Today’s News Synopsis:
Mortgage applications increased 15.5% last week, according to the MBA. UCLA economists predict California’s unemployment rate will remain above 10% until 2013. Freddie Mac’s level of REO properties has grown 145.7% over the past two years. Obama threatened to veto bills terminating the Federal Housing Administration’s Short Refi and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Homeowner Loan Program.
In The News:
Mortgage Bankers Association – “Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey” (3-9-11)
“Mortgage applications increased 15.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 4, 2011.”
Los Angeles Times – “California labor market recovery to go more slowly than predicted, report says” (3-9-11)
“The state’s unemployment rate will remain in double digits until early 2013, according to a report slated for release Wednesday by UCLA’s Anderson School of Management . That’s three months later than the university’s economists forecast in December, as California’s weak housing market continues to weigh on the region’s recovery.”
Housing Wire – “AARP sues HUD over reverse mortgage foreclosures” (3-9-11)
“A reverse or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage allows the borrower, who must be at least 62 years old, to convert a portion of the equity in the home for cash. No repayment is required until the borrower no longer uses the home as a principal residence or does not meet the obligations of the loan, often in the event of death.”
Housing Wire – “Cleveland Fed economist calls for toxic asset bad bank” (3-9-11)
“James Thomson, vice president and financial economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, believes regulators can ease the pain of future financial meltdowns by creating a bad bank to acquire all toxic assets, including underperforming mortgages.”
Housing Wire – “Freddie Mac implores mortgage servicers to reach borrowers early” (3-9-11)
“Freddie announced it will use a new scorecard to measure how its mortgage servicers perform beginning in the third quarter. The change is part of a wider revamp of how Freddie will manage its 1,400 servicing companies and monitor how they put troubled mortgages through the loss mitigation process.”
Housing Wire – “Freddie Mac hires two REO servicers to help handle rising inventory” (3-9-11)
“The partnership is designed to manage expected increases in REO inventory, Freddie Mac said. At the end of February, the GSE said,the level of its REO properties grew 145.7% in just two years. In 2008, REO inventory was 29,346 compared to 72,093 homes in 2010.”
Housing Wire – “Obama threatens to veto bills killing foreclosure programs” (3-9-11)
“The House Financial Services Committee voted last week approving two bills that would terminate the Federal Housing Administration’s Short Refi and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Homeowner Loan Program.”
Bloomberg – “Hotel Purchases Will Soar on Rising Room Rates, Jones Lang LaSalle Says” (3-9-11)
“Hotel rates will gain this year as a recovery in business travel fills more rooms, lodging companies including Marriott International Inc., the biggest hotelier in the U.S., said yesterday in Berlin. Leisure travel is also rebounding after consumers trimmed spending during the recession. Revenue per room in the hotel industry rose worldwide in 2010, according to researcher STR Global.”
Capital Economics claims that U.S. home values are 20 percent undervalued. Yields on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage securities fell to record lows. Trulia reports that 19 percent of homes had a price reduction last month. Real estate appraisers claim that Obama’s new foreclosure program encourages fraud.
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