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CFPB Wants to Cut Debt-to-income Requirement from QM Rule

By Ben Lane

Over the last several months, a number of the nation’s largest lenders and housing trade groups have called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make changes to the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule.

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FHFA Issues Request for Input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac UMBS Pooling Practices

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today issued a Request for Input (RFI) about Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises’) pooling practices for the formation of “To-Be-Announced” (TBA)-eligible Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities (UMBS).  FHFA is also seeking public input about other policies and practices that might affect UMBS fungibility, including the Enterprises’ oversight of UMBS prepayment speeds and alignment.

This RFI follows on the successful launch of UMBS and seeks to ensure that UMBS remain a source of stable, affordable liquidity for the U.S. housing finance system.  The requested input will help FHFA determine whether further action or alignment is necessary to ensure reasonably consistent security cash flows and continued fungibility of the Enterprises’ UMBS.

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Wide Range of Big-Box Values Raises Concerns: The Appraisal Journal

Courts, market participants and valuation professionals have expressed widespread concern about the broad range in real estate values presented by opposing litigation experts regarding single-tenant, big-box properties, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

The Appraisal Journal is the quarterly technical and academic publication of the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers. The materials presented in the publication represent the opinions and views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Appraisal Institute.

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Residential Real Estate Prices Up; Homeownership Tenure Reaches New Peak: Data

 ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its Q2 2019 U.S. Home Sales Report, which shows that U.S. single family homes and condos sold for a median price of $266,000 in the second quarter, up 10.8 percent from the previous quarter and up 6.4 percent from a year ago — reaching a new median home price peak.

Meanwhile, the report also shows that homeowners who sold in the second quarter had owned an average of 8.09 years, reaching a new peak, up 3 percent from last quarter and up 4 percent from Q2 2018. Homeownership tenure averaged 4.21 years nationwide between Q1 2000 and Q3 2007, prior to the Great Recession.

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HUD Indefinitely Suspends Rule Change to FHA Down Payment Assistance Guidelines

By Jessica Guerin

The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a notice to lenders announcing the formal suspension of its rule change to down payment assistance guidelines.

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'iBuyer' Service Alters Selling Process, Cuts Some Requirements

By Alina Ptaszynski

Opendoor and Redfin, two of the nation’s largest technology-powered real estate companies, today announced home sellers in Phoenix and Atlanta can now request an Opendoor offer through Redfin’s site and mobile apps. By coming together, we are giving homeowners more options for selling their home in a simple and convenient way. Redfin will also continue to expand RedfinNow, its own instant offer service.

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Multifamily Buildings Getting Bigger, Middle of the Market is Missing: Census Bureau

Last year, developers in the U.S. completed 211,000 new housing units in buildings of 50 units or more, the biggest number on record. The total number of new apartments constructed didn’t come close to setting any records, though.

These numbers are from Characteristics of New Housing, an annual Census Bureau data release that is so chock-full of interesting information (for example: 88% of apartments completed in 2018 had in-unit laundry facilities) that I briefly contemplated interrupting my vacation to write about it when it came out two weeks ago. I resisted then, but now I’m back at my desk and the new numbers don’t seem to have gotten much attention. They should!

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'iBuyer' Service Alters Selling Process, Cuts Some Requirements

By Andrea Riquier

Discount real-estate brokerage Redfin will partner with Opendoor, one of the leading home-buying services, allowing homeowners to get an instant offer when they want to sell with Redfin RDFN, -0.75%  , the firms announced Thursday.

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Jacksonville, North Carolina, Named Most Affordable Market for Beach Homes: Report

For many Americans, the ultimate summertime fantasy has less to do with washboard abs and a killer tan than owning their own piece of beachfront real estate — aka bliss. From Memorial Day through Labor Day (and beyond), beach lovers across the U.S. find themselves dreaming of escaping the hellish deadlines, soul-sucking commutes, and humdrum daily grind — and trading it all in for salty ocean breezes, caipirinhas on the sand, and fresh lobster rolls from a seafood joint around the corner.

Now just imagine doing it from your very own place.

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Economic Growth to Slow, Housing to Improve: Fannie Mae

By Matthew Classick

The Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group downgraded its projections for full-year 2019 and 2020 U.S. economic growth to 2.1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, due to expected weakness in business fixed investment and softening global economic conditions. The ESR Group had previously forecast growth of 2.3 percent in 2019 and 1.8 percent in 2020. The ESR Group now projects that the Federal Reserve will cut the federal funds rate by 25 basis points at the September meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee to fend off greater deceleration in domestic growth.

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Housing Market on the Move as 1 in 5 Americans to Relocate within a Year, Fed Says

By Kathleen Howley

About 19% of American households surveyed in May expected to move in the next 12 months, according to the Survey of Consumer Expectations report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York published Monday. That was the highest May reading in two years.

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Appraisal Institute Urges Congress to Address Valuation Issues

The president of the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, encouraged Congress to act on valuation topics during yesterday’s hearing on Capitol Hill.

Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, told the House Financial Services Committee’s Housing, Community Development and Insurance Subcommittee that the Appraisal Institute supports passage of H.R. 2852, which would allow licensed appraisers to perform appraisals for Federal Housing Administration loans.

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Local Governments Have Worst Homebuilding Regulations: FHFA

By Ben Lane

Despite rising in April, new housing construction had previously been trending down for several months. In fact, just one month earlier, housing starts fell to the lowest pace in nearly two years.

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Fannie, Freddie Launch Uniform Mortgage-backed Security

Last Monday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac marked the completion of their Single-Security Initiative with the launch of the Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (UMBS).

“UMBS is the result of close collaboration with FHFA, Freddie Mac, Common Securitization Solutions, and hundreds of housing finance stakeholders and we congratulate all involved on this achievement,” said Renee Schultz, SVP, Capital Markets, Fannie Mae in a statement. “We remain focused on ensuring that all market participants continue to make a smooth transition to UMBS and maintaining a highly liquid housing finance market.”

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30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rate Nears Two-Year Low

Freddie Mac(OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to 3.82 percent, the sixth consecutive weekly decline and its lowest level since September 2017.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “While the drop in mortgage rates is a good opportunity for consumers to save on their mortgage payment, our research indicates that there can be a wide dispersion among mortgage rate offers. By shopping around and getting a single additional mortgage rate quote, a borrower can save an average of $1,500.”

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U.S. Home Flipping Rate Reaches a Nine-Year High in Q1 2019

ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its Q1 2019 U.S. Home Flipping Report, which shows that 49,059 U.S. single family homes and condos were flipped in the first quarter of 2019, down 2 percent from the previous quarter and down 8 percent from a year ago to a three-year low.

The 49,059 homes flipped in the first quarter represented 7.2 percent of all home sales during the quarter, up from 5.9 percent in the previous quarter and up from 6.7 percent a year ago — the highest home flipping rate since Q1 2010.

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Average Single-family Home Size Increases, Reversing a Shrinking Trend: NAHB

By Robert Dietz

New single-family home size increased slightly at the start of 2019, as the market slowed.

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PACE Financing, Mortgage Disclosure Act Among CFPB's Top Rulemaking Priorities for the Year

By Diane Thompson

The Bureau is publishing its Spring 2019 Agenda as part of the Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which is coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget. As an independent regulatory agency, the Bureau voluntarily participates in the Unified Agenda. The agenda lists the regulatory matters that the Bureau reasonably anticipates having under consideration during the period from May 1, 2019, to April 30, 2020, as described further below

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Vast Majority Think 2019 First Quarter is Good Time to Buy Home, says Realtor® Survey

New findings from a National Association of Realtors® survey show that more Americans believe that now is a good time to purchase a home. Consumer opinions about home buying bounced back in the first quarter of 2019, with 37 percent stating that they strongly believe now is a good time to buy, up from 34 percent in the last quarter of 2018 but down from 38 percent one year ago. Only 35 percent of respondents said that now is not a good time to buy a home, compared to 37 percent in 2018's fourth quarter.

NAR's first quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey 1also found that a majority of those polled, 53 percent, said that the economy is improving – down slightly from 59 percent at the end of last year. In 2019, optimism is the greatest among those who earn $100,000 or more and those who reside in rural areas. Fifty percent of Generation X said the economy is improving, while 42 percent of urban area residents reported the same.

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Average Home Size Continues to Shrink as Inventory Adds Entry-level Homes: NAHB

By Robert Dietz

Continuing a multiyear trend, new single-family home size decreased during the final quarter of 2018.

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