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FHA Premium Reduction Halted By Trump Administration

Well that didn’t take long! The proposed FHA premium reduction has been halted by the Trump administration. Mortgageee Letter 2017-07 was issued within hours of Mr. Trump being sworn into office. The scheduled 25-basis point premium cut was slated to take effect January 27, a parting gift of the outgoing administration. The FHA premium reduction appeared ill-timed and more of …

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Senate Bill 2 Insufficient Fix For A Broken System

After numerous meetings throughout the state taking copious amounts of public input through the Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief, Paul Bettencourt has filed Senate Bill 2 dubbed the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017. Among other things, the bill would require cities and counties to ask for voter approval for any property tax hike …

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Debt, Deficits & Housing – The Smoke & Mirrors “Recovery”

Many among the status quo have defended the last 8 years as a productive “recovery” from the abyss of financial armageddon unleashed by our criminal banking sector. The efficacy of the recovery depends on the person responding to the question. For the vast majority of the U.S. population, there has been no recovery, but instead a steady decline. If you …

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Over 20 Percent Of Houston’s Working-Age Millennials Living With Parents

Chalk this one up to the crapification of the housing sector and the economy in general. The latest data on working-age millennials in Houston Texas shows that 21.2 percent of young working adults are living with their parents. There are several factors in play here, but they all center on a bifurcated economy and housing market that has not served …

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New Home Sales Decline To 511,000 Annual Rate In March

The Census Bureau reported that new home sales for March declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 511,000. This was below expectations of 522,000, but higher than March of last year. The median price of a new home contracted in March was $288,000, a YoY decline of $5,400. The average price of a new home contracted in March was …

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Citigroup Executives Avoid Any U.S. Charges Following $7 Billion Settlement

Perhaps the biggest news to get buried this week is the revelation that U.S. authorities have decided not to pursue criminal charges against any Citigroup executives or employees following the mortgage-backed securities debacle which caused world financial markets to collapse back in 2008. While various media outlets are busy giving air time to celebrity gossip, the U.S. financial system remains …

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Stocks Suffer Worst Start To Year Ever, For U.S. Homebuilders It Was Even Worse!

If you thought the 5.96 percent decline in the S&P stock index was an impressive start to the new year, the news for publicly traded homebuilders was even worse. Those rationally-minded people who actually bother to read charts and look at market fundamentals have been talking about the unraveling of the global money-printing charade (see China for example), but the …

KB Home Q3 Earnings Confirms Shrinking Margins Problem For Homebuilders

KB Home reported third quarter earnings, and the theme of compressing margins was apparent. KB reported revenues that were 43 percent higher and a 25 percent rise in deliveries for the quarter, but the company’s profits suffered as a result. KB Home saw their gross profit margin fall from 18.8 percent last year to only 16.2 percent this year. KB …

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Plunging Oil Prices Showing Up In Houston Texas Housing Data

With the summer’s positive sales numbers it would be easy to say that Houston’s housing market is perfectly healthy with little cause for concern. That would be a mistake, one likely to be made by many local Realtors and economists alike. The truth of the matter is that the commodities crush we’ve seen during the last 12 months is already showing …