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Daily Dose

Fannie’s Book Shrinks Some More in August

Fannie Mae's book of business shrank in August at its steepest rate in more than a year, according to the company's latest volume summary. The company reported a compounded growth rate of -4.0 percent in its book for August, putting its total value down to $3.1 trillion. It was the ninth straight month of contraction.

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Chase Claims $868M in Consumer Relief Credit

JPMorgan Chase reports it has completed nearly a quarter of its consumer relief obligations required under a landmark mortgage-backed securities (MBS) settlement last year. According to a report issued Wednesday by the settlement's monitor, Joseph Smith Jr., the megabank expects to be credited for more than $862 million it provided through various borrower relief measures in the second quarter.

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Barometer: Housing, Economy Caught in ‘Unvirtuous’ Cycle

According to the latest Trulia Housing Barometer, while home prices, sales, and delinquency rates are all most of the way back to normal, new construction starts and a poor employment rate among young adults are snagging full economic recovery. However, all five indicators have improved year-over-year, if slightly in some areas.

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Mortgage Rates Slip in Latest Measures

In its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending October 2, Freddie Mac reported a minor pullback in the 30-year fixed interest rate to an average 4.19 percent (0.4 point) from last week's 4.20 percent. The average 30-year fixed was also little changed from last year's average rate of 4.22 percent.

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Mortgage Credit Availability Unchanged in September

The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index was flat at 116.1 for the month, the group reported Thursday. The gauge is calculated based on borrower eligibility metrics nationwide and underwriting criteria for more than 85 lenders and investors. At its current level, the index points to a slightly looser credit market now compared to when it was benchmarked in March 2012.

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Judge Dismisses Investor Lawsuits Over GSE Profits

Judge Royce Lambert dismissed lawsuits filed in 2013 by investors at Fairholme Funds, led by Bruce Berkowitz, and Perry Capital with regards to the government's "sweeping" of GSE profits into the U.S. Treasury. The investors believed that the diversion of GSE profits created a "windfall" for the government while short changing GSE shareholders.

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Construction Spending Turns Down in August

In a report on Wednesday, the Commerce Department estimated construction spending for the month of August was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $961.0 billion, a decrease of 0.8 percent from July’s revised estimate of $968.8 billion. The drop included a 0.1 percent falloff in private homebuilding from July, though the much smaller public residential construction category saw a 3.3 percent increase.

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Northeast, Midwest Metros Top List of Hottest Millennial Markets

In a report earlier this week, online listings site Realtor.com observed a largely steady trend line in housing market indicators in August, with prices leveling out from month to month and limited inventory dipping slightly. Demand was most evident among the country's millennial population. However, with relatively few homes on the market, prices pushing upward, and lending standards still tight, few in that group have been able to make the jump to homeownership.

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Home Price Growth Expected to Continue Slowing

In a recent analysis released by Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA), senior managing director Christopher Whalen predicts many metros around the country will see home price appreciation switch to a much slower track—or even decline modestly, in some cases—as the factors directing the momentum of the last few years diminish and fundamental drivers start playing a bigger role.

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Mortgage Applications Down for Fourth Straight Month

Compared to August, loan application volumes were down 1 percent in September, macroeconomic research firm Capital Economics reported Wednesday. The decline came even as mortgage rates hovered at an average 4.32 percent for 30-year fixed-rate loans, slightly above August's average and within the 10-basis-point range interest rates have occupied since May.

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