A shortage of entry-level homes will stymie the housing market this year, nullifying much of the impact of lower mortgage rates, according to a forecast by Diane Swonk, Grant Thornton chief economist. “The housing market will tread water in 2019 as supply constraints and affordability problems offset any gains from slightly lower mortgage rates,” Swonk said.
It’s been just over a year since Zillow expanded its business from simply facilitating the home sale to actually buying houses itself. Zillow has big plans for its home buying business, recently revealing that its current goal is to be able to buy 5,000 homes per month within as little as three years. To get there, Zillow will have to fortify and expand its home buying operations, and the online real estate giant took a step in that direction.
Housing starts in March fell to the slowest pace in almost two years, according to a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Commerce. The decline was led by single-family starts while multifamily starts, a category including condominiums and apartments that tends to be more volatile, remained unchanged from the prior month.
A second class-action lawsuit has been filed in protest of the buyer broker compensation rules set forth by the National Association of Realtors. The suit alleges that NAR and MLS providers violated federal antitrust laws by requiring property sellers to pay the buyer’s broker an inflated fee, a claim NAR called “completely without merit” as it vowed to defend its policies in court.