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Thinking of Buying a NZ Home? Not So Fast

Country just passed law barring foreigners from buying houses there

(Newser) - New Zealand home prices are among the highest in the world , and it's finally had enough. The country's plan to make the real estate market more affordable for locals: Bar foreigners from buying homes there (with very few exceptions) in an attempt to drive the housing supply up....

They Earn $12K a Year, Are on Path to Owning Their Home

Inside Detroit's Tiny Homes Project

(Newser) - Detroit is awash with abandoned homes, which left the Rev. Faith Fowler a bit on the defensive about why she built seven brand new ones. But there's something special about hers: They're tiny, and the first part of an envisioned tiny home village where low-income Detroiters can not...

Gap Between Black, White Homeownership Is Huge

30-point difference is an all-time high

(Newser) - The nation's homeownership rate appears to be stabilizing as people rebound from the 2007 recession that left millions unemployed and home values underwater, but a new report finds that African-Americans aren't sharing in the recovery. The report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies said the...

Millennials Aren't Homeowners —and They Shouldn't Be

It keeps them flexible, writes Washington Post columnist

(Newser) - Homeownership is down among all age groups to 63%, the lowest level in half a century, but the figure is much worse for those under 35—a record low of 34%. And as Catherine Rampell writes at the Washington Post , all kinds of theories are being floated to explain millennials'...

Americans Now Wait Longer Than Ever to Buy First Home

Millennials are having trouble getting down payments together

(Newser) - Short of cash and unsettled in their careers, young Americans are waiting longer than ever to buy their first homes. The typical first-timer now rents for six years before buying a home, up from 2.6 years in the early 1970s, according to a new analysis by the real estate...

Dear US, Make People Pay for Their Own Houses

Government has too many mortgage subsidies, argues New Yorker writer

(Newser) - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced last month they would guarantee mortgages for first-time home buyers who put down only 3%. It's another move by the US government to encourage homeownership—along with tax breaks, mortgage-interest deductions, property tax write-offs, etc.—and must be a good thing, yes?...

Americans Are Way Too Eager to Buy Houses

Houses aren't great long-term investments, Catherine Rampell argues.

(Newser) - Last week, Gallup released a poll showing that Americans, in Catherine Rampell's words, "still financially fetishize homeownership." Despite the financial crisis, respondents still considered real estate the best long-term investment—which "baffles" Rampell because, by her calculations, home prices have risen at a compound rate of...

Report: Key Mortgage Tax Break Just Helps the Wealthy

Lawmakers are fiercely protective of popular interest deduction

(Newser) - The tax code is rife with home ownership incentives that are both popular with voters and staunchly defended by lawmakers. But it turns out the breaks mostly just help rich people buy pricier houses, according to a new report from the right-leaning R Street Institute. They "don't encourage...

29% of Homeowners Are Mortgage-Free

Including 34.5% of those homeowners ages 20 to 24

(Newser) - In a country ravaged by the housing crisis, a hefty chunk of homeowners—some 29.3%—have escaped the mortgage burden entirely, a new report by Zillow finds. A great deal of the 20.6 million Americans who own their homes outright are retirees: 77.6% of people 85 and...

One in 30 Homeowners Over Age 75 in Foreclosure

AARP says delinquency growing among the over 50 crowd

(Newser) - Older Americans are increasingly feeling the hovering specter of foreclosure, after years of not suffering as acutely from the housing crisis, according to a new AARP report. While younger Americans still have a higher rate of serious delinquency, older Americans are now falling behind at a much faster rate, the...

Becoming a Nation of Renters Might Save Us

It might just fuel the 'next boom': Daniel Gross

(Newser) - Homeownership is down and renting is up, and that surely means bad news for the economy and people's finances, right? Wrong, argues Daniel Gross in the Wall Street Journal . In fact, it's a beautiful thing. "The new realities of our increasingly mobile economy make it more likely...

Great Time to Buy? This Renter Says No Thanks

Need for mobility trumps low prices: Justin Martin

(Newser) - Realtors scratching their heads at why more would-be homebuyers aren't jumping at record low mortgage rates will want to read Justin Martin's pro-renting essay in the Christian Science Monitor . In theory, he's the model potential buyer: He's a renter in his 30s with a good job...

Housing Prices Hit New Recession Low

And there's no bottom in sight

(Newser) - The housing industry keeps finding new lows: Today's Case-Shiller price index shows that prices fell in the first quarter to the lowest levels since the crash began, reports the Wall Street Journal . The drop of 4.2%, on top of last quarter's 3.6% drop, is evidence of...

US: OK, Not Everyone Needs to Own a Home

Plan to dissolve Fannie and Freddie marks a shift in philosophy

(Newser) - The federal government is having a change of heart about what constitutes the American Dream. It long pushed the notion that people should own homes—one of the factors blamed for the housing mess—but a new proposal to dissolve Fannie and Freddie marks a pullback from that philosophy, reports...

10 Reasons to Buy a House

Housing market gloom is over-hyped

(Newser) - Has the housing crisis scared you out of the market? Too bad, because there are still many good reasons to buy, writes Brett Arends in the Wall Street Journal . A few points to consider before hopping on the first train to rents-ville:
  • You could get a deal: Prices are down—

Home Repos Hit Recession High

US on track for 1M foreclosures this year

(Newser) - Lenders took back more homes in August than any month since the start of the US mortgage crisis. The increase in home repossessions came even as the number of properties entering the foreclosure process slowed for the seventh month in a row, RealtyTrac said today. In all, banks repossessed 95,...

Foreclosures on Pricey Properties Pick Up

Well-to-do buyers weren't immune to wacky loans, and they're coming due

(Newser) - The country's most expensive homes are now making up a larger segment of foreclosures in the most recent spike of mortgage defaults. An analysis of recent data shows that 30% of June foreclosures involved homes valued in the top third based on location; that’s up from just 16% at...

Don't Hate Me: I'm Just Here to Clean Up

Clearing the detritus of owners' dreams from bank-owned homes

(Newser) - Cindy Reid doesn’t want you to think she and her boss—and boyfriend—are the “bad guys.” But it is difficult when her man is the one “you never want to see pull up to your house. He has eyes that go flat when you offer ...

In Recession, Homeowners Nail Contractors

As many vie for projects, consumer gains the upper hand

(Newser) - Hiring a contractor to remodel a kitchen or resurface a floor once meant a lot of hassle and some serious cash. But the recession has changed all that: Contractors these days are ready and willing to work on the cheap, Time reports. Projects are smaller, and spending on remodeling is...

Nukes? Climate Change? Love 'Em to Death

Newsweek scribe lists a few issues pundits may misunderstand

(Newser) - Few so-called experts predicted the subprime meltdown or the September 11 attacks, Jacob Weisberg writes in Newsweek—so what else might the pundits be wrong about?
  • Nukes are bad: An influential political scientist “argues that possessing nukes induces restraint and caution, causing irresponsible regimes to behave more responsibly.”

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