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Housing Headlines Archives for 2017-02

ECONOMIC NEWS

 

MarketWatch

Existing-home sales rise to a 10-year high in January despite higher rates, leaner supply

Sales of previously-owned homes hurtled to the highest in a decade in January, a sign of durable demand in the face of higher mortgage rates and leaner supply.

 

MarketWatch

New-home sales bounce back in January as housing demand bolsters market

Sales of newly-constructed homes rebounded in January as the housing market continues to move forward in fits and starts.

 

HousingWire

Freddie Mac: Market uncertainty disorients mortgage rates

Continuing its new pattern, the 30-year mortgage rate continues to stray from the Treasury yield amid rising market uncertainty.

 

The Washington Post

For millennials ready to buy a home, the pickings are slim

For years, millennials looked at owning a home as a distant fantasy. Student debt and a weak job market seemed to conspire to keep this generation stuck in their parents' basements, if not permanently locked out of the housing market.

 

Investor's Business Daily

Who's driving the housing recovery now? Small investors, study says

A growing number of small-but-nimble investors have captured a huge share of the housing market, says a new report, and they're now propelling the housing recovery by pushing "prices higher and more quickly than if the recovery had been driven more heavily by first-time homebuyers." That's not only making it tougher for those homebuyers to enter the market, says the white paper from Attom Data Solutions and Clear Capital, but it's also crimping investors' rates of return.

 

The New York Times

Some Fed officials support moving faster to raise interest rate

The American economy appears to be avoiding the kind of winter swoon that has become an annual event in recent years, a turn for the better that could encourage the Federal Reserve to start raising its benchmark interest rate sooner.

 

GSEs

 

HousingWire

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says expect GSE reform during Trump administration

U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sat down Thursday for his first television interview since coming into his new position, where he explained what is on the economic agenda of this administration.

 

National Mortgage News

Fannie Mae's focus will not change with new administration, CEO says

The arrival of President Trump has not changed Fannie Mae's plans for 2017, especially its emphasis on automated loan validation and other customer-focused innovations, CEO Timothy Mayopoulos said Friday. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Washington Post

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac shares plunge after court's ruling

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares plunged Tuesday after a federal appeals court denied legal claims by investors who were seeking to stop the U.S. government from seizing the profits of the mortgage giants.

 

MORTGAGE NEWS

 

The Washington Post

The mortgage market is now dominated by non-bank lenders

Most borrowers, whether they are purchasing property or refinancing their home, focus on their mortgage rate and loan terms rather than the type of lender they choose.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

The New York Times

The national death wish

A few weeks ago, Tom Cotton and David Perdue, Republican senators from Arkansas and Georgia, introduced an immigration bill that would cut the number of legal immigrants to this country each year in half, from about a million to about 500,000.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

 

The New York Times

How cities should take care of their housing problems

While President Trump talks repeatedly about fixing America's inner cities, it's a good bet that in the coming years, New York and other large metropolitan areas will need to be more self-reliant in solving pressing problems, especially low-income housing.

 

MULTIFAMILY

 

The Wall Street Journal

Banks retreat from apartment market

Swelling supplies of apartment units are prompting big banks to pull back from new projects, forcing developers to scramble for capital, in a sign that the U.S. apartment industry headed for a downturn. (Subscription may be required.)

 

FORECLOSURE NEWS

 

The New York Times

SolarCity's ties to foreclosure cases raise questions on vetting policies

SolarCity, the nation's leading installer of rooftop solar panels and a renewable energy darling, has pitched its value to investors on a simple premise: Once customers sign up to lease a system, they will make payments to the company month after month for at least 20 years.

 

EPA

 

The Washington Post

Pruitt to EPA employees: 'We don't have to choose' between jobs and the environment

In his first full work day as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt made clear Tuesday that he intends to step back from what he sees as the agency's regulatory overreach during the Obama administration.

 

CFPB

 

HousingWire

Hensarling compares CFPB to a tyranny

It's probably safe to say that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is no fan of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

 


Housing demand may keep market afloat, even if rates rise

ECONOMIC NEWS


MarketWatch

Housing demand may keep market afloat, even if rates rise

How will the housing market handle rising rates? Ever since the November election, when the unexpected Trump victory sent bond yields flying and mortgage rates following closely behind, analysts have been preoccupied with that question. From overly cautious lending standards to extremely tight inventory, the housing market has plenty of challenges, and any additional constraint won't help.

 

Construction Dive
Housing recovery continues while single-family permits lag

The U.S. housing market is operating at 99% of its normal activity level, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index for the fourth quarter of 2016. The mark is 0.01 point ahead of the third quarter and 0.05 above the year-ago mark; it is up by 0.21 points from the cycle low in March 2012.

 

HousingWire
Housing confidence takes a turn, ends 5-month decline

Americans are more confident in the housing market, reversing a five-month trend of declines in optimism, according to Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index.

 

The Wall Street Journal
A mismatch of home buyers and sellers points to pain this year

The divide between the prices of homes Americans want to buy and the inventory of such homes is growing, suggesting first-time home buyers and high-end sellers might have a difficult year ahead of them. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal
For Chinese home buyers, Seattle is the new Vancouver

When Anna Riley, a Seattle-area real-estate agent, held an open house for a new $2.3 million listing in the tony city of Bellevue late last month, the pool of prospective buyers was different from the usual assortment of tech magnates, sports stars and chief executives. (Subscription may be required.)


MarketWatch
What's holding back the housing market — the nearly 7 million homeowners barely treading water on their mortgage

A decade after the housing crisis, the lopsided recovery draws lots of attention to the extremes of the housing market: many homeowners are awash in home equity as the value of their properties surge, while others are still underwater.


CNBC
Houses are the least affordable they've been in seven years: Here's why

Rising mortgage rates, bigger jumps in home prices and still-moderate income growth are adding up to a triple threat for the housing market this spring.

 

The Wall Street Journal
Housing shortage fuels price gains

The number of homes for sale fell to the lowest level in nearly two decades in the fourth quarter, lifting prices and raising concerns that young buyers are being shut out of the market. (Subscription may be required.)

 

CBS Money Watch
The housing market could cool off a bit this year

Now that the outcome of Super Bowl LI has been determined, many Americans will start mulling a different question: What's in store for the U.S. housing market this year?

 

HOUSING FINANCE

 

The New York Times
Decade after crisis, no resolution for Fannie and Freddie

Fannie Mae, the gigantic government-sponsored mortgage service entity, has guaranteed $1 billion of debt backed by Invitation Homes, the single-family rental business owned by the giant private equity firm Blackstone. In making the guarantee, Fannie is taking a big leap into the growing home rental market, in which Blackstone is the biggest player. But it's also a sign that the true comeback kids are not the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots but Fannie Mae and its cousin, Freddie Mac, both of which were supposed to be left for dead a decade ago.

 

HousingWire
Realtors ask Trump to reinstate FHA mortgage insurance premium cut

The National Association of Realtors believes that the Trump administration's recent decision to suspend a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration's annual mortgage premiums will keep as many as 40,000 potential homebuyers from becoming actual homebuyers in 2017, and wants the premium cut reinstated "as soon as possible," the trade organization said last week.

 

HousingWire
House reintroduces bill to end "FICO monopoly" at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Three senators are reigniting the fight to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider alternative credit-scoring models beyond the FICO credit score the government-sponsored enterprises currently use.

 

DODD-FRANK


CNBC
Memo from a key congressman outlines plan to gut Dodd-Frank bank rules

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling is strengthening his attack on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and scaling back regulations on bank living wills and stress tests in new legislation expected to be introduced soon, according to a memo obtained by CNBC.
 

 

 


ECONOMIC NEWS 
 

MarketWatch

Home-price gains accelerated in November, Case-Shiller shows

National home price gains maintained momentum in November, two months after retaking the high last seen at the height of the housing bubble.

 

MarketWatch

Mortgage rates tread water, alongside Treasurys and broader housing market

Rates for home loans were unchanged after notching their first weekly increase in 2017, mortgage provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Why the homeownership rate isn't likely to take off anytime soon

The homeownership rate fell again in the fourth quarter, underscoring the challenges President Donald Trump faces in fulfilling his promise to bring back the American dream of homeownership.

 

HousingWire

Why isn't Freddie Mac on board with all these rosy outlooks?

Latest housing numbers prove robust, so what gives?

 

USA Today

Americans making big compromises to buy homes

Limited housing supplies are forcing prospective homeowners to make significant compromises, such as devoting less money to saving for emergencies and retirement, a new survey says.

 

The New York Times

Better deals on homes can chase away winter doldrums

February typically isn't a month that brings out hordes of home shoppers. Colder weather and postholiday belt-tightening often combine to push sales into the doldrums.

 

The Wall Street Journal

Young people lose confidence in their prospects as homeowners

Young Americans are losing confidence in their prospects for buying a home, suggesting that even with prices at all-time highs the dream of homeownership is losing its grip on some. (Subscription may be required.)

 

USA Today

Fed stands pat on rates, no signal on March hike

The Federal Reserve held its key interest rate steady Wednesday, and gave no signal on when it will act again after raising it in December for the first time in a year.

 

The Wall Street Journal

January jobs report

The U.S. economy posted solid job growth as it kicked off the new year, but wage growth was weaker than expected. Here are some key numbers from the January jobs report released Friday by the Labor Department.

 

HOUSING FINANCE

 

Bloomberg

Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac should be utilities, trade group says

A powerful housing trade group is wasting no time in pushing the Trump administration and Republican-led Congress to address one of the last unresolved issues from the financial crisis, outlining a proposal Tuesday to overhaul mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

HousingWire

The future of TRID hangs in the balance amid Trump regulatory actions

A freeze on a final rule of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, also called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, TRID, could become an unfortunate side effect of Trump's executive order on Monday.

 

Forbes

With a stroke of the pen, Donald Trump will wave goodbye to the Dodd Frank Act

Days ago, President Donald Trump vowed to do a "big number on Dodd Frank," the sweeping banking legislation put in place by the administration of President Barack Obama in response to the 2008 financial crisis. Trump called Dodd Frank "a disaster" that has impeded growth by making it harder for banks to lend to consumers and small businesses. Still in his second week in office, Trump is making good on his statement.

 

The New York Times

Court orders Justice Dept. to release Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac documents

Casting a ray of sunlight on a case that has been shrouded in secrecy, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday that the government must produce a raft of documents to plaintiffs suing over its decision to seize all the profits of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants that were put into conservatorship in September 2008, at the depths of the financial crisis.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

The Wall Street Journal

Trump immigration rules likely to exacerbate home builders' labor shortfall

The U.S. home-building industry, which relies heavily on immigrant labor, could face significant challenges under stricter immigration enforcement rules outlined during President Donald Trump's first week in office. (Subscription may be required.)

 

The Wall Street Journal

Draft of executive order looks to re-examine visa programs

The White House and lawmakers in Congress appear poised to take on another contentious slice of immigration policy: the visa programs favored by technology and other companies. (Subscription may be required.)

 

PRODUCT NEWS

 

Professional Warranty Service Corp

Builders Beware: The Court of Public Opinion Is Now In Session

With unhappy customers, whether homeowners' claims are accurate or not, the court of public opinion is in session.  Perception is reality and it's your reputation on trial. Can you afford not to react? 

 

MORTGAGE NEWS

 

MarketWatch

Citigroup exiting mortgage servicing business

Citigroup Inc. on Monday said it would exit the mortgage-servicing business, turning its focus to mortgage originations.

 

APPRAISALS

 

National Mortgage News

Why appraisals are taking so long in the Pacific Northwest

Lenders have been pulling their hair out over extreme appraisal delays in the Pacific Northwest and are trying to figure out why it's happening to a greater degree there than elsewhere. (Subscription may be required.)