In the Money


  • Fannie Mae lowers existing home forecast, says sales will decline this year

    Mortgage giant blames limited supply as builders stay on the sidelines
    Fannie Mae lowered its housing forecast on Friday, saying existing home sales will decrease this year compared with 2018. It was the first time the mortgage giant projected a 2019 decline. The projection comes at a time when mortgage rates are near three-year lows and housing optimism is at an all-time high. But, there’s something that trumps low rates and elevated optimism, the mortgage giant said: Supply shortage.
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  • Housing starts fall for third consecutive month

    July housing starts fall 4%, led by a 17% plunge in multifamily
    Housing starts fell 4% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.191 million, led by a 17% plunge in multifamily starts, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Commerce. TIAA Bank Executive Vice President John Pataky said the number missed expectations for the third month in a row, extending what has been a disappointing run for the housing market.
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  • U.S. housing market is "anemic" and "lackluster," says NY Fed

    Economic data indicates "implied path" of Fed rate is downward, economists say
    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York describes U.S. home sales as “soft” and “anemic” in a Monday report. Fed economists pointed to June’s existing home sales level, which was 1.7% below a year ago, as part of the reason for their conclusion: “Home sales remain lackluster.”
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  • Goldman Sachs: No deal in U.S.-China trade war before 2020 election

    "Fears that the trade war will trigger a recession are growing," Goldman economists say
    “Tariffs are a great negotiating tool,” President Donald Trump tweeted last month, one of dozens of times he has extolled the power of levies to get the trade deals he wants. Goldman Sachs issued a note to clients on Sunday saying that tariff strategy isn’t going to work with China, the world’s second-largest economy. “We no longer expect a trade deal before the 2020 election,” Goldman economists said.
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  • Ocwen agrees to refund Maine residents to end foreclosure dispute with the state

    Will pay to make amends for pursuing foreclosure on loans for which Maine said it had no claim
    Ocwen Financial signed a consent agreement with the state of Maine last week to make amends for pursuing foreclosures on the properties of more than two dozen Maine residents in a manner found to be unlawful by the state. According to the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, Ocwen Loan Servicing instigated foreclosures on loans based on paperwork that was determined to be legally inaccurate.
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  • Fannie Mae: One-third of homebuyers didn’t shop around for a mortgage

    Borrowers are “leaving money on the table,” Fannie’s Duncan says
    More than a third of 2018 homebuyers say they did not shop around before selecting their mortgage lender, according to Doug Duncan, chief economist of Fannie Mae. “By not shopping around to give themselves leverage when negotiating their mortgage, some homebuyers are leaving money on the table,” Duncan said.
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  • Economists warn of dangers trade war escalation poses to housing and economy

    NAR's Yun says mortgage rates are falling "for the wrong reason"
    A widening trade war sent U.S. stock markets into the biggest rout of 2019 on Monday, which caused mortgage rates to tumble, but there’s more to the housing market than just financing rates. If the trade war causes a jobs-cutting recession in the U.S., “low interest rates will not help home sales nor home prices,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist said.
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  • Low rates have made 8.2 million mortgages "refi eligible"

    Another eighth of a percentage point decline would push the total to 9.7 million
    Low mortgage rates have made 8.2 million U.S. mortgages "refi eligible," meaning borrowers would save money by getting a new home loan even with the application and funding costs, according to Black Knight. The size of the "refinanceable population" could fluctuate with even small movements in rates, Black Knight said in a report on Monday.
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  • HUD, City of Los Angeles reach "landmark" settlement in accessible housing dispute

    LA to pay "hundreds of millions" to improve accessibility for disabled residents
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development reached a settlement with the City of Los Angeles Friday that will put an end to a years-long battle over the city’s obligation to provide accessible housing for the disabled. According to the "landmark" agreement, the city will pay what will eventually amount to hundreds of millions of dollars to enhance handicap accessibility for residents living in its low-income housing.
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