Exclusive – Housing Wire – Ben Carson will accept HUD Secretary role
The speculation is now over as sources close to the appointment confirm to HousingWire that Ben Carson will officially accept the role of United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Rumors swirled this week over whether Carson, a former GOP presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon would accept the role. Now, the speculation is over – Carson announced he will accept and those sources say a formal acceptance will come as soon as today or tomorrow. President-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday on Twitter that he was “seriously considering” Carson as the next HUD Secretary. Later Tuesday, a report from Reuters stated that Trump did offer the top HUD job to Carson. While Carson previously stated that he was not interested in serving on Trump’s cabinet, he told Fox News that he was reconsidering the possibility. In fact, the former GOP presidential candidate even announced on his Facebook Wednesday that “after serious discussions with the Trump transition team,” he believed he could make a difference. He also stated that an announcement would come soon about his role in “helping to make America great again,” according to an article by Damian Paletta and Nick Timiraos for The Wall Street Journal. The new HUD secretary also took to Twitter to announce his upcoming decision.
Dr. Ben Carson ✔ @RealBenCarson
An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again. http://buff.ly/2fRFq4u
8:43 AM – 23 Nov 2016 3,585 3,585 Retweets 11,839 11,839 likes
Before Carson accepted the position, rumors swirled about the possibility of Pam Patenaude, who currently serves as the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, and Robert Woodson, who runs the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise in Washington, D.C., taking the position of potential HUD secretaries under Trump.
Trump threatens to terminate US-Cuba deal if ‘Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal’
Donald Trump warned in a tweet on Monday that he would terminate the 2014 deal that reopened Cuban-American relations if Havana is unwilling to negotiate a better agreement. The tweet reaffirms Trump’s hardliner stance on US-Cuba relations, which became evident on Saturday when he released a statement in response to Fidel Castro’s death that condemned him for oppressing his people. “If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the US as a whole, I will terminate deal,” the tweet reads. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s former campaign manager and senior advisor, commented this weekend on Trump’s stance, saying “on the issue of diplomatic relations being re-opened with Cuba, what President-elect Trump says is that he’d be open to that himself, but that we got nothing in return.” “We’re allowing commercial aircraft there. We pretend that we’re actually doing business with the Cuban people now when, really, we’re doing business with the Cuban government and the Cuban military. They still control everything,” she said. Landmark commercial flights to Cuba from the United States resumed Monday morning after more than a half-century of interruption. JetBlue’s first commercial flight to Havana, Cuba took off from John F. Kennedy airport just before 9 a.m. Monday. American Airlines is offering its own one-hour flights from Miami to Havana on Monday. Delta Airlines will soon follow suit when it begins offering regular flights to Cuba from the United States on Dec. 1. The Cuban government announced that Castro’s ashes will be buried Sunday at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba.
Black Knight – Home Price Index Report: September 2016
The Data and Analytics division of Black Knight Financial Services, Inc. released its latest Home Price Index (HPI) report, based on September 2016 residential real estate transactions. The Black Knight HPI utilizes repeat sales data from the nation’s largest public records data set, as well as its market-leading, loan-level mortgage performance data, to produce one of the most complete and accurate measures of home prices available for both disclosure and non-disclosure states. Non-disclosure states do not include property sales price information as part of their publicly available county recorder data. Black Knight is able to obtain the sales price information for these states by combining and matching records across its unique data assets.
– September’s home price movement was relatively flat at the national level, with home prices ticking up just 0.1% from August
– US home prices are up 5.4% from last year and are now within just 0.6% of hitting a new national peak
– New York led home price gains among the states for the third consecutive month, with home prices there gaining 0.9% from August
– Florida and Washington dominated the best-performing metropolitan areas, collectively accounting for nine of the top 10
– Home prices in St. Louis, Mo., continue to underperform, falling another 0.7% for the month and pulling the metro even further from its 2007 peak; it remains alone among the top 40 metros in seeing negative year-over-year movement
– Home prices in seven of the nation’s 20 largest states and seven of the 40 largest metros hit new peaks
United States HPI: $266K
Change from Last Month: 0.1%
Change from Last Year: 5.4%
Month-over-month change in foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate: -0.6%
Largest States’ HPI Changes from Last Month (Ranked by Population)
New York 0.9%
North Carolina 0.2%
Largest Metros’ HPI Changes from Last Month (Ranked by Population)
New York, NY 0.6%
Los Angeles, CA -0.3%
Chicago, IL -0.4%
Dallas, TX 0.4%
Houston, TX 0.0%
Philadelphia, PA -0.2%
Washington D.C. -0.2%
Miami, FL 0.7%
Atlanta, GA 0.2%
Boston, MA 0.1%
Top 10 Movers, State-Level
New York 0.9%
New Mexico 0.4%
South Dakota 0.4%
Top 10 Movers, Metro-Level
Lakeland, FL 1.2%
Palm Bay, FL 1.2%
Homosassa Springs, FL 1.0%
Mount Vernon, WA 0.9%
Daytona Beach, FL 0.8%
Yakima, WA 0.8%
Port St. Lucie, FL 0.8%
Glens Falls, NY 0.8%
Longview, WA 0.8%
Bellingham, WA 0.8%
Will Trump shake up the auto industry?
onald Trump’s agenda on trade and environmental regulations has raised major questions about the road ahead for car companies. On the campaign trail, Trump frequently criticized Ford and the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying trade deals have cost American jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector. The transition team currently forming the Trump administration has already signaled that reforming US trade deals will be one of the first tasks undertaken by the President-elect next year.’ The incoming administration also has its sights on environmental regulations imposed by President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency. For car companies, this means fuel-efficiency rules that some in the industry view as overly burdensome could be up for significant changes. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group that represents top automakers including General Motors (GM) and Ford (F), sent Trump’s transition team a memo that highlighted its positions on issues like the federal government’s emissions standards. The organization has pushed for reform amid cheaper gasoline prices and weak sales of electric vehicles. Federal agencies recently began a midterm review of the 2012 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program, which stated that automakers would have to more than double their fleet-wide fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by model-year 2025.
Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, told Congress that federal rules can’t ignore a consumer shift from passenger cars to sport-utility vehicles, while electric cars struggle to gain traction. Plug-in electric cars make up less than 1% of sales. “Much has changed in four years – most notably, fuel prices and changes in consumer purchasing habits. These changes are important to keep in mind because automakers are ultimately judged not by what they produce but by what consumers buy,” Bainwol said in his congressional testimony. The CAFE deal allowed for both sides to take a second look at the regulations in 2017, coinciding with Trump’s rise to the White House. Final rules are expected in early 2018. Other potential changes coming next year and beyond may throw a wrench into the auto industry’s supply chain. Trump’s attacks on Ford focused on the automaker’s plan to construct a $1.6 billion factory in Mexico, where it will hire 2,800 additional people. Ford expects to begin assembling small cars at the plant in 2018. Eventually, all of Ford’s small-car production will be concentrated in Mexico. Ford CEO Mark Fields has argued that new models in the US would replace car production going south of the border, thus preventing any loss of jobs. He confirmed this week that Ford’s Mexico plans have not changed. Even before Inauguration Day, Trump is touting progress on the issue. On Thursday evening, Trump posted a message on Twitter (TWTR) saying he spoke to Ford Chairman Bill Ford, who told the President-elect that Lincoln production would remain at the company’s Louisville, Ky., plant.
Under terms of a new labor deal negotiated last year, the United Auto Workers union gave Ford the green light to build the Lincoln MKC compact SUV at a factory in Mexico. The production move would allow Ford to build more Ford Escapes in Louisville. But sales of the Escape have slipped in recent months, and demand since the start of 2016 has been roughly flat compared to last year. Ford also said it looks forward to working with the Trump administration to “support economic growth and jobs,” according to a statement provided after Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. Trump has argued that NAFTA, a wide-ranging trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, is an unfair deal that hurts American jobs. Cars shipped from Mexico to the US face no taxes, while Mexico imposes a tariff on cars imported into the country. During the campaign, Trump proposed implementing tariffs as high as 35% to encourage automakers to keep production in the US Shares in Ford and GM slipped in the wake of Trump’s win, but the stocks soon recovered as traders plowed into equities in the hope that the incoming administration will be a sparkplug for the economy. Efraim Levy, an analyst at CFRA Research, believes Trump will back away from his toughest stance on US trade policies. “Even with some potential tariff costs to automakers, we believe GM and Ford will have time to flex production and regional sales to mitigate the impact,” Levy wrote in a note to clients. As for the UAW, which publicly endorsed Clinton, the union suggested it will work with the Trump administration on trade policy. During a press conference following Trump’s victory Opens a New Window. , Williams called Trump’s position on trade “right on.”
WSJ – waterfront towers reel in unusual loan deal
The partners behind a gargantuan apartment complex being built on Manhattan’s far West Side have nailed down $2.3 billion in construction financing at a time when money from traditional lenders is hard to come by. GID and Henley Holding Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, are putting up three towers along the Hudson River between West 59th and West 61st streets. The expected finish date for the 1,132-unit Waterline Square project is 2019. The partners are borrowing $1.243 billion and are contributing more than $1 billion in equity. The leading lenders are Wells Fargo, HSBC USA, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. “They are really bucking the trend by getting a construction loan today,” said Ed LaGrassa, president of Chilton Realty International, which helps clients secure equity placements and structure joint ventures. “Because of a lack of construction lending available, a lot of projects aren’t going anywhere at the moment.” The 5-acre project is one of the few remaining waterfront development sites on the Upper West Side. The land is part of Riverside South, a strip between West 59th and West 72nd streets that had its own city master plan in the 1990s.
When GID began looking at the area in 2013, the company had figured to buy a single lot to build a single tower, said James Linsley, president of GID Development Group. Instead, the company acquired three adjoining sites to create an “authentic New York neighborhood,” he said. “This represented to us quite possibly the last waterfront development opportunity on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and that was a pretty rare situation,” Mr. Linsley said. Most of the foundations are completed for the three buildings, which will have rental apartments on the lower floors and condominiums on the upper ones. The partnership tapped Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, who designed the slender ultraluxury condo skyscraper at 432 Park Ave., Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC to design the glass, stone and metal towers, which range from 34 to 38 stories tall. “The three buildings are almost like cousins,” Mr. Linsley said. “They communicate with each other architecturally.”GID and Henley’s Waterline Square stands out because of the partners’ ability to secure a large construction loan from traditional lenders such as banks and insurance companies, said real estate financing experts. Banks won’t lend 75% to 85% of the construction costs like they often did before the financial crisis, said Michael Lefkowitz, a partner at real estate law firm Rosenberg & Estis PC. Today, banks and insurance companies lend only to developers with a proven record and for loans at 50% to 60% of the total costs.
Developers, said Mr. Lefkowitz, are turning to nontraditional lending sources such as other developers or the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which makes foreign nationals eligible for green cards if they invest in a new capital enterprise and create or preserve jobs. “They want to see substantial equity in the deal before they lend the first dollar,” Mr. Lefkowitz said. GID and Henley are counting on a strong residential market when Waterline Square is finished in a couple of years. Whatever the state of the market, real-estate experts are expecting the project to be a big draw. The partners, for example, will make 20% of the apartments affordable in exchange for the 421-a tax abatement. A handful of Manhattan landlords are offering concessions to rental tenants because of a new supply of apartments, but those are expected to be absorbed and rental vacancies are still low. And while the ultraluxury condo market is soft, the Upper West Side remains strong draw for families, Mr. LaGrassa said. “In essence, all their eggs are not in one basket,” Mr. LaGrassa said of GID and Henley’s Waterline Square. “You are diversifying into different buildings and different product types.”