Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Mortgage Fraud Risk Slows; Rises in Hurricane-Impacted States

Posted on December 14, 2017 by Laura Lam

While the nationwide run-up in mortgage loan application defects appears to have slowed, instances of fraud remain on the rise in Texas and Florida.  The First American Loan Application Defect index remained unchanged for the second straight month in October, but is up 22.1% from October 2016.  Defect risk spiked between November 2016, when it hit an all-time low, and June. Loan application defects are indicators for mortgage fraud. “The surge in defect, fraud and misrepresentation risk that started a year ago has finally lost momentum,” said First American’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming.  “The Loan Application Defect Index has either remained…

Housing Affordability May Plummet in 2018

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Laura Lam

During the recent CoreLogic and the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance, Affordability and Supply in the Digital Age conference, CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft predicted rising interest rates will cause home prices to rise.  Mortgage interest rates are expected to continue rising over the next couple years as experts predict the Federal Reserve will raise the Federal Funds rate in once more this year in December and up to 4 more times in 2018. As the chart shows, CoreLogic forecasted it will rise to 4.7% by December 2018. Nothaft explained as mortgage interest rates increase throughout 2018, less current homeowners will be motivated…

Americans Waiting for a Bigger Raise

Posted on November 17, 2017 by Laura Lam

The government said that average hourly earnings rose 2.4% over the past 12 months.  That’s a slip from the 2.9% increase reported in September. It remains below the 3% to 3.5% range that many agree is normal in a truly healthy economy.  The last time wages were up more than 3% year-over-year was in April 2009, just as the economy was emerging from the depths of the global banking crisis that fueled the Great Recession. Why have wages remained stagnant even though many other indicators of the job market and broader economy look healthy? Unemployment continues to drop. The housing…

Will Regulation Solve Cybersecurity Problems?

Posted on November 13, 2017 by Laura Lam

Cybersecurity was a main topic at a recent New York banking conference.  According to Arthur Lindo, senior associate director of the Fed’s division of supervision and regulation, more rules may not be the best answer to protecting the financial system.  “I don’t think the solution to the cybersecurity problem rests in regulation,” said Lindo.  “We’re going to try a more flexible approach.” The Fed and other regulators issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on cyber risk management standards last year, which is typically followed by a prospective rule. After the industry and others involved in computer security discouraged regulators from…

FHA Loan Delinquency Rate Flattens

Posted on November 09, 2017 by Laura Lam

Closed-end loans continue to return to normal levels as overall consumer delinquencies remained steady and serious delinquency rates remained near the 10-year low.  However Federal Housing Administration loans delinquency rates seem to be slowing down.  FHA loans, popular among first-time home buyers with affordability constraints, have made steady improvements this year but may be reaching a plateau. Loans 90-days delinquent, in foreclosure or involved in bankruptcies remained stable at 4.31% in August. The seasonally adjusted estimate was 5.2% a year ago.  Even though delinquencies have been improving, FHA loans continue to make up a large percentage of the distressed loans…

Are Some Cities Close to a Housing Bubble?

Posted on November 07, 2017 by Laura Lam

According to a recent report released by the Urban Institute, with home prices on the rise, some cities are inching closer to a housing bubble.  The Urban Institute explained that in order to determine if the U.S. is in a housing bubble, knowing the reason for the price growth is critical. In order to determine the reason for the price growth, Urban Institute utilized its housing affordability index.  Overall, housing in the U.S. remains very much in the affordable range. The median household can afford a house that is $70,000 more expensive than the median home price today. In 2006,…

Daylight Saving Time: Facts and Figures

Posted on November 03, 2017 by Laura Lam

Sunday, November 5, 2017, marks the end of Daylight Saving Time – a twice-a-year occurrence that we collectively partake in, changing our clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall. But why do we do this? What purpose does it serve? Is it really for the farmers?  You might be surprised how many misconceptions there are surrounding this longstanding practice. Who came up with changing the clocks?  The idea to change the clocks to save daylight was first proposed by English architect William Willett in 1907 when he published The Waste of Daylight. It is believed that Willett’s idea arose…

1.4 Million Residential Properties Vacant in 3Q

Posted on November 02, 2017 by Laura Lam

Nearly 1.4 residential properties were vacant at the end of the third quarter, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2017 U.S. Residential Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report.  The vacant properties represent 1.58% of all residential properties, which is a 1.63% decrease in vacant properties from one year ago, the report found. However, the report also found that rate of vacant properties increased in more than half of the metropolitan area analyzed, including Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Baltimore and Phoenix. ATTOM also found that that the number of vacant “zombie” pre-foreclosure properties – which have started the foreclosure process but…

Best and Worst States for Consumer Credit Scores

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Laura Lam

Consumer credit varies nationally due to regional variations in income and the cost of living.  According to a new study from LendEDU and Experian, the Northeast had the highest average credit score (694). The Midwest (693), Pacific (691), and Rocky Mountain (690) regions followed closely behind. The Southeast (668) and Southwest (662) regions had the lowest credit scores on average.  The best average state scores are roughly 7% higher than the national average, while the worst states are about 7% lower. Vantage Scores were used for the rankings. Scores of 700 and above are considered good, and below 650 is…

Housing Confidence on the Rise; Renters Optimistic

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Laura Lam

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 0.3 points in September to 88.3, matching the all-time high set in June. The rise can be attributed to increases in 3 of the 6 HPSI components. The good time to buy component rose the most month-over-month, with the net share increasing 10 percentage points compared to August. Renter respondents, in particular, buoyed the net good time to buy component, showing a substantial upward change in optimism in September. The net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home rose 2 percentage points in September and…