Jon's Reading List - Week of October 8, 2021

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

A collection of articles that will hopefully be of interest.

Government Affairs

Treasury to Begin Redistributing Rental-Assistance Money to High-Need Communities (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 4, 2021)
The Treasury Department is set to soon claw back federal rental assistance from groups that haven’t acted to spend enough of the money so it can be given to other communities with greater need, according to new guidance published Monday...
Grantees that haven’t obligated at least 65% of the funds received under the pandemic Emergency Rental Assistance program by Sept. 30 must submit an improvement plan to the Treasury Department laying out steps they plan to take to get more funds out the door, the agency said. The lowest-performing groups—those that haven't spent or distributed at least 30% of the funds received—could see the relief money redistributed to other communities.

Housing

Housing Affordability Concerns Rise to the Fore World-Wide (Wall Street Journal, Sep. 27, 2021)
In cities from Austin to Dublin to Seoul, more families are finding it impossible to pay higher prices unleashed by a global property boom. Sydney house prices leapt by nearly $870 a day in the second quarter of the year, said real-estate firm Ray White. In the U.K., first-time buyers are paying on average 32% more than 12 months ago, according to Benham and Reeves, a real estate agency.
Many economists worry that as more people get stuck renting, or borrow more than they can afford, it could contribute to greater inequality in major cities that could take years to unwind and add to political polarization.
It could also lead to more pushback from first-home buyers and affordable housing advocates that forces governments to take more aggressive action. In Berlin, voters on Sunday backed a nonbinding referendum to nationalize large real estate groups with more than 3,000 apartments.

Hot U.S. Housing Market Cooled Some in August (Wall Street Journal, Sep. 22, 2021)
Yet the period of extreme competition among house buyers has pushed prices sharply higher. Some prospective buyers can no longer afford to buy, and others have taken a break from house hunting after losing out on multiple offers, real-estate agents say.