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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

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


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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FBR: Some 6M Borrowers May Qualify for HARP

While FHFA reported a month-to-month drop in HARP refinances, volume under the program remains high, with numbers in the first half of the year (more than 519,000 as of the end of July) already outshining all of 2011's HARP volume. Given the government's estimate that up to 4 million loans could be eligible under the program and FBR's expectation that approximately 6 million borrowers may qualify, the firm expects that originators will continue to see strong volume in the near future.

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Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Expand Refi Opportunities

Lawmakers introduced a new bill on Monday with plans to once more revamp the Home Affordable Refinance Program for current borrowers with eligible loans with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Robert Menendez, among others, drafted the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act to increase lender competition, open up refinance opportunities to all current borrowers with government-backed mortgages, and strike through appraisal costs and upfront fees on home loans. If the bill passes the House, lenders will begin to compete more often with other lenders.

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Slowing Confidence to Crimp Economy: Fannie Mae

American consumers remain cautiously optimistic of housing as home prices rise, Fannie Mae reported Monday. According to the GSE's August 2012 National Housing Survey, consumers maintain a cautious but improving view of homeownership and the housing market. The average home price change expectation is 1.6 percent, mostly consistent with July's results and down from a June high of 2.0 percent. Meanwhile, 11 percent of those surveyed say home prices will go down in the next year.

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While Candidates Avoid Housing, Five Star Speakers Engage It

Taking the stage on Thursday, speakers at the ninth annual Five Star Conference, currently underway at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, tackled the issue most politicians evade: When and where should government intervene in the housing market? Not often, according to speakers like Jack Konyk, executive director of government affairs with Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider, and Edward Kramer, EVP of regulatory affairs with Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. The Dodd-Frank Act took center-stage during the debate, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau along with it.

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Homes Spending Less Time on Market: NAR

Homes are spending less time on the market as supply conditions tighten, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors released Wednesday. The median time homes stayed listed was down 29.6 percent to 69 days in July compared to 98 days in July 2011. While the overall median is down, the report stated one in five homes bought in July stayed on the market for at least six months. At the current sales pace, it would take 6.4 months to clear the supply of homes available as of the end of July, a 31.2 percent decrease from a year ago when there was a 9.3-month supply.

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