HousingWire’s Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news from the weekend with more coverage on bigger issues.

With Federal sequestration cuts hitting the economy, policymakers are finalizing legislation that will hit some of government’s largest agencies. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is one of the ones on the chopping block.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan voiced his concerns about an appropriations bill from House Republicans that would “make draconian cuts to middle class priorities.”

If passed, the bill would cut $3 billion from the president’s request for low-income rental assistance programs, meaning 125,000 fewer housing vouchers for families and short-funded contracts with private homeowners and public housing authorities.

“Bottom line: the House Republican budget hurts families, our ongoing housing recovery and the health of our overall economy,” Donovan said. “We need to build ladders of opportunity so that every person has a fair shot at lifting themselves into the middle class. In doing so, we will build a stronger America.”

Bond-pioneer Lewis Ranieri’s Shellpoint Partners received majority high-quality bond ratings on the company’s first deal in the private-label residential mortgage-backed securities sector, DBRS writes. 

The deal comes at a challenging time for asset classes, with prices dropping and yields soaring after the Federal Reserve announced its plans to taper its bond-buying program.

“The ratings of the certificates also reflect challenges such as limited operating and performance history and weak financial strength of the originator and issuer,” the credit ratings agency explained. (See below chart for list of ratings).

As the housing market gets hot, the game is changing for both homebuyers and sellers.

In many metropolitan areas, including those hit hardest by the housing crisis, bidding wars are breaking out and winning offers often exceed the asking price, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A relatively low inventory of homes for sale is feeding this scramble. 

“While an active market can be good for both buyers and sellers, a sizzling market poses challenges. In some areas, real-estate agents have been accused of holding back choice homes for sale from the Multiple Listing Service database so they can market them first to their own clients,” according to the article.  

Click here to read the full story.

America’s failure to crack the continuing mortgage meltdown remains one of the biggest headaches of the 2008 subprime crisis, the LA Times writes

Decades of increased homeownership rates in working-class and minority communities are wiped out. While many homeowners who lost equity were bystanders caught in the downdraft of housing prices that followed. 

The Obama administration’s mortgage relief programs have helped roughly 10% of the more than 13 million households still at risk of foreclosure because of underwater mortgages. 

As a result, a more drastic approach is gaining support by local governments — eminent domain programs.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. did not close any banks during the week ending June 28.


3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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