Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Five leading economists weigh in and the answer may surprise you

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Nowcast will predict in real time

The New York Times rambles, and mangles mortgages along the way

Mortgage finance and mortgage regulation aren’t the paper’s strong suits
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Lending

HW 30 stocks plummet across the board

Trulia is the big mover, falling more than 10%

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The HW 30 fell 1.18% Wednesday after the housing market felt the impact of new developments — some of them positive, others negative, depending on each investor’s interpretation of the news.

A day after Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., was confirmed as the next leader of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, mortgage-related stocks tanked across the board.

The two big servicers Nationstar (NSM) and Ocwen (OCN) declined 1.61% and 1.65%, respectively. Walter Investment Corp. (WAC) also fell 1.98% in daily trading.

The mega lenders, meanwhile, declined, with Bank of America (BAC) dropping 2.03%, and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) falling 1.12% and 1.36%, respectively.

But the big story is Trulia (TRLA) — an online real estate marketplace — that watched its stock plummet 10.53% Wednesday.

The major development of the day was Trulia's release of its Trulia Housing Barometer, which showed three of the economic indicators used to gauge the strength of the housing market in positive territory while two others lingered behind.

Perhaps it’s those weak areas that prompted investor reluctance about the state of future home sales.

The report shows construction starts and young-adult employment lingering closer to recession levels even though non-distressed home sales and prices are retrenching to normal levels and delinquencies and foreclosures continue to drop.

With young adults a key portion of the first-time homebuyer market, lackluster employment among the millennial set remains a key challenge for the industry.

Real estate website Zillow (Z) also declined 3.23% in Wednesday trading.

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