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News Clips

RealEstateRama, Thursday, December 18, 2014
(RECAP: HUD’s $45 billion budget allows the Department to support the individuals and organizations that we currently serve, but also limits HUD’s ability to help some new families reach the middle class or pursue their dream of homeownership. As the President has said, the legislation is a compromise and no one got everything they wanted. But, it is a step towards proving that a divided government can work without governing by crisis or threatening an economic recovery that’s growing stronger – which the President believes is a hopeful sign for next year.)
CFPB Monitor , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: Congress has unanimously approved legislation to extend until January 2016 a provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that prohibits foreclosing on a servicemember’s house for one year following the servicemember’s return from active duty. The CFPB has made SCRA compliance a priority issue.)
USA Today , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it could raise near-zero short-term interest rates within months amid an accelerating economy despite low inflation that has been subdued by falling oil prices. But it hedged its intentions amid conflicting economic indicators, sending a mix of signals to financial markets.)
Washington Business Journal , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: An Arlington-based nonprofit affordable housing developer is pitching a large market-rate building for Alexandria's West End as a means of financing a companion affordable building next door. The project, now in Alexandria's planning pipeline, will be located on property AHC Inc. has acquired from the Trustees of St. James Methodist Church. AHC proposes to redevelop the property with two six-story buildings, one containing 92 affordable units and the other 132 market-rate units. The reason for building market-rate, said Catherine Bucknam, AHC's director of community relations, "is to subsidize the cost of constructing the affordable housing.")
HousingWire , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: When the Federal Housing Administration announced its “Blueprint for Access” in May, it said the program was designed to open up the credit box for “underserved borrowers.” One of the main features of the FHA’s Blueprint for Access was a pilot program called Homeowners Armed with Knowledge, or HAWK. Under the four-year HAWK pilot program, homebuyers who committed to housing counseling would qualify for tangible savings on their FHA-insured loans. But funding for the HAWK program was not included in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, signed by President Obama this week, therefore the program will not be moving forward for at least a year.)
The Washington Post , Wednesday, December 17, 2014
(RECAP: Lenders say they’ve consistently eased their credit standards throughout the year, but potential home buyers still aren’t biting, according to a Fannie Mae survey of top mortgage executives at 192 institutions. The survey results released Wednesday suggest that the lenders are loosening up, perhaps because they need to boost their profit margins or because they’re responding to recent federal policy changes to encourage them to widen access to credit – or both. But they’re still having trouble luring buyers, which suggests that 2015 will not be a breakout year for the housing market.)
Urban Institute , Tuesday, December 16, 2014
(RECAP: For more than three decades, researchers and policymakers have used the mortgage denial rate as a measure of general mortgage credit availability and of racial and ethnic disparities in access. But the traditional way of calculating the denial rate doesn’t distinguish between two very different sources of change in access to mortgage credit: the mix of mortgage applicants and the denial decisions of mortgage lenders. We have developed an alternative and improved measure we call the “real denial rate” or RDR that addresses this problem by calculating the denial rate for applicants with less than “near perfect” credit.)
Reuters, Tuesday, December 16, 2014
(RECAP: America's government-controlled mortgage finance giants, Fannie and Freddie, will likely guarantee a shrinking share of new loans over the next decade, congressional analysts said on Tuesday. During the 2007-09 financial crisis, it was almost impossible for homebuyers to get a loan without a government guarantee, and Fannie and Freddie backed roughly 60 percent of new mortgages between 2008 and 2013. But a mix of recent increases in fees charged by the two firms and a renewed willingness to lend by private sources of capital will help shrink Fannie and Freddie's share to about 40 percent by 2024, the Congressional Budget Office said.)
Falls Church News-Press, Tuesday, December 16, 2014
(RECAP: Arlington makes a mission of being economically diverse. But market forces push in the opposite direction. In a preview of a coming three-year county study of the future of affordable housing, county senior planner Russell Danao-Schroeder reported a grim forecast for Arlington’s low-income population: “By 2020, there will likely be no affordable housing offered in the private market,” he said, affordable meaning households earning 60 percent or less of area median income.)
HousingWire , Tuesday, December 16, 2014
(RECAP: Anyone following the public discourse about the mortgage market knows that lending is overly tight right now. And those who follow the issue closely understand that a primary driver of this tightness is uncertainty over how Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA enforce their underwriting rules. What most do not realize is that that there is another major driver: the increasingly high cost of servicing delinquent loans. Our new report explains how this high and often difficult-to-control cost is driving lenders to apply credit overlays, particularly in their FHA lending.)
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