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  • Mon, Jan 6 2014
  • 8:56 PM » Real-Estate Riches Can Be Elusive
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 8:56 PM by WSJ
    While breaking into real estate may be easy, getting established is tough. Landing those million-dollar listings means succeeding against all odds.
  • 8:38 PM » Yellen approved to head Fed; only Republicans vote 'no'
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 8:38 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Janet Yellen, a key force behind the Federal Reserve's unprecedented and controversial efforts to boost the U.S. economy, was confirmed by the Senate on Monday to lead the central bank just as it begins to unwind that stimulus.
  • 4:49 PM » Outside the Box: Yield-hungry investors aren't ready to dump bonds
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 4:49 PM by Market Watch
    Pimco executive James Moore argues that investors want predictable, stable income - and aren't ready to dump bonds.
  • 4:48 PM » Is there something wrong with the stock market?
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 4:48 PM by CNBC
    The biggest problem with the stock market is that participants think there's something wrong if stocks don't go up every day!
  • 2:44 PM » Momentum for housing finance reform in 2014
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 2:44 PM by National Housing Conference
    by Ethan Handelman, National Housing Conference Many signs point to Congress moving housing finance reform forward in 2014. Whether that means passing an actual law (a rare feat these days) or drafting and negotiating what will eventually get passed in a future session remains to be seen. Either way, this year is a time for advocates to focus on the great unfinished work coming out of the housing crisis: fixing mortgage finance. The Senate Banking Committee continues to lead the way, and it will likely mark up a bipartisan bill in the first quarter. That effort got its start with the Corker-Warner bill , and the committee has been hard at work since gathering comments and revising the bill. Prospects for constructive activity in the House are dimmer, and action in the House Financial Services Committee will likely focus on Chairman Jeb Hensarling's (R-TX) PATH Act, an extreme proposal with little hope of broader support. It may take Senate and White House action to put a bipartisan bill on the House's agenda. Mel Watt was sworn in Monday as the new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. NHC is hopeful he will move regulation of the secondary mortgage market towards broader access to and affordability of housing even as Congress works its way through reform legislation. One positive signal from the White House this week came from Gene Sperling, Director of President Obama's National Economic Council, who put housing finance reform on the short list of issues with real momentum for action in 2014. Strong action from the White House could help to focus Congressional attention and move legislation forward. All this means advocates should use 2014 to remind elected officials how important housing finance reform is to neighborhoods still recovering from waves of foreclosures and households struggling with high housing costs. As I said before the Senate Banking Committee last year, the work of rebuilding the mortgage...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: National Housing Conference
  • 2:22 PM » Banks restrict loans to REITS, Fed says
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 2:22 PM by Market Watch
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Some financial firms are tightening some terms of credit provided to real estate investment trusts, according to a Federal Reserve survey of senior credit officers released Monday. Just under one-third of 22 institutions who participated in the survey said they had made lending terms more stringent across a spectrum of securities financing and over-the-counter derivative transactions, the survey found. REITs have been hurt recently by the prospect of Federal Reserve tapering. The Fed survey found that one-third of firms surveyed reported a decline over the past three months in financial leverage use by REITs. The use of leverage by hedge funds, mutual funds and insurance companies was basically unchanged. The quarterly Fed survey covered the three months from September through November.
  • 2:19 PM » Drivers of Mortgage Choices by Risky Borrowers
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 2:19 PM by
    During the past decade's housing boom, borrowers with lower credit ratings were more likely than higher-rated borrowers to choose adjustable-rate mortgages. This raises the question of whether, amid rapidly rising house prices, lower-rated borrowers paid less attention to loan pricing and interest-rate-related factors. However, even accounting for house price appreciation, research shows these borrowers were as, if not more, responsive as higher-rated borrowers to changes in interest-rate-related fundamentals. Their tendency to choose adjustable-rate mortgages is consistent with mortgage decisions based on economic considerations, rather than just lack of financial sophistication.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:18 PM » It's back to basics for the mortgage market in 2014
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 2:18 PM by CFPB
    This month, new consumer protections for homebuyers are going to take effect. The Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage rule is a "back-to-basics" approach to mortgage lending that will protect consumers from the debt trap of a mortgage they can't afford. Starting January 10, lenders will be required to make a reasonable, good-faith determination that a borrower […]
  • 1:03 PM » S&P Ratings U.S. Housing And Residential Mortgage Finance: 2014 Outlook
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 1:03 PM by S&P/Case Shiller
    U.S. housing made a strong comeback in 2013. Home prices nationally have risen roughly 12%, which is in line with our original forecast early in the year of 11%. Overall, we expect a 6% increase in the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index (December to December % change) in 2014. While historical annual increases are […]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: S&P/Case Shiller
  • 12:59 PM » 5 Things Yellen Will Face in Her Regulatory Agenda
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 12:59 PM by WSJ
    As the regulator of the largest U.S. financial institutions, including those most likely to pose risks to the economy as whole, the Fed also has a host of regulatory issues on its agenda.
  • 12:58 PM » A Senate Vote on Yellen to Lead Fed Is Expected This Evening
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 12:58 PM by
    A simple majority vote would confirm Janet Yellen, the current vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, as the first woman to lead the central bank.        
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:52 PM » U.S. Representative Melvin L. Watt Sworn in as Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 12:52 PM by FHFA
    January 6, 2014: U.S. Representative Melvin L. Watt Sworn in as Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency
  • 10:59 AM » WSJ: A Good Time for Housing Reform
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 10:59 AM by House Financial Services
    WSJ Editorial | January 5, 2014 The prospects for progress on Capitol Hill this year are few, but one possibility is reform of federal housing policy. With home prices rising and the economy growing, now is a good time to pare back the government support that has too often led to unsustainable housing booms and taxpayer busts. Consider the Obama Administration's latest report to Congress on the Federal Housing Administration. The Department of Housing and Urban Development noted last month that the FHA has a negative $1.3 billion net worth, and that's after a $1.7 billion Treasury capital infusion in September to offset losses. FHA insures more than $1 trillion in loans and has now missed its federally mandated 2% minimum capital standard for five years. This is hard to do amid a housing recovery, even for the government. FHA wasn't caught up in the subprime hurricane as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac were in the pre-2007 boom years. Instead, FHA expanded its high-risk book of business right as everyone else was getting out. As HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan euphemistically put it, "the substantial role FHA was forced to play" to keep housing credit flowing during the bust inflicted "considerable stress." Uh huh. Delinquency rates on FHA's 2007, 2008 and 2009 books stand at 26%, 26% and 19%. Taxpayers will now have to pay for those homeowners who were induced in part by FHA subsidies to buy more home than they could afford. The Obama Administration's response to FHA's troubles has been to pile higher fees on new borrowers. Along with rising housing prices and the quiet shuttering of FHA's reverse-mortgage business, this has helped FHA's finances improve from awful to merely rotten, but it may not be enough to right the books soon. It's hard to know how deep the FHA's red ink goes. The agency's fiscal health is an estimate based on 30-year forecasts of mortgage prepayment rates, unemployment rates, house prices and...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: House Financial Services
  • 9:53 AM » U.S. Consumer Spending in December Highest Since 2008
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 9:53 AM by
    Americans reported spending $96 per day in December. This is the highest monthly average since September 2008, and the highest spending for any December in six years.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:49 AM » U.S. private sector activity growth slows slightly in December: Markit
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 9:49 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. private sector economic activity growth slowed slightly in December, with the services sector reading also edging lower, an industry report showed on Monday.
  • 9:48 AM » Watt takes FHFA director post today
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 9:48 AM by NAFCU
    Mel Watt, former Democratic member of the House of Representatives from North Carolina, will be sworn in as the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency today at 11 a.m. Eastern.
  • 9:47 AM » US stocks begin higher ahead of factory, services data
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 9:47 AM by CNBC
    Stocks opened higher on Monday, ahead of data on the services sector and factory orders that might yield hints on the nation's economic growth.
  • 8:37 AM » Senate poised to confirm Janet Yellen as Fed chair
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 8:37 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate, kicking off its 2014 session on Monday, intends to waste no time making history as it moves to approve Janet Yellen to be the first woman to head the Federal Reserve.
  • 8:35 AM » Watt at FHFA Seen as Enigma in Fannie-Freddie Market: Mortgages - Bloomberg
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 8:35 AM by Bloomberg
    Watt at FHFA Seen as Enigma in Fannie-Freddie Market: Mortgages Bloomberg Mel Watt's first act overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came before he officially started. At about 9 p.m. on the Friday before Christmas, as Washington and Wall Street were shutting down, the incoming head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency sent  ... and more »
  • 8:32 AM » Stock futures edge higher ahead of data
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 8:32 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged up on Monday ahead of data on both the services sector and factory goods that could give clues on the momentum of U.S. economic growth early in the new year.
  • 8:30 AM » El-Erian: Bernanke's inaugural gift to Yellen
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 8:30 AM by CNBC
    It wasn't easy but Bernanke has succeeded in establishing something of immediate value for Yellen as she takes the reins of the Fed, says Pimco's El-Erian.
  • 8:29 AM » Bank crackdown actually increasing risk: Bove
    Published Mon, Jan 06 2014 8:29 AM by CNBC
    Government regulations aimed at reducing reducing risk at the nation's banks in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis are having the opposition effect, bank analyst Bove tells CNBC.
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Mortgage Rates:
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  • 15 Yr FRM 4.21%
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  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 4.80%
MBS Prices:
  • 30YR FNMA 4.5 103-22 (0-10)
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  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 105-18 (0-07)
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Recent Housing Data:
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  • Refinance Index -2.64%
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  • Purchase Index 5.06%