Category Archives: Housing

California’s Most Controversial Housing Bill In Years Just Died With A Thud

Listen to an excellent podcast at the end of this article.https://calmatters.org/wp-content/uploads/ThinkstockPhotos-468601463-1280x800.jpg?x74105Dense housing makes San Francisco one of the most compact cities in America. Photo via Thinkstock

The most controversial state housing bill in recent memory died with a pretty resounding thud.

Senate Bill 827, which would have forced cities to allow taller, denser development around public transit, got only four votes on the 13-member Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing. Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers voted against the bill.

Authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, Democrat from San Francisco, the bill would have allowed developers to build five-story apartment buildings near major public transit stops, including neighborhoods previously zoned for single family homes. The bill received a ton of media attention, including a fairly flattering write-up on the front page of the New York Times.

The most controversial state housing bill in recent memory died with a pretty resounding thud.

Senate Bill 827, which would have forced cities to allow taller, denser development around public transit, got only four votes on the 13-member Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing. Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers voted against the bill.

Authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, Democrat from San Francisco, the bill would have allowed developers to build five-story apartment buildings near major public transit stops, including neighborhoods previously zoned for single family homes. The bill received a ton of media att

Urbanist “Yes In My Backyard” (YIMBY) groups mourned the bill’s death as yet another roadblock to building the new housing the state so desperately needs. Cities and anti-gentrification groups cheered the demise of what they viewed as an unprecedented inroad on local control.

What to make of all the hubbub? Some key takeaways:

Enemies, enemies, got a lot of enemies

It’s tough for anyone to take on cities and counties, who wield enormous power in Sacramento and to whom state legislators often give considerable deference. It’s tough for anyone to take on the construction trades’ union, a major source of campaign contributions for Democratic lawmakers. It’s tough for anyone to take on equity and social justice groups, who can bend the ear of progressive legislators.

It’s really tough to take on all three at the same time. That likely wasn’t Sen. Wiener’s strategy when he first introduced SB 827, but that’s ultimately what helped doom the bill. The support of realtors, developers, YIMBYs and a handful of affordable housing advocates couldn’t muster the votes he needed.

Supporters of the bill arguably made a misstep in not courting social justice groups early enough. A flurry of amendments to protect renters from being displaced and to force developers to include units reserved for lower-income tenants failed to calm their concerns.

Last year, Wiener was able to push through a bill that stripped local control over some housing developments by getting labor and affordability advocates on his side. That bill was also part of a larger package of housing legislation that had something for everyone, including a new revenue source. Gov. Jerry Brown was a driving force behind that package.

None of that that happened this time.

The bill did spark a statewide debate on whether to up density to help remedy our housing crisis

https://calmatters.org/wp-content/uploads/IMG_0577-600x357.jpg?x74105Opponents came from San Francisco and its environs to lobby against the bill—and the gentrification they feared it would bring. Photo by Matt Levin for CALmatters

What Wiener was attempting was truly revolutionary. You can debate how dramatically the character of a city would change by building a five-story apartment building next to a single family home. But taking away the power of local governments to block those types of developments was a pretty radical step—a step that a growing number of Californians think is necessary to prevent cities from obstructing new housing.

The bill received a ton of media attention, both in California and nationally. It garnered support from prominent urban planners, environmentalists and civil rights advocates. It’s both cliche and premature to say it shifted the needle on the housing debate. But it certainly framed the conversation squarely around the state’s role in compelling cities to build.

Expect something like this to come back soon.  

Nearly every Democratic legislator who voted against SB 827 caveated their opposition by praising the bill’s vision and audacity. Sen. Jim Beall, Democrat from San Jose and chair of the housing committee, said at the hearing that while he couldn’t support the bill in its current form, he was eager to work on something like it in the months ahead.

Could SB 827 ever rise from the dead? Well for his part, Wiener has vowed to re-introduce something like it in the future. Combining his push for density around transit stations with a broader mix of tenant protections and new funding for affordable housing could make it more palatable to the interest groups Wiener needs to succeed.

Source: By Matt Levin | Cal Matters

 

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No Relief In Sight: Housing affordability is weakening at the fastest pace in a quarter century

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  • Rising home prices, rising mortgage rates and rising demand are colliding with a critical shortage of homes for sale. And all of that is slamming housing affordability.
  • This year, affordability — based on the amount of the monthly mortgage payment will weaken at the fastest pace in a quarter century, according to researchers at Arch Mortgage Insurance.
  • Other studies that factor in median income also show decreasing affordability because home prices are rising far faster than income growth.

It is the perfect storm: Rising home prices, rising mortgage rates and rising demand are colliding with a critical shortage of homes for sale.

And all of that is slamming housing affordability, which is causing more of today’s buyers to overstretch their budgets. This year, affordability — a metric based solely on the amount of the monthly mortgage payment — will weaken at the fastest pace in a quarter century, according to researchers at Arch Mortgage Insurance.

The average mortgage payment, based on the median-priced home, increased by 5 percent in the first quarter of 2018 nationally and could go up another 10 to 15 percent by the end of the year, according to their report.

Researchers looked at the median-priced home, now $250,000, and estimated price gains this year of 5 percent in addition to mortgage rates going from 4 percent to 5 percent on the 30-year fixed. Other studies that factor in median income also show decreasing affordability because home prices are rising far faster than income growth.

That is a national picture – but all real estate is local, and some markets will see affordability weaken more dramatically. The average monthly payment in Tacoma, Washington, is estimated to increase 25 percent this year, given sharply rising prices. In Baltimore and Boston, it could rise 21 percent in each. Philadelphia, Detroit and Las Vegas could all see 20 percent increases in the average monthly payment.

“If mortgage rates and home prices continue to rise as expected, affordability will get hammered by year-end as demand continues to outstrip supply,” said Ralph DeFranco, global chief economist-mortgage services at Arch Capital Services. “A strong U.S. economy combined with a housing shortage in many markets means that there is little hope of any price drop for buyers. Whether someone is looking to upgrade or purchase their first home, the window to buy before rates jump again is probably closing fast.”

Barely a decade after home values crashed especially, they are now hovering near their historical peak, accounting for inflation. Prices are being driven by record low inventory of homes for sale. Home builders are still producing well below historical norms, and demand for housing is very hot. The economy is stronger, which is giving younger buyers the incentive and the means to buy homes.

Stretching budgets and pushing limits

Maryland real estate agent Theresa Taylor said the supply shortage is hitting buyers hard. She is seeing more clients stretch their budgets to win a deal amid multiple offers.

“People are having to escalate offers on top of rates going up. I’m seeing it in all price ranges,” said Taylor, an agent at Keller Williams. “I am seeing it when I’m getting five offers, and people are trying to package up an offer where they’re pushing their limits.”

Buyers are taking on much higher debt levels today to be able to afford a home. In fact, the share of mortgage borrowers with more than 45 percent of their monthly gross income going to debt payments more than tripled in the second half of last year. Part of that was because Fannie Mae raised that debt-to-income threshold to 50 percent, but clearly there was demand waiting.

“Family income is rising more slowly than home prices and mortgage rates, meaning that the mortgage payment takes a bigger bite out of income for new home buyers,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “CoreLogic’s Market Conditions Indicator has identified nearly one-half of the 50 largest metropolitan areas as overvalued. Often buyers are lulled into thinking these high-priced markets will continue, but we find that overvalued markets will tend to have a slowdown in price growth.”

CoreLogic considers a market overvalued when home prices are at least 10 percent higher than the long-term, sustainable level. High demand makes the likelihood of a national home price decline very slim, but certain markets could see prices cool if supply grows or if there is a hit to the local economy and local employment.

In any case, the more home buyers stretch, the more house-poor they become, and the less money they have to spend in the rest of the economy.

With no relief in either inventory or home price appreciation in sight, the housing market is likely to become even more competitive this year.

At some point, however, there will come a breaking point when sales slow, which is already beginning to happen in some cities. Home prices usually lag sales, so if history holds true, price gains should start to ease next year.

(video interview)

Source: By Diana Olick | CNBC

Economists Who Push Inflation Stunned That Rising Home Prices Have Put Buyers Deeper Into Debt

Once again, when the government intervenes – this time in housing – the left hand is starting a fire that the right hand is trying to put out. Rising prices for homes are once again pricing out prime borrowers and nobody can “figure out” why this is happening.

It is news like this article reported this morning by the Wall Street Journal that continues to perpetuate the hilarious notion of Keynesian economics as giving a job to one man digging a hole and another job to another man filling it, simply so that they both have jobs.

There is nothing funnier (or sadder) than “economists” struggling to understand how housing prices got so high and why people are taking on more debt in order to purchase them. However, that is the great mystery that the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday morning, making note of the fact that people are “stretching“ in order to purchase homes. What’s the solution to this problem? How about just easing lending standards again? After all, what could go wrong?

Apparently blind to the obvious – that forced inflation could amazingly make things more expensive relative to income – “economists” have hilariously blamed this price/debt delta on lack of supply. Of course, no one has mentioned the credit worthiness of borrowers getting worse or the fact that homes prices are being manipulated in order to offer home ownership to people who otherwise may not be in the market.

More Americans are stretching to buy homes, the latest sign that rising prices are making homeownership more difficult for a broad swath of potential buyers.

Roughly one in five conventional mortgage loans made this winter went to borrowers spending more than 45% of their monthly incomes on their mortgage payment and other debts, the highest proportion since the housing crisis, according to new data from mortgage-data tracker CoreLogic Inc. That was almost triple the proportion of such loans made in 2016 and the first half of 2017, CoreLogic said.

Economists said rising debt levels are a symptom of a market in which home prices are rising sharply in relation to incomes, driven in part by a historic lack of supply that is forcing prices higher.

The “lack of supply” argument is just wonderful – a bunch of “economists” finding a basic free market capitalism solution to a problem that has nothing to do with free market capitalism. Perhaps “economists” can also argue that building more, despite the lack of prime borrower demand, will also have the added benefit of puffing up GDP. From there, it’s only a couple more steps down the primrose path that leads to China’s ghost cities.

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And of course, people are worried that we could have a “weak selling season” upcoming. In a free market economy, weakness is necessary and normal. In Keynesian theory, it’s the devil incarnate. The Wall Street Journal continued:

Real-estate agents worry that buyers’ weariness from being priced out of the market could make this one of the weakest spring selling seasons in recent years.

Consumers are growing more optimistic about the economy and their personal financial prospects but less hopeful that now is the right time to buy a home, according to results of a survey released in late March by the National Association of Realtors.

At the same time, the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage has risen to 4.40% as of last week from 3.95% at the beginning of the year, according to Freddie Macputting still more pressure on affordability.

These factors “are working against affordability and that’s why you get the pressure to ease credit standards,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. He said that pressure has to be balanced against the potential toll if underqualified buyers eventually default on their mortgages.

CoreLogic studied home-purchase loans that generally meet standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federally sponsored providers of 30-year mortgage financing.

The amount of these loans packaged and sold by Fannie and Freddie increased 73% in the second half of 2017, compared with the first half of the year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry research group. In that same period, overall new mortgages rose 15%.

As if the signs weren’t clear enough that manipulating the economy and manipulating the housing market has a detrimental effect, the article continued that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are “experimenting with how to make homeownership more affordable, including backing loans made by lenders who agree to help pay down a buyer’s student debt“. Sure, solve one government subsidized shit show (student loan debt) with another one!

Is it any wonder that the entire supply and demand environment for housing has been thrown completely out of order?  On one hand, the government wants to make housing affordable so that everybody can have it, which closely resembles socialism. On the other hand, they are targeting prices to rise 2% every single year and claim that this is normal and healthy economic policy that we should all be buying into and applauding. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing!

We were on this case back in October 2017 when we wrote an article pointing out that home prices had again eclipsed their highest point prior to the financial crisis. We knew this was coming. We at the time that the ratio of the trailing twelve month averages of median new home sale prices to median household income in the U.S. had risen to an all time high of 5.454, which following revisions in the data for new home sale prices, was recorded in July 2017. The initial value for September 2017 is 5.437.

In other words, the median new home in the US has never been more unaffordable in terms of current income.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/ratio-ttma-median-new-home-sale-prices-and-median-household-income-annual-1967-2016-monthly-200012-to-201709_0.png?itok=D3_lX6IP

Here we are 6 months later and “economists” are just figuring this out. What’s wrong with this picture?

What’s really happening is clear. Instead of letting the free market determine the pricing and availability of housing, the government has continued to try and manipulate the market in order to give everyone a house. This is simply going to lead to the same type of behavior that led Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fail during the housing crisis.

If we are going to have free market capitalism, the reality of the situation is that not everybody is going to own a house.

Furthermore, while there are many benefits to owning a house, there are also many reasons why people rent. Peter Schiff, for instance, often makes the case that renting is generally worth it because you’re saving yourself on upkeep and it allows you to be flexible with where you live and when you have the opportunity to move. He himself rents property for these reasons, which he often notes in his podcast. Sure, there are some benefits of homeownership, namely that a homeowner is supposed to be building equity in something, but looking again at the situation we are in today, is it worth investing in the equity of a home that might see its price crash significantly again, similar to the way housing prices did in 2008?

The government is creating both the problem and the solution here and instead of trying to continually fix the housing market, they should just keep their nose out of it and allow the free market to determine who should own a house and at what price. Call us crazy, but we don’t think that’s going to happen.

Source: ZeroHedge

How Much Income You Need to Afford the Average Home in Every State

The housing market has not only recovered its pre-recession levels, but some observers are actually starting to worry about yet another housing bubble. Housing prices are on the rise, thanks in large part to extremely tight inventory, so it’s worth asking: are potential home buyers getting priced out of the market? The answer depends on where they live and how much money they make.

https://cdn.howmuch.net/articles/salary-need-to-afford-home-2018-8426.png(click here for larger image)

We collected average home prices for every state from Zillow which we then plugged into a mortgage calculator to figure out monthly payments. Remember, mortgage payments consist of both the principal and the interest for the loan. The interest rate we used varied from 4 to 5% in each state, depending on the market. The lower the interest rate, the lower the monthly payment. To keep things simple, we assumed buyers could contribute a 10% down payment. Another thing to keep in mind is that financial advisors commonly recommend the total cost of housing take up no more than 30% of gross income (the amount before taxes, retirement savings, etc.). Using this rule as our benchmark, we calculated the minimum salary required to afford the average home in each state.

Top Five Places Where You Need the Highest Salaries to Afford the Average Home

1. Hawaii: $153,520 for a house worth $610,000

2. Washington, DC: $138,440 for a house worth $549,000

3. California: $120,120 for a house worth $499,900

4. Massachusetts: $101,320 for a house worth $419,900

5. Colorado: $100,200 for a house worth $415,000

Top Five Places Where You Need the Lowest Salaries to Afford the Average Home

1. West Virginia: $38,320 for a house worth $149,500

2. Ohio: $38,400 for a house worth $149,900

3. Michigan: $40,800 for a house worth $160,000

4. Arkansas: $41,040 for a house worth $161,000

5. Missouri: $42,200 for a house worth $165,900

Our map creates a quick snapshot of housing affordability across the United States. There are several pockets in which only the upper middle class and above can afford to own even the average home, most notably across the West and in the Northeast. There are only two states west of the Mississippi River where a worker with an annual salary under $40,000 can afford a mid-level home:  Missouri and Oklahoma. Colorado stands out as the only landlocked state requiring a significant amount of income ($100,200), thanks in large part to the housing market around Denver.

Homes tend to be more affordable in the eastern half of the country, with a notable pocket of “green” (less expensive) states located in the upper Midwest. The North is generally more affordable than the South and the typical home is significantly easier to buy in places like Michigan or Ohio than in Louisiana or Arkansas.  Additionally, our map indicates that workers can more easily afford homes in the East than in the West, which is surprising given how much more land is available out West. It is important to note that there are certainly deep pockets of poverty in all of these places, which suggests that our map obscures the inequality behind averages.

The best takeaway from our map is that housing remains affordable in large swaths of the country, even though there will always be places like California and New York where there is simply too much demand for the available inventory. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean that buying a home is suddenly out of reach for average Americans in Ohio or Mississippi, for example.

Source: HowMuch

Progressive Property Tax Spikes Throwing Thousands of Seattle Seniors Out of Their Homes

https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2f8b0bc0-33c0-11e8-9316-bc6406bfcffc-960x640.jpgDennis and Patricia Hall stand beside their Kirkland family home, built by Dennis in 1980. They raised their daughter there and planned to stay for the rest of their lives. But now on a fixed income will be forced out of their home due to parabolic government property tax hikes.

The Seattle Times has collected hundreds of reader responses to the tax hikes. Many who said they’re retired or disabled, and living on fixed incomes, offered emotional stories of being unable to afford the heftier rate.

Dennis Hall imagined living his whole life in the country-style home he and his wife built in Kirkland for $55,000 in 1980. But the couple, now retirees on a fixed income, say the latest tax bill for their property — valued at $1.2 million — is forcing them to rethink their golden years, sell the beloved home and move. “This year was the breaking point. Enough is enough,” said Hall, 65, thinking about the big tax increase, a reflection of skyrocketing home values, voter-approved levies and a plan by state lawmakers to fully fund public schools. “We were hoping on dying here.” With this round of property-tax notices, the couple are not alone in their worries. As the effects of the higher rates spread statewide, some homeowners are calling the tax increase a tipping point in a period of financial stress that’s forcing too-soon goodbyes to longtime homes. Over the course of weeks, The Seattle Times collected hundreds of emails, phone calls and responses on social media from people like Hall, many of whom identified as retired or disabled, saying they have limited options for paying the heftier amounts. “Should anything happen to me like an illness or injury, I will be homeless pretty quick,” wrote a 61-year-old homeowner in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. “There is no way I can make it; have to sell our home,” another person said in a voicemail. “I don’t know what to say or do.”  

Property-tax increases vary greatly from city to city.

A handful of people shared less emotional stories of budgeting without lattes or expansive cable packages to cover the larger bills. A few said the spike is a result of Washington’s regressive tax structure. And in a region with a growing housing- affordability and homelessness crisis, a couple of respondents acknowledged their status as “well-paid” and fortunate enough to afford the tax by simply shifting around their spending.

With Social Security, some seniors hoping to qualify for assistance reported annual incomes that barely surpass the state’s maximum of $45,000 for tax deferrals or $40,000 for exemptions. Recipients of the former eventually have to repay with interest, while tax exemptions reduce amounts due based on various criteria, including income and home value. According to numbers provided by the Washington State Department of Revenue, about 107,000 seniors participated in the exemption program last year — or roughly 7 percent of the state’s total senior population. The department, meanwhile, received 558 applications for deferrals.

House for settling down

Surrounded by spacious fields and livestock, the Kirkland home was ideal for Hall and his wife, Patricia, to settle down in and raise a family, with college and the military behind them. Born and raised in the suburb, he worked in construction while she managed the home. They adopted a baby girl in 1985. “That’s when the house came alive,” he recalled. Nearly four decades later, a time span that included the birth of their grandson, the couple’s budget tightened significantly when he retired in 2010 at age 58. The latest tax increase of $1,500 on the property — not far from Microsoft’s campus — hit hard. They sold the land and home to a local developer soon after and started making plans to move to the Duvall area, where their daughter’s family lives. “I’m not against paying taxes,” Dennis Hall said, so long as the government services he sees are on par with how much he pays. These days, relocating for more affordable living is not a phenomenon unique to Washington retirees. New U.S. census data show populations of retiree-friendly communities rising faster than national population growth, The Wall Street Journal reports. But the shift for homeowners here, in the metropolitan area of King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, comes with incomparable pressure. Single-family-home values in the three counties have been rising faster than anywhere else in the country. Median house prices recently hit records of $777,000 in Seattle and $950,000 on the Eastside. Beyond the surging values, this year’s property-tax increases are largely a result of last year’s bipartisan deal by lawmakers to shift spending on public schools.

In an effort to comply with the state Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary ruling, which found the state has neglected its constitutional duty to pay for public schooling, lawmakers voted to raise the state property-tax levy for schools to $2.70 per $1,000 of assessed value, up from $1.89 in 2017. The plan will reduce local school levies, but not until next year. “Wondering if ‘laptops for kids’ is worth losing homeowners,” a Bothell reader wrote to the newspaper, saying her family picked the city in 2009 because of its lower taxes compared with the Seattle area.

“Guess that was nine years ago — not the future.”

Property-tax insider

Michelle LeMay, 64, of Seattle, knows the effects of property taxes well. She worked almost two decades in the King County Assessor’s Office as an administrative specialist, mailing tax notices to homeowners, fielding phone calls and helping people such as seniors with exemption paperwork. But the tables have turned. Now, she and her husband, on a fixed income, feel they’re being pushed out of their house in Greenwood with this year’s property-tax increase of 22 percent. Their income is barely above the maximum to qualify for a senior tax exemption, she said. “You can’t live in Seattle for $40,000.”In many poorer and rural school districts across Washington, projections for the new law on school spending show cuts in property taxes in future years, while taxes remain higher in richer areas like Seattle, Bellevue and Mercer Island. Voter-approved levies make up a large portion of the hikes in some areas, too, including King County, where the increases range from 9 percent in Normandy Park to 31 percent in Carnation. Among U.S. states, a 2016 report by the Tax Foundation found Washington had the 26th-highest property-tax rate (0.94 percent). That compared with the highest rate of 2.11 percent in New Jersey. It’s unclear how the new taxes may change Washington’s rank. As LeMay and her husband go through their belongings and contemplate selling their home eventually, they told The Times they feel overwhelmed and are looking at possibilities outside King County. “Arizona seems like the place a lot of people are relocating,” LeMay said.Beyond tax exemptions and deferrals for qualified seniors, widows and people with low incomes or disabilities can apply through the state for tax help. Also, homeowners can appeal the assessor’s valuation of their homes, which determines tax increases, by July 1 or within 60 days of receiving notification of their assessment. Kathleen Dellplain, 72, formerly of Seattle’s Fauntleroy neighborhood, moved away before the pack. A retired widow, she noticed herself losing financial ground as the owner of a waterfront home years ago. She put the house on the market after receiving this year’s assessment and moved to a farmhouse in Enumclaw, in Southeast King County. “If I could’ve frozen my tax or kept it with the regular rate of inflation, I would have probably stayed there for the rest of my life,” she said. But costs rose too quickly for her income, she said, especially with her commitment to help grandkids through college.

Source: Seattle Times

 

National Apartment Rents Stabilize As Small Cities Boom

After years of torrid growth that has far outstripped wages, national apartment rents have finally plateaued, climbing a scant 2.5% YOY to $1,371 in March, according to RentCafe‘s latest monthly rent report.

Interestingly, the hottest rental markets (Brooklyn, for example), have seen rents retreat from record highs as they grapple with too much development at the high end of the housing market.

Meanwhile, mid-sized cities like Sacramento, Colorado Springs and Tampa have seen strong growth. But by far the strongest growth has been recorded in small cities like Midland, Texas (famously the home of George W Bush) and Yonkers, New York. Midland saw rents increase by a staggering 29% over the past 12 months, while nearby Odessa recorded a nearly 40% rent increase. Meanwhile, Reno, Tacoma and Orlando are in the top ten fastest growing rental markets.

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Still, despite a slight year-over-year drop, Manhattan still has the highest average rent in the country, followed by San Francisco, which saw rents rise 2.4% year-over-year.

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Of the 250 cities surveyed by RentCafe, Wichita, Kansas had the lowest average rent at $632 a month.

Source: ZeroHedge

Intolerant California Woman Refuses To Sell Her House To Trump Supporters

A Sacramento, California woman selling a house which has been in her family for half a century will sell to just about anyone – unless they’re a Trump supporter.

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The homeowner, who declined to give her name, told CBS Sacramento “I told her [the realtor] that I didn’t want her to sell it to a Trump supporter.”

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The woman’s realtor, Elizabeth Weintraub, says that the “no Trump supporter” caveat is a first for her. “We can ask somebody how they voted, but they don’t have to tell us,” said Weintraub.

But is it actually legal? Attorney Allen Sawyer thinks not: “That’s an unlawful contractual term that infringes the freedom of association and first amendment rights,” said Sawyer.

According to the Fair Housing Act, political party affiliation doesn’t fall into one of the seven protected classes. They include race, religion, color, disability. National origin, sex and familial status. –CBS Sacramento

“People have a right to believe what they want to believe and they shouldn’t be restricted from purchasing property based on that,” said Sawyer.

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Either way – the seller is clearly limiting the buying pool according to certified appraiser Ryan Lundquist – who notes that “39 percent of voters voted for Donald Trump in the Sacramento region. That’s an absolute fact.”

The homeowner doesn’t care: “When you’re talking about principals, morals, and ethics, it’s very very deep,” she said.

Source: ZeroHedge