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Tag Archives: Sustainability

Freddie Mac to Align Refi Program With LTV Needs

Freddie

Freddie Mac announced Tuesday its plans to expand on its Relief Refinance Mortgage Program by aligning separate mortgage requirements. The GSE announced that it will align requirements for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios that are equal to or less than 80 percent with those for mortgages with LTV ratios greater than 80 percent. The alignment is expected to eliminate many of the lender├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós selling representation and warranty responsibilities on loans being refinanced. Details are scheduled to be announced to lenders by mid-September.

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Economy Likely to Stay on Path of Recovery: Barclays

The housing recovery is strengthening and turning onto a sustainable path, Barclays said in a report Wednesday. According to the firm's U.S. Housing report, single-family housing starts are expected to trend upward, matching the strength of multi-family starts that has driven the housing recovery over the past year. Barclays also anticipates that home price indices will close out the year strong, suggesting a broadening and lasting recovery. The rising supply and steady sales pace of single-family starts apparently encouraged homebuilders.

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Construction Industry Wavers as Home Sales Lift Economy

Increased home sales continue to help the United States out of its Great Recession, but uneven job growth is stunting recovery, according to Freddie Mac├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for July. The report, released Wednesday, showed that record-breaking low mortgage rates and refinances through HARP 2.0 drove up housing demand, leading to increases in housing starts, home sales, and prices in many markets. Housing starts for the first five months of the year averaged an annual rate of 719,000, a 26 percent increase from the same period in 2011.

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Wells Fargo Settles Race Claims, Exits Wholesale Originations

Wells Fargo wrote a check for $175 million on Thursday to settle claims that independent brokers drove a disproportionate number of otherwise creditworthy minority borrowers to higher-priced variable mortgages in the lead-up to the financial crisis. Wells Fargo denied any of the claims and took action Thursday to stop originating loans with independent mortgage brokers by Friday, a move that it billed as one separate from the settlement and ensuing controversy. The lender will work to close and process existing applications after Friday.

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How Over-Optimistic Homebuyers Could Inflate Next Bubble

bubble

Renters and first-time homebuyers want more amenities in their first homes and generally feel a sense of optimism that outpaces the reality in a slowly recovering housing market ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a disconnect that could set the stage for the next housing crisis. Those are the findings that real estate company Trulia unveiled in an American Dream survey it released Wednesday. Of 86 markets in the 100 largest metro areas, 61 percent, or nearly two-thirds, of Americans believe that home prices will rise over the next year, according to the company.

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Fannie: Economy Slows, Modest Growth Still Expected

The revised figures for economic growth in the year's first quarter were disappointing, but Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group is still forecasting moderate growth for the remainder of 2012. A report released by the group Tuesday projected 2.2 percent growth for all of 2012. Several factors presented risks to the economic outlook, including a slowing trend in job growth and potential contagion in the euro zone from Greece's financial issues. Consumer attitudes also influence the economic outlook.

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FHFA Proposes Rule to Forbid GSEs from Purchasing PACE Loans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has issued a proposed rule that would prohibit the GSEs from purchasing loans affected by the Property Assessed Clean Energy program. PACE is a local government initiative designed to help homeowners finance energy-efficient and renewable energy projects for their homes. FHFA's proposed rule is open for comment for 45 days from its date of publication, June 15. PACE financing for energy-efficient projects is available in 18 states and the District of Columbia.

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Study: Fail to Plan Communities, Plan for a Failed Recovery

As the economy flounders, Americans think community planners should play a large role in helping the country recover, according to a poll released Thursday by the American Planning Association. The research study showed that two-thirds of Americans believe their communities need more planning to promote economic recovery, and 44 percent said they don't believe their community is doing enough to promote recovery. Fifty-one percent of respondents expressed an interest in participating in community planning efforts.

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SIFMA Encourages Alignment of GSE Operations

In a letter filed Wednesday to FHFA, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association expressed its view that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should seek to align their operations as much as possible. The alignment would help set the stage and ease transition into the future for the GSEs, SIFMA suggests. Market performance shows a gap between the perceived and actual performance and liquidity of mortgage backed securities issued by the GSEs. The liquidity differential impacts the cost and efficiency of the GSE securitization process and the ability of the Enterprises to fund mortgage lending.

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Thirty-Year Loan Crashes Into New Low as Europe Scrambles

The crisis of confidence in Europe once again drove mortgage rates to record lows this week, with real estate Web site Zillow reporting that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slammed into 3.56 percent, the lowest it has recorded since it started surveying rates. Zillow said that the 30-year loan initially rose to 3.62 percent this week after euro zone authorities decided to bail out Spain with favorable terms. The rate for a 15-year loan hovered at 2.95 percent, while interest rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.68 percent.

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