January 17, 2018

Six Critical Questions as Housing Finance Reform Heats Up

National Mortgage News | Jan. 8, 2018
The Senate Banking Committee is expected to soon release a bipartisan bill that would significantly reshape the housing finance market, but key issues remain unresolved. 
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling is pursuing his own reform proposal and the White House has yet to weigh in, despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s key interest in the subject. 
Following is a guide to the important questions that must be resolved.

CFPB News: U.S. Consumer Watchdog Official Takes Leadership Fight to Appeals Court

Business Insider | Jan. 12, 2018
An official who hopes to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Friday took her fight to a U.S. appeals court, urging it to oust President Donald Trump's pick for the agency.

Leandra English is the deputy director of the CFPB and argues that Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director and pick to temporarily lead the consumer watchdog, was wrongly installed.
A federal court this week rejected English's argument, leading her to file a further challenge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Read More »

Mortgage Applications Shoot Up 8.3 Percent to Start the Year

CNBC | Jan. 10, 2018
Pent-up demand from the holidays likely fueled the solid jump in mortgage applications last week.

Total application volume rose 8.3 percent during the first week of the year from the previous week, as mortgage rates held below year-ago levels, according to the seasonally adjusted Mortgage Bankers Association report.

Refinance applications led the charge, rising 11 percent from the previous week. Homeowners may be taking advantage of lower rates now, concerned that rates will move higher this year. Rates were higher at the start of 2017 than they are now. Homeowners also saw big gains in home equity last year and may be taking advantage of that in cash-out refinances.

10 Hottest Housing Markets of 2018

MReport | Jan. 9, 2018
The U.S. housing market is getting hotter in 2018 with 52.6 percent of all homes across the country worth as much or more than they were at the peak of the national housing boom in April 2007, according to a survey on the 10 hottest housing markets of the U.S. released by Zillow on Tuesday.

The survey says that U.S. housing markets with healthy income growth, abundant job opportunities and above-average housing appreciation are likely to get hotter in 2018.
The top 10 list included Nashville, Denver and Austin – which have the lowest unemployment rates among large metros, even as Austin’s population grows faster than other major metros (at 2.8 percent between 2015 and 2016), the survey indicated.
Read the Zillow Survey »
Read the MReport Article »

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