Real Estate in Brief: Affordable 3-D printed home makes its debut at SXSW

by Rincey Abraham

Source: ICON

A Texas-based startup is attempting to tackle the affordable housing issue with a 3-D printed house. ICON unveiled its 650-square-foot 3-D printed house at SXSW 2018. The house would be made of cement and take up to a day to be printed by large 3-D robots. These homes, which currently cost around $10,000, are meant to help bring affordable housing around the world. Currently, ICON plans to build around 100 homes in El Salvador in 2019, and the company hopes it will be able to bring the cost down to about $4,000. Learn more about ICON and its 3-D printed homes from The Verge’s report from SXSW.

In other real estate news:

  • Despite a projected first-quarter slowdown, the Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research Group raised its 2018 forecast of real GDP growth by one-tenth to 2.8 percent, and its 2019 forecast by two-tenths to 2.5 percent. However, some of the hurdles to the growth noted include trade tensions after the implementation of steel and aluminium tariffs and possible monetary tightening from the Fed.
  • February home prices saw their highest gains since March 2014, according to the latest Redfin market report. Home prices grew 8.8 percent in February 2018 compared to February 2017, which also marks the 72nd consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. However, inventory declined 11.4 percent, which marked the 29th consecutive year-over-year decline in supply.
  • Sotheby’s International Realty hit a new record with $108 billion worth of real estate sold internationally in 2017. This is a 14 percent increase over 2016’s sales. In the United States alone, the company saw $96 billion in sales last year, up from $85 billion in 2016.
  • The National Association of Realtors is encouraging Congress to pass the Dodd-Frank reform bill. According to NAR, the latest bill includes “expanding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s use of alternative credit scoring models; holding Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, loans more accountable; and improving access to manufactured housing, as well as easing credit through reduced regulatory burdens on smaller community banks and credit unions.”
  • NAR has also been “actively talking” to three of the four “FANG” companies: Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google, according to Inman. NAR CEO Bob Goldberg did not specify exactly which companies were in the mix during the live event in New York City. However, NAR spokesperson Sara Wiskerchen confirmed that meetings were taking place, but did not specify anything more than the fact that the companies line up with Goldberg’s vision to place technology at the forefront to help serve agents.
  • The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association released two toolkits for agents and builders who often work with buyers 62 years and older explaining The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase option available. The HECM is a federally insured reverse mortgage that allows seniors to buy a new principal residence using loan proceeds from the reverse mortgage, without requiring a monthly principal or interest payment.
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