By Tory Barringer | 05/24/2013
Freddie Mac's total mortgage portfolio expanded in April, but growth slowed as purchase and issuance activity declined from March, the GSE reported. According to Freddie Mac's monthly volume summary, its total portfolio grew at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent last month, a setback compared to March's 4.0 percent growth rate but still above January and February's contracting figures. As of the end of the month, the portfolio's ending balance was about $1.95 trillion.
By Mark Lieberman, Five Star Institute Economist | 05/24/2013
Recent reports from the National Association of Realtors and the Census Bureau/HUD showed sharp increases in unit sales and prices, as well as increases in the inventory of homes for sale for April. Has housing turned the corner? Look again. Sales up, prices up, what's wrong with this picture? The last time both prices and sales of new homes increased in the same month was last September. In all of 2012, sales and prices moved in opposite directions in seven of the 12 months. What of course is missing from the two data sets is any indication of demand.
By Esther Cho | 05/23/2013
Freddie Mac is in the process of securitizing over $1 billion in performing loans that were modified.
The modified loans have been performing for at least six consecutive months and were held in the company's mortgage portfolio. "Securitizing loans that have been modified and are now performing will allow Freddie Mac to better manage its mortgage-related investments portfolio," said Adama Kah, Freddie Mac VP of distressed assets management.
By Mark Lieberman, Five Star Institute Economist | 05/23/2013
The price of a new single-family home soared to a record high in April as sales jumped 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Thursday. The median price of a new home, according to the Census/HUD report, soared $20,900 (8.3 percent) in April to $271,600, the highest price on record. The inventory of homes available for sale rose to 155,000--the highest level since November 2011--translating to a 3.5 month supply, matching March for a record low.
By Andy Beth Miller | 05/22/2013
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified regarding his position on the Fed's open-ended purchases. It appears Bernanke is in no rush to slow or inhibit the Fed's current open-ended purchasing rate currently hovering at $85 billion assets per month. As to whether or not Congress will heed Bernanke's economic insight or proceed to brave ahead by putting the brakes on the acquisition of assets remains to be seen, although predictions point to a proactive pruning and pausing of asset purchases before the conclusion of 2013.
By Tory Barringer | 05/22/2013
Barclays forecast new non-agency RMBS issuance at $12 to $15 billion at the start of the year, and its latest research shows the market is on track to hit that mark. Contributing to that forecast are a few factors: First, Barclays notes, the capital costs of holding loans in portfolio will increase for many banks under Basel III, making securitization a more attractive proposition. Second, further hikes in guarantee fees (g-fees)--such as those mandated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)--could make for a more competitive private-label market.
By Mark Lieberman, Five Star Institute Economist | 05/22/2013
Existing-home sales rose 0.6 percent in April to an annual sales rate of 4.97 million, the highest level since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. The median price of an existing single-family home jumped $8,900 in the month to $192,800, the highest since August 2008. The inventory of homes for sale rose to 2.16 million--its highest level since last September. The supply of homes for sale rose to 5.2 months, the highest since October. Inventory has been a persistent concern to NAR, which says the low supply of homes for sale has reduced the number of transactions.
By Tory Barringer | 05/21/2013
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff went back on a previous decision to dismiss most of Dexia's claims against JPMorgan Chase in a $774 million suit. In reversing his decision, Rakoff noted that he didn't have the jurisdiction to grant a dismissal in the first place, citing an appeals court decision in a similar case involving American International Group (AIG) and Bank of America. Dexia filed suit in January 2012, alleging it was fraudulently convinced to purchase more than $1.6 billion of securities that went bad.
By Esther Cho | 05/20/2013
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) shared a proposal to bring private capital back into the mortgage market while decreasing costs for taxpayers and borrowers. In a recent paper, the MBA explained the up-front risking sharing concept, which calls for the GSEs to offer risk-sharing at the front end of transactions. The proposal also suggested Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should accept loans with "deeper levels of credit enhancement" in exchange for reduced guarantee fees and other loan level charges.
By Esther Cho | 05/16/2013
The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that upheld Fannie Mae's ejectment action judgment against defaulting borrowers whose homes were lost to foreclosure, MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. announced in a release.