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Daily Dose

$1.5T at Risk in Storm Surge

In the midst of hurricane season, CoreLogic released its storm surge analysis for the year, counting more than 6.5 million homes at risk of hurricane damage and a total of $1.5 trillion in total reconstruction costs for these homes. Importantly, CoreLogic noted a large portion of homes susceptible to flood damage are not located within Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zones and therefore are not required to carry flood insurance.

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CFPB Releases Guidance on Mini-Correspondent Brokers

The CFPB issued guidance to curb brokers transitioning into the "mini-correspondent" model in the hopes of avoiding rules affecting broker compensation. "Today we are putting companies on notice that they cannot avoid those rules by calling themselves by a different name," commented CFPB Director Richard Cordray with the release of the new guidance.

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China Set to Overtake Others in U.S. Homebuying

From April 2013 through March 2014, Chinese buyers accounted for 16 percent of foreign home sales, up from 12 percent in 2013. In dollar volume, China's share is higher, accounting for 24 percent of sales during that period. "Put another way, the value of homes bought by Chinese buyers in the US has increased from $1.2 [billion] to $7.5 [billion], or slightly more than 500 percent, over five years," said Paul Diggle at Capital Economics.

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FHFA Seeks Comments on Private MI Requirements

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a draft for new eligibility requirements for private mortgage insurers who insure mortgage loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The agency is seeking comments on the draft and will accept input through September 8.

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Profits Rise at Wells Fargo as Housing Perks Up

Wells Fargo reported strong financials for the second quarter, driven in part by an uptick in mortgage lending and ongoing improvements in credit quality. The megabank reported $5.7 billion in net income for the quarter, up 4 percent over $5.5 billion a year prior. For the year's first half, Wells Fargo took in $11.6 billion in net income, up nearly $1 billion compared to the same period in 2013.

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House Democrats Introduce New GSE Reform Bill

Representatives John K. Delaney (D-Maryland), John Carney (D-Delaware), and Jim Himes (D-Connecticut) introduced Thursday new housing finance reform legislation aimed at winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replacing them with a federally backed insurance program administered through Ginnie Mae.

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June Job Growth Boosts Mortgage Rates

Signs of a healing—though still depressed—jobs market provided some slight lift to mortgage rates this week, market data shows. In its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac recorded the average 30-year fixed rate at 4.15 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending June 10, up from 4.12 percent in last week's survey. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.51 percent following a spike in late June.

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As Home Prices Grow, Wages Stagnate

According to Trulia, asking prices on listed homes rose 1.2 percent month-to-month in June, the highest monthly increase in more than a year. Unfortunately, consumer incomes have failed to keep pace. Out of the top 10 markets for annual price gains in June—most of which were in the South or Midwest—Trulia found that wages per worker rose less than 1 percent last year in all but one.

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New Home Purchase Applications Slide in June

The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Builder Applications Survey (BAS), a gauge of application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders, suggests new home purchase applications slipped 5 percent from May to June, the group reported Thursday. The change does not include any adjustments for typical seasonal movements.

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