Hottest Neighborhoods Of 2017 (See the full list)

Using data from thousands of customer visits to, combined with the local expertise of our real estate agents, we get an early look at which neighborhoods will be hot in 2017. High-growth job centers are driving the hottest neighborhoods for 2017, but not in the way you’d expect. Data on homebuyer activity on takes us just outside the city limits of these tech hubs to find the neighborhoods that are heating up this year.

The top three hottest neighborhoods all sit close to San Francisco and Seattle. But while home prices continue to rise in the centers of these booming tech cities, homebuyers are increasingly focusing their searches in neighboring communities. While many of 2017’s hottest neighborhoods come with longer commutes, Redfin agents say they offer homebuyers the best balance of everything: quick access to public transit, trendy shopping and dining options, plus larger move-in ready homes with charm and price tags that are a little easier to bear.

shutterstock_283731104This continues a trend we started seeing in 2016, when San Francisco dropped from the ranks of Redfin’s 10 hottest neighborhoods. This year, Bushrod in nearby Oakland takes center stage as the nation’s hottest neighborhood. Although this is Oakland’s first appearance on a Redfin Hottest Neighborhoods list, it experienced soaring demand in late 2016.

“Redfin research shows that over the past five years, home prices in urban cores have shot up 50 percent faster than in the metro areas as a whole,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Our data on homebuyer activity shows that this year people are bypassing the most expensive areas in the center city in search for high-end amenities and renovated homes a few train or bus stops outside the city limits. The hottest neighborhoods of 2017 will be those edge communities that deliver urban convenience at prices that are closer to earth.”

Making the Old New Again

In December, Redfin predicted that 2017 would be the year of the second-tier city and the emergence of hot neighborhoods in cities like Portland, Sacramento and New Orleans are proving that to be true.

Neighborhoods that made the top 10 list, such as Eliot in Portland, Hollywood Park in Sacramento and Treme in New Orleans, feature renovated homes that preserve the nature and charm of the area while offering updated amenities. This wave of renovation, coupled with increased demand, is causing a significant increase in home prices. Eliot and Hollywood Park both saw home prices rise 30 percent in the last year, and Treme rose 75 percent over the same period.

What Makes a Neighborhood Hot?

Redfin’s Hottest Neighborhoods is a prediction based on the most recent growth we’ve seen in pageviews and favorites on We checked in with Redfin agents around the country to find out what’s been driving these trends.


Read on for the full list of neighborhoods that we predict will be the hottest in 2017. For more downloadable housing market stats, visit the Redfin Data Center.

The Hottest Neighborhoods of 2017 by Metropolitan Area

In addition to the top 10 hottest neighborhoods nationwide, we picked three neighborhoods in each of the largest metro areas that are poised to become some of the most desirable places in 2017.

Atlanta, GA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Adair Park $128,000 69 93.9% 44.4%
#2 Capitol View $85,000 49 95.6% 47.9%
#3 West End/Westview $130,000 51 100.0% 45.0%
Victoria Hurd “Lately, neighborhoods like Adair Park have seen a new wave of popularity, as people move back in from the suburbs around Atlanta and want to be closer to the city center. Many homebuyers have been priced out of more established neighborhoods, but Adair Park is one of the last neighborhoods close to downtown where first-time homebuyers can still find nice homes in the $100,000 to $200,000 range. This neighborhood has also become really popular as more people have opted for car-free lifestyles; it’s right next to the West End MARTA rail station and has a Bike Score of 72, making transportation quick and easy.”

Austin, TX

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Riverside $266,500 28 97.5% 47.6%
#2 Montopolis $226,000 8 98.9% 62.4%
#3 Northwest Hills-Far West $650,000 25 95.8% 49.5%
Andrew Vallejo

“There’s a lot about Riverside that’s appealing right now. Hiking and biking trails have been revitalized, and being so close to the water is a big draw for many homeowners. There’s also great dining, plenty of public transportation and close proximity to the airport. Austin has seen large increases in home prices over the last few years as more and more people move here for tech jobs and work in other industries, and neighborhoods nearest to the city center have had the largest price increases. Two to three years ago, my clients were paying around $100,000 for a condo in Riverside; today, I have someone under contract for a $550,000 townhouse. Even still, it’s more affordable than the west side, where a single-family home costs $700,000 to $800,000.”

Baltimore, MD

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Centennial District (EllicottCity) $475,000 34 96.5% 42.5%
#2 Roland Park $607,500 87 93.5% 39.6%
#3 Fells Point $322,500 60 93.3% 23.9%
Dan Borowy

“Centennial District has been a very desirable place to live for a long time and it doesn’t look like that will be changing any time soon. The schools have some of the highest ratings in Maryland which is often a key reason why many homebuyers express interest in moving here. People appreciate its close proximity to Baltimore and the commuter routes to DC. such as route 29, route 295 and route 95/495. Centennial Park is also in the area and is a popular spot for families to visit on the weekends. For these reasons, there are often not very many homes on the market, and the ones that are listed tend to sell very quickly.”

Boston, MA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Edgeworth (Medford) $435,000 13 104.6% 67.4%
#2 Downtown Everett (Everett) $445,000 17 100.0% 58.5%
#3 Maplewood (Malden) $413,000 13 99.2% 66.0%
Steve Novak

“This neighborhood is cornered by the adjacent and already-hot Medford, which has seen a lot of long-time residents sell older homes to developers, who’ve then renovated them and then sold them for increased prices. That’s now starting in Edgeworth as well and much of the rest of Malden. In Edgeworth, you’re within walking distance of both the Malden Center Orange line T-station and the Wellington Orange line T-station, which makes commuting downtown very do-able. And home prices, though elevated from what they were several years ago, are more affordable than Medford and the trendiest towns like Cambridge and Somerville.”

Charlotte, NC

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Myer’s Park $575,000 70 96.1% N/A
#2 Eastover $798,000 91 92.4% N/A
#3 Ballantyne $432,500 75 95.8% N/A
Julie McGee

“Myer’s Park keeps getting hotter and more attractive to buyers because it’s five miles from Charlotte’s Center City, has a high Walk Score and highly ranked schools. Myer’s Park has many bungalow and craftsman homes that were built about a century ago, so people often tear down and rebuild homes in the neighborhood to improve their property value. Some of the best restaurants and boutique shops in Charlotte can be found in the neighborhood, and the area is so charming we even decided to make it the Charlotte Redfin headquarters!”

Chicago, IL

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Downtown Oak Lawn $156,500 84 92.6% 33.5%
#2 Woodlawn $110,000 80 94.9% 32.8%
#3 Belmont Gardens $243,000 63 96.1% 43.0%
Heather Hartung

“Oak Lawn is in close proximity to the city of Chicago, and homebuyers here can get more land, more space and a suburban feel for a lower price. Right now, we’re seeing a lot of nicely renovated homes that are appealing to buyers who were otherwise looking in places like Palos Park and Palos Heights, or in Beverly. You also have easy commuting with a Metra stop to get to the Loop and two major employment hubs – the Medical Center and St. Xavier University in Oak Lawn itself. Quite a few buyers have recently gotten jobs in the area, like what they see and have decided to settle down here.”

Cincinnati, OH

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Madisonville $90,000 72 94.1% N/A
#2 Clifton $250,000 101 90.2% N/A
#3 Madeira $273,000 62 96.6% N/A
Trina Walton

“Madisonville has seen a resurgence in popularity because there’s a lot of land in the area that can be developed, which is leading to increased demand and competition among commercial real estate developers, investors and homebuyers. The community has a new look thanks to all the development happening in the area, and it’s still affordable compared to nearby neighborhoods with similar proximity to downtown.”

Cleveland, OH

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Lakewood (Lakewood) $149,000 47 97.0% N/A
#2 Edgewater $99,000 72 91.9% N/A
#3 Ohio City $182,500 72 92.7% N/A
Joe Rath

“Lakewood is one of Cleveland’s inner-ring suburbs that satisfies the desires of many homebuyers we work with and it’s been gaining popularity as many millennials are entering the housing market for the first time. It has a high Walk Score, bustling restaurant and art scenes, quick commutes and offers a lake-side lifestyle. Many empty nesters have also taken to the area, and we expect competition for homes to increase as 2017 unfolds.”

Colorado Springs, CO

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Westside $200,000 91 92.9% 33.3%
#2 Pinon Valley $264,900 32 98.2% 65.9%
#3 Norwood $240,000 42 98.4% 60.1%
Kevin Kudrna

“Westside, a small neighborhood that’s often considered part of Old Colorado City, is well-located to benefit from the planned revitalization along South Nevada Avenue in downtown Colorado Springs. In other words, Old Colorado City itself has seen quite a bit of investment over the past few years, but residents in Westside are also an easy walk or drive from what will soon become a completely re-done southern downtown. As buyers prioritize well-located areas in walkable neighborhoods, the Westside neighborhood draws people who love turn-of-the-century homes, proximity to nightlife, nearby hiking trails, and, of course, the mountains. You also have the prestigious Colorado College nearby, which adds to the allure of the neighborhood.”

Columbus, OH

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Merion Village $199,900 55 99.2% N/A
#2 East Beechwood $193,700 48 98.4% N/A
#3 Olentangy (Powell) $320,000 64 96.5% N/A
Butch Wahlsmith

“Merion Village has seen an uptick in demand because homebuyers like the character of the homes in the area and see restoring the homes as a good investment opportunity. Merion Village is also an ideal location for people who want to get downtown quickly, but also live in an area that feels like a neighborhood rather than an extension of downtown Columbus.”

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Arapaho Heights (Richardson) $277,400 31 N/A 65.3%
#2 Skillman Forest Park (Garland) $158,200 17 N/A 69.2%
#3 Walnut Terrace (Garland) $145,000 25 N/A 66.1%
Karen Nesbit

“Arapaho Heights has been a popular neighborhood on and off for many decades, and many of the homes are built in the mid-century modern style that is highly favored by current buyers. New industries and businesses continue to pop up in the suburbs north of Dallas, especially Plano, making Arapaho Heights a good spot to buy a home if you want to commute for work up north, but still be within a relatively short drive of downtown Dallas. There are also highly rated schools in this area. You get a nice, old-fashioned feel from this neighborhood, and I’ve noticed that many people who grew up here are flocking back to take advantage of its rising popularity.”

Denver, CO

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Greenfield (Aurora) $455,000 42 97.6% 40.9%
#2 Old Town (Arvada) $343,300 9 98.1% 60.0%
#3 Athmar Park $264,900 10 100.2% 77.6%
Stephanie Collins

“The south Aurora area is growing at a very fast pace, with new homes and amenities like the Trails Recreation Center and Southlands Mall District increasing the popularity. Also, the light rail is just a short drive away, which provides an alternative for an easy downtown commute. Greenfield has a community pool, a playground, tennis courts, a fishing pond and many trails for people wanting the outdoor, active Colorado lifestyle. Located in the highly rated Cherry Creek School district, it’s a prime location–just five minutes away from the Southlands Mall District, with its retailers, movie theater and many restaurant options.”

Detroit, MI

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Downtown Detroit $169,500 36 94.6% N/A
#2 Rosedale Park $60,000 53 93.7% N/A
#3 Palmer Park $210,500 54 95.4% N/A
Terry Kaltsas

“Downtown Detroit real estate is on the rise and will probably get even hotter when the new arena is done. Little Caesars Arena will house two of Detroit’s sports teams, the Pistons and Red Wings, and will be smack-dab in the middle of a 50-block entertainment district that’s already bursting with new residents and new businesses, all of which will bring a ton of new jobs downtown for residents in the area.”

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Rock Island $130,000 50 95.1% N/A
#2 Coral Springs (Coral Springs) $242,000 75 94.9% N/A
#3 Broadview Park $180,000 32 95.7% N/A
Kelly Browning

“Part of what makes Rock Island such a hot neighborhood is that it’s close to other really popular areas, like Oakland Park and Wilton Manors, but the homes here are much more affordable. In recent years, there has been an arts and culture revitalization in Oakland Park, with a surge of new restaurants, shops and even a microbrewery. Many of our Redfin buyers look in Rock Island because it’s close to the action but the median sale price is quite a bit lower.”

Houston, TX

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Spring Branch Central $297,500 65 93.0% N/A
#2 San Jacinto (Galveston) $163,700 62 88.8% N/A
#3 Astrodome-NRG Stadium $143,000 22 96.8% N/A
Irma Jalifi

“Commute time is on everyone’s mind in Houston. In a city so clogged with cars and jam-packed roadways, a lot of homebuyers really prioritize finding a home in a neighborhood with quick access to nearby areas. Spring Branch Central is a really popular neighborhood for that reason; It sits between the Energy Corridor and downtown Houston and is a relatively short drive from each. The Energy Corridor is growing rapidly and becoming the new energy capital of the world, so Spring Branch Central is an increasingly popular neighborhood for those who work in the energy field.”

Las Vegas, NV

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Summerlin $264,500 78 95.8% N/A
#2 Green Valley Ranch (Henderson) $305,000 63 96.9% N/A
#3 Mountain Edge $255,000 81 96.9% N/A
Christina Flores

“Summerlin is a planned community that is situated right on the edge of Red Rock Canyon. Word is starting to get out that this is a great place to live and I have noticed increased demand in the area. Red Rock Canyon preserve has all kinds of activities for people who love to hike, bike and enjoy nature, and Summerlin has a growing downtown that has a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Developers in the community have been building a mix of different housing options- from luxurious large single-family homes to smaller more affordable condos, making it popular among all kinds of buyers. Developers in Summerlin are poised to add a huge wealth of housing stock to the area over the next few years, with plans to build up to 40,000 more homes, which could nearly double the current population! This anticipated growth is definitely one key reason why Summerlin is attracting a lot of attention right now.”

Los Angeles, CA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Somerset (Glendale) $460,000 44 100.1% 41.9%
#2 Morrison Ranch (Agoura Hills) $810,000 29 95.8% 40.5%
#3 Zaferia (Long Beach) $350,000 48 97.4% 29.0%
Jennifer Wenzlaff

“Somerset is a sliver of a neighborhood sandwiched between Glendale and Eagle Rock. Eagle Rock was named the second hottest neighborhood back in 2014 and that has certainly proved to be the case. Many buyers are now priced out of the area and Somerset offers more affordable housing options. A good selection of condos to choose from makes it more friendly to first-time buyers and yet it’s still close enough to enjoy Eagle Rock’s quaint downtown on Colorado Blvd. Plus, it has easy access to the 2 Freeway, which is a main artery leading to Downtown L.A. or a great connection the 134 and all of the jobs located in Burbank and the San Fernando Valley.”

Miami, FL

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Lakes of the Meadow $318,200 44 95.7% N/A
#2 West Miami Gardens $195,000 24 98.8% N/A
#3 Richmond Heights $191,000 26 96.5% N/A
Jose Medina

“There has been a long-term trend of low inventory for single-family homes in Miami which has driven up prices. Condos are typically more affordable but often-times require high down payments, which many first-time homebuyers can’t compete with. This has resulted in an expansion on the west side of Miami, into areas like West Kendall. Lakes of the Meadow is a well-maintained, established community in Kendall with many single-family homes to choose from. It has risen in popularity in part because there are older homes that have maintained their value, yet aren’t as pricey as new construction homes in other parts of west Miami.”

Milwaukee, WI

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Lower East Side $216,000 87 95.4% N/A
#2 Fernwood $215,000 66 94.4% N/A
#3 Juneau Town $202,300 82 94.5% N/A
Ashley Lamb

“Homebuyers favor the Lower East Side because of its mix of downtown living with a neighborhood feel. The Lower East Side is more affordable than other nearby neighborhoods, so it has become an attractive option for people that want to remain in close proximity to the amenities of downtown living without breaking the bank. Brady Street provides an eclectic mix of boutique shops, restaurants and bars, and the neighborhood has the second-highest Walk Score in Milwaukee.”

Minneapolis, MN

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Tangletown $395,000 28 97.9% N/A
#2 Kenny $305,000 25 97.9% N/A
#3 Holland $193,500 20 99.9% N/A
James Garry

“Tangletown has a variety of home sizes, prices and styles, which is increasingly appealing to buyers who were previously content to look at the smaller, less varied and more expensive options in nearby southwest Minneapolis and Edina. You also have the gorgeous Minnehaha Creek and bike path right there, which connects residents to Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis. And, of course, you’re in the city proper with easy access to 35W.”

New Orleans, LA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Treme $199,200 261 89.3% N/A
#2 Algiers Point $290,000 163 93.5% N/A
#3 Milan $272,000 218 92.9% N/A
Caren Morgan

“Treme is definitely becoming an “it” place in New Orleans. It’s right on the border of the French Quarter, but somewhat less expensive and historically not as trendy. The neighborhood boasts a lot of turn-of-the-century homes with beautiful architectural details, which are generally very popular, especially among out-of-state buyers. Older buildings are being renovated with gorgeous modern touches and buyers really appreciate those turn-key properties. Many of the buyers moving to Treme are in search of more affordable city living and don’t want to give up amenities like walkability, great nightlife and superb restaurants. The St. Claude streetcar line is moving into neighboring Lafitte, which makes other parts of the city even more accessible to residents.”

Oakland, CA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Bushrod $817,000 16 115.7% 34.2%
#2 Longfellow $700,000 20 112.8% 30.3%
#3 Trestle Glen $1,100,000 15 114.5% 41.7%
Tom Hendershot

“Bushrod is a quaint enclave of homes with unique character nestled between the more established (and expensive) area of Rockridge and the increasingly trendy hot spot of Temescal. From Bushrod you can walk to some of the Bay Area’s best restaurants on College Ave., such as À Côté and Millennium. It’s also walking distance to either the Ashby or Rockridge BART stations. There’s a joke in this part of town that it’s closer to San Francisco than San Francisco is — you can get to the financial district in under 20 minutes on most occasions. Bushrod isn’t a well-known neighborhood name yet, but it obviously soon will be. Homebuyers come to the area hoping to find something in Rockridge and realize they can have an even better lifestyle at a lower cost in Bushrod. This may not last for long though — one two-bedroom starter home in this neighborhood recently sold for $200,000 over the list price and was off the market in 10 days. There are still deals to be found here however and they will definitely prove to be a great investment.”

Orange County, CA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 West Brea (Brea) $600,000 41 98.2% 43.7%
#2 Northpark Square (Irvine) $880,000 60 97.2% 34.9%
#3 Serrano Highlands (Lake Forest) $459,500 42 98.8% 42.1%
Kimberly Rehnquist

“Brea in general is rapidly growing in popularity, but the westside has seen a lot more interest since it remains one of the more affordable spots in this highly desirable part of O.C. There’s a good mix of housing types to choose from, including new construction and a few pockets of charming, older homes that can still be had for just over $500,000 — a rarity in Orange County. This part of Brea is also in high demand since it’s close to downtown Brea at the corner of Birch St. and Brea Blvd. Unlike the sprawling Brea Mall, this part of town offers more of a community feel with independently owned restaurants and shops as well as a great farmers market.”

Orlando, FL

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 South Eola $385,000 112 92.2% N/A
#2 Colonialtown North $275,000 55 95.9% N/A
#3 Central Business District $200,000 90 93.2% N/A
Octavia White

“Downtown Orlando has undergone a revitalization recently, and it’s become a place you actually might want to hang out after work, rather than driving back home to the suburbs for dinner. I’ve seen a lot more interest from buyers who want to live a more urban lifestyle; maybe they want to check out a new bar or restaurant for dinner on the weeknight, or visit the farmer’s market over the weekend. As this lifestyle becomes more popular, my buyers have increasingly looked for some of the older condos in South Eola, or some of the single-family homes in neighborhoods like Colonialtown. That neighborhood has also increased in popularity among investors, who can snatch up an affordable single-family home, and either renovate or rebuild it to suit a buyer with a more turnkey experience in mind.”

Philadelphia, PA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Spruce Hill $415,200 29 96.0% N/A
#2 East Kensington $212,000 45 95.2% N/A
#3 Point Breeze $178,000 44 93.3% N/A
Jimmy Caraway

“Spruce Hill is one of the few places in Philly where you can find large Victorian-style homes with lots of character on nice-sized plots of land. Often in other urban neighborhoods in this city, it’s common to see row houses that have no yard, but not the case in Spruce Hill. In addition to those large beautiful older homes, the neighborhood is near both University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, and the University of Pennsylvania offers a subsidy to people affiliated with the school who move to the area. I’ve noticed more competition in the neighborhood recently and I think it’s a combination of people wanting to up-size and graduate students and professors who are drawn to the proximity of their university jobs.”

Phoenix, AZ

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Thunderbird Palms $179,700 15 96.9% 70.0%
#2 Los Vistoso (Chandler) $299,900 79 96.3% 28.8%
#3 The Lakes (Tempe) $274,500 56 95.0% 31.6%
Wayne Graham

“The Westside of Phoenix was hit particularly hard during the recession and as a result the recovery has been a bit slower here. Thunderbird Palms is an area where, because of that slow recovery, it’s still possible to purchase single family homes for under $300,000, and I’ve seen interest and competition pick up in this neighborhood recently. Add to that the fact that you are sandwiched between the expanding medical facilities at Banner and ASU West, and you have a neighborhood that’s near a lot of job opportunities.”

Portland, OR

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Eliot $494,400 12 102.5% 74.4%
#2 Barclay Hills (Oregon City) $284,000 16 99.6% 61.7%
#3 Downtown Vancouver (Vancouver) $240,000 19 99.1% 50.4%
Michael Morris

“As traffic intensifies in Portland, proximity to downtown and access to public transportation are increasingly important to many buyers. Not only does Eliot have a high Walk Score, with arguably some of the best restaurants in the city peppered throughout, but it’s also right across the river from downtown, has easy access to the MAX line and even has a bike lane running right through the center of the neighborhood (and an impressive Bike Score of 96). Eliot has diverse housing stock with a mix of older renovated homes, new condos, and townhomes, especially along Williams and Vancouver. Those recent housing developments and rehabilitations, along with the many transit options, are making Eliot an especially popular location right now–even though the neighborhood has been garnering attention for a few years.”

Queens, NY

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Astoria (New York) $736,900 68 95.2% N/A
#2 Bayside (New York) $458,000 66 95.4% N/A
#3 Jackson Heights (New York) $384,000 64 96.2% N/A
Lynn Song

“There’s been an ongoing wave of interest in Astoria over the past couple of years because of its close proximity to Manhattan. The N, Q, R and W Subway lines all go directly into Manhattan. The neighborhood is also relatively affordable and a lot of buyers who have gotten priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn end up moving here. The neighborhood itself is also chock-full of great bars and restaurants with a variety of different cuisines including Greek, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese and American cuisine. Astoria Park is another feature of Astoria that makes it particuarly desirable; there’s a track for running and it has beautiful views of Manhattan across the water.”

Riverside, CA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Corona Hills (Corona) $410,000 41 98.4% 42.8%
#2 Sunnyslope $290,000 23 97.9% 50.0%
#3 Arlanza $295,000 40 100.0% 50.7%
Frank Byrd

“Corona Hills is gaining popularity in the Inland Empire because it is located closer to Orange County and Los Angeles, and homebuyers can purchase large, newly constructed homes for about half the price they would pay for the same place in the O.C. For a while this area didn’t get too much attention because it had poor access to the major commuter freeways of the 91 and the 15, but the recently completed Foothill Parkway Extension has cut that time down considerably. Many of the homes here have mountain views and the neighborhood feels very private and serene — and now it’s got quick freeway access as well.”

Sacramento, CA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Hollywood Park $345,000 9 100.2% 67.2%
#2 Midtown $537,500 23 100.2% 52.9%
#3 Tahoe Park $317,700 11 99.6% 61.9%
Matt Jones

“As people get priced out of other neighborhoods near city center, I’ve seen an increase in interest in Hollywood Park in particular. It’s one of the few neighborhoods that’s in really close proximity to downtown and yet still has some affordable homes available. A lot of the buyers I’ve worked with appreciate the unique older homes there and they are willing to sacrifice certain other amenities (like higher Walk Score ratings) in order to have charming homes with character that are still affordable and just a ten minute commute to some of the hippest areas in Sacramento. While Hollywood Park isn’t necessarily known for its walkability, there is a budding commercial district that I anticipate will continue to grow as the popularity of the neighborhood also increases.”

San Antonio, TX

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Lavaca $282,500 90 92.7% N/A
#2 Sonoma Ranch (Helotes) $352,200 69 95.4% N/A
#3 Mahncke Park $343,700 82 93.9% N/A
Melanie Salas

“Lavaca has always been a go-to neighborhood; in fact, it’s one of the oldest in San Antonio. But lately, it’s been even more popular with all of the transplants moving here from D.C., New York and other big cities. It’s a quiet, quaint neighborhood with a variety of home styles and types, but it’s also really close to downtown so it appeals to those who want access to an urban lifestyle. Many of the families in Lavaca were born and raised there, so there’s a really strong sense of community. The neighbors put on happy hour get-togethers, pub crawls and there’s even a potluck coming up this month.”

San Diego, CA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Olde Carlsbad (Carlsbad) $785,000 43 95.2% 32.2%
#2 4s Ranch $727,000 25 97.6% 51.0%
#3 Mt. Soledad $1,079,000 66 94.4% 25.9%
Ernie Macmanus

“As prices continue to rise in San Diego and any available homes for sale are typically very expensive, more people are considering a move to the neighboring city, Carlsbad. Olde Carlsbad is particularly popular because it has highly-rated schools, a wide variety of homes at varying price points and it’s situated near a lagoon that is one of the only lagoons in the area where water sports like stand-up paddleboarding and fishing are allowed with a permit. Many of the homes here have ocean views– you can even find condos and townhomes right on the water. For those commuting into San Diego, the Coaster train is a rapid 35-minute commute and doesn’t require braving the traffic.”

San Francisco, CA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Visitacion Valley $750,000 34 107.8% 34.8%
#2 Excelsior $890,000 19 111.8% 34.8%
#3 Inner Richmond $1,751,000 20 109.9% 38.3%
Miriam Westberg

“Viz Valley’s hotness is no surprise for one simple reason: it is one of the last places within the city limits of San Francisco where you can still buy a single-family home for less than a million dollars. It’s located in the southernmost part of the city, which makes it easy for commuters to get into the urban core of SF or down the pennisula to Silicon Valley. Bordering the north end of Visitacion is McLaren Park, which is a beautiful outdoor space very popular with the locals. The best part about it is that you can actually enjoy being outdoors more often here since its southerly location means Karl the Fog doesn’t really hang out here that often.”

San Jose, CA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Serra (The Dalles) (Sunnyvale) $1,760,000 13 106.8% 66.0%
#2 Sunnyhills (Milpitas) $842,500 19 103.0% 55.2%
#3 Miramonte-Springer (Mountain View) $1,888,000 10 107.5% 66.3%
Kalena Masching

“Serra, also known by the name of the main drag that runs through the middle of the neighborhood, “The Dalles,” is gaining more popularity lately as more homebuyers in the Silicon Valley continue to get pushed south of Palo Alto and Los Altos. The neighborhood itself is quiet, comprised of charming single-family homes, and the highly ranked schools are a draw for young families. Although not quite walkable, a quick Uber ride will get you into Downtown Sunnyvale, which has gone through a recent development boom. There’s a Philz coffee there, which is always a sign that a neighborhood is getting more popular, and people flock to Murphy Ave. for the pubs, live music and of course for the Saturday morning farmers market, which is held year-round.”

Seattle, WA

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Woodridge (Bellevue) $720,000 7 106.7% 84.0%
#2 Education Hill (Redmond) $625,000 7 104.6% 81.6%
#3 South Park $330,000 10 104.0% 73.9%
Loren Ellingson

“Woodridge, which ranked as the eighth hottest neighborhood in the nation in 2015, now ranks second nationally because of its highly ranked schools and convenient location only minutes from downtown Bellevue. Strong price growth in the area over the past couple years hasn’t deterred buyers, and when homes come on the market they are met with multiple offers from well-qualified buyers.”

St. Louis, MO

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Fox Park $155,700 75 96.4% N/A
#2 Maplewood (Maplewood) $150,500 44 96.3% N/A
#3 Soulard Historic District $234,900 88 92.4% N/A
Tamika Evans

“After losing significant population in the 1990s, Fox Park is now one of the fastest-growing south city neighborhoods in St. Louis. It’s home to small community businesses, local restaurants and is bordered by popular St. Louis neighborhoods such as Compton Heights, Tower Grove East, McKinley Heights and Benton Park. The Fox Park Historic District was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and became a City historic district in 2006. The area has rich architectural styles that include Italianate, Second Empire, Eclectic Revivals and Arts and Crafts homes.”

Tampa, FL

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Seminole/Riverside Heights $68,000 49 94.2% N/A
#2 Jungle Terrace (St. Petersburg) $169,700 46 95.9% N/A
#3 Historic Kenwood (St. Petersburg) $250,000 54 94.6% N/A

“Seminole/Riverside Heights is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and it’s chock-full of charming bungalows and craftsman-style homes. Front porches, bay windows, red doors, and brick roads characterize this white-hot market of Tampa. Business and infrastructure are booming in the area, while mom and pop shops continue to thrive. Homebuyers looking to buy in this neighborhood will likely encounter busy open houses and bidding wars that lead to homes selling above list price.”

Washington, DC

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Colonial Village/Sheperd Park (Washington, DC) $772,500 36 97.5% 44.4%
#2 Arlington Heights (Arlington) $577,000 15 99.0% 50.0%
#3 Yorktown (Arlington) $857,000 30 97.2% 42.9%

“Colonial Village and Shepherd Park are two small, adjacent neighborhoods at the far northern tip of D.C. proper. Increasingly, people who bought condos in central D.C. neighborhoods are looking for more space as their families expand, especially now that equity has risen and their debts are lower. What appeals about both areas are the larger lot sizes, the predominance of single-family homes and the suburban feel – and yet you’re still in the city. That’s hard to find and is currently a big draw. Many of the homes were built mid-twentieth century, so you have solid, classic architecture and lots of all-brick. In fact, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser moved to Colonial Village in 2015, so maybe she was ahead of the curve.”

West Palm Beach, FL

Neighborhood Median Sale Price Median Days on Market Average Sale-to-List % Hot Homes %
#1 Hidden Valley (Boca Raton) $429,900 87 93.2% N/A
#2 Boca Raton Square (Boca Raton) $380,000 66 94.1% N/A
#3 Boca Greens (Boca Raton) $392,500 129 93.2% N/A

“Hidden Valley area is very popular for a number of reasons. First, this neighborhood has highly rated schools, which have created a lot of demand in the area. It’s also a particularly desirable location because it’s close to several beaches, but still offers easy access to the major roadways that lead to the downtown Boca area, known for its trendy restaurants and nightlife. Mizner park is in the vicinity of Hidden Valley, which is a popular place for shopping, dining and concerts. There are quite a few universities in the area, as well. Homebuyers are drawn to this neighborhood because there is no HOA, which means no additional fees.”



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Trump’s Treasury Pick Defends Foreclosure Practices

President-elect Donald Trump’s Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin took the stand today at his senate hearing, which focused heavily on Mnuchin’s role as chairman of OneWest Bank.

The Senate Finance Committee met today for Mnuchin’s hearing for the Treasury secretary nominee. During the hearing, Democrats continued to ask the “foreclosure king” about his role in his bank’s foreclosures during the housing crisis.

But Mnuchin was quick to defend his actions, saying that his bank always preferred to perform loan modifications when possible, which brought in more income for the bank than a foreclosure.

In fact, even before the hearing Movement Mortgage CEO Casey Crawford defendedMnuchin, saying he was not a foreclosure king.


In fact, he said he inherited most of the loans he closed on, rather than created them himself.

Mnuchin’s foreclosures is clearly a topic of concern for many of the Senators. In fact, Banking Committee Ranking Member Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, posted her frustration of Mnuchin’s actions on her Twitter feed.

Mnuchin claimed that his bank made “every effort” to prevent foreclosures during his time there.

While his time at OneWest was a main topic for the hearing, sentors also touched on other topics, such as the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. However this topic received less than a minute of time during the hearing.

Mnuchin responded that while he believed the CFPB needed to stay, but said how it is funded should change.

When asked how he would revive community banks by Senator Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, Mnuchin answered that he is very concerned that the regulatory costs put community banks out of business.

“If we want to have economic growth…we need to have banks,” Mnuchin said. “Those banks understand the people in the community and can make good loans.”

Mnuchin also touched on mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, stated that he is not in favor of recap and release, but would rather find a more bi-partisan solution. Read more on that here.

The committee also touched on tax reform, which Mnuchin says he wants to simplify, and Trump’s conflict of interests in his businesses.



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Trump Suspends Mortgage Premium Rate Cut

The freshly-inaugurated Trump administration has halted a cut to the FHA mortgage insurance premium that Obama’s team announced during his final days in office.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development said Friday that the reduction to the annual mortgage insurance premiums borrowers pay when taking out government-backed home loans has been “suspended indefinitely.”

On Friday night, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus released a memorandum to all executive departments and agencies to freeze new and pending regulations from the previous administration.

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On Friday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the president is undercutting his inaugural message. During his opening statement on the Senate floor, he asked Trump to reverse the suspension of the rate cut.

“What a terrible thing to do to American homeowners,” Schumer said, according to his prepared remarks. “President Trump, with the flick of a pen, ended that new policy, making it harder for Americans of modest means to obtain their piece of the rock, the American dream — home ownership.”

During his confirmation hearing for HUD secretary last week, Ben Carson, said former HUD Secretary Julián Castro did not reach out to him about the rate cut.

1372222346_President Obama Details Sweeping Climate Policies“I too, was surprised to see something of this nature done on the way out the door, which of course has a profound effect,” he said in response to a question from Republican Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania. “If confirmed, I am going to work with the FHA administrator and other financial experts to really examine that policy.”

The money borrowers pay for premiums is funneled into the FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which is used to cover losses from insured loans that become delinquent. During his questioning at the confirmation hearing, Toomey expressed concern over the agency’s financial buffer, known as a capital ratio.

“The capital ratio that is the statutory requirement minimum is 2%, it’s only at 2.32[%]–this strikes me as very little buffer above the minimum. And after all, as recently as 2013 the FHA needed a bailout,” the senator said.

The FHA backs loans for millions of homeowners, offering more lenient credit requirements and allowing down payments as low as 3.5%. But borrowers are required to pay insurance premiums to help protect lenders in the event of a default.

In 2015, the FHA insured loans for more than 1.1 million borrowers.

FHA loans are attractive to borrowers with lower credit scores, or those who don’t have the traditional 20% down payment in savings. But the premiums, coupled with recently rising home prices, can make the monthly payments high.

Many housing experts also expect mortgage rates to rise this year. While mortgage rates ticked higher in the weeks following Trump’s election, they’ve cooled off in the past three weeks. The average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage is 4.09%, down from 4.12% last week, Freddie Mac reported on Thursday. A year ago, the rate was 3.81%.

-CNN’s Manu Raju and Tal Kopan contributed reporting to this story / CNNMoney (New York)



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HUD Nominee Ben Carson Won’t Back Down (stands strong against senate banking committee)

Dr. Ben Carson, nominee for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, sought to assure a Senate committee Thursday that there was a real “nexus” between health and housing, and that makes the neurosurgeon more than qualified for the job. He would not, however, promise to avoid the nexus between the billions of dollars HUD pours into the real estate industry and the Trump real estate empire. 

“Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer dollar that you give out will financially benefit the president elect or his family?” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, asked during the confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.

“I can assure you that the things that I do are driven by a sense of morals and values, and therefore I will absolutely not play favorites for anyone,” he answered.

“Do I take that to mean that you might manage programs that might significantly benefit the president-elect?” continued Warren.

“You can take it to mean that I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people. That is going to be the goal. If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that’s working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you’re targeting is going to benefit, you know $10 from it, am I going to say no, the rest of you Americans can’t have it? I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way,” responded Carson.


Housing and Urban Development Secretary-designate Ben Carson testifies at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.


Warren replied: “The problem is that you can’t assure us that HUD money, not of $10 varieties, but multimillion dollar varieties, will not end up in the president-elect’s pockets, and the reason you can’t assure us of that is because the president-elect is hiding his family’s business interests from you, from me, from the rest of America.”

HUD is clearly at the crossroads of the Trump industry and the president-elect’s conflict with government. Carson, the former GOP presidential candidate, has no experience in housing, but as a strong supporter of Donald Trump, he has the valuable ear of the White House. Conflicts are obviously possible, and Carson gave no assurance that he would place a firewall between Trump the real estate developer and Trump the president of the United States.

Carson did immediately address his lack of experience in housing policy, the primary complaint against him from opposition groups. He noted his experience on various corporate boards, which included selecting chief executive officers.

 “A good CEO doesn’t necessarily know everything about the business, but he knows how to pick people and how to use them, and that is one of the marks of good leadership,” Carson said in his remarks to the panel.

Carson focused much of his opening remarks on race relations and health, using his expertise in both to highlight their importance in housing. Previous HUD secretaries have woven race into housing, emphasizing how fair lending practices and government aid to struggling communities are necessary to bridging the divide between the haves and the have-nots.

” I see HUD as part of the solution, helping ensure housing security and strong communities,” he said in the statement. “HUD has several different ways it helps people, through insuring financing for that first home to helping those in poverty, which has been an intractable problem for decades.”

Carson’s emphasis on health issues in housing clearly draws on his professional experience and marks something of a new take on housing in low-income neighborhoods. He cited mold, lead paint, pest infestation and poor ventilation as dangers that are particularly prevalent in poorer neighborhoods and housing projects.

“I am passionate about health as you may have guessed, and where one lives should not cause health problems. So I look forward to working with HUD’s Safe and Healthy Homes program and others on these issues. We cannot have social mobility without a strong healthy foundation in the home,” he said.

shutterstock_131118848On one closely watched policy question, specifically the recent announcement by the current HUD secretary, Julian Castro, that the Federal Housing Administration would reduce its annual premium by 25 basis points, Carson was non-committal.

“I, too, was surprised to see something of this nature done on the way out the door. Certainly if confirmed, I’m going to work with the FHA administrator and other experts to really examine that policy,” Carson said in response to a question from Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa.

Carson was more emphatic on rental assistance programs, saying: “I think the rental assistance program is essential. When it comes to entitlement programs it is cruel and unusual punishment to withdraw those programs before you provide an alternative.”

He also told the committee he had changed his mind about cutting government spending across all federal agencies by 10 percent. He trimmed that to 1 percent.

Carson was also clear on the question of government funding in the mortgage market. Republicans, including Trump Treasury Steven Mnuchin, have suggested aggressive moves to bring private capital back to the mortgage market.

“We do have to have a mechanism, a backstop of some type. Otherwise when someone comes in and buys up the loans, securitizes them, we’re probably not going to be able to sell them to the entities that buy them,” Carson said.

Article first published here:



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Bank Of America Accused Of Hispanic Discrimination

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday that it is charging Bank of America and two of its employees with discriminating against Hispanic mortgage borrowers.

The charges stem from a complaint filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance, which conducted a series of “secret shopper” tests where Hispanic and non-Hispanic individuals, posing as prospective mortgage borrowers, attempted to get a mortgage from a Bank of America branch in Charleston, South Carolina.

According to the National Fair Housing Alliance and HUD, Hispanic prospective mortgage borrowers were given inferior loan options when compared to non-Hispanic prospective borrowers.

Specifically, the NFHA claimed that bank discriminated against prospective borrowers who are Hispanic by failing to provide them with information about loan products or by offering them loan products with less attractive terms, as compared to prospective borrowers who are not Hispanic.

HUD’s charge, accused Bank of America of discrimination based on national origin by treating the Hispanic testers less favorably than the non-Hispanic testers, which would qualify as a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to deny or discriminate in the terms and conditions of a mortgage or loan modification based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

It’s important to note that HUD’s charge is merely a charge, not proof that Bank of America, nor the two employees in question, discriminated against anyone. The case will be heard in federal district court.

Then, if it is determined that illegal discrimination occurred, a judge may award actual and punitive damages, order injunctive or other equitable relief to deter further discrimination, and order that defendants pay NFHA’s attorney fees, HUD said.

“Today’s charge reflects our nation’s promise of fair housing and equal access to credit for qualified families, regardless of their national origin,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue working to ensure that lenders fulfill their obligation under the law to treat all applicants equally.”

Original Article Published Here:



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The ‘Bond Massacre’ Is Coming (and it’s worse than 1994)

Bonds dwarfs the US stock market capitalization ($27 trillion). Bonds are a global phenomenon with even bigger bubbles elsewhere, particularly in NIRP countries, such as those in Europe, and in Japan. That’s why bonds matter. They’re enormous. And the damage they can do to investors is huge.

The backdrop: after 36 years of bond bull market, the amount of US bonds has ballooned to $47 trillion, up 24% from just ten years ago:

  • US Treasurys ($19.8 trillion),
  • Municipal bonds ($3.8 trillion)
  • Mortgage related bonds ($8.9 trillion)
  • Corporate bonds ($8.6 trillion)
  • Federal Agency bonds ($2 trillion)
  • Money Markets ($2.6 trillion)
  • Asset backed Securities ($1.3 trillion)

bgs-02814r-4d03d4b8-f9f4-465f-a03d-ae84639967e8So how bad might the next bond bear market get? Paul Schmelzing, a visiting scholar at the Bank of England and an academic at Harvard where he concentrates on 20th century financial history, published an unpleasant scenario on the Bank of England’s blog. He doesn’t mince words:

 [A]s rates reached their lowest level ever in 2016, investors rather worried about the “biggest bond market bubble in history” coming to a violent end. The sharp sell-off in global bonds following the US election seems to confirm their fears. Looking back over eight centuries of data, I find that the 2016 bull market was indeed one of the largest ever recorded. History suggests this reversal will be driven by inflation fundamentals, and leave investors worse off than the 1994 “bond massacre.”

To arrive at his conclusion, he classifies bond bear markets into three types:

  1. The inflation reversal of 1967-1971
  2. The sharp reversal or “Bond Massacre” of 1994
  3. The steepening yield curve or “value-at-risk shock” in Japan in 2003.

He explains that “historically, inflation acceleration has been a solid predictor of sharp bond selloffs.” But other “prominent episodes appear less correlated with fundamentals, and can inflict similar levels of losses.”

The-Wolf-of-Wall-Street-DIType 1: The inflation reversal of 1967-1971 occurred as annual inflation shot from 1.6% to 5.9%, along with some pressures on the federal budget from the Vietnam War that pushed the deficit from 0.2% in 1965 to 2.8% in 1968. But even when the budget moved back into balance, Treasurys continued their rout:

The “inflation reversal” leaves bondholders particularly bruised, and is most clearly associated with fundamentals: namely a sharp turnaround in realized consumer price inflation (CPI).

Type 2: The Sharp Reversal of 1994, or the “Bond Massacre,” turned out to be short-lived. It wasn’t caused by inflation, fiscal policies, or Fed action. The Fed did begin to raise rates in May 1994, but the turmoil had started in Q3 1993 and peaked in early 1994. Instead:

 [T]he dramatic increase in leveraged bond positions by both US hedge funds and mundane money managers set in motion self-reinforcing liquidations once uncertainty over emerging markets including Turkey, Venezuela, Mexico, and Malaysia – all of which experienced sharp capital flow volatility – put pressure on speculative positions.

Type 3: The value-at-risk (VAR) shock in Japan in 2003 occurred when fears spread that the Bank of Japan, which was already doing QE before it was called QE, would taper its purchases of Japanese Government Bonds. The yield curve, which had been extraordinarily flat, steepen sharply, as prices of longer-dated bonds sagged. These sagging prices hit banks, which hold large portfolios of JGBs, particularly hard. Their shares crashed to multi-year lows, and some received taxpayer bailouts:

 [T]he sudden steepening of the JGB curve from the middle of 2003 posed a new set of challenges: calibrated risk management structures, known as “Value-at-Risk” models, required banks to shed JGB assets once their price started plummeting. Since most banks followed similar quantitative signals, and exerted a traditionally strong home bias in their fixed income portfolios, a concerted dumping of government bonds ensued.

Schmelzing concludes:

A pessimistic reader could certainly identify gloomy ingredients for the “perfect storm”: the potential for a painful steepening of bond curves, after a sustained flattening as in 2003, coupled with monetary tightening; and a multi-year period of sustained losses due to a structural return of inflation as in 1967.

big_short_featureBut he considered the Type-2 “meltdown,” as it happened in 1994, less likely. At the time, highly leveraged bond positions and external shocks came together. This time, there has been “progress on bank leverage regulations,” and “the current global capital flow cycle has already almost fully reversed from the cycle peak,” he writes.

Instead, it will more likely turn into a toxic combination of Type-1 and Type-2 bear markets:

Global inflation dynamics are picking up, at a time when Central bankers voice more tolerance for “inflation overshoots.” Though currently bank equity investors are cheering the steepening of yield curves, meanwhile, the 2003 Japan episode should fix regulators’ attention on the growing home-bias in government bonds.

Banks in some countries are particularly exposed to the VAR shock, including Italy, whose financial institutions hold 18% of their assets in Italian government debt, up from 12% in 2008. And “in most geographies,” banks hold these domestic government bonds mainly in “‘available-for-sale’ portfolio buckets, where they have to be marked-to-market.” That allowed banks to take the gains as central banks pushed down interest rates and inflated bond prices in recent years, but it now exposes them to losses and forced selling.

On balance, then, more than to a 1994-style meltdown, fixed income assets seem about to be confronted with dynamics similar to the second half of the 1960s, coupled with complications of a 2003-style curve steepening. By historical standards, this implies sustained double-digit losses on bond holdings, subpar growth in developed markets, and balance sheet risks for banking systems with a large home bias.

And that would not conform to the rosy scenario.

Read the original article on Wolf Street. Copyright 2017.


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Democrats Call Trump Treasury Secretary “Foreclosure King”


Senate Democrats made it clear they are not big fans of Steve Mnuchin, a former executive at Goldman Sachs, the former chairman of OneWest Bank, and President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Department of the Treasury.

As HousingWire reporter Ben Lane reported, it appears that the Democrats will seek to use Mnuchin’s time at OneWest as part of their case against approving him as Treasury secretary, calling Mnuchin the “foreclosure king” and asking people who may have been “impacted” by OneWest’s practices to share their stories.

george-costanza-shrinkageFor those who need reminding, OneWest was formed in the remains of IndyMac, and it is that activity that helped Trump in his decision.

“He (Mnuchin) purchased IndyMac Bank for $1.6 billion and ran it very professionally, selling it for $3.4 billion plus a return of capital,” Trump said last month. “That’s the kind of people I want in my administration representing our country.”

However, according to Jack Guttenberg, professor of finance emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania writing in the Huffington Post, Democrats may find it troubling to get the “foreclosure king” label to stick, primarily due to a level of misreporting in the media.

He explains:

The headline on Bloomberg News as reported by National Mortgage News caught my eye. It read “Mnuchin’s Reverse Mortgage Woes Blemish Record of Treasury Pick.” As I read on, I realized that reverse mortgage-bashing by the media, which had almost disappeared in recent years, was now being revived to tarnish a Trump appointee. The article reports that reverse mortgages are an “icky” business in which celebrity spokespersons “set the stage for a potential foreclosure on an elderly widow or widower…”

What is the connection to Mnuchin? With several other investors, he had acquired the insolvent IndyMac in 2009 from FDIC, and with it Financial Freedom, a reverse mortgage lender owned by Indy Mac. Financial Freedom, according to Bloomberg, “has carried out 16,220 foreclosures since 2009, or about 39% of the country’s reverse-mortgage foreclosures…” The “blemish” on Mnuchin seems to be his association with the heavy foreclosure volume by Financial Freedom.

As his headline suggests, “Foreclosures of reverse mortgages are different.” And, he asked HUD for some more clarification. When it comes to reverse mortgages, the government explained, there are actually few of the painful evictions that are usually associated with the foreclosure process.

shutterstock_258779678“In sum, the word “foreclosure” is freighted with emotion because of its association with evictions of borrowers who have defaulted on their standard mortgages,” Guttenberg explains. “On HECM reverse mortgages, very few foreclosures involve evictions, which are rare and becoming more so.”

Therefore, if Senate Democrats wish to nail Mnuchin as a foreclosure king, it would be prudent to stick to forward mortgage foreclosures he is associated with, lest they wish to incriminate the FHA and its HECM practices as well.


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