What you should know about Greenland and its real estate

What you should know about Greenland and its real estate

Greenland politicians have responded to a report that the U.S. President is interested in buying their territory by saying it’s “not for sale and cannot be sold”

Donald Trump and Greenland

Donald Trump and Greenland

No one seems certain how to take the news that the President Trump is interested in buying Greenland. Is it a joke? Is it even possible? Would Mexico pay for it?

Though numerous Greenlandic politicians have weighed in to unequivocally rebuff Donald Trump’s reported interest in acquiring their homeland, the president himself has not yet commented publicly on the Wall Street Journal report that first publicized his private hope for the Arctic nation.

Sources have said that Trump is interested in Greenland for its natural resources, strategic location for national security purposes, and because buying the territory could represent a windfall (or should we say snowfall?) for his presidency in the annals of history, à la Alaska.

On the off-chance Trump’s request for his White House counsel to investigate acquiring the Arctic island hasn’t frozen in its tracks, here are some things you should know about Greenland and its real estate.

  1. Greenland is technically part of Denmark, but is an autonomous territory with its own domestic government. Self-governance was achieved in 2009.
  2. Greenland is an island which is roughly 836,000 square miles in size. For comparison, that means the territory is about nine times the size of the United Kingdom; the U.S. is about five times the size of Greenland.
  3. It’s the least populated territory on the planet. Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, which shares some similarities to Manhattan, has 18,000 residents, which is roughly a third of the country’s total population. It only has a few real estate brokerages.
  4. The most expensive house for sale on a local Greenland listing platform is about $800,000 and no one can buy land in the territory. Instead, “buyers” are granted the right to use the land.
  5. Greenlandic is the official language (locally known as Kalaallisut), but residents are also taught Danish and English.
  6. As of Friday morning, there are only six Airbnb properties available for rent in Nuuk over the coming week. They range from $142 per night to $48.
  7. There are 16 major towns in Greenland and, yet, no roads connect each settlement. The only roads are in and around existing towns. Instead, residents travel via boat in the summer and snowmobile or dog sled in the winters.
  8. In 2018, the U.S. officials campaigned to block China from financing three airports in the country. Denmark provided the cash instead.
  9. More than 80 percent of the land in Greenland is covered by ice that is melting due to global warming, creating opportunities for resource extraction and dumping 900 million tons of land particles into surrounding oceans.
  10. The territory is believed to hold about 10 percent of the world’s rare-earth metals. Offshore Greenland reportedly holds 30 percent of the world’s gas reserves and 10 percent of its remaining oil reserves.

Sources: Reuters, WSJ, New York Times, BBC, NeighborhoodX, Brookings Institution, the Government of Greenland, Airbnb, Lynges.gl, The Telegraph

Partido Demócrata de Florida lanza línea telefónica de protección al votante

Partido Demócrata de Florida lanza línea telefónica de protección al votante

A casi 15 meses de las elecciones del 2020, el Partido Demócrata de Florida anunció el lanzamiento de una Línea Directa de Protección al Votante abierta las 24 horas. La línea telefónica es parte del nuevo Programa de Protección al Votante iniciado en mayo con el propósito de abordar la creciente amenaza al derecho al voto de los floridanos.

Por Redacción MiamiDiario

La línea directa contará con una combinación de personal remunerado y voluntarios capacitados en todo el estado que se encargarán de educar a los votantes, responder preguntas y garantizar que todos los votos legales sean contados.

Además servirá como un recurso valioso para proteger el derecho al sufragio, identificar escenarios donde sea suprimido el voto y trabajar con los supervisores de elecciones a nivel local antes de las elecciones de 2020. El lanzamiento de esta iniciativa no tiene precedentes en el partido demócrata en un año no electoral.

«Los votantes en todo el estado han sido testigos de los esfuerzos republicanos para suprimir el voto mediante la aprobación de una ley que implementa un impuesto de votación, limita el acceso a los centros de votación en los recintos universitarios y reduce los días en que se pueden enviar las boletas por correo”, dijo la presidenta del Partido Demócrata de Florida, Terrie Rizzo.

«Sabemos que la supresión al voto ocurre los 365 días del año en Florida, pero ahora cualquier votante puede llamar al 1-833-Vote-FLA, las 24 horas del día y recibir la información que necesita para combatir los esfuerzos que limitan su voto y su voz».

La mayoría de las llamadas serán respondidas en vivo, a menos que el volumen de llamadas exceda la capacidad de la línea directa para responder en persona. Si eso sucede, las personas tendrán la opción de dejar un mensaje de voz y serán contactados a la brevedad posible.

Además de educar a los votantes, los demócratas de Florida contrataron casi cien organizadores para tener presencia en la comunidad, han hecho una inversión multimillonaria para registrar votantes, y han invertido dos millones de dólares en mensajes para las comunidades de color. Igualmente han adquirido una nueva oficina en Tallahassee, como parte de la estrategia de fortalecer el partido en miras al 2020.

El número de la línea telefónica es 1-833-Vote-FLA / 1-833-868-3352.

La entrada Partido Demócrata de Florida lanza línea telefónica de protección al votante se publicó primero en Miami Diario.

What happens to Jeffrey Epstein’s properties now?

What happens to Jeffrey Epstein’s properties now?

Jeffrey Epstein and his properties. Clockwise from top left: 9 East 71st Street in the Manhattan, Epstein's apartment in Paris, and Little St. James Island (Credit: Getty Images; Little St. James via Navin75/Flickr)

Jeffrey Epstein owned luxury properties in the U.S., France and the Caribbean. Clockwise from top left: 9 East 71st Street in the Manhattan, Epstein’s apartment in Paris, and Little St. James Island (Credit: Getty Images; Little St. James via Navin75/Flickr)

Jeffrey Epstein’s death in a Manhattan jail cell put an end to the criminal case against him, and raised a fresh round of questions for his accusers and their supporters.

Chief among them, can the women seek restitution from the dead financier’s estate, which includes multiple luxury properties in New York, New Mexico, Paris and the Virgin Islands?

Former federal prosecutor Silvia Piñera-Vazquez said nothing was preventing his estate from selling the properties, now the criminal forfeiture case was over, unless an injunction was filed.

However, Piñera-Vazquez said there were still multiple ways Epstein’s accusers could get restitution through Epstein’s properties, including filing a civil case against his estate. (The first civil suit was announced on Wednesday.)

Federal prosecutors could also file a civil forfeiture case against Epstein’s individual properties. To do this, the government would need to prove the property in question was bought with dirty money or used in the commission of illegal acts.

In these cases, forfeited properties are sold and the proceeds are placed in a fund by the Department of Justice. When the money is distributed, the government decides how much goes to the accusers.

Piñera-Vazquez said accusers would probably get more money through filing their own civil suits because in that forum they could seek punitive damages — something not considered by the government.

The Department of Justice has a spotty record selling forfeited properties, which can generate windfalls for the brokers involved but can also be difficult to market.

Townhouse specialist Paula Del Nunzio, of Brown Harris Stevens, said Epstein’s New York townhouse would require “remarkably capable, creative marketing,” to overcome its reputation.

Daily Dirt

“When you have a suicide by the owner, certain buyers will not take the building,” she added. “Even if the suicide did not occur in the building.”

Would she be willing to market it? “I’m willing to take on any property of this type because this is what I’ve specialized in for several decades,” she said.

Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty, said the value of Epstein’s Upper East Side property, in one of Manhattan’s choicest locations, would ultimately outweigh its past.

“For rare trophy properties, there are always buyers,” she said. In this case they will range from individuals to foreign countries looking for an embassy to the possibility of the house being used as the headquarters for a foundation or corporation.”

“I am not sure that Epstein’s sordid past will affect value. What will affect value is timing — prevailing market conditions will ultimately dictate the price.”

Epstein, 66, was found dead of an apparent suicide on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. At the time of his death, he was facing federal charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy, involving girls as young as 14.

The financier owned a slew of luxury properties in Manhattan, Palm Beach, New Mexico, Paris and the Virgin Islands. (The latter, an island named Little St. James, was reportedly known to locals as “Pedophile Island.”) In a summary of assets to federal authorities last month, Epstein estimated the value of his properties was over $180 million.

The Paris property, just blocks from the Arc de Triomphe, could make legal claims complicated, because while his accusers can file cases against any of his homes, the government is limited to those in the U.S.

“If a property is located in another country, there’s no jurisdiction for a civil forfeiture [from the government] unless you get the prosecutors in that country to file the case under whatever current law they have,” Piñera-Vazquez said.

A protest group holds up signs of Jeffrey Epstein (Credit: Getty Images)

A protest group holds up signs of Jeffrey Epstein (Credit: Getty Images)

Epstein’s townhouse at 9 East 71st Street has been the subject of particular scrutiny. According to a federal indictment, the 21,000-square-foot mansion was the location where Epstein abused dozens of his victims, often allegedly luring them there and paying them in cash, claims he denied.

In an op-ed in The New York Times on Wednesday, Jenifer Araoz recounted walking into the mansion at the age of 14, noting that there were visible security cameras, and small televisions playing footage in real time.

“I can still remember watching myself on those screens as I walked into the house of the person I came to know as a predator, a pedophile, my rapist,” she wrote.

The 50-foot-wide mansion was purchased in 1989 by Victoria’s Secret mogul Leslie H. Wexner for $13.2 million. Wexner transferred the property to Epstein — then his financial advisor — in 1995, though there is no record of any money changing hands.

The sprawling home is reported to be worth $77 million today, though some brokers say it could sell for a higher price in part because it’s 50 feet in width (most Manhattan mansions measure 20 feet in width) and its location off Fifth Avenue is among the most desirable in the city.

In the month before his death, Epstein was found unconscious with marks around his neck and subsequently placed on suicide watch. For reasons not immediately clear, he was take off suicide watch 12 days before his death. According to The New York Times, the two guards assigned to check on Epstein every 30 minutes had fallen asleep, left him unattended for about three hours and falsified a log to cover up their mistakes.

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice said the warden and two employees at the prison had been placed on administrative leave.

Attorneys for Epstein’s accusers could not be reached for comment.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Habitat Group buys land for new west Brickell project

Developer is planning a 96-key hotel on the site

Rendering of Brickell 12 and Santiago Vanegas

Rendering of Brickell 12 and Santiago Vanegas

Habitat Group paid $6.1 million for a site in west Brickell where it’s planning to build a hotel project.

Habitat Group, led by Santiago Vanegas, closed on the 10,500-square-foot lot at 1200 Southwest Second Avenue, according to property records. A spokesperson for the developer said Habitat is planning to build Brickell 12, a 96-key hotel project, on the site.

Fatima Investments Inc., led by Steven M. Lee, sold the corner parcel, which includes a 2,556-square-foot building. It last sold for $825,000 in 2003.

The property is across the street from Maizon, a 24-story, mixed-use apartment building at 1142 Southwest Second Avenue, as well as Soma at Brickell Apartments at 145 Southwest 13th Street.

Habitat Group is active in west Brickell. The company’s projects include Smart Brickell, Brickell Lux and Millux Hotel, according to its website.

Last month, Habitat Group announced that the second tower at Smart Brickell was converting to contracts with over 94 percent sold. Smart Brickell, a three-building condo-hotel complex, will offer owners the ability to rent their units out 24 times a year, or about twice a month. In all, the project will have nearly 300 units and about 12,000 square feet of commercial space for a cafe, restaurant and retail.

Brickell Lux, at 143 Southwest Ninth Street, will have 108 residential units, 60 hotel rooms and retail space.

Intenso operativo de seguridad en Venezuela por misteriosos «visitantes cubanos»

Intenso operativo de seguridad en Venezuela por misteriosos «visitantes cubanos»

Un inusual despliegue de seguridad se realizó en el occidental estado Falcon en Venezuela con motivo del arribo de unos misteriosos «visitantes cubanos».

Por Maibort Petit/MiamiDiario

A todas las unidades militares que trabajaron en la Operación Secreta  se les instruyó sobre la seguridad física de las instalaciones, seguridad durante los desplazamientos, control de disturbios civiles, tiro, normas sobre trato y cortesía, combate en áreas pobladas e irregulares, actuación en catástrofes o contingencias nacionales, leyes y reglamentos.

No se suministraron detalles que quienes integraban la «misteriosa comitiva» procedente de Cuba. Pero el régimen venezolano no escartimó en gastos, ni en personal, y cuidó hasta el mínimo detalle.
El Operativo Secreto para ofrecer seguridad a la misteriosa visita de «ciudadanos de la República Socialista de Cuba» a Punto Fijo,  movilizó a militares, policías, la Gobernación del estado Falcón, el Seniat, Unidad Antidrogas, Protección Civil, dos hospitales y todos los equipos necesarios para cuidar 24 horas al día a «los visitantes» cubanos que estuvieron en tierras falconianas  del 7 al 10 de agosto de 2019.
Desde la llegada de los «visitante cubanos» al Aeropuerto Internacional «Josefa Camejo», que incluyó un acto cultural y atenciones especiales, escoltas, patrullaje, trípticos, instrucciones de uso de armamento en caso que se presentaran disturbios, ambulancias listas en caso de emergencias, hasta la orden que funcionaran todos los servicios (electricidad y otros) al momento de la llegada y salida de la secreta delegación.
Un instructivo confidencial del Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Defensa, firmado el 5 de agosto de 2019, da las instrucciones del ZODI N-12 Falcón (N-0011-2019) a todos los involucrados en la agenda de Seguridad de «la visita Turística y comercial de ciudadanos de la República Socialista de Cuba a la ciudad de Punto Fijo».
El oficio señala que «el Comandante de la Zona Operativa de Defensa Integral N-12 Falcón, como máxima autoridad militar de ese estado y en concordancia con el Reglamento de Servicio de Guarnición tiene la responsabilidad de articular, coordinar y dictar instrucciones pertinentes para la seguridad de «la Visita Turística y Comercial de Ciudadanos de nacionalidad cubana al estado Falcón».
Para «la visita», se ordenó a las unidades militares y organismos de Seguridad del estado Falcón, acantonadas en la Zona Operativa de Defensa Integral N12, apoyar estrictamente a los «visitantes cubanos».
En el instructivo se informa quiénes forman parte del personal asistente, autorizadas por la Gobernación del Estado Falcón y los involucrados en el dispositivo de seguridad.
Al personal militar y policial que estuvo involucrado en la seguridad de los visitante se les instruyó para usar el uniforme Patriota o civil con armamento.
Se informó que se realizó una reunión de coordinación con el personal involucrado en la seguridad de «los ciudadanos cubanos», en la cual se acordó «el despliegue de todo el personal que participará en las labores de seguridad durante la visita que se realizará a la ciudad de Punto Fijo, Municipio Carirubana entre el 7 de agosto al 10 de agosto de 2019».
El coronel Sabino José Vigil Rodríguez, jefe de Inteligencia de la ZODI N-12 fue el enlace de esa Zona Operativa para dar cumpliendo al instructivo. En esta operación estuvo involucrado también el Comando Superior.
Para el cumplimiento de las instrucciones para el operativo se designó al Comandante del Destacamento N-131 como el jefe de Seguridad de todo el operación «desde su llegada hasta su retorno para lo cual contó con el apoyo de todos los Cuerpos de Seguridad Ciudadana Militares y Policiales, contaron además con todos los medios para ello, incluyendo motos, vehículos, escoltas durante las actividades y eventos».
Igualmente designaron a un profesional enlace que estuvo presente en la realización de «actividades diurnas y nocturnas como supervisor de seguridad del área», debiendo informar al Oficial Jefe de los Servicios al Comando de la ZODIFALCON, cualquier anormalidad.
Si quiere leer el reportaje completo con los soportes pulse acá.

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La entrada Intenso operativo de seguridad en Venezuela por misteriosos «visitantes cubanos» se publicó primero en Miami Diario.

Government will back more condo loans amid cooling housing market

Government will back more condo loans amid cooling housing market

The Federal Housing Administration loosening rules around its condo loans

The Federal Housing Administration loosening rules around its condo loans

Amid a cooling housing market and growing concerns about a recession, the Trump administration is making it easier for first-time condo buyers to get a government-backed mortgage.

The Federal Housing Administration is backing more loans for those first-time buyers, according to the Wall Street Journal. FHA loans require significantly lower credit standards than conventional loans and only require a 3.5 percent down payment.

The FHA predicts it could insure as many as 60,000 additional condo loans annually. In 2018, the agency backed 16,000 condo loans, according to the Journal. The new rules only apply to moderate income borrowers.

Existing homeowners nationwide have been taking advantage of falling rates, with $565 billion worth of mortgage loans reported in the second quarter. The increased appetite has meant large banks like JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup — and smaller lenders — reported an increase in mortgage originations.

Meanwhile, the FHA’s move comes at a time when single-family homes in markets like Seattle and Austin have become unaffordable to many new buyers. Condos are seen as a cheaper alternative, but getting financing can be more difficult. The median price of an existing condo or co-op unit was just over $260,000 in June, compared with nearly $290,000 for the median existing single-family home, according to the National Association of Realtors. [WSJ] — Keith Larsen

From bankruptcy to bidding war? 157-acre Mountain of Beverly Hills to be sold at auction

Listed on the market for $1B last year, the owners now need at least $200M just to avoid losing the mega land parcel entirely

August 13, 2019 05:00PM
1652 Tower Grove Drive or "The Mountain" (Credit: Realtor and iStock)

1652 Tower Grove Drive or “The Mountain” (Credit: Realtor and iStock)

It has been a little over a year since the Mountain of Beverly hit the market for $1 billion, but despite a dramatic price cut earlier this year, there still hasn’t been a buyer. But that could soon change.

The 157-acre plot of land will be auctioned off on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal. It it attracts a buyer, the long and storied — and troubled — history of Los Angeles’ most expensive listing will likely be over. Or at least a chapter of it will be over.

The auction, to be held at the Civic Center Plaza in Pomona, marks the latest and likely the final attempt at preventing the enormous plot of dirt from ending up in foreclosure.

The property’s price tag was already slashed to $650 million in February. Now, if a buyer doesn’t shell out at least $200 million, it will likely become the lender’s property. That lender is also the previous owner, the estate of Herbalife founder Mark Hughes, who loaned roughly $190 million to fund The Mountain’s sale in 2004.

Interested bidders will have to pay by cash or check, according to the Journal. It’s likely an auction will result in a much lower sale price for the spread, meaning creditors might not be repaid.

Secured Capital Partners, the ownership entity controlled by the family of convicted fraudster Victorino Noval, has been trying to keep the Beverly Hills spread in the family for nearly two decades. Secured Capital acquired the property with the liens attached from Tower Park Properties — another entity controlled by the Noval family — in 2016.

But the firm has been unable to repay the debts, and on May 29, a day before the Hughes trust could foreclose on the four liens, Secured Capital filed for bankruptcy protection. A judge denied that request roughly two months later, setting the stage for the property’s foreclosure, The Real Deal previously reported.

Potential buyers may be put off by the history and complexities of the property, and financial burden that would come with developing on the land. That has deterred many high-profile buyers from taking the plunge. Even Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, deemed it too expensive and too risky. [WSJ]Natalie Hoberman

BoxRec publicó listado de los mejores boxeadores de la historia: ¡Floyd Mayweather es el número 1!

BoxRec publicó listado de los mejores boxeadores de la historia: ¡Floyd Mayweather es el número 1!

El norteamericano se encuentra por encimas de grandes exponentes como el caso de Muhammad Ali y Sugar Ray Robinson, tras la última actualización publicada por el portal dedicado al boxeo.

Por Redacción MiamiDiario

El sitio web que se enfoca específicamente en el mundo del boxeo y sus estadísticas, BoxRec, publicó recientemente un listado que posiciona a Floyd Mayweather como el mejor boxeador de todos los tiempos, sumando un total de 2.255 puntos, sacándole 622 a su más cercano competidor y principal rival de la década: Manny Pacquiao.

Los números dejados por el polémico peleador norteamericano no pueden dejar mal esta nueva hazaña, puesto que cuenta con un total de 50 victorias en la misma cantidad de presentaciones y deleitó a su público en diversas oportunidades con una particular forma de boxeador, aunque no a todo el mundo le agradaba.

Es por ello que la publicación ha causado grandes controversias entre los conocedores de la materia tras completar el podio con el argentino Carlos Monzón, quien es un conocido campeón de peso mediano y suma 1.588 unidades. Asimismo, el portal Infobae resaltó que la conformación del listado se basa en un subjetivo acumulado en cuanto a valores provenientes del resultado de combates, rivales y el historial entre ellos.

Muhammad Ali (1.485), recordado campeón de pesos pesados quien acumuló tan sólo cinco reveses en 62 apariciones, mientras que Sugar Ray Robinson (1.472), con sumatoria de 174 victorias y 19 derrotas en su carrera, se ubica en la quinta plaza para completar los cinco mejores, tras la última actualización, acotando que el mismo se programa cada 48 horas.

 

A continuación podrás ver el top 10 de los mejores boxeadores en la historia de este deporte, según el portal BoxRec: 

1- Floyd Mayweather Jr.
2- Manny Pacquiao
3- Carlos Monzon
4- Muhammad Ali
5- Bernard Hopkins
6- Sugar Ray Robinson
7- Joe Louis
8- Archie Moore
9- Oscar De La Hoya
10- Julio Cesar Chavez

Asimismo, el ganador del primer lugar, Mayweather, siempre activo ante las redes sociales y la polémica, no podía dejar pasar este importante momento en su carrera y aseguró en su cuenta oficial de Twitter que: «Los números no mienten y BoxRec dice la verdad», mientras acompañó el texto de la imagen con el resto de los compañeros.

La entrada BoxRec publicó listado de los mejores boxeadores de la historia: ¡Floyd Mayweather es el número 1! se publicó primero en Miami Diario.

U.S. home mortgage surge past pre-recession record

U.S. home mortgage surge past pre-recession record

U.S. mortgage rates top 2008 levels (Credit: iStock)

U.S. mortgage rates top 2008 levels (Credit: iStock)

Home mortgage debt surged to a new high in the second quarter, leaving the pre-recession 2008 peak in the dust.

The total mortgage balance grew during the second quarter by $162 billion to $9.406 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. That’s more than the 2008 record of $9.294 trillion.

Mortgage debt has been climbing since 2013, when it fell by 15 percent in the wake of the recession. Continuing 20 straight quarters of increase, total household debt also grew by 1.4 percent to $13.9 trillion. But today’s context is markedly different from 2008: lending standards aren’t as loose as they were leading up to the recession and debt is not as delinquent.

But the housing market has been strained by low inventory and high prices, while homeowners are increasingly dipping into home equity to refinance. According to mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac, borrowers took out $17.5 billion in equity from their homes during the second quarter of the year, a $2.1 billion increase from the same time last year. Still, it’s much less than the 2006 peak of $84 billion cashed out in just the second quarter of 2016.

Refinancing made up one half of new mortgages in the second quarter, which industry researcher Guy Cecala called a “mini refinancing boom,” compared to just 30 percent of mortgages from refinancing in 2008. Contributing to the boom was a dramatic drop in the 30-year mortgage rate, now below 4 percent, incentivizing borrowers to take out mortgages or refinance. [WSJ]Georgia Kromrei

U.S. home mortgage surge past pre-recession record

U.S. home mortgage surge past pre-recession record

With low 30-year mortgage rates, borrowers are incentivized to take out mortgages or refinance

August 13, 2019 05:31PM
U.S. mortgage rates top 2008 levels (Credit: iStock)

U.S. mortgage rates top 2008 levels (Credit: iStock)

Home mortgage debt surged to a new high in the second quarter, leaving the pre-recession 2008 peak in the dust.

The total mortgage balance grew during the second quarter by $162 billion to $9.406 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. That’s more than the 2008 record of $9.294 trillion.

Mortgage debt has been climbing since 2013, when it fell by 15 percent in the wake of the recession. Continuing 20 straight quarters of increase, total household debt also grew by 1.4 percent to $13.9 trillion. But today’s context is markedly different from 2008: lending standards aren’t as loose as they were leading up to the recession and debt is not as delinquent.

But the housing market has been strained by low inventory and high prices, while homeowners are increasingly dipping into home equity to refinance. According to mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac, borrowers took out $17.5 billion in equity from their homes during the second quarter of the year, a $2.1 billion increase from the same time last year. Still, it’s much less than the 2006 peak of $84 billion cashed out in just the second quarter of 2016.

Refinancing made up one half of new mortgages in the second quarter, which industry researcher Guy Cecala called a “mini refinancing boom,” compared to just 30 percent of mortgages from refinancing in 2008. Contributing to the boom was a dramatic drop in the 30-year mortgage rate, now below 4 percent, incentivizing borrowers to take out mortgages or refinance. [WSJ]Georgia Kromrei