Skip to main content

What We're Reading in Housing: July 2

Housing Visualized

2010 Census l Mapping the Census l Housing Market Indicators

Infographic: Generation Gap in Household Formation

Infographic: Housing’s Economic Impact l Measuring State-Level Economic Mobility Past Commissions and Reports l Trulia’s Housing Barometer

U.S. Credit Conditions l U.S. Housing Summary 2012

Wells Fargo Monthly Economic Outlook l Wells Fargo Real Estate & Housing Reports


Throughout the week, the BPC Housing Commission highlights news items that address critical developments in housing policy. Any views expressed in the content posted on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Commission, its co-chairs or the Bipartisan Policy Center.

What We’re Reading posts now include a compilation of useful links in the Housing Visualized section at the top of the page. These resources offer the latest economic indicators, expert insight, and statistical trends related to the U.S. housing market.

Census Bureau: Millions more Americans shared households in face of recession

By Michael A. Fletcher

The Washington Post

“Millions of economically pressed Americans cushioned themselves against the recession by doubling up in houses and apartments, according to a Census Bureau report… The number of adults sharing households with family members or other individuals jumped 11.4 percent between 2007 and 2010, the report said. Overall, such living arrangements accounted for 22 million households in 2010 ? or 18.7 percent of all U.S. households, compared with 17 percent in 2007.” Read more here.

It’s time to loosen mortgage lending standards

By Nin-Hai Tseng


“Lending standards for mortgages are tighter today than they were in the wake of the financial crisis. In 2007, the average Fannie Mae-backed home loan carried a loan-to-value ratio of 75% and a credit score of 716. Last year’s average LTV was 69% and the average credit score was 762, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s latest conservator’s report. Meanwhile, it’s one the cheapest times to buy a home.” Read more here.

Stage Could Be Set for a Rental Market Bubble

By Meg Handley

U.S. News & World Report

“According to a recent survey by Trulia, rents were 6 percent higher in May than they were a year ago. Some metro areas have seen even steeper surges?renters in San Francisco have had to stomach rent increases of around 14 percent, while those in Miami, Oakland, and Denver saw increases of more than 10 percent.” Read more here.

HousingWire: REO-to-rental exposes uneven timelines on securitization path

Home prices higher for third straight month as ‘sand states’ drift away from crisis

By Bill Briggs


“The Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas showed a year-over-year decrease of 1.9 percent but a 0.7 percent national bump from March to April on a seasonally adjusted basis (1.3 percent non-seasonally adjusted), led by ongoing price rallies in a clump of warm-weather markets thumped by the slump, including Miami, Tampa, Las Vegas and Phoenix.” Read more here.

The Wall Street Journal: Why Home Prices Are Rising Again (According to Case-Shiller)

Obama’s election-year housing push shows a pulse

By Margaret Chadbourn


“Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have both expressed interest in a bill that could make it easier for millions of Americans to refinance home loans, although they are circling each other warily as they try to determine their first steps… While the politics could align in the Democrat-led Senate, legislation would face a tougher road in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Many Republicans are leery of housing relief programs that could be costly for taxpayers.” Read more here.

Desert oasis: State housing agencies turn to secondary mortgage market

By Jon Prior


“State housing finance agencies are looking to the secondary market to fund mortgages for borrowers seeking help with down payments and closing costs. HFAs use fixed-rate, long-term housing bonds known as MRBs to finance home loans. Because these bonds were tax exempt, they allowed borrowers to take out mortgages at a cheaper rate because of the tax benefit to the investors.” Read more here.

VIDEO: Has Housing Turned a Corner?

The Wall Street Journal