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Tag Archives: Investors

FHFA Announces Plans to Combine Divisions

As the newly confirmed Mel Watt prepares to take the reins at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), current Acting Director Edward DeMarco has announced changes to the agency's senior staff.

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HUD Puts Out Qualified Mortgage Definition

HUD has issued a newly revised definition of a qualified mortgage (QM) that will affect all Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured loans moving forward. The new rules go into effect on January 10, 2014, and will apply to mortgages that are insured, guaranteed, or administered by HUD. The agency defined two categories of QM, with the main difference being the relation between a loan's annual percentage rate and its average prime offer rate.

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Light Economic Data Sparks Little Reaction for Mortgage Rates

Fixed mortgage rates moved down slightly this week, reflecting a lack of much solid news for markets to latch on to. Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.42 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending December 12, a decrease from 4.46 percent last week. The same time last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.32 percent. Bankrate.com reported even smaller changes in its weekly survey. According to the finance site, the 30-year fixed averaged 3.55 percent this week, unchanged from the last report.

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FHA Releases Revised Manual Underwriting Guidelines

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published on Wednesday new guidelines for lenders to use when manually underwriting loan applications for borrowers applying for FHA-insured mortgages. Chief among the changes is a set of "compensating factors" for lenders to use when considering borrowers whose debt-to-income percentages exceed established ratios (31 percent for housing costs and 43 percent for total discretionary debt).

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Consumer Apprehension Presents Barrier to Housing Momentum

An increasingly cautious outlook for the economy has put a crimp in the housing market's forward momentum, according to Fannie Mae's latest National Housing Survey. Doug Duncan, SVP and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said: "We continue to see caution as the defining feature of Americans' attitudes toward the economy and their personal financial situation. In this environment, the housing recovery is likely to improve, but only at a gradual pace."

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Consumer Sentiment Outpaces Expectations in Preliminary Report

The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters Index of Consumer Sentiment climbed to a five-month high of 82.5 in a preliminary report, increasing more than seven points over November's final reading and beating a consensus forecast of 75.5. Both of the components measuring confidence in current and future conditions increased. The Current Conditions Index rose to its own five-month high of 97.9 from November's 88.0, while the expectations index increased to a four-month peak of 72.7 from 66.8.

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