The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 12/16/09

Today’s News Synopsis:

The Wall Street Journal reports that people are increasingly willing to abandon mortgage payments for becoming renters, housing starts climb almost 9%, the FDIC offers some reprieve from securities accounting rules for the next year, and the Bureau of statistics released their real earnings report stating that average hourly earnings fell by .5%.

In The News:

DSNews “Trulia and RealtyTrac Release Survey Results of Homebuyers’ Attitudes Toward Foreclosures” (12-15-09)

“n Tuesday, Irvine, California- based RealtyTrac and Trulia Inc., headquartered in San Francisco released the results of a new survey revealing insights to how consumers feel about purchasing a foreclosed property, conducted on their behalf by Harris Interactive, a market research firm based in New York City. Beginning in May 2008, the survey has been conducted every six months, making this the fourth survey of its type.”

Wall Street Jounral“American Dream 2: Default, Then Rent” (12-16-09)

“People’s increasing willingness to abandon their own piece of America illustrates a paradoxical change wrought by the housing bust: Even as it tarnishes the near-sacred image of home ownership, it might be clearing the way for an economic recovery.”

Mortgage Brokers Association“Mortgage Applications Increase Slightly in Latest MBA Weekly Survey” (12-16-09)

“The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 11, 2009. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume increased 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 0.3 percent compared with the previous week.”

Bloomberg“Housing Starts in U.S. Climb 8.9% to 574,000 Pace “ (12-16-09)

“Builders in November broke ground on more U.S. homes, a sign the recovery in homebuilding may carry through into 2010. Housing starts rose 8.9 percent to an annual rate of 574,000, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Building permits, a sign of future construction, climbed to the highest level in a year.”

DSNews“FDIC Offers Reprieve for Securities Accounting Rules” (12-16-09)

“The FDIC has finalized a new regulatory capital rule that will give lenders who package and resell mortgages a little breathing room when it comes to accounting for these assets on their books. The federal agency’s rule directly addresses FAS 166 and 167, which beginning January 1, 2010 moves most securitizations – including residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities – back onto the issuer’s balance sheet. Banks had pushed for a three-year transition period to phase in the new accounting directives. The FDIC gave them 12 months.”

DSNews“HUD Establishes Standards for State Compliance with SAFE Act” (12-16-09)

“On Tuesday, HUD announced the publication of a proposed rule setting the minimum standards that states must meet in licensing loan originators to comply with the Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (Safe Act). The proposed rule was posted in Tuesday’s federal register and on HUD’s website.”

National Mortgage Magazine“NAMB forms Legislative & Regulatory Action Fund to protect broker industry” (12-16-09)

“The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) has announced the launch of its Legislative & Regulatory Action Fund to collect donations that will be used for protecting the interests of the mortgage broker industry. The mortgage broker profession has underwent extensive scrutiny and is being portrayed unfavorably in the mainstream media, as the housing industry undergoes sweeping legislative and regulatory initiatives to stimulate the economy and implement safeguards aimed at preventing another housing bubble. NAMB has worked hard to defend mortgage brokers against deceptive and misleading information, and has been successful in many instances. NAMB continues the fight to protect and preserve your industry.”

Housing Wire“Fed Orders Credit Suisse to Cease and Desist” (12-16-09)

“The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), along with the US Department of Justice and the New York County District Attorney’s Office, separately announced a $536m settlement with Credit Suisse. The firm will pay $268m each to the US and to New York.”

Housing Wire“FDIC OKs Delay of FAS 166, 167 Effect on Capital” (12-16-09)

“The board of directors at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Wednesday finalized a new capital rule that addresses industry concerns raised by Financial Accounting Standards (FAS) 166 and 167. FAS 166 and 167, which take effect in January, will require financial institutions to bring certain securitized assets onto balance sheets.”

Bureau of Labor and Statistics“Real Earnings” (12-16-09)

“Real average hourly earnings fell 0.5 percent from October to November, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A 0.5 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) more than offset a 0.1 percent increase in average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers.”

HUD“Shopping for Your Home Loan” (12-16-09)

“The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) requires lenders and mortgage brokers to give this booklet to buyers within three days of applying for a mortgage loan. RESPA is a federal law that helps protect consumers from unfair practices by settlement service providers during the home-buying and loan process.”

Looking Back:

One year ago, the California Association of Realtors projected a 12.5% increase in California real estate prices for 2009 with the prediction that REOs would be absorbed in 2009. The National Association of Realtors came out with concerns on the commercial real estate forecast and Bloomberg reported that the cost of credit writedowns topped one trillion.

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