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News Clips

Freddie Mac, Tuesday, August 23, 2016
(RECAP: Freddie Mac today announced a redesigned standard application for borrowers to use when they apply for a single-family mortgage. The redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) was developed jointly with Fannie Mae under the direction of the FHFA. This marks the first substantial revision to the URLA in more than 20 years. In addition to a reorganized layout and simplified terminology, the new URLA includes data fields such as mobile phone number, email address and military service. Lenders may begin using the redesigned URLA on Jan. 1, 2018, for single-family loans submitted to Freddie and Fannie as well as mortgages that are federally insured by FHA, the VA or the Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Service.)
The MReport , Tuesday, August 23, 2016
(RECAP: New single-family home sales took a notable upturn in July, with the month becoming the best month for new sales since 2007, according to HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. The HUD/Census report showed that July sales leapt 12.4 percent over June, which recorded 582,000 sales, and 31.3 percent above last July. The median sales price of new houses sold in July was $294,600; the average sales price was $355,800. July’s numbers are the latest in a steady trend toward more new home sales overall, and some industry insiders think the trend is only going to continue.)
Mortgage News Daily , Monday, August 22, 2016
(RECAP: While the numbers remain small, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) notes there is a slowly increasing trend of single-family homes being built specifically as rentals. Robert Dietz, chief economist and senior vice president for NAHB says that, while the small numbers mean care must be taken when identifying trends, there were solid gains in the built-for-rent market over the last year. The percentages translate to 34,000 housing starts in this category for the four quarters ending with the first quarter of 2016 compared to 26,000 for the four prior quarters. At the same time, there has also been a trend toward purchasing newly constructed homes on the part of institutional investors. Builders are even starting to offer institutional buyers bulk discounts.)
Fauquier Now, Monday, August 22, 2016
(RECAP: Fauquier Habitat for Humanity and 100 local volunteers will conduct a “blitz build” this fall on Haiti Street in Warrenton. The “Road Trip Crazies,” a group that supports Habitat affiliates, will join the effort Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30, to build a home for a local family. Volunteers and professional homebuilders who execute lightning-fast house-building events make up the “Road Trip Crazies.” The group formed in 1998 in Lynchburg.)
The Wall Street Journal , Monday, August 22, 2016
(RECAP: The Obama administration is close to issuing a rule that could give tenants grounds to sue their landlords for discriminatory conduct by their neighbors. Last year, HUD proposed a controversial rule that would establish liability under the Fair Housing Act for housing providers that fail to address discrimination against their tenants by third parties — including other tenants. There’s no guarantee the liability provision will make the final rule, especially in light of objections from public housing authorities and landlords. A HUD spokesman confirmed the rule was forthcoming but declined to comment on its final contents. Under the proposed rule on liability, “a management company, homeowner’s association, condominium association, or cooperative” could in violation of the Fair Housing Act if the housing provider “knew or should have known that a resident was harassing another resident, and yet did not take prompt action to correct and end it.”)
Bloomberg, Thursday, August 18, 2016
(RECAP: Fannie Mae and its cousin, Freddie Mac, are once again headed for trouble. In fact, there’s almost no way around it. On Jan. 1, 2018, the two government-sponsored enterprises will officially run out of capital under the current terms of their bailout. After that, any losses would be shouldered by taxpayers. Granted, few people are predicting a disaster like the one in 2008, when the GSEs had to be thrown a $187.5 billion federal lifeline. But eight years later, people still don’t agree on what to do with these wards of the state. In Washington and on Wall Street, the fight over Fannie and Freddie drags on. The stakes are high. Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the GSEs, said Fannie and Freddie might need a $126 billion rescue if the economy were to stumble hard again.)
National Multifamily Housing Council , Thursday, August 18, 2016
(RECAP: On August 15, National Multifamily Housing Council and NAA provided detailed feedback to HUD on a proposed rule that would change how Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Fair Market Rents (FMRs) are set in many areas nationwide. The proposal calls for certain areas to set FMRs by zip code – what HUD calls Small Area Fair Market Rents – instead of the current metropolitan area-wide standard with an adjustment for high-cost areas. If HUD’s proposed rule goes into effect, it could have large impacts on voucher holders and property managers. For example, the zip code where the revitalized NoMa neighborhood in DC is located is slated to see an almost $500 per month decline in FMRs under the proposed methodology.)
HousingWire , Thursday, August 18, 2016
(RECAP: The industry knows there is a gigantic problem surrounding servicer compensation. But there’s a difference between knowing the problem and knowing how to solve it. As background, nearly half a decade ago, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development teamed up to address the growing difficulties in making a profit in mortgage servicing. The FHFA announced back in September 2011 that was seeking public comment on two proposed plans for collecting mortgage servicing compensation. But despite the seemingly promising start to change, the talk has fizzled out over time, until now. Currently, the mortgage servicer is generally required to retain a minimum servicing fee of 25 basis points for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This 25 bps fee has been used since the mid-1980s, ignoring the fact that the average loan size has gone up from $70,200 to $215,000 in that period.)
Richmond BizSense, Wednesday, August 17, 2016
(RECAP: A decision on a much-scrutinized Midlothian mixed-use development won’t be made for at least another two months – nearly a year and a half since the project was first proposed. Blackwood Development’s proposed Winterfield Crossing project – a mix of 250 age-restricted apartments and 100,000 square feet of commercial space that would fill 25 acres along Midlothian Turnpike – was deferred Tuesday night by the Chesterfield County Planning Commission, which will take the case up at its Oct. 18 meeting. The deferral is the latest of many for the $40 million project, which was first submitted to the county in May 2015. An earlier version of the project received the commission’s endorsement last November, but county supervisors sent the case back to the commission in January, citing “a significant amount of opposition and misinformation about the case in the community.”)
CNBC, Wednesday, August 17, 2016
(RECAP: Five years after the housing recovery began, 5.9 million borrowers still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. The so-called negative equity rate in the U.S. is falling, now at 12 percent of all mortgaged homeowners, according to Zillow, down from more than 14 percent a year ago and more than 30 percent at the worst of the crisis. The numbers, however, are still well above normal levels and equally spread across urban and suburban communities.)
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