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News Clips

Federal Housing Finance Agency , Wednesday, October 22, 2014
(RECAP: Six federal agencies approved a final rule requiring sponsors of securitization transactions to retain risk in those transactions. The final rule implements the risk retention requirements in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). The rule also sets forth prohibitions on transferring or hedging the credit risk that the sponsor is required to retain. As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the final rule defines a “qualified residential mortgage” (QRM) and exempts securitizations of QRMs from the risk retention requirement. The final rule aligns the QRM definition with that of a qualified mortgage as defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.)
The New York Times , Wednesday, October 22, 2014
(RECAP: Since 2008, the year Lehman Brothers collapsed and home prices dropped precipitously, there has been a steady increase in the number of people ages 18 to 34 renting instead of buying homes. About 875,000 more households are now made up of young adult renters than would have existed if the 2008-era trend had held steady, according to an analysis of census data by Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, a real estate marketing website. Developers and builders are responding to a rising demand not just from young adults but also from the larger population of Americans who do not have the means or the desire to buy a house.)
The Wall Street Journal , Wednesday, October 22, 2014
(RECAP: Recent steps by federal regulators make it clear: low down-payment loans, a feature of the housing market’s boom, are coming back. On Monday, FHFA Director Mel Watt announced that mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would start backing loans with down payments as low as 3%. And on Tuesday, three federal agencies approved a loosened set of mortgage-lending rules, removing a requirement for a 20% down payment for a class of high-quality loan known as a “qualified residential mortgage.”)
Mortgage News Daily , Tuesday, October 21, 2014
(RECAP: Existing home sales, which ended four straight months of gains with a 1.8 percent decline in August, bounced back in September the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said today. Sales increased 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million homes, the highest pace of the year, from the August rate of 5.05 million. Despite the recovery, sales in September are still 1.7 percent lower than in September 2013. Existing homes were selling then at a rate of 5.26 million.)
The New York Times , Tuesday, October 21, 2014
(RECAP: Soon after the housing bust, federal regulators working on repairing the mortgage market thought it was sound policy to have borrowers make sizable down payments on their new homes. On Tuesday, the regulators completed that overhaul, but they left out any requirement for borrowers to make a down payment. The new regulations aim to strengthen the vast market for bonds that are backed with mortgages and other loans. The market is not back on its feet, despite low interest rates. But the regulators said that the new rules could set the stage for more lending.)
The Roanoke Times , Tuesday, October 21, 2014
(RECAP: The owners of a mobile home park are again floating a redevelopment plan — but unlike last year, the emphasis is on maintaining less-expensive housing on the site. “We can’t kick people out and say we’re building affordable housing,” William Park, president of Charlottesville-based Pinnacle Construction & Development, told Blacksburg Town Council members at a work session. Park will submit a formal proposal and rezoning request to the town within the next two weeks. This will put the developer on track to have a town council vote on the rezoning before a March deadline to apply for state-administered tax credits.)
Tidewater Biz, Monday, October 20, 2014
(RECAP: The Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority hired executive search firm Gans, Gans & Associates to recruit a new chief executive. Current CEO Shurl R. Montgomery is retiring on Dec. 31 after 10 years of service, according to a news release.)
The Washington Post , Monday, October 20, 2014
(RECAP: When it comes to taking out a mortgage, two factors can stand in the way: the price of the mortgage (as in the down payment and the interest rate), and the borrower’s credit profile. On Monday, the head of the agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac outlined – in very broad terms – how he plans to make it easier for borrowers on both fronts. Mel Watt, director of the FHFA, did not give exact timing on the initiatives. But most of them are designed to encourage the industry to extend mortgages to a broader swath of borrowers.)
The Wall Street Journal , Sunday, October 19, 2014
(RECAP: The Federal Reserve will likely conclude its bond-buying program this month as planned, despite recent financial market volatility and speculation to the contrary, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “There are other tools that we can use. Staying at the zero lower bound for longer is one.” The Fed has kept official interest rates at effectively zero since December 2008, and bought over $3 trillion in mortgage and Treasury bonds in an effort to support the weakest economic recovery in decades. He suggested the Fed should err on the side of patience when weighing the timing and pace of interest rate increases, particularly given the recent record of not only elevated unemployment but also high underemployment and inflation that continues to fall short of the central bank’s official 2% target.)
NCSHA, Tuesday, October 14, 2014
(RECAP: Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report examining the government’s role in the housing finance market and identifying key issues for policymakers to consider when reforming the housing finance system. The agency released this report to help policymakers asses various housing finance reform proposals to ensure that any housing finance reform proposal they enact will effectively accomplish their goals. GAO spent more than a year preparing the report, reviewing literature and meeting with federal officials and outside experts, including NCSHA’s Garth Rieman.)
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