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  • Fri, Aug 13 2010
  • 10:47 AM » Five Mistakes Home Builders Make
    Published Fri, Aug 13 2010 10:47 AM by Google News
    Here are five ways builders waste money or, as we see it, five mistakes builders make that turn off home buyers.
  • 10:47 AM » Real Estate News: Home Values Uneven in San Francisco
    Published Fri, Aug 13 2010 10:47 AM by Google News
    Here is a look at real-estate news in today's WSJ:
  • 10:47 AM » Are Million-Dollar Borrowers More Likely to Default?
    Published Fri, Aug 13 2010 10:47 AM by Google News
    Are million-dollar homeowners more likely to default on their mortgages? It depends who you ask.
  • 10:47 AM » Inventories in U.S. Increase More Than Forecast as Sales Slump
    Published Fri, Aug 13 2010 10:47 AM by Business Week
    Inventories at U.S. businesses rose in June at a faster pace, propelled by a surge at retailers that indicates companies may need to cut prices to clear out merchandise as demand slows.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 10:47 AM » Consumer Sentiment Index in U.S. Increased in August
    Published Fri, Aug 13 2010 10:47 AM by Business Week
    Confidence among U.S. consumers rose in August, a sign the biggest part of the economy may soon stabilize.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 10:47 AM » HUD CHARGES PENNSYLVANIA PROPERTY OWNERS AND MANAGERS WITH HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
    Published Fri, Aug 13 2010 10:47 AM by HUD
    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging several Bristol, Pennsylvania property owners and their management company with housing discrimination for refusing to rent a one-bedroom apartment to a mother and her seven-year-old daughter. According to HUD's charge, managers and owners Quality Realty Associates and Vincent Quattrocchi, and owners Louis Quattrocchi and Cecilia Quattrocchi, violated the Fair Housing Act by turning away the mother because they did not permit children to live at their 26 apartment units.
  • 10:47 AM » Regulatory arbitrage of the day, CRA edition
    Published Fri, Aug 13 2010 10:47 AM by Reuters
    have a fascinating report out today about America’s big four banks — Citi, JPM, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America — and how they all seem to be able to easily obtain “outstanding” ratings on their CRA exams. The CRA, of course, is the Community Reinvestment Act, and it exists to ensure that America’s largest banks are doing a good job of providing the same (and not higher-priced) products in poor areas as they do in rich ones. Regulators have been examining fewer banks of late under the CFR, but one thing remains constant: the number of “outstanding” ratings is always very small as a percentage of the whole. And yet all four of the big banks always seem to be able to get that rating. How come? It turns out they’re using two tricks, neither of which is available to most smaller banks. First, they do most of their lending to poor people outside what’s known as their key “full-scope assessment areas”, on which they’re mainly judged. Taking the four big banks as a whole, just 19.2% of their high-cost loans to low and middle-income borrowers take place in these assessment areas. And secondly, they use subsidiaries and affiliates to do their high-cost lending to poorer Americans, which aren’t included in the CRA exam. These subsidiaries account for just 17.1% of the loan volume for the big four banks, but 45.5% of the high-cost loans. In other words, if you get a mortgage from Citimortgage or Citifinancial rather than from Citibank, you’re not going to get noticed in Citi’s CRA exam. And at Wells Fargo, the list of affiliate mortgage lenders goes on for the best part of three pages. A snippet, just to give you an idea, is at right. Add it all up, and it’s pretty obvious that the way that the CRA is administered has signally failed to keep pace with the way that banks lend. As the report says: The intention of the Act was to cover the mortgage lending industry. In the mid-1970s that meant depository banks originating mortgages from a network of branches. As a result, the CRA...
  • 10:46 AM » Foreclosure Math: Shadow Inventory Adds Up
    Published Fri, Aug 13 2010 10:46 AM by CNBC
    If we know exactly how much shadow inventory of foreclosed properties will come to market, and we know the general demand, then we can get an idea of how much pain there is ahead in the still-fragile housing recovery.
  • 10:46 AM » Organize and Discuss Solutions for the Appraisal Industry
    Published Fri, Aug 13 2010 10:46 AM by www.orep.org
    Boycott: Winds of Change? Appraisers are known for their individualistic nature, which often thwarts collective action. But organizers take note: 68 percent of respondants to the Working RE/OREP HVCC Survey: One Year On, agree that “refusing to work for unrealistically low appraisal fees could be an effective strategy for raising fees back up to pre-HVCC levels.” [...]
  • Thu, Aug 12 2010
  • 3:19 PM » HOAs Step Up Fight to Collect from Foreclosures
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 3:19 PM by Google News
    In Florida, homeowner associations are taking tough stances to get unpaid dues.
  • 3:19 PM » Housing summit may yield Fannie and Freddie clues
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 3:19 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An Obama administration summit of housing industry leaders next week may yield clues on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , the two mortgage heavyweights that so far have sucked up close to $150 billion in taxpayer bailout funds.
  • 3:19 PM » Record low mortgage interest rates raise question of when to refinance
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 3:19 PM by Washington Post
    With mortgage interest rates setting new record lows almost every week for more than two months, two questions naturally come to mind: How low can they go? And should I refinance -- again ? - - - -
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 1:30 PM » Getting the housing market back on track
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 1:30 PM by Reuters
    NYT piece on home-equity defaults is so aggressively anecdotal, rather than quantitative, that he even says at one point that “the amount of bad home equity loan business during the boom is incalculable”. I really don’t think that’s true: a lot of very smart analysts have done a lot of pretty accurate work on that front. And Streitfeld himself belies the statement by including a pretty illuminating chart with his story. The key thing in this chart isn’t the drop from 2009 to 2010, which is a function of the fact that the 2010 data covers only the first quarter. Rather, it’s the fact that first mortgages actually account for a minority of home-loan write-offs, and that home equity lines have accounted for significantly more, in the way of write-offs, than second mortgages. Which brings me to the first of three op-eds that the NYT has published today on the subject of Frannie and the FHA. Here’s : Until recently, most Americans paid for their homes through 30-year self-amortizing mortgages, in which interest and principal are paid at the same time. These work well as long as homeowners have stable, long-term jobs that enable them to regularly make their monthly payments. But these days such careers are increasingly scarce. Therefore, any effort to recover from the crisis must include more flexible mortgages that take today’s employment landscape, with its frequent job-hopping and episodic unemployment, into account. The problem here is, as a glance at Streitfeld’s chart will show, that “more flexible mortgages” are also more dangerous mortgages. Home equity loans had all the flexibility you could possibly want — and they failed disastrously. What’s more, Stone doesn’t actually want to get rid of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. She just wants to layer gimmicks on top of it: an option to pay only interest if you’re laid off here, an escrow account available in the event of unemployment there. These things don’t really make the mortgage more flexible, they just make it more...
  • 1:30 PM » Obama Administration Announces Panelists and Agenda for Conference on the Future of Housing Finance
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 1:30 PM by treasury.gov
    Today, the Obama Administration announced additional details about its August 17 Conference on the Future of Housing Finance, including a list of panelists and the conference agenda. This event will provide a forum for public input as the Administration continues its work developing a comprehensive housing finance reform proposal for delivery to Congress by January 2011.
  • 12:44 PM » Secondary Sources: Deflation, Fed and Inflation, Fannie and Freddie
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 12:44 PM by WSJ
    A roundup of economic news from around the Web.
  • 9:21 AM » NY Times: Borrowers refuse to pay home equity loans
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 9:21 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Some interesting anecdotes from David Streitfeld at the NY Times: Lenders say they are trying to recover some of that money but their success has been limited, in part because so many borrowers threaten bankruptcy and the collateral in the homes backing the loans has often disappeared. The result is one of the paradoxes of the recession: the more money you borrowed, the less likely you will have to pay up.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:21 AM » BofA Buyback Disputes = $11.2B
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 9:21 AM by The Big Picture
    Speaking of untidy accounting issues: The American Banker reports today that “Bank of America, in a new public filing, said it had $11.2 billion of “unresolved” mortgage buyback requests at June, a 50% spike since the beginning of the year.” These buyback disputes are with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ($5.6 billion), although AB reported BofA “is having trouble with claims made to mortgage insurance firms” — in particular, the monoline insurers, for another $4 billion. AB quoted the bank’s as acknowledging that “ disputes have increased with buyers and insurers regarding representations and warranties. ” BofA is the second largest residential funder in the US > Source: QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 Quarterly Period Ended June 30, 2010 Commission file number: 1-6523 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, August 6, 2010 http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/70858/000095012310074181/g24023e10vq.htm American Banker | Wednesday, August 11, 2010 http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/175_153/bank_america_buyback_disputes_11.2b-1023892-1.html
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 9:21 AM » NY Fed to Buy $18 Billion of Treasurys in Reinvestment Program
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 9:21 AM by WSJ
    The New York Fed said Wednesday it would buy $18 billion in Treasury securities in operations to take place through mid-September.
  • 9:21 AM » Buyers' Credit Lifts Home Prices
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 9:21 AM by WSJ
    Home prices rose in two-thirds of U.S. metropolitan areas in the second quarter, but economists have warned the trend could prove fleeting.
  • 9:21 AM » Tax Credit Juice: Realtors’ Report Shows Prices Up in Second Quarter
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 9:21 AM by Google News
    Home prices rose in two thirds of U.S. metropolitan areas in the second quarter as the expiration of tax credit spurred home sales.
  • 9:21 AM » Getting Real? More Home Sellers Reduced Prices in July
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 9:21 AM by Google News
    Real-estate website Trulia.com says that more sellers reduced their homes prices in July, the fourth straight month in which price reductions tracked by the firm have increased.
  • 9:21 AM » Moody’s: Odds of a Double Dip Increasing, Prices Could Fall 20%
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 9:21 AM by Google News
    If the U.S. enters a double-dip recession, home prices could fall by another 20% before they stabilize in early 2012, according to a new forecast by Moody's Analytics.
  • 9:21 AM » Delinquency on home equity loans tops that of all other consumer debt
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 9:21 AM by www.smartbrief.com
    U.S. --
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.smartbrief.com
  • 9:21 AM » MORTGAGES; The Drywall Defense
    Published Thu, Aug 12 2010 9:21 AM by query.nytimes.com
    STRUGGLING borrowers may find more flexibility from lenders starting this month. Fannie Mae, which sets lending standards for most mortgages, will begin easing its policies for those facing what it calls ''unique hardships.'' The company will allow borrowers to skip up to six months of payments in these circumstances: if a spouse is injured or killed in military duty, or if they are forced to vacate a home to replace defective drywall.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: query.nytimes.com
  • Wed, Aug 11 2010
  • 6:13 PM » Fed releases tentative outright Treasury operation schedule
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 6:13 PM by NY Fed
    Across all operations in the schedule listed below, the Desk plans to purchase approximately $18 billion. This is the amount of principal payments from agency debt and agency MBS expected to be received between mid-August and mid-September, adjusted for prior SOMA agency MBS purchases that have been allocated since August 4.
  • 12:48 PM » New Housing Bailout? Try Old Housing Bailout
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 12:48 PM by CNBC
    I have been told over and over by Administration officials that there will be no big news announcement at the summit. No mandate that the government will suddenly infuse every troubled borrower's home with palatable equity.
  • 12:48 PM » When are Usual and Customary Fees’ applicable to appraisal assignments?
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 12:48 PM by Google News
    Appraisers……. I spent time Wednesday 8/04/10 discussing the Dodd-Frank law, and the “Usual and Customary Fee” mandate within it, with an experienced appraiser on the east coast. Also Wednesday, two e-mails arrived which ask appraisers to fill out a ‘fee...
  • 12:48 PM » HUD Charges Chicago Real Estate Group and Property Owners with Refusal to Sell Home to Black Couple.
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 12:48 PM by www.hud.gov
    HUD has charged a Chicago couple, their real estate agent, and a real estate broker with refusing to sell a home listed for $1.799 million to a black couple because of their race, in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The charge alleges that the owners and agent took the property off the market after receiving a $1.7 million offer from the couple. The agent told HUD investigators the owner expressed a preference not to sell to an African American.
  • 12:48 PM » BLS: Low Labor Turnover in June
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 12:48 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the BLS: The number of job openings in June was 2.9 million, which was little changed from May. Although the month-to-month change is small, the number of job openings has risen by 599,000 (26 percent) since the most recent series trough of 2.3 million in July 2009. Even with the gains since July 2009, the number of job openings remained well below the 4.4 million open jobs when the recession began in December 2007... Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. The CES (Current Employment Statistics, payroll survey) is for positions, the CPS (Current Population Survey, commonly called the household survey) is for people. The following graph shows job openings (purple), hires (blue), Total separations (include layoffs, discharges and quits) (red) and Layoff, Discharges and other (yellow) from the JOLTS. Unfortunately this is a new series and only started in December 2000. Click on graph for larger image in new window. Notice that hires (blue) and separations (red) are pretty close each month. In June, about 4.35 million people lost (or left) their jobs, and 4.25 million were hired (this is the labor turnover in the economy) for a loss of 97,000 jobs in June (this includes Census jobs lost). When the hires (blue line) is above total separations, the economy is adding net jobs, when the blue line is below total separations (as in June), the economy is losing net jobs. Note: The temporary Census hiring has distorted this series over the last few months. The separations in June included the 225 thousand temporary Census 2010 jobs lost. Layoffs and discharges increased in June, but that is probably because of the temporary Census jobs. The number of job openings also decreased slightly in June, after increasing earlier this year. The overall turnover, especially after removing the impact of the Census hiring, is still low.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:55 AM » US Bank Regulators Move to Replace Credit Ratings
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 9:55 AM by CNBC
    US Bank Regulators Move to Replace Credit Ratings
  • 9:55 AM » JPMorgan Buys $3.5 Billion Citibank Loan Portfolio
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 9:55 AM by CNBC
    JPMorgan Buys $3.5 Billion Citibank Loan Portfolio
  • 9:39 AM » Yen Hits 15-Year High vs. Dollar
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 9:39 AM by WSJ
    The yen hit a 15-year high against the U.S. dollar, following the Fed's downgraded assessment of the U.S. economy and its decision to reinvest some bond holdings.
  • 9:39 AM » The Shrinking Second Home
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 9:39 AM by WSJ
    Developers of high-end vacation homes are building smaller, less expensive houses in resort communities as home sales slump in major markets across the country and inventories of unsold homes rise.
  • 9:39 AM » Three-Month Dollar Libor Falls Most Since Sept. 2009
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 9:39 AM by Business Week
    The rate that banks say they charge for three-month loans in dollars in London fell the most in almost a year after the Federal Reserve reversed plans to exit monetary stimulus.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 9:39 AM » Fed Knows: Mortgage Rates Mean Little to Housing Today
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 9:39 AM by CNBC
    Fed Knows: Mortgage Rates Mean Little to Housing Today
  • 9:23 AM » Trade Deficit increases sharply in June
    Published Wed, Aug 11 2010 9:23 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The Census Bureau : [T]otal June exports of $150.5 billion and imports of $200.3 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $49.9 billion, up from $42.0 billion in May, revised. Click on graph for larger image. The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through June 2010. Clearly imports are increasing much faster than exports. On a year-over-year basis, exports are up 17% and imports are up 29%. This is an easy comparison because of the collapse in trade at the end of 2008 and into early 2009. The second graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum, through June. The blue line is the total deficit, and the black line is the petroleum deficit, and the red line is the trade deficit ex-petroleum products. The increase in the deficit in June was unrelated to oil as the trade gap with China increased to $26.15 billion in June - the highest level since October 2008 and up sharply from last year. Once again the imbalances have returned ...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • Tue, Aug 10 2010
  • 6:04 PM » Storm Clouds Loom Over California Housing Market
    Published Tue, Aug 10 2010 6:04 PM by Google News
    California's home-buyer tax credit is about to be terminated and the market is in for a harsh reality check.
  • 6:04 PM » A Private Lender Cooperative Model for Residential Mortgage Finance.
    Published Tue, Aug 10 2010 6:04 PM by NY Fed
    Toni Dechario, Patricia C. Mosser, Joseph Tracy, James Vickery, and Joshua Wright. A Private Lender Cooperative Model for Residential Mortgage Finance. Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports Staff Report Number 466, August 2010.
  • 5:49 PM » Economists React: Fed Takes the ‘Middle Road’
    Published Tue, Aug 10 2010 5:49 PM by WSJ
    Economists and others weigh in on the Fed's policy statement and its decision to reinvest proceeds from its mortgage holdings.
  • 11:50 AM » REO Inventory including private-label RMBS
    Published Tue, Aug 10 2010 11:50 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Earlier I posted a of Fannie, Freddie and FHA inventory (new record total in Q2). Economist Tom Lawler has added private-label RMBS REO in the following graph. Note: The private-label securities have one advantage - they essentially stopped making new loans in mid-2007! (see Figure 3 from San Francisco Fed Senior Economist John Krainer: ) Update: The private-label securities are the ones securitized by Wall Street. This was the worst of the worst securities. Click on graph for larger image in new window. From Tom Lawler: As the chart indicates, the SF REO inventory of “the F’s” has increased sharply since the end of 2008, while the SF REO inventory held in private-label RMBS has fallen considerably. This chart, of course, does NOT include anything close to all REO, as SF REO properties owned by banks, thrifts, credit unions, VA, USDA, finance companies, and “other” mortgage lenders/investors are not included.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
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Mortgage Rates:
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