Housing Market

News & Analysis as of

Homebuilding Trends Outlined in New Report

Homebuilding strengthened in 2013, but remains below historical averages, concludes The State of the Nation’s Housing report recently released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. According to this...more

Treasury Department Announces Effort to Revive Private Label Securities Market

On June 26, the Department of the Treasury announced an effort to revive the residential mortgage-backed private label securities market to improve the overall efficiency of the U.S. housing finance system. ...more

Homebuilder Confidence Rises to Six Month High

Good news for the homebuilding industry came earlier this week when the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo released the housing market index. Its numbers showed that homebuilders’ confidence rose to 49 points...more

FHFA’S 2013 Report Shows Record Income for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, But Earnings Are Likely to Fall

On Friday, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its 2013 Report to Congress, revealing recent GSE milestones but anticipating future problems. The annual report is statutorily-required under the Federal Housing...more

Leading Markets Index Shows 56 Metros at or Above Normal Levels in June

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released its Leading Market Index (LMI) on June 5th. The report revealed that out of 350 metros evaluated across the country, 56 housing markets have returned to or...more

Changes to the local approval and contribution requirements under the Maryland QAP

Proposed changes under the Maryland Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) would eliminate the “local approval” requirement and replace it with an opportunity for the political subdivision in which the project is located to comment...more

HUD Solicits Comments on Proposed Housing Counseling Pilot, HAWK for New Homebuyers

HUD recently issued a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on a proposed four-year, two-phase housing counseling pilot, HAWK for New Homebuyers. HAWK (Homeowners Armed With Knowledge) is linked to HUD’s...more

Pennsylvania Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update: May 2014

This is a brief update on recent Pennsylvania tax developments. For more information on any of these developments, contact one of the authors or the Reed Smith State Tax attorney with whom you usually work....more

FHA Previews Quality Assurance Process Changes

On May 13, the FHA released its Blueprint for Access, which previews changes to the agency’s quality assurance process and outlines new housing counseling measures. Following its request last year for input on potential...more

HUD updates required exclusions from annual income calculations

HUD has updated the required exclusions from income calculations to be used when determining eligibility and benefits for HUD programs. The updates are fairly minor, but they impact all HUD programs, including public housing...more

A Mixed Report For Spring Home Sales

After a disappointing Winter for homebuilders, which many blamed on the frigid weather across much of the country, Spring 2014 brings mixed news for homebuilders and those selling existing homes in the new season. ...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week In Review

Council of the EU Adopts Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive - On May 6, the Council of the EU adopted at first reading the text of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD). The BRRD seeks to harmonize...more

Little Pink Houses: Debate Regarding Zoning Laws and Accessory Dwelling Units Getting More and More Relevant

We've blogged previously about the accessory dwelling unit or the so-called "in-law suite", and how zoning rules addressing these dwelling units can "foment" (or stymie) increased urban density. The accessory dwelling unit...more

“Tiny Houses:” A Panacea For Social And Environmental Ills?

Could the answers to crushing mortgage debt, homelessness and ecological degradation be one and the same? Across the globe, a ‘tiny’ movement is taking root....more

Homebuilder Confidence Stabilized In April

On April 15th, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released its National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), a widely followed gauge of the outlook for the U.S. housing sector. ...more

Promise Zones Initiative: public comments on second round application materials due June 16, 2014

On April 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comments on the proposed selection process and criteria for the second round of the...more

Dechert OnPoint: The Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014

Following on the heels of last year’s bi-partisan “Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013”, which was introduced into the Senate by Senators Corker and Warner, a similar bill was recently introduced in the...more

The Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014

This article provides a brief summary of the key provisions of a new bi-partisan Senate bill, based on the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013, as well as a brief discussion of a new House of...more

Study Finds Housing Recovery Fully Taken Hold Nationwide

A recent article in National Mortgage Professional Magazine released a RealtyTrac analysis of housing market health in 410 U.S. counties in two-year increments over the past eight years, finding that “96 percent of county...more

Johnson and Crapo Release Housing Finance Reform Proposal

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) recently released the highly anticipated text from their housing finance reform proposal. As expected, the 442-page proposal—officially...more

And So it Begins . . .

This past year I wrote about a case that caused an uproar in the homebuilding industry - Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Brookfield Crystal Cove LLC, 219 Cal.App.4th 98 (August 28, 2013) – in which the California Court of...more

CFPB Publishes Source Code for HUD-Approved Housing Counselors

In November 2013, the CFPB published a tool to help consumers find local HUD-approved housing counselors. Now, the CFPB has published open source code to allow lenders to integrate the web-based tool into lender applications...more

Wells Fargo Gives Subprime Borrowers Another Chance

Wells Fargo has announced that it plans to begin originating FHA-backed loans for borrowers with credit scores as low as 600. This new cut-off is 40 points below Wells Fargo’s current floor, and 20 points below what has...more

Expired Housing-Related Tax Rules

A couple of tax breaks that affect many homeowners expired at the end of 2013, and have not yet been extended for tax year 2014. It is still possible they will be extended retroactive to January 1, 2014, and maybe that is why...more

Senate Democrats Press FHFA On Housing Trust Fund

On January 24, Senators Warren (D-MA), Reed (D-RI), Boxer (D-CA), and 29 other Senate Democrats sent a letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt asking that he lift the suspension on funding for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF)...more

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