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Tag Archives: FHFA

NAHB Proposes Plan to Overhaul Secondary Market

A prominent housing trade group joined a growing roster of policy makers by outlining ways to take the GSEs off federal conservatorship, reintroduce private mortgage-backed securities, and charge existing government entities with stewardship of the new system. The National Association of Home Builders released a white paper Monday that calls on lawmakers to slowly transition a system dominated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to one that shares and balances responsibility. The proposal comes as others arrive from lawmakers and policy makers to replace the GSEs.

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Housing Looms Large, As Ever, For Bernanke, Lawmakers

A hearing held by House lawmakers Wednesday with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recast housing and the Dodd-Frank Act as issues critical to the economic recovery. The central banker said that 30 percent of home sales recently consisted of foreclosures and properties in distress, reflecting ongoing trouble for a market underpinned by high home vacancy rates and downward pressure for home prices. The underwriting process, down payments, and pending regulations also took center-stage during the discussion, with House members spotlighting recent servicer consent orders.

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FHFA’s Fourth Quarter Findings a Mixed Message

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released its data from the fourth quarter of 2011, and findings from the government organization├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós survey show that U.S. home pricing was slightly on the decline during the period. The FHFA├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós seasonally-adjusted, purchase-only house price index (HPI) demonstrated a 0.1 percent drop in pricing between quarters, and year-over-year, the statistics displayed a decrease of 2.4 percent. In spite of the national trend, however, HPI findings from the FHFA indicated that 27 states and the District of Columbia recorded a rise for the fourth quarter of last year.

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FHFA Proposes Remaking Secondary Mortgage Market

The federal agency responsible for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released a proposal Tuesday that calls for lawmakers to gradually wean the GSEs off taxpayer funds and stand up a new secondary market, replete with new institutions, securitization measures, and servicing standards. The proposal outlines steps for ways to shift risk and responsibility from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to a new market that lawmakers would need to establish without destabilizing a cornerstone of the economy.

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Senators Introduce Bill to Pay GSE Execs Federal Salaries

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle introduced legislation Thursday to curb multibillion-dollar bonuses for senior-level executives with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sens. Mark Begich and John Thune sponsored the bill, colorfully titled the Stop the Outrageous Pay at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Act. The bill would assign federal pay scale to employees with either of the GSEs, capping the highest salaries at $275,000. It would also repurpose any such funds so designated this year to pay down the politically important national debt.

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Clear Capital Evaluates Recent FHFA Data

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported a 1.0 percent rise in U.S. house prices between the timeframe of October to November. The previously reported 0.2 percent decrease in October was revised downward to reflect a 0.7 percent decrease, according to FHFA. Dr. Alex Villacorta of Clear Capital delivered insights on the recent findings, stating in part, "As this index is calculated using sale prices from only the conforming loan segment of the market, it has a tendency to understate both gains and losses than the broader market."

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GSEs Release Strong Refinancing Statistics

During the month of November alone, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac handled approximately 36,000 mortgages versus October's 34,000 mortgages within the Home Affordable Refinance Program. President Obama's most recent proposition aims to assist more households in refinancing, and in the president's recent State of the Union address, he presented possible modifications to the Home Affordable Refinance Program stating that "responsible homeowners shouldn't have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief."

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New-Home Sales Hit All-Time Lows in 2011

New-home sales crawled to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000 in December despite modest signs of recovery. The Commerce Department said Thursady that new-home sales fell 2.2 percent below expectations from November, which held that homebuyers would pick up a seasonally adjusted 314,000 homes annually. New homes from last month carried a median sales price around $210,300, with the average sales price hovering around $266,000. Experts suggest contract failures, foreclosures, short sales, and tight credit helped slow sales.

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Former Fannie Mae CEO Resigns From Fortress Group

Former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd resigned from his role as CEO of Fortress Investment Group Wednesday amid ongoing controversy related to a Securities and Exchange Commission suit. The company announced his resignation in a statement, not long after Mudd had decided to take a leave of absence from his role.

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Experts: Basel III Will Mean Higher Borrowing Costs

Earlier Tuesday the FDIC went forward with a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register that calls for annual stress tests to determine capital adequacy for banks. The notice built on the Basel Accords, which the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision revisited with help from a consortium of central bankers over 2010 and 2011. Basel III is the latest by BCBS to require stress tests for systemically important financial institutions, which include Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and several other U.S. lenders.

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