Freddie Mac: Here are the top 5 improving metro markets for housing

The Census Bureau is cooking the new home sales numbers

You can’t make bricks with imaginary straw

The 12 hottest housing markets right now

And the biggest losers in the price growth race
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Articles by Christopher Whalen

KBRA's Whalen: Are US home prices falling?

Half of all sales went to investors
Christopher Whalen
The more difficult question for many observers to understand is why home prices are starting to soften now. And there are 3 troubling signs for housing ahead.
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Christopher Whalen: A rebuttal to consumer advocates generally

Christopher Whalen
Consumer advocates, let us remember, make a living by exaggerating the misery faced by millions of Americans who have defaulted on their mortgages and face the loss of their homes.
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Christopher Whalen: So what is today's nonbank business model?

Regulatory pressures amount to legalized extortion
Christopher Whalen
So far 2014 is turning into a mixed bag for nonbank financial firms focused on the mortgage sector. And it's not likely to change given the current regulatory attitude that amounts to nothing short of the legalized extortion of the mortgage business.
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Christopher Whalen: The single biggest question facing the mortgage space

There are no easy answers
Christopher Whalen
So if you are in an auction with a bunch of stupid money who just want to put assets to work and thereby earn a management fee, do you bid aggressively – above the true value of the assets – or do you stand back and let the clown win the auction?
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The missing question in Yellen’s Congress discussion

What is next for national economic policy?
Christopher Whalen
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen achieved the primary goal of any new Fed chief and avoided any obvious land mines. But what was lacking in the dialogue, both from Yellen and the media, was a serious discussion of what’s next for national economic policy.
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From HW Magazine

True sale

The bank retreat from mortgage lending is just beginning
Christopher Whalen
Recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows the extent of the collapse of new applications for mortgages. The numbers are down 60% annually and reached a 13-year low. However, higher interest rates are not the chief reason for poor mortgage market performance by a long shot.
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Is the housing sector a drag on the U.S. economy?

Christopher Whalen
The headlines in most news stories and economic commentaries indicate that the housing market is continuing to improve and with it the U.S. economy. But if you dig into the numbers a bit, the reality in the housing market is a good bit more subtle than the headlines suggest.
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From HW Magazine

Don't call it a comeback -- because it's not

A real restart for private-label RMBS issuance faces a daunting set of obstacles
Christopher Whalen
A financial industry publication recently reported, “Carrington Mortgage, Citadel Servicing and New Penn Financial are planning securitizations of newly originated subprime mortgages.” The publication went on to say in breathless tones that “[t]he offerings, on the slate for 2014, would confirm recent predictions that deals would soon start flowing in the asset class…”
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From HW Magazine

Lending in the post Dodd-Frank world

Christopher Whalen
As we approach January 2014, the entire mortgage lending industry is braced for impact in terms of compliance and operational issues related to the Dodd-Frank reform law. The “qualified mortgage” or QM and “qualified residential mortgage” or QRM designations related to mortgage lending now define the outer limit of risk taking for many bank lenders.
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From HW Magazine

A Huxleyan dystopia

The brave new world of Basel III and Dodd-Frank
Christopher Whalen
The implementation of new rules and regulations affecting the housing sector has been underway for several years, driven by Basel III, the Dodd-Frank Act and revisions to existing law. How this tangle of conflicting limitations and incentives is affecting the housing sector is something laymen only partially understand. Although the brave new supervisory regime pretends to protect consumers...
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