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Author Archives: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

FHFA Updates Plans for Fannie, Freddie

Now that Director Mel Watt's administration is in full swing, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its new strategic plan for the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In its outline, FHFA focused on three tenets going forward for the GSEs: maintain foreclosure prevention activities, reduce taxpayer risk, and build a new, single-family securitization infrastructure.

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Consumer Home Price Expectations Down Again

A survey of consumer expectations released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds home price change expectations are down once again, with projected growth over the next 12 months forecast at 3.77 percent. It was the third straight monthly decline.

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‘Favorable’ Price Trends Continue Throughout Q1

Median existing single-family home prices kept marching up in nearly 75 percent of measured markets in the first quarter, though at a slightly lower pace, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. NAR found the national median existing-single family home price was $191,600 in the first quarter, up 8.6 percent from the previous year.

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FHFA Reports on Ongoing GSE Recoveries

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its Quarterly Performance Report for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, recording continued improvements as the enterprises see more post-crash business. The Federal Home Loan Bank system had positive earnings as well, noting $2.5 billion of earnings in 2013.

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Audit Finds Room for Improvement in FHFA’s Insurer Oversight

In a recent audit of the Federal Housing Finance Agency's practices commissioned by the agency's inspector general, CohnReznick found that FHFA has "opportunities to further strengthen its oversight of the Enterprises' monitoring of the financial condition of mortgage insurers and their related risk exposure."

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Housing Recovery Losing Support from Prices

Home asking prices rose just 9.0 percent year-over-year in April, the smallest gain in 11 months, and Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko has a few ideas why that number has fallen. One reason for the slippage is from a large price spike during the housing recovery in February and April of 2013, according Kolko. Year-over-year changes in April 2014 no longer include these elevated months, dropping yearly asking price numbers.

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All-Cash Home Sales Climb to Record High

A new report from RealtyTrac indicates all-cash home sales accounted for 42.7 percent of first-quarter purchases, a record high since the company started tracking the data in 2011. "Strict lending standards combined with low inventory continue to give the advantage to investors and other cash buyers in this housing market," said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.

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Fannie, Freddie to Receive $110M in Latest RMBS Settlement

Per a settlement announced with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), First Horizon National Corporation has agreed to pay a combined $110 million to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to resolve alleged violations of securities laws connected to private-label securities purchased by the GSEs from 2005–2007. The settlement is the 14th of its kind, bringing the agency closer to closing the book on 18 suits filed in 2011.

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Nation’s Markets Continue March to Normalcy

According to the National Association of Home Builders' Leading Markets Index (LMI), 59 metros have fully returned or even exceeded their last normal levels of both economic and housing activity. Overall, the nationwide economic score rose slightly to 0.88 from a revised April reading. "This means that based on current permit, price and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 88 percent of normal economic and housing activity," the group said.

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Price Gains Keep Slowing; Expected to Halve by 2014

Home prices continued to rise in March, but at a markedly slower pace compared to February, CoreLogic reported in its latest Home Price Index. According to the company, prices were up 11.1 percent nationally year-over-year in March, with growth expected to slow to an annual rate of 6.7 percent by the same time in 2015. Both figures include distressed sales.

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