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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Basel III scrutinized

A look at stories across HousingWire's weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues:

Basel III's eventual impact on U.S. banks is still somewhat of a mystery, but analysts attending this week's ASF 2013 conference, hosted by the American Securitization Forum, worry about the rule's impact on future homeowners.

During the first day of the ASF in Las Vegas, analysts suggested the revamped Basel will have a negative impact on the mortgage securitization market – making some borrowers either unable to obtain a home loan—or at least paying much more for it.

HousingWire's Christina Mlynski is attending the conference and will have frequent updates from ASF 2013 early in the week.

The qualified mortgage rule may not be as bad as some analysts initially presumed, according to a new report from Royal Bank of Scotland analyst Sarah Hu.

Hu writes: "First, the QM rule reduces uncertainty for lenders by providing a safe harbor for prime loans that satisfy the definition of a qualified mortgage. Second, loans that obtain approval from automated underwriting engines of the GSEs, the FHA or the VA will also be 'qualified mortgages', avoiding any major disruptions to the current lending market."

CNNMoney interviewed economists and found that half believe 2013 is the year housing will finally "lift us out of the doldrums." About half of the economists surveyed cited housing as a primary driver of economic growth this year.

No bank closings were reported for the week ending Jan. 25, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s website.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com

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