Get the latest industry insights from ASSURANCE!

What you can expect from the 2nd Quarter 2018 issue of ASSURANCE:

  • Discussion on the new Illinois Disclosure of Financial Interest form
  • Is Congress getting closer to fixing TRID?
  • Are you using Prairie’s secure portal, PrairieSecure, to submit orders and upload your title and closing documents?
  • And much more…

I hope you find it interesting and useful.

Frank

In the News: Can CRE Lead the Way?

Last year’s federal tax legislation has begun to sink in, with employers adjusting withholding levels to match the new IRS charts and many employees seeing larger paychecks as a result. It’s hard to tell what effect the tax changes will have on the economy overall, and the real estate market in particular, but there is hope that changes affecting real estate LLCs will boost commercial real estate this year.

In a slideshow posted on nreionline.com, six economists give their generally positive views on the state of CRE in 2018. For instance, Ryan Severino, chief economist at JLL asserts: “The recent tax cuts are likely to benefit real estate significantly and should have a far more substantial impact than either changes to immigration policy or infrastructure policy.”

We may need commercial to lead the way this year as housing continues to be a puzzle despite January housing construction news termed “terrific” by NAR Chief Economist Laurence Yun. This rise in single-family housing construction will help tame home price growth,” Yun said.

As Reuters reported: “Housing starts jumped 9.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.326 million units in January. …Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to a pace of 1.234 million units last month after a previously reported rate of 1.192 million units. Building permits surged 7.4 percent to a rate of 1.396 million units in January.”

Will January’s construction numbers provide a push for housing? We hope so, but continued lack of inventory and high prices are keeping the overall housing market flat at best. And it remains to be seen if the elimination of federal deductibility of state and local taxes will negatively impact housing.  

Good news out of Washington: The House recently passed bipartisan ALTA-supported legislation that corrects the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) form and will help consumers understand the true cost of their real estate transaction.  Here’s hoping the Senate follows suit and the fix becomes law.

A final thought. We’re moving more and more toward a digital mortgage/closing process from start to finish. It won’t happen overnight but there are signs of movement. Just last month Chase announced its intention to soon offer digital mortgages on smartphones. Also, I found this article on operationalizing the digital mortgage process in Housing Wire to be an interesting read.

Finally, finally. I recently authored an article in an Illinois State Bar publication titled, “The Bond that’s not: How to convey real estate in an unprobated estate.”  For those interested in the subject matter, or others who might suffer from insomnia, I thought you might find it helpful.

Let’s close out the first quarter strong!

In the News: Closing a Volatile Year

In the News

December 21, 2017

Closing a Volatile Year

As 2017 comes to a close, I am hard pressed to think of a year in my lifetime that witnessed so much Washington-based controversy since Vietnam coupled with Watergate. Front and center on my mind at the end of a tumultuous year is that state of the real estate economy and just how much real estate impacts the U.S. economy as a whole.

An interesting piece in Mortgage Professional America recently spoke of the benefits to the real estate economy if a home purchase tax credit were adopted, and a statistical note in the article really stood out to me: “According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the GDP reached $18.6 trillion in 2016. Of this amount, real estate chipped in $2.48 trillion, or 13.3 percent. In comparison, manufacturing was worth $2.18 trillion, retail contributed $1.1 trillion, and lawyers produced services worth $245 billion.”

Clearly, the need to promote real estate transactions through the tax code is imperative. Thankfully, the tax bill just passed in Congress ended up being less unfavorable to real estate than previous versions. Some deductibility for property taxes was maintained and the mortgage interest deduction was largely preserved, while capital gains treatment on the sale of a primary residence was preserved. Commercial real estate also should benefit as pass-through entities such as LLCs will be treated more favorably in the new tax environment.

For my part, I am keeping an open mind on the possibilities for the real estate market as the new tax laws come into greater focus during 2018.

CFPB Follies. There’s no need to discuss the spectacle of the agency temporarily having two directors, but there has been movement on TRID disclosures since we last published.

On Dec. 6, CFPB issued an updated version of the TRID Guide to the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms, which did not really help solve disclosure issues. More hopefully, there is some momentum behind a bipartisan effort in Congress to legislate needed changes to the disclosure rule. We hope the new year will bring good news in this arena.

Finally, We recently saw Mudbound, an early 2017 movie release set in post World War II Mississippi. While I enjoyed the entire movie, one scene struck me as it unfolded: A family arrives at a home they believe they have rented (and indeed put $100 down on, quite a sum in those days) only to find that the homeowner has sold the home in the interim and they are out their money. The renter had made the deal on a handshake, with no paperwork, and unfortunately paid the price for that mistake.

To me, the scene was a reminder that real estate fraud has always been and always will be with us, and the need for vigilance to guard against fraud and theft remains and grows greater every day.

Find Out What’s New “In the News”

Topics included in the latest issue of Prairie Title’s In the News!

  • More move-up buyers may be getting into the residential market, but student loans seem to be holding many millennials back.  The commercial market, on the other hand, shows sound fundamentals.
  • Anti-wire fraud graphics to share with your customers

You can also check it out in my blog.  Post a comment or ask a question.  I hope to hear from you.

Frank

Categories

white-logo

Read news and articles from our CEO
on residential and commercial title insurance

View his blog here

Did you Know?
Our online title ordering system is now integrated with Encompass.
Title customers need to know the industry's language. To assist you in this regard we have compiled this glossary of words and terms used in the title industry. Below is a list of terms in Adobe Acrobat Reader format.

Glossary of Title Terms

Contact Info

6821 West North Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302

+1 708-386-7900
Get Directions

Prairie Title Service Co., Title Companies & Agents, Oak Park, IL

Copyright 2017 © All Rights Reserved