MND NewsWire

MND NewsWire : Housing and Economic News

Last feed update: Thursday February 22nd, 2018 06:13:46 PM

Existing Home Sales Decline, Inventory Still a Big Issue

Wednesday February 21st, 2018 04:16:11 PM Jann Swanson
Sales of existing homes fell again in January, the second consecutive month-over-month decline.  Sales of pre-owned single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and cooperative apartments were down 3.2 percent compared to December, and the seasonally adjusted annual sales in December, already estimated ...

Mortgage Apps Finally Feeling Effects of Higher Rates

Wednesday February 21st, 2018 01:24:51 PM Jann Swanson
Mortgage application volumes suffered their worst losses of 2018 last week.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said both purchase mortgages and applications for refinancing were down significantly during the week ended February 16 compared to the prior week. MBA's Market Composite Index, a ...

Fannie Mae: So Now Things are Moving Too Fast?

Friday February 16th, 2018 05:36:33 PM Jann Swanson
Some people are never happy.  For most of the ten years following the start of the Great Recession the experts have focused (can we say harped?) on the theme of a slow recovery. Now, after a couple of upticks in the inflation rate, Fannie Mae has headlined its February Economic Developments release ...

A Happy New Year for Construction Stats

Friday February 16th, 2018 02:59:26 PM Jann Swanson
Residential construction got off to a strong start in January, with sizable increases in both permits and housing starts and only a slight downturn in completions. The gains follow a particularly disappointing performance in construction starts in December.  Statistics were spotty on a regional ...

Fannie/Freddie Need Your Money Again, But Not Like They Used To

Thursday February 15th, 2018 07:04:13 PM Jann Swanson
While the prospect of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needing taxpayer money conjures up images of a failing mortgage market requiring a government bailout, that's very far from the case this time around.  In fact, taxpayers continue to come out way ahead with respect to the GSEs' conservatorship agreement, ...

Homebuilders More Optimistic Over the Next Six Months

Thursday February 15th, 2018 03:37:15 PM Jann Swanson
New home builders are looking ahead, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says this optimism was reflected in its Housing Market Index (HMI) for February.  While the total HMI, which is also sponsored by Wells Fargo, was unchanged from January at 72, its most forward-looking component ...

New HUD Budget Could Defund Rental Assistance, Other Programs

Thursday February 15th, 2018 03:33:31 PM Jann Swanson
Although it has been declared by many in Congress as "dead on arrival" the Trump Administration's proposed 2019 budget appears more predicated on another cliché - "If at first you don't succeed..." The budget again goes after many of the cuts in Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs it attempted ...

Are Americans and Their Government Undervaluing the American Dream?

Wednesday February 14th, 2018 05:19:19 PM Jann Swanson
Is homeownership still the American Dream?  Should it be? An article published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives argues while the former has long been the case, one strongly supported by government policy, that has changed.  Now there is a growing school of thought that the focus should ...

Mortgage Bankers Association Predicts Sharp Increase in New Home Sales

Wednesday February 14th, 2018 02:33:45 PM Jann Swanson
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is forecasting a sizable jump in new home sales in January. Based on responses to its Builder Application Survey (BAS), MBA estimates that applications for the purchase of newly constructed homes rose 18.4 percent compared to those during the previous January and ...

Purchase Mortgage Applications Lose Steam as Rates Rise

Wednesday February 14th, 2018 02:10:01 PM Jann Swanson
Purchase mortgage applications, after starting out strong at the beginning of the year, stalled for the third straight time last week, bringing overall activity down. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that its Market Composite Index, a measure of the volume of applications received, had ...

Home Price Increases Since 2011 More Than Triple Income Gains

Tuesday February 13th, 2018 04:42:00 PM Jann Swanson
While home price increases softened slightly in the fourth quarter of last year, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said, an uptick in existing home sales further exhausted available inventories. NAR's quarterly metropolitan area housing report puts the national median existing single-family ...

Storm Stricken States Now Showing Serious Delinquencies

Tuesday February 13th, 2018 02:53:01 PM Jann Swanson
Last fall's hurricanes again dominate the CoreLogic November Loan Performance Insights Report, although the nature of the storms' influence has changed.  The company says that the U.S. mortgage delinquency rate was down 0.1 percent from the previous November, as fewer loans transitioned from current ...

Stealth Tax on Homeowners in Trump Budget

Monday February 12th, 2018 09:33:52 PM Jann Swanson
In 2011, when Congress and the Obama Administration wanted to give taxpayers a temporary 2.0 percentage point reduction in payroll (FICA and Medicare) taxes, it funded the cut in part by increasing the g-fees charged by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) for their mortgage guarantees by 0.1 percentage ...

Dismantling Dodd-Frank, High Cost Loan Test Changes

Monday February 12th, 2018 02:18:00 PM Jann Swanson
Last year Congress failed to pass a sweeping bill repealing much of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act.   It appears they have now adopted a strategy to take smaller bites from the 2009 law enacted in response to the financial crisis. Last week, the Republican ...

Issuers Warned to Keep Prepayment Speeds in Line or Risk Sanctions

Friday February 9th, 2018 04:29:07 PM Jann Swanson
A small group of VA approved issuers have been warned that the speed at which their loans are being prepaid makes it appear they are participating in "churning." Ginnie Mae said on Thursday that the issuers who have been notified are expected to deliver a corrective action plan that identifies immediate ...

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