June figure of 738,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 411,000 in July.

HOUSING STARTS Privately-owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,211,000. This is 2.1 percent (±8.8%)* above the revised June estimate of 1,186,000 and is 5.6 percent (±14.7%)* above the July 2015 rate of 1,147,000. Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 770,000; this is 0.5 percent (±8.6%)* above the revised June figure of 766,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 433,000.

HOUSING COMPLETIONS Privately-owned housing completions in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,026,000. This is 8.3 percent (±8.9%)* below the revised June estimate of 1,119,000, but is 3.2 percent (±11.2%)* above the July 2015 rate of 994,000. Single-family housing completions in July were at a rate of 743,000; this is 0.4 percent (±8.8%)* below the revised June rate of 746,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 275,000

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

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HUD Announces Decline in Veteran Homelessness by Nearly 50 Percent

Homelessness drops 17 percent from January 2015

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

canstockphoto4621755 vietnam vet(August 2, 2016) –  The Obama administration announced the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States had been cut nearly in half since 2010. The data revealed a 17 percent decrease in veteran homelessness between January 2015 and January 2016—quadruple the previous year’s annual decline—and a 47 percent decrease since 2010.

Through HUD’s annual Point-in-Time (PIT) estimate of America’s homeless population, communities across the country reported that fewer than 40,000 veterans were experiencing homelessness on a given night in January 2016. The January 2016 estimate found just over 13,000 unsheltered homeless veterans living on their streets, a 56 percent decrease since 2010. View local estimates of veteran homelessness.

This significant progress is a result of the partnership among HUD, VA, USICH, and other federal, state and local partners. These critical partnerships were sparked by the 2010 launch of Opening Doors, the first-ever strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. The initiative’s success among veterans can also be attributed to the effectiveness of the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines HUD rental assistance with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. Since 2008, more than 85,000 vouchers have been awarded, and more than 114,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program.

“We have an absolute duty to ensure those who’ve worn our nation’s uniform have a place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “While we’ve made remarkable progress toward ending veteran homelessness, we still have work to do to make certain we answer the call of our veterans just as they answered the call of our nation.”

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