Upward mobility – the assumption that anyone can make it in America – has long been a bedrock belief. But a recent study finds that it is largely a myth. The best indicator of where you will end up economically, two Stanford University economists have found, is where you begin. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau… Read More »

First time homebuyers today are waiting longer before entering the market and devoting a larger chunk of their income to homeownership when they do. Median income for first-time buyers averages $54,340 today – about the same as in the 1970s, according to an analysis by Zillow economists. But today’s buyers are paying roughly 2.7 times… Read More »

After increasing stubbornly and steadily for nearly a decade, mortgage origination costs have finally started to decline. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that loan production expenses averaged $6,984 per loan in the second quarter, down from $7,195 in the first quarter, while profit margins increased to $1,522 per loan from $1,447 during that period –… Read More »

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is moving to apply the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to Web sites. The pace has been slow, but the direction is clear. In an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, the DOJ argued that because private entities are increasingly offering goods and services through web sites,… Read More »

Reports that some tenants living in rent-subsidized apartments earn too much to qualify for the subsidies they are receiving have made the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) more than a little uncomfortable. A review by HUD’s inspector general found that more than 25,000 public housing tenants nationally exceed the income limits for those… Read More »

Will they or won’t they? The Federal Reserve has finally answered the question industry analysts and the financial markets have been asking for most of this year, opting to hold off for a while longer on the rate increase that most analysts have been expecting and that fed officials themselves seem anxious to approve. The… Read More »

The nation’s home builders are distressed, to say the least, about a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board defining many subcontractors as “joint employees.” It’s not clear how the new standard will be applied, but builders are predicting that the impact on the homebuilding industry could be “disruptive” and possibly “devastating.” Congressional concerns… Read More »

The ‘buy-vs.-rent’ equation, which has see-sawed back and forth between both ends of the spectrum, has titled back toward renting as rising home prices create affordability pressures for many buyers. The Beracha, Hardin & Johnson (BH&J) quarterly index produced by Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Florida International University, compares the long term impact on wealth… Read More »

The statistics indicate that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) new mortgage rules haven’t had the devastating impact that industry executives had predicted. But critics say the statistics don’t paint an entirely accurate or complete picture of what is happening in the market. The statistics come from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) report prepared… Read More »

As wildfires consume thousands of homes, droughts tighten their grip on many areas, and violent storms become more frequent and more deadly, I t is getting more difficult to assume that natural disasters affect someone else. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the number of disasters tallied between 200… Read More »