News Alerts. Sept. 18, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

Linking ≠ endorsement. Enjoy and share:

  1. 'City Within a City' Begins to Rise On NYC's West Side – CoStar Group

    Wow, this is a big real-estate project.

    In all, The Related Companies LP and Oxford Properties Group Inc. are developing up to 16 high-rises totaling more than 13 million square feet of office, residential, hotel and retail space on 26 acres at the site bordering the West Side Rail line along the Hudson River.But Related and Oxford are hardly the only developers active in the area, which will eventually see at least 18 million square feet of construction, making it one of the largest private real estate projects in U.S. history.

    Read the source article … http://www.costar.com/News/Article/'City -Within-a-City-Begins-to-Rise-On-NYCs-Fa r-West-Side/152216


  2. 2014 Conforming Loan Limits : How Much Can You Borrow?

    From Dan Green the Mortgage Machine. Okay, he doesn't go by "the Mortgage Machine," but he does know his mortgages.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making plans to lend less money.

    For the first time since 1990, 2014 conforming loan limits will likely be lower than the year prior's limits, a move which would make it harder for U.S. home buyers and refinancing households to qualify for conforming home loans.

    The loan limit changes would take effect January 1, 2014.

    Loan limits are appropriately named. They are the maximum allowable loan size for a mortgage. Loan limits vary by product and region, and are included in a program's specific mortgage guidelines.

    For example, the Federal Housing Administration enforces specific loan limits for FHA loans; and the Department of Veterans Affairs maintains specific loan limits for VA loans. Loans which exceed an FHA loan's local loan limit cannot be insured and loans exceeding a VA loans local limit cannot be guaranteed.

    For conforming loans — loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac — loan limits have been unchanged since 2006 when the government moved to raise the national limit to $417,000.

    Conforming loans which exceed a local loan limit are commonly known as "jumbo loans". Jumbo loans are typically not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and are offered by local and national banks.

    Jumbo mortgage rates are sometimes higher and sometimes lower as compared to conforming ones. However, because jumbo loans are not government-backed, eligibility requirements are often more stringent.

    There aren't many low-downpayment options in the jumbo mortgage market. Plus, income and credit score requirements are often higher. This is why the 2014 conforming loan limit discussion is an important one.

    Read the source article … http://themortgagereports.com/13593/2014 -conforming-loan-limits-a-look-ahead-for -fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac


  3. America's Bond-Market Blues by Zhang Monan – Project Syndicate

    Good backgrounder:

    BEIJING — The market for United States Treasury securities is one of the world's largest and most active debt markets, providing investors with a secure stock of value and a reliable income stream, while helping to lower the US government's debt-servicing costs. But, according to the US Treasury Department, overseas investors sold a record $54.5 billion in long-term US debt in April of this year, with China slashing its holdings by $5.4 billion. This dumping of US government debt by foreign investors heralds the end of an era of cheap financing for the US.

    As it stands, the US government holds roughly 40% of its debt through the Federal Reserve and government agencies like the Social Security Trust Fund, while American and foreign investors hold 30% each. Emerging economies — many of which use large trade surpluses to drive GDP growth and supplement their foreign-exchange reserves with the resulting capital inflows — are leading buyers of US debt.

    Over the last decade, these countries' foreign-exchange reserves have swelled from $750 billion to $6.3 trillion — more than 50% of the global total — providing a major source of financing that has effectively suppressed long-term US borrowing costs. With yields on US ten-year bonds falling by 45% annually, on average, from 2000 to 2012, the US was able to finance its debt on exceptionally favorable terms.

    But the ongoing depreciation of the US dollar — which has fallen by almost half since the Bretton Woods system collapsed in 1971 — together with the rising volume of US government debt, undermines the purchasing power of investors in US government securities. This diminishes the value of these countries' foreign-exchange reserves, endangers their fiscal and exchange-rate policies, and undermines their financial security.

    Nowhere is this more problematic than in China….

    However, the US government, via the Fed, is financing more and more of its own debt (until the taper, which doesn't have to continue once begun).

    Read the source article … http://www.project-syndicate.org/comment ary/the-end-of-cheap-financing-for-the-u s-by-zhang-monan


  4. Exclusive Research: 7,000 Students Reveal Their Housing Wants and Needs – Multifamily Executive Magazine

    When it comes to student housing in the United States, one thing is pretty much clear: the dorm days are over.

    To satisfy both cost and quality-of-life concerns, most students have moved off campus into modernized student housing communities, and competition for their rent dollars hinges around several key factors: be close to school, build big apartments with lots of storage, and make sure residents have their own bathroom (even if they share a bedroom).

    Read the source article … http://www.multifamilyexecutive.com/rese arch/exclusive-research-7000-students-re veal-their-housing-wants-and-needs.aspx


  5. The Tax Break-Down: Municipal Bonds | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

    Local bond-issues impact local real estate. Should municipal bonds remain tax exempt or be reformed or…?

    What are the Arguments For and Against Excluding the Interest on Municipal Bonds?

    Proponents of the municipal bond tax exemption argue that the exclusion provides important support for state and local governments to invest in infrastructure, education, health care, and other productive public investments. They also point out that infrastructure investment in the United States is centered around the tax-exemption, with a $3.7 trillion bond market. Changes to the exclusion — especially for existing bonds — could cause severe disruptions in this large market and thus the broader economy. Reduction could also hurt the ability of state and local government to borrow, as evidenced by S&P's warning that reducing the tax benefits around municipal bond interest would have "negative credit implications for state and local governments and other tax-exempt issuers."

    Opponents of the exclusion argue that the tax code should not be the vehicle for supporting local governments and local projects, especially those that are private purpose and benefit a small group of people, like a sports stadium. To the extent these projects are worthy, opponents argue that a tax exemption is an expensive and poorly targeted way to encourage investment, often citing a report by CBO that one-fifth of the subsidy has no impact on interest rates and is simply a windfall to investors in higher tax-brackets. Finally, the tax-exemption for municipal bond interest provides a huge benefit for some who want to minimize or possibly eliminate their tax burden. Along with charitable giving, municipal bonds are a major reason that some rich people have a very low or sometimes zero tax bill. Over 16,000 taxpayers with an income over $200,000 do not pay any taxes; tax-free bonds are the reason for three-fifths of them, according to the IRS.1

    Read the source article … http://crfb.org/blogs/tax-break-down-mun icipal-bonds


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