Housing market: U.S. home construction jumps 9.7% in January

WASHINGTON — Groundbreakings on new homes jumped 9.7% last month to the highest level since October 2016, welcome news for a housing market struggling with a shortage of homes for sale. The Commerce Department said Friday that housing starts came in at an annual pace of 1.33 million in January, up from 1.21 million in December and 1.24 million in January 2017. Construction of single-family homes rose 3.7%. Construction of apartments and condominiums shot up 19.7%, the most since December 2016. READ MORE Source: USA Today

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Housing Starts & Builder Confidence Solid: 4 Picks

Housing starts and building permits made an impressive comeback in January, after declining 8.2% and 0.1%, respectively, in December 2017, due to cold weather. Moreover, home builder sentiment is at 72, making us reasonably certain about the positive momentum in the industry. READ MORE Source: Nasdaq

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Rental homes are a key cog in the housing market

A shift is underway in the United States housing market. More than ever, Americans, from millennials to baby boomers, are choosing to lease for its flexibility and the numerous benefits of a single-family home, from extra rooms for the kids to a backyard and garage. READ MORE Source: The Hill

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Freddie Mac announces first non-performing loan sale of 2018

Freddie Mac announced its first non-performing loan sale of 2018, where it is marketing about $420 million in non-performing loans. The auction of seasoned non-performing residential whole loans held in Freddie Mac’s mortgage investment portfolio is currently being serviced by Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing. It is being marketed through these four pools: three standard pool offerings and one extended timeline pool offering, which targets participation by smaller investors, including nonprofits and minority or women-owned businesses. READ MORE Source: Housing Wire

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Ken Parker @ PUSH Blue helps Buffalo turn a Green Leaf

People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) is moving in a number of different directions these days, many of which have to do with sustainability. One of the people that is helping to lead that charge is Ken Parker, PUSH Blue Program Manager. Ken, a horticulturalist by trade, recently joined up with PUSH, after working for the Seneca Nation to promote the cultural importance and health benefits of native plants, among other sustainability directives. READ MORE Source: Buffalo Rising

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A summer festival shows how TINY HOMES LIVE LARGE

Tiny-home dwellers trade space for the simple life. By living in 100 to 400 square feet, tiny-home owners enjoy benefits such as low housing and utility costs, a small environmental footprint, and less time spent on cleaning and maintaining their home. Increased mobility is a draw for some, too, since tiny homes can be built on a trailer bed and moved to new locations by truck. These benefits amount to more freedom and time to focus on things other than your home, like hobbies, traveling or community. READ MORE Source:…

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Ashton Woods releases new models at Naples Reserve and Fiddler’s Creek

Ashton Woods is kicking off the season with several new move-in ready homes in the master-planned communities of Naples Reserve and Fiddler’s Creek. Each of these one- and two-story residences boasts a great room floor plan featuring an island kitchen, large family room and dining area along with two to four bedrooms and two to four-and-one-half baths. READ MORE Source: Naples Daily News

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Architects study options for housing in NW Arkansas

The ambitious mission of the Housing Northwest Arkansas Initiative “is to educate the community about construction, financing, and social justice,” said Peter MacKeith, dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas. Supported by a $250,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation, it seeks to address the lack of affordable housing in the fast-growing region for residents and newcomers at all levels of income. READ MORE Source: ArkansasOnline

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104-unit senior living development eyed for Tapestry Square

The Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF) is hoping to add a 104-unit senior living project to its Tapestry Square development south of downtown. Sixty percent of the 5-story building would be set aside for affordable apartments while 40 percent would be set aside for market rate apartments, according to ICCF Vice President Ryan Schmidt, who presented the plans to the Downtown Development Authority on Wednesday, Feb. 14. READ MORE Source: M Live

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Homebuilders shrug off higher mortgage rates, stay optimistic on economic boost from tax cuts

Tax cuts are still making homebuilders feel better, even as mortgage rates rise to the highest level in more than four years. Builder confidence was unchanged in February from the prior month, remaining at 72 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment. The index is up from 65 in February 2017 and hit a cyclical high of 74 last December, just as the Republican tax cut plan was being passed. READ MORE Source: CNBC

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