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Tag Archives: Politics

Buyer Demand Rebounds as Government Returns to Business

Homebuyers shook off their fears and returned to the market in force following the re-opening of the government in October, according to data presented by Redfin's Research Center. Despite reports of consumer confidence waning, Redfin customers seemed relatively unfazed. "My clients think the ugly showdown we saw in October is unlikely to happen again," reported Philip Gvinter, a Redfin agent based in Washington, D.C. "After putting their home search on hold during the shutdown, they are ready to get back out there."

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Republicans Block Watt Nomination for FHFA Head

Senate Republicans blocked on Thursday a vote on the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina) to head up the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Watt's nomination was stopped in a 56-42 vote to end the debate over his confirmation. Sixty votes were needed to invoke cloture and move forward. The agency has been led since 2009 by acting director Edward DeMarco, who has attracted criticism from Democrats and consumer advocates who say he hasn't gone far enough to help distressed homeowners.

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MBA President Calls for Transparency, Collaboration in Washington

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) president and CEO David Stevens took the stage at the group's 100th Annual Convention and Expo Monday morning, reflecting on the last century in housing and shining a spotlight on today's challenges. While he notes that the government's response to the economic crisis has seen its share of successes, he also says Washington needs to recognize and take responsibility for the shortcomings of its policies, a step he believes policymakers have been reluctant to take.

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Fannie Downgrades Forecasts in Response to Consumer Sentiment

Overall, Fannie's outlook is "largely unchanged from the previous forecast," although "fiscal uncertainties associated with the federal government shutdown, the protracted negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, and the timing of the Federal Reserve's tapering of its asset purchase program, pose significant downside risks to economic activity in the current quarter," said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. As such, the GSE is revising its forecasted GDP growth for this year from 2 percent to 1.9 percent.

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Consumer Confidence (Mostly) Weathers Government Shutdown

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment declined to a nine-month low in its preliminary October reading, but analysts say the drop wasn't as bad as it could have been. The index plunged to 75.2 in the mid-month report, down from 77.5 at the end of September. The fall in the headline index was due entirely to a drop in consumer expectations. The Surveys of Consumers' Index of Consumer Expectations fell to a 2013 low of 63.9 from September's 67.8.

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