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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Fannie Mae Loses Confidence in Growth for 2012

Economic growth isn't looking good for the rest of the year, according to Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group. According to the GSE's most recent Economic Outlook report, downside risks such as the European debt crisis, the fast-approaching fiscal cliff, and the recent slowdown in hiring have created a drag on the second quarter's modest economic growth. Fannie Mae is setting growth expectations to 1.8 percent, a slight increase from Q2, but under Q1's projected 2.0 percent pace.

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Home Prices Gain in 19 Major U.S. Markets: Redfin

Beating summer expectations, August home prices ticked up 5 percent across 19 major U.S. markets in what real estate broker Redfin called an "indicator of a housing market getting stronger." According to the broker, home sales went up 1.4 percent year-over-year, eclipsing a 2.5 percent decline in July. Home sales increased from 26.7 percent to 27.6 percent last month. Of major U.S. cities, prices in Phoenix went up by 31 percent year-over-year. Home prices meanwhile fell 4 percent from August last year.

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Could Economic Malaise Spell Just One Term for Obama?

When he ran for the presidency in 1980, Ronald Reagan, then Republican governor of California, struck at then-President Jimmy Carter over the strength of the economy. His question for Americans: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" That's the question Paul Ashworth and Paul Dales, senior analysts with Capital Economics, offered to answer in a report released by the consultancy on Friday. The report breaks down recent economic trends, including GDP, home sales, and median income.

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Eminent Domain Gripe Arrives in Nation’s Capitol

Rep. John Campbell introduced to Congress a piece of legislation designed to keep local governments from using eminent domain to seize homes with underwater mortgages. Titled ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£The Defending American Taxpayers from Abusive Government Takings Act,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø the bill would prohibit Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and the Veterans Administration from purchasing or guaranteeing loans originating in counties where a municipality has seized a mortgage loan through eminent domain in the last decade.

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DOJ, B of A Resolve Disability Discrimination Suit

The Justice Department announced Thursday that it has reached a settlement with Bank of America over allegations of loan discrimination against disability income recipients. The bank was accused of violating the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by asking disabled mortgage loan applicants to provide letters from their doctors to document the income they received from Social Security Disability Insurance. Some applicants were asked to provide more detailed medical information to document their income.

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Freddie Mac to Expand Mortgage Repurchase Claims

On the heels of the Federal Housing Finance Agency├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós announcement of its revised representation and warranty guidelines comes news that Freddie Mac will be increasing its repurchase claims in the near future. The revised rep and warranty guidelines were designed to provide more clarity in the market, but in the meantime, the FHFA Office of Inspector General reports Freddie Mac will increase repurchase requests to between $0.8 billion and $1.2 billion this year and between $2.2 billion and $3.4 billion overall.

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Freddie: Don’t Expect Fuel Prices to Kill Recovery

Freddie

While Americans may be feeling pain at the pumps, Freddie Mac doesn├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ót believe the recent increase in gas prices will have a huge impact on the economy. In the GSE├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós most recent U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook, Freddie Mac VP and chief economist Frank Nothaft looked at energy costs and their potential effects on the economic recovery. The U.S. Department of Energy reported that gas prices averaged $3.84 per gallon on September 3, up about $0.50 over the past two months.

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Existing Improvement May Increase as FHFA Updates Rules

The housing market is seeing signs of recovery, and this recovery may be bolstered by the new representation and warranty framework the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday, according to Fitch. Relying on signing offers and home tours as a future indicator of home sales, Redfin, a technology-driven real estate broker, predicts the market improvement seen this summer will continue into the fall. Offers fell 4 percent in August.

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Will a Sluggish Recovery Cripple Economic Growth?

Though the Great Recession officially ended three years ago, weakened aggregate income is keeping Americans from climbing out of the income slump that resulted. So said Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research group in its latest edition of Housing Insights. In the report, the research group turned its eye to average and aggregate earnings in the last five business cycles to examine the impact of weakened income growth in the current economic recovery.

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Fixed-Rate Mortgages Climb Higher This Week: Zillow

Interest rates for home loans climbed higher this week, just as the European Central Bank intervened to shore up the struggling economy overseas with more euro bonds and a weak jobs report quieted investors abroad. Real estate website Zillow reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 3.38 percent, up two basis points from 3.36 last week. The benchmark home loan had fallen and hovered somewhere between 3.36 percent and 3.41 percent over the weekend. Interest rates for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage went up to 2.75 percent.

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