Hits and Misses for the Real Estate Week of Feb. 12-16

Real Estate


The MBA chief’s calling out the Biden administration’s housing policies, the Toronto mayor’s contemptuous defense of a massive residential property tax and an unlikely setting for weddings. From the wild and wooly world of real estate, here are the Hits and Misses for the week of Feb. 12-16.

Hit: Saying What Needs to Be Said: Kudos to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) President and CEO Bob Broeksmit for taking the Biden administration to task for housing policies that he considered unwise and onerous. In a speech delivered this week, Broeksmit questioned how the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is operating under the Biden administration by declaring, “There is no good reason FHA should be one of the most expensive places to produce a loan – it should be one of the least expensive.” He also highlighted the administration’s inability to address the challenges facing too many Americans by stating, “FHA and HUD need the administration to take off the brakes, so we can finally move affordable housing into high gear.”  Well said, sir!

Miss: Sneering at Your Constituents. Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow gets a big thumbs down for lecturing her city’s residents that they can easily afford the 9.5% residential property tax hike approved by the City Council this week. “Eighty cents extra a day, folks can afford it,” said Chow in a press conference before adding, “Those that cannot will have a tax cancellation and tax deferral program to assist them.” Chow obviously forgot how Salvation Army Canada reported two months ago that one in five Canadians are struggling to cover their basic needs. Oh, and for the record this is the largest property tax hike that Toronto absorbed in more than 25 years.

Hit: Being True to Your School: Kudos to Matthew Miller, president and CEO of Rally Appraisal, and his wife Dr. Laura Miller for creating a new scholarship program at their alma mater Western Illinois University for students interested in pursuing careers in real estate. The $5,000 scholarship will support one student from downstate Illinois who is interested in pursuing a career in real estate annually. The first scholarship will be awarded in the 2024-2025 school year. Matthew Miller announced the scholarship by noting, “This can be a very satisfactory career path in terms of quality of life and economic opportunity. I am hopeful we can network with students who are from these areas and want to serve their home communities after graduation.”

Hit: Mother Knows Best. Jordan Nutter, who bills herself as “Mobile Mortgage Mom” on social media, embarked this week from her home in Los Angeles on a 12,000-mile tour across the nation to, her words, “to let the next generation of homeowners know that securing a mortgage and fulfilling their dream of home ownership is well within reach regardless of credit score or financial status.” She will be traveling in a 40-foot branded RV with her husband, 11-month-old daughter and two dogs, and she is planning to stop in 50 towns and cities in 30 states over the next seven months to host presentations at community centers, colleges and universities, and even in retail parking lots. “I’m determined to show up in towns and cities across our country to help those people understand their options and to give them the tools that will unlock their access to what is still an essential part of the American Dream,” she declared. Hey, more power to you, Mom!

Hit: Hold Hands, You Jailbirds. Perhaps the strangest real estate story of the week was found in the Wall Street Journal, which insisted there is a trend for weddings to be held in historic prison buildings. Eastern State Penitentiary, Australia’s Fremantle Prison and England’s Shrewsbury Prison were presented as unorthodox settings for couples who wanted something a bit more eclectic than a hotel ballroom or a banquet hall for their big day. Whether this is a genuine trend can be debated, but it certainly offers some wonderfully bizarre ideas for the altar-bound.

Sandstone Group