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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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FHFA Director Lays Out Strategic Vision

After staying quiet for months following his swearing-in as head of the agency, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt took the stage at the Brookings Institution this week to outline his own plans for the GSEs. Like FHFA's original Strategic Plan for Enterprise Conservatorships, the newly unveiled plan is built on three blocks: maintain, reduce, and build. However, Watt's revised plan suggests a shift in focus toward broadening credit access.

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Prices Up 11.3% in Q4; More Cities Seeing New Peaks

CoreLogic released Tuesday its own quarterly Case-Shiller Indexes, assembled using the company’s proprietary data supplemented with statistics from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). While prices nationwide were up an estimated 11.3 percent in Q4, seven cities managed to shoot up into the 20 percent range year-over-year, with Las Vegas leading at 25.6 percent growth.

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Survey Finds Consumer Credit Knowledge Lacking

Survey results released Monday show Americans—and Millennials especially—continue to have only a vague understanding of how their credit scores are calculated and used. Among other findings, fewer than half of Millennials seem to comprehend that age is not a factor in calculating credit scores, and less than two-thirds know that the three main credit bureaus collect the information on which their scores are based.

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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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Loan Risk Index Rises to New High in Early April Data

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) put out a “flash release” of its National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI), a measure of the likelihood of purchase loan defaults under stressful economic conditions. According to the group, the index climbed last month to 11.89, indicating nearly 12 percent of loans would be at risk of default in the event of another downturn. That figure is up from a reading of 11.5 percent in March and represents a series high for the index.

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