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FHFA Raises Conforming Loan Limits for First Time in a Decade

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Nov. 23 that it will increase the conforming loan limit for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the first time in 10 years. The current limit of $417,000 for single-family homes will go up to $424,100 in 2017.

 
Nov 30, 2016 12:30 PM

Court Blocks New Overtime Rule

A federal judge on Nov. 22 blocked a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor that would have made an additional four million salaried employees eligible for overtime pay, Reuters reported. The rule would have taken effect Dec. 1 and doubled to $47,500 the salary a worker could make and still qualify for overtime.

 
Nov 30, 2016 12:30 PM

CFPB Fights Court Ruling Challenging its Constitutionality

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 18 asked for a rehearing from the full slate of judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in response to last month’s three-judge panel ruling that the agency’s structure is unconstitutional, The New York Times reported.​

 
Nov 23, 2016 12:30 PM

Appraiser Regulatory Requirements 'Stuck in the Past,' Luetkemeyer Says

After hearing the Appraisal Institute testify Nov. 16 before the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee about how appraisers are being choked by rules and regulations, Subcommittee Chair Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-MO, said that the regulatory requirements for appraisers remain "stuck in the past" and that the system is "unnecessarily complicated and outdated."

 
Nov 23, 2016 12:30 PM

GAO Says Fed Stress Test Framework is Flawed

The Government Accountability Office reported Nov. 15 that Dodd-Frank Act Stress Tests for Federal Reserve-supervised banking institutions and the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review for bank holding companies lack transparency and have scenario design flaws and problems with model-risk management, ABA Banking Journal reported.

 
Nov 23, 2016 12:30 PM

New IRS Rules Impact Common REIT Transactions: Report

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS issued temporary regulations that changed the rules for leveraged partnership transactions, UPREIT and DownREITS, National Real Estate Investor reported Nov. 14. The regulations are expected to adversely impact tax planning techniques that were allowed by previous regulations.

 
Nov 16, 2016 12:30 PM

Trump Administration Could Gut CFPB, Repeal Dodd-Frank

An incoming Republican president and Republican-controlled House and Senate could have a significant impact on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Dodd-Frank Act, HousingWire reported Nov. 9. CFPB could see a change in structure or be completely eliminated, while the Dodd-Frank Act could be repealed.

 
Nov 16, 2016 12:30 PM

Congress Hears Appraisal Institute Ideas to Modernize Regulation

The Appraisal Institute told a Congressional hearing Nov. 16 there is a “better, less-complicated approach” that would modernize the U.S. appraisal regulatory structure by improving quality, reducing costs and addressing fundamental concerns that drive appraisers from the profession. AI suggested that Congress realign the appraisal regulatory structure with those of other industries in the real estate and mortgage sectors.

 
Nov 16, 2016 12:30 PM

Dallas Leads Portland, Denver as Hottest Investor Markets: Report

Dallas was ranked the hottest real estate market for the second consecutive year, standing out as a market with strong price appreciation and one where investors see high rents relative to property values, according to real estate investment network BiggerPockets, Forbes reported Nov. 7. Portland, Oregon, and Denver also ranked highly.

 
Nov 16, 2016 09:18 AM

Congress Hears Appraisal Institute’s Ideas to Modernize Regulation

The Appraisal Institute today told a Congressional hearing there is a “better, less-complicated approach” that would modernize the U.S. appraisal regulatory structure by improving quality, reducing costs and addressing fundamental concerns that drive appraisers from the profession.

 
Nov 09, 2016 12:30 PM

Wells Fargo Agrees to $50M Settlement over Appraisals

Wells Fargo agreed to pay $50 million to settle allegations that it overcharged hundreds of thousands of homeowners for appraisals ordered after they defaulted on mortgages, Reuters reported Oct. 31. The proposed settlement requires court approval and would resolve claims that the bank charged considerably more than it paid for appraisals.

 
Nov 09, 2016 12:30 PM

Fed Leaves Fund Rates Unchanged

The Federal Reserve on Nov. 2 announced that it will leave the federal funds rate unchanged, a move that was widely expected due to the election and because the Fed seeks maximum employment and price stability, Business Insider reported.

 
Nov 09, 2016 12:30 PM

Shadow Banks Overtaking Mortgage Market, Report Shows

Shadow banks will soon overtake traditional lenders in the mortgage market, according to a report from data firm SNL Financial, CNBC reported Oct. 29. Non-bank lenders generated 48 percent of mortgages in 2015, and that figure is expected to be higher this year.

 
Nov 02, 2016 12:30 PM

Appraisal Institute "Concerned" about Freddie Mac Policy Changes

Citing similarities to previous policies that “turned out to be disastrous for the entire economy,” the Appraisal Institute on Oct. 31 expressed “serious concerns” with changes to Freddie Mac’s Loan Advisor Suite. Under its new policy announced Oct. 24, Freddie Mac will waive appraisals in lieu of an “appraisal alternative” in a host of situations, including first-purchase loans.

 
Nov 02, 2016 12:30 PM

Global Volatility to Positively Impact US CRE Market: Report

Uncertainty around the world is expected to positively and negatively affect the U.S. economy, but the commercial real estate market stands to grow in the near and medium term, National Real Estate Investor reported Oct. 25. Foreign investors are expected to seek safe haven in U.S. real estate investments.​

 
Nov 02, 2016 12:30 PM

Investors to Lose Billions on Mall Decline: Ratings Agency

After investors funded a major expansion of shopping malls a decade ago, a significant shift to online shopping has devastated those commercial properties, Reuters reported Oct. 21. Ratings agency Morningstar Credit Ratings said nearly $128 billion in loans, more than one-quarter of which financed malls, are set to refinance by the end of 2017.

 
Nov 01, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Concerned with Freddie Mac Policy Changes

Citing similarities to previous policies that “turned out to be disastrous for the entire economy,” the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today expressed “serious concerns” with changes to Freddie Mac’s Loan Advisor Suite.

 
Oct 26, 2016 02:53 PM

Real Estate Rebounds after Turbulent Start to Year: JLL

After an uneven start to the year, global real estate markets grew 6 percent between the second and third quarters, recording $163 billion in investment activity, according to real estate services firm JLL, MBA NewsLink reported Oct. 20. Year-to-date global real estate investment is $454 billion.

 
Oct 26, 2016 02:52 PM

Banks Increase Multifamily Lending

Banks are increasing their lending for apartment properties, which are viewed as stable, cash-producing investments, according to capital services provider HFF, National Real Estate Investor reported Oct. 18. During the first half of the year, banks have funded 38 percent of all permanent apartment loans.​

 
Oct 26, 2016 02:48 PM

Residential, Commercial Activity Grows: Fed Beige Book

Real estate activity increased in most Fed districts for both the residential and commercial markets, the Federal Reserve reported Oct. 19 in its newest Beige Book. Home prices continued to rise at a modest pace across much of the country. Multifamily activity was mostly positive. Commercial leasing activity was up.

 
Oct 26, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute, European Group Sign Mutual Recognition Agreement

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced it has entered into a landmark agreement with The European Group of Valuers’ Associations, known as TEGoVA, to mutually recognize the professional excellence of each other’s standards, ethics and qualifications.

 
Oct 19, 2016 12:30 PM

Fed Cites 'New Housing Crisis' in US

Residential spending in the third quarter remained weak due to a "new housing crisis" caused by a scarcity of building lots and a lack of skilled labor, according to the Federal Open Market Committee's September meeting notes released Oct. 12, Business Insider reported. The notes further revealed that property supply is not meeting demand.

 
Oct 19, 2016 12:30 PM

FHFA Could Raise Lending Caps Again

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has increased its market rate lending caps at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac twice this year and might do so again before the end of the year, National Real Estate Investor reported Oct. 12. The increases were prompted by strong multifamily lending and slumping commercial mortgage-back securities.

 
Oct 19, 2016 12:30 PM

CFPB Releases Updated TRID Compliance Guide

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Oct. 12 issued a revised small entity compliance guide to the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures, ABA Banking Journal reported. Updates relate to records retention, construction loans, disclosures of seller-paid costs and form completion, among others. CFPB also updated its Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms.

 
Oct 18, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Book Shares Methods for Valuing Golf Courses

More appraisers are valuing golf course properties and are bringing sophisticated new methodology to the market and appraisal practice, according to a new book by the Appraisal Institute.

 
Oct 12, 2016 12:30 PM

FHA Updates Single Family Handbook Appraisal Requirements

The Federal Housing Administration on Sept. 30 updated its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook to clarify that appraisers must indicate that certain appliances contributing to the market value of the property are physically present. FHA previously required appraisers to physically observe and operate appliances on the property.

 
Oct 12, 2016 12:30 PM

CFPB Unconstitutional but Still Operational, Court Rules

A federal appeals court on Oct. 11 ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's structure was unconstitutional because too much power is assigned to its sole director, Reuters reported. The court said the bureau could continue to operate under the president's supervision.

 
Oct 12, 2016 12:30 PM

Court Orders Government to Release Docs to GSE Investors

The Court of Federal Claims in Washington on Oct. 3 ordered the U.S. government to release documents to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investors who sued the government over its decision to seize profits from the government-sponsored enterprises, The New York Times reported. Investors claimed the government's action constituted illegally taking private property.

 
Sep 28, 2016 12:30 PM

Deutsche Bank Challenges $14 Billion MBS Fine

Deutsche Bank is fighting the U.S. Department of Justice over a $14 billion fine to settle claims that it sold soured mortgage-backed securities, Reuters reported Sept. 16. Deutsche had expected a smaller fine; if the larger figure holds, it would be one of the largest paid to U.S. authorities in years.

 
Sep 28, 2016 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Launches Loan Program for Underserved Communities

Freddie Mac, in partnership with New American Funding and Alterra Home Loans, launched a pilot loan program Sept. 19 called Your Path, which considers a wider range of factors than traditional underwriting methods in order to provide homeownership opportunities for underserved communities, National Mortgage Professional Magazine reported.

 
Sep 28, 2016 12:30 PM

Large Cities Recovering Faster than Smaller Ones: Report

Most larger metro areas have fully recovered from the recession, but many smaller metros are still struggling, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis statistics reported Sept. 20 by CNBC. San Jose, California, is experiencing the fastest growth while smaller cities like Bloomington, Illinois, and Houma, Louisiana, are getting left behind.

 
Sep 27, 2016 08:00 AM

Transmission Lines Increase and Decrease Property Values: The Appraisal Journal

Property values are affected in both positive and negative ways by their proximity to transmission lines, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 

Banking Group Challenges Legality of Stress Tests

Key components of the Federal Reserve's annual stress tests for big banks likely are illegal because they fail to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, according to a white paper released Sept. 15 by the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, a nonprofit comprised of banking executives.

 
Sep 21, 2016 12:30 PM

Real Estate Coalition Questions APB's Green Guidance

An industry coalition led by the Real Estate Roundtable submitted on Sept. 6 a comment letter to the Appraisal Practices Board stating their concerns about its first draft of the "voluntary" guideline "Valuation of Green and High Performance Property: Commercial, Multifamily and Institutional Properties."​

 
Sep 21, 2016 12:30 PM

Wells Fargo Top Mid-year Multifamily, Commercial Mortgage Servicer

Wells Fargo took the top spot on the Mortgage Bankers Association's mid-year list of high-volume multifamily and commercial mortgage servicers, the organization announced Sept. 1. The bank reported $502.2 billion in master and primary servicing. Rounding out the top five servicers are PNC, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, KeyBank and CBRE.

 
Sep 20, 2016 08:00 AM

Increased Spending on US Ports Expands Opportunities for Appraisers: Valuation Magazine

An increase in spending on U.S. ports to upgrade infrastructure and expand facilities has opened up numerous opportunities for valuation professionals, according to an article published in Valuation magazine’s third quarter 2016 issue.

 
Sep 14, 2016 12:30 PM

Treasury Releases Final Rule on Definition of REIT Real Property

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Aug. 31 issued final regulations that define real property for the purpose of the REIT provision for the Internal Revenue Service. Real property is defined as land, structural components and inherently permanent structures that serve a passive function.

 
Sep 14, 2016 12:30 PM

Congressman Seeks FBI Data on Financial Crises Investigations

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., sent a letter Sept. 6 to Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey asking the agency to release details of its financial crisis investigations, HousingWire reported. Pascrell seeks answers as to why financial firms were fined billions of dollars but executives weren't held accountable.

 
Sep 14, 2016 12:30 PM

Residential, Commercial Activity Grows: Fed Beige Book

Residential real estate activity in August expanded in most Fed districts while construction was mostly moderate, the Federal Reserve reported Sept. 7 in its newest Beige Book. Commercial construction and sales grew slightly, and most districts reported expanded activity.

 
Sep 07, 2016 12:30 PM

Boston Fed: Low Interest Rates Could Harm CRE Market

Eight years of low interest rates resulted in a rapid increase in commercial real estate prices that could quickly decrease if economic conditions change, according to Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, The Street reported Aug. 31. Rosengren recommends raising interest rates to keep the commercial real estate market from overheating.

 
Sep 07, 2016 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac: Housing Market Remains Stable

The housing market is largely unchanged from the previous month and is on the outer range of the benchmark for historic housing activity, Freddie Mac reported Aug. 31 in its Multi-Indicator Market Index. Thirty-eight states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values within range of their benchmark averages.

 
Sep 07, 2016 12:30 PM

States Still Struggle with Bubble-era Loans: Report

Ten years after the housing bubble burst, nine states and the District of Columbia still have a foreclosure backlog of loans originated between 2004 and 2008, according to analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions, Forbes reported Aug. 26. Topping the list is the District of Columbia, where 76 percent of loans originated during that four-year period are in foreclosure.

 
Aug 31, 2016 12:30 PM

FHFA Extends HARP into 2017, Launches New Refi Program

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Aug. 25 that its Home Affordable Refinance Program will be extended to Sept. 30, 2017, and that a new refinance product aimed at borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios will be available next year through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 
Aug 31, 2016 12:30 PM

Appeals Court Declines to Reconsider Bank of America Ruling

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Aug. 22 rejected a request to reconsider its ruling that overturned a $1.27 billion penalty against Bank of America for mortgage fraud, Reuters reported. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had hoped the government could pursue a new trial.

 
Aug 31, 2016 12:30 PM

Fixed Mortgage Rates Unchanged

Average fixed mortgage rates were unchanged during the past week, remaining near historic lows ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments on a possible rate hike, Freddie Mac reported Aug. 25 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

 
Aug 17, 2016 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie May Require Billions in Crisis Bailout

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Aug. 8 released stress test results for government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that showed the GSEs could need as much as $125.8 billion in bailout money during a severe economic downturn, Bloomberg reported. FHFA said the minimum bailout figure would be $49.2 billion.

 
Aug 17, 2016 12:30 PM

Six CRE Trends for Rest of 2016 Identified

Global economic and political uncertainties, the ever-changing retail sector and volatile energy markets are three of the key trends that will play significant roles in commercial real estate for the upcoming year, the Urban Land Institute reported Aug. 10. Other expected trends include steady interest rates and limited supply growth.

 
Aug 17, 2016 12:30 PM

Community Banks Remain Strong: White House Report

The White House Council of Economic Advisers on Aug. 10 released a report that showed community banks remained strong across a variety of measures - including lending growth and geographic reach - since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. The report noted, however, that branch consolidation is problematic.

 
Aug 17, 2016 09:10 AM

Appraisal Institute Joins 10 Associations Opposing Changes to PACE Loans

Citing “a host of serious consumer protection concerns,” the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers joined 10 trade associations Tuesday to oppose recent changes to the federal government’s Property Assessed Clean Energy loans, known as PACE loans.

 
Aug 10, 2016 12:30 PM

Fed: Banks Tightening CRE Loan Requirements

Banks continue to scrutinize commercial real estate loans, reporting that they tightened standards during the second quarter, which is the fourth consecutive quarter of such tightening, the Federal Reserve reported in its July Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices. Banks reported that residential loan standards were mostly unchanged.

 
Aug 10, 2016 12:30 PM

Barclays Avoids Multimillion-dollar Subprime Suit

A lawsuit jointly filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and U.S. Bank that accused Barclays Bank and one of its subprime lending subsidiaries of misrepresenting the quality of mortgages in a $619 million bond was dismissed because it was filed beyond the statute of limitations, HousingWire reported July 26.

 
Aug 10, 2016 12:30 PM

CFPB Publishes 900-page Mortgage Lending Final Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Aug. 4 finalized mortgage servicing regulations to ensure borrowers are treated fairly, HousingWire reported. Included in the 900-page final rule are mandates that certain borrowers receive foreclosure protections more than once during the life of the loan and that foreclosure protections cover those inheriting property.

 
Aug 09, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Education Trust Honors 4 National Award Winners

Bradley R. Carter, MAI, of Atlanta, received the George L. Schmutz Award; Stephen D. Roach, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of San Diego, received the James H. Pritchett Award; Charles G. Dannis, MAI, SRA, of Dallas, received the Dr. William N. Kinnard Jr. Academic Award; and Byron E. Miller, SRA, AI-RRS, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, received the Y.T. and Louise Lee Lum Award from the Appraisal Institute Education Trust during the Appraisal Institute Annual Conference July 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 
Jul 29, 2016 08:00 AM

Stephen Wagner Elected 2017 Appraisal Institute Vice President

Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of West Lafayette, Indiana, was elected 2017 vice president of the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers Thursday by its Board of Directors in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wagner’s one-year term at the Appraisal Institute will begin Jan. 1, followed by one year each as president-elect, president and immediate past president.

 
Jul 28, 2016 12:00 PM

Appraisal Institute Honors 7 National Award Winners

Terry R. Dunkin, MAI, SRA, of Sparks, Maryland; M. Ralph Griffin, MAI, AI-GRS, of Spartanburg, South Carolina; and W. Calvin Reynolds, MAI, SRPA, SREA, SRA, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA, of Punta Gorda, Florida, was named the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award during the Appraisal Institute Annual Conference Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 
Jul 27, 2016 02:42 PM

Court Revives Freddie Mac Subprime Suit

A federal appeals court on July 20 revived a lawsuit filed by the Ohio attorney general that accuses Freddie Mac of defrauding the state’s $87.3 billion pension fund by failing to disclose risk to subprime mortgages, Reuters reported. A lower court had ruled that disclosure shortfalls didn’t prove monetary loss.

 
Jul 27, 2016 02:39 PM

‘Down-and-Out’ Neighborhoods Make a Rebound

Many so called “rough-and-tumble” neighborhoods have bounced back in recent years, as tight inventory and new construction has helped convince homebuyers to consider such neighborhoods, analytics firm RealtyTrac reported July 20 in its best of the “bad” neighborhoods report.

 
Jul 27, 2016 02:32 PM

White House Unveils Clean Energy Initiative

The White House on July 19 announced the Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative, a joint effort from the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Energy, Agriculture, Veteran’s Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services to increase access to solar energy, promote energy efficiency and ensure homeowner access to solar options.

 
Jul 20, 2016 12:30 PM

Senators Tell FHFA to Leave GSE Reform to Them

While some in Congress are pushing the Federal Housing Finance Agency to let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recapitalize, a bipartisan coalition of senators is urging FHFA Director Mel Watt to let legislative efforts guide housing finance reform, HousingWire reported July 11.

 
Jul 20, 2016 12:30 PM

FHFA Clarifies Principal Reduction Eligibility

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported July 11 that an estimated 31,000 borrowers nationwide are eligible for a one-time principal reduction, with most of the homeowners concentrated in five states: Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and New York.

 
Jul 20, 2016 12:30 PM

OCC to Boost Oversight of Commercial Real Estate

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on July 11 said it will increase scrutiny of the commercial real estate sector because credit risks are on the rise due to low interest rates, Reuters reported.

 
Jul 13, 2016 12:30 PM

New York First to Buy Delinquent FHA Mortgages

Officials in New York City on June 30 announced plans to purchase a limited number of delinquent loans from the Federal Housing Administration in what's being called a "first of its kind" program, HousingWire reported. The Community Restoration Program will oversee the purchase, which should help struggling residents avoid foreclosure.

 
Jul 13, 2016 12:30 PM

Census Bureau: Apartment, Office Construction on Rise

The U.S. Census Bureau reported July 1 that construction spending in May was down 0.8 percent from April but multifamily residential construction increased 1.8 percent for the month and 23.9 percent year-over-year. Office construction was down 0.4 percent in May, but up 22.5 percent for the year.

 
Jul 06, 2016 12:30 PM

Brexit Could Boost US CRE Investment

The U.K.’s exit from the European Union could be a boon to U.S. commercial real estate as investors pull capital out of U.K. properties and seek other markets in which to invest, National Real Estate Investor reported June 24.

 
Jul 06, 2016 12:30 PM

Supreme Court to Hear Predatory Lending Suit Against Banks

The U.S. Supreme Court announced June 28 that it will hear arguments during its next term about the city of Miami’s ability to sue lenders Bank of America and Wells Fargo for alleged predatory lending, HousingWire reported.

 
Jul 05, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Book Offers Guidance for Valuing ‘Damaged’ Properties

Real estate appraisers who analyze detrimental conditions should properly select and apply available tools, use relevant market data to support opinions and conclusions, and avoid unproven or suspect methodologies, according to a new book by the Appraisal Institute.

 
Jun 28, 2016 08:00 AM

Excess Rent Should Be Included in Property Valuation: The Appraisal Journal

Rent that is higher than the market rent for a property, known as excess rent, amounts to an intangible asset and should be specifically identified by real estate appraisers, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Jun 22, 2016 12:30 PM

White House Releases Drone Regulations

The White House on June 21 released regulations for drone usage, including issuing aircraft weight and flight restrictions. Commercial operators will need to be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration and have to pass an aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved test center.

 
Jun 22, 2016 12:30 PM

Gap Between Homeowner, Appraiser Value Opinion Shrinks

Homeowner and appraiser opinions of property value grew closer in May, with appraiser valuations only 1.89 percent lower than homeowner estimates, down from 1.95 percent in April, Quicken Loans reported June 14 in its Home Price Perception Index.

 
Jun 22, 2016 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Delays Desktop Underwriter Update

Fannie Mae announced June 21 that it will delay until late September its updates to the Desktop Underwriter program. The updates, which originally were slated for June 25, should provide more certainty to lenders while expanding access to credit and homeownership to a larger pool of borrowers.

 
Jun 21, 2016 09:00 AM

US Government Outsources Nearly All Real Estate Appraisals: Valuation Magazine

Real estate appraisers seeking exciting and challenging assignments can look toward the U.S. government — the nation’s largest land owner — for valuation opportunities, according to an article published in Valuation magazine’s second quarter 2016 issue.

 
Jun 15, 2016 12:30 PM

GSE Single Security on Track for This Year

Freddie Mac is expected to go live with its common securitization platform later this year while Fannie Mae will follow in 2018, Mortgage Orb reported June 1. The government-sponsored enterprises designed the single-security platform to enhance liquidity and stability in the secondary market.

 
Jun 15, 2016 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Plans Significant Data Release on Modified Loans

Fannie Mae announced June 6 that it will release a huge collection of data on previously modified loans in its portfolio as part of its effort to securitize re-performing loans later this year, HousingWire reported. Fannie plans to release the data in July.

 
Jun 15, 2016 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Plans Significant Data Release on Modified Loans

Fannie Mae announced June 6 that it will release a huge collection of data on previously modified loans in its portfolio as part of its effort to securitize re-performing loans later this year, HousingWire reported. Fannie plans to release the data in July.

 
Jun 15, 2016 12:30 PM

Republicans Detail Plan to Overhaul Dodd-Frank

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, on June 7 detailed a plan to dismantle major portions of the Dodd-Frank Act, The New York Times reported. The proposed Financial Choice Act would take significant authority away from regulators who oversee some of the nation’s largest financial institutions.

 
Jun 13, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute, Appraisal Institute of Canada Announce Joint Annual Conference in 2017

The largest professional associations of real estate appraisers in the United States and Canada announced today that the two groups for the first time since 2004 will jointly host an annual conference in Ottawa, Ontario, in 2017.

 
Jun 08, 2016 12:30 PM

3 States See Action on AMC Legislation

Minnesota, Louisiana and Illinois all took action in late May on legislation concerning appraisal management companies, the Appraisal Institute reported June 8. The governors in two states signed AMC legislation into law while a third governor is reviewing the legislation proposed in his state.

 
Jun 08, 2016 12:30 PM

USDA Final Rule on B&I Loans Raises Appraisal Threshold

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service on June 3 released its final rule that makes changes to its Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program to improve program delivery, clarify regulations and reduce delinquencies. Additionally, the final rule raises the appraisal requirement threshold.

 
Jun 08, 2016 12:30 PM

Supreme Court Sides with Landowners over Wetlands

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 31 that landowners can immediately proceed to court once federal regulators determine that property containing wetlands is covered by the Clean Water Act, National Real Estate Investor reported May 31. The decision could expedite the approval process for entities seeking to develop wetlands.

 
Jun 01, 2016 12:30 PM

Wells Fargo Fined $70M over Mortgage Servicing

The U.S. Comptroller of the Currency on May 25 fined Wells Fargo $70 million over its mortgage servicing practices but ended restrictions it had placed on the bank, Reuters reported. The bank is accused of making inaccurate escrow calculations resulting in incorrect loan modification denials.

 
Jun 01, 2016 12:30 PM

Chase Nearly Done with Consumer Relief Requirements

JPMorgan Chase has paid more than $3.9 billion of the $4 billion in consumer relief it was ordered to provide for more than 165,000 borrowers as part of its settlement with the federal government and five states over the packaging and sale of soured residential mortgage-backed securities, HousingWire reported May 26.

 
Jun 01, 2016 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac: US Housing Markets Continue to Improve

Freddie Mac announced May 25 that its Multi-Indicator Market Index rose to 83.8, which is a 7.23 percent increase from the previous year and indicative of an improving housing market. A score of 100 means that indicators are at average benchmark levels. Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia are within range of average benchmarks.

 
May 25, 2016 12:30 PM

Court Voids $1.27B fine Against Bank of America in 'Hustle' Case

A U.S. appeals court on May 23 overturned a $1.27 billion penalty against Bank of America, voiding a jury's finding that the bank was liable for selling toxic mortgage loans to the government-sponsored enterprises, Reuters reported. The government had accused the bank of fraud over a loan origination process known as “Hustle.”

 
May 25, 2016 12:30 PM

Fannie: Economic Growth Continues Downward Slide

Fannie Mae on May 17 lowered its full-year economic growth forecast to 1.7 percent, down from 1.9 percent noted in a previous forecast and 2.2 percent reported at the beginning of the year. However, growth is expected to recover with a boost from home sales and low mortgage rates.

 
May 25, 2016 12:30 PM

HARP Refinance Surpasses 3.4 Million Borrowers

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced May 16 that more than 3.4 million homeowners have refinanced their mortgage loans via the Home Affordable Refinance Program, including more than 19,000 in the first quarter. HARP expires Dec. 31, and more than 325,000 borrowers are still eligible to refinance.​

 
May 20, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Unveils 2016-19 Strategic Plan

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today announced a three-year strategic plan to address challenges and opportunities facing the organization and the real estate valuation profession.

 

Fannie Mae: TRID Gives Advantage to Large Lenders

Forty-four percent of large lenders responding to a Fannie Mae survey about the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule said that it gave them a competitive advantage in the marketplace, whereas only 16 percent of small lenders said the rule gave them any advantage, MBA NewsLink reported May 12.

 
May 18, 2016 12:30 PM

Moody's: Pre-recession Interest Rates Gone for Good

The higher interest rates that were prevalent before the recent financial crisis are unlikely to be seen again, primarily because of weak investment spending and the changing relationship between rates and inflation, according to ratings agency Moody's, Business Insider reported May 11

 
May 11, 2016 12:30 PM

Report: Few Properties Qualify for Principal Reduction

Fewer than 1 percent of seriously underwater properties could qualify for principal loan forgiveness under a new mortgage modification program introduced in April by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, analytics firm RealtyTrac reported May 4 in its Q1 2016 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report.

 
May 11, 2016 12:30 PM

FHFA Raises Multifamily Lending Caps

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on May 4 announced that it increased to $35 billion the multifamily lending cap for government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, effective immediately. The $4 billion adjustment is based on an increased estimate of the size of the multifamily finance market.

 
May 11, 2016 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Avoids Bailout

Freddie Mac reported a $354 million loss in the first quarter, but that amount was not enough to require a cash infusion from the government, MarketWatch reported May 3. Freddie said that reduced interest rates and widening spreads on mortgage loans and mortgage securities contributed to its loss.

 
May 04, 2016 12:30 PM

Mortgage Rates Inch Up

Higher treasury yields helped push up average fixed mortgage rates during the past week, but they still remain low as the spring homebuying season begins, Freddie Mac reported April 28 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

 
May 04, 2016 11:31 AM

Appraisal Institute Joins Groups Calling on Congress to Address Appraisal Regulation

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, on Monday joined the American Bankers Association, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Realtors and The Appraisal Foundation in calling on Congress to hold a hearing this year on the future of appraisal regulation.

 
May 03, 2016 08:00 AM

Landscaping a Major Contributor to Property Values, Appraisal Institute Says

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today reminded homeowners that attractive landscaping can make a major contribution to a home’s value and can influence an owner’s ability to sell the property.

 
Apr 27, 2016 12:30 PM

GE Capital Close To Exiting Banking System

GE Capital reportedly is days away from exiting the U.S. banking system now that it completed the sale of its online deposit platform to Goldman Sachs, HousingWire reported April 18. The sale allows GE Capital to ends its Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance and "extinguish" its final bank charter.

 
Apr 27, 2016 12:30 PM

Report: CFPB Ability-to-pay Rule Goes Unused

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Ability-to-Pay rule, which provides borrowers with increased protections against harmful lending practices, hasn't seen any borrower claims since its January 2014 launch, according to a report from ratings agency Fitch Ratings, MBA NewsLink reported April 20.​

 
Apr 27, 2016 12:30 PM

Treasury Allocates Additional $1B to Aid Struggling Homeowners

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced April 20 that it would allocate $1 billion to help struggling homeowners in 13 states, HousingWire reported. An initial $1 billion previously was allocated to 18 states as part of Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund, which was created in 2010 to help stabilize neighborhoods​

 
Apr 19, 2016 08:00 AM

Type of Home Renovation Key to Value: Appraisal Institute

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today encouraged homeowners to carefully choose renovation projects in order to maximize their return on investment.

 
Apr 13, 2016 12:30 PM

DOL Fiduciary Rule: Short-term Victory, Long-term Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Labor on April 6 released its final rule on "Conflicts of Interest" regarding advisors to retirement savings accounts. The Appraisal Institute views the rule as a victory for its professionals because all appraisal provisions were removed.

 
Apr 13, 2016 12:30 PM

Wells Fargo Reaches Largest Settlement in FHA History

Wells Fargo and the U.S. Department of Justice on April 8 reached a $1.2 billion settlement over claims the bank made about certain residential home mortgage loans being eligible for Federal Housing Administration insurance when they actually were ineligible, HousingWire reported.

 
Apr 06, 2016 12:30 PM

Lenders 'Pouring Money' into Affordable Housing

Banks are becoming "incredibly aggressive" when loaning money to affordable housing developers, and both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have greatly stepped up efforts in this sector, National Real Estate Investor reported March 30.

 
Apr 06, 2016 12:30 PM

Credit Suisse to Pay $29M over 'Toxic' MBS

Credit Suisse Group will pay more than $29 million to settle claims by U.S. regulators that it sold credit unions toxic mortgage-backed securities that eventually failed, Reuters reported March 24. The deal resolves one of several lawsuits against banks by the National Credit Union Administration over MBS sales.

 
Apr 06, 2016 12:30 PM

Court Rejects Banks' Efforts to Dismiss Rate-rigging Suit

A federal judge in Manhattan on March 28 squashed an attempt by 14 of the world's largest banks to dismiss a lawsuit that accused them of rigging an interest rate benchmark used in the $553 trillion derivatives market, Reuters reported.

 
Mar 30, 2016 12:30 PM

Idaho Enacts Comprehensive AMC Law

Idaho became the 39th state to enact a comprehensive appraisal management company registration and oversight law when Gov. Butch Otter signed SB 1318 on March 23. The law takes effect July 1, 2017.

 
Mar 30, 2016 12:30 PM

FHFA: Principal Reduction Is Most Challenging Issue

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt speaking March 21 in Washington said that principal reduction has been the most challenging issue he’s faced during his tenure and that the option could be “off the table entirely,” HousingWire reported.

 
Mar 30, 2016 12:30 PM

Indiana Governor Signs Evaluation Bill into Law

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed SB 300 into law March 21. The bill, which takes effect July 1, deals with who can perform evaluations for financial institutions. View a copy of SB 300.

 
Mar 29, 2016 08:00 AM

Solar Energy Systems Can Increase Home Values: The Appraisal Journal

Homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic systems are sold at a premium compared to homes without PV systems, according to a study reported in an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Mar 23, 2016 12:30 PM

CFPB: Complaints against Lenders Increase, Credit Unions Thrive

Appearing before the House Financial Services Committee March 16, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray stated that complaints against lenders and servicers are increasing and that credit unions are gaining market share, especially in mortgages, at the expense of the big banks - a statement that credit unions refute.

 
Mar 23, 2016 12:30 PM

Report: TRID Slashes Mortgage Profits

The net gain on mortgages originated by lenders dropped 60 percent during the fourth quarter due to implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Bankers Performance Report, HousingWire reported March 17.

 
Mar 23, 2016 12:30 PM

FHA Unveils Certification Revisions to Ease Bank Fears

The Federal Housing Administration on March 16 released final revisions to its certification requirements hoping to appease lenders that have stopped making FHA loans or have implemented harsher credit standards, Scotsman Guide reported. Lenders previously expressed concerns that FHA certifications exposed them to buyback demands when loans defaulted.

 
Mar 16, 2016 12:30 PM

CFPB: Mortgage Credit Remains Too Tight

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray stated in a March 9 speech in Washington that mortgage lending practices have noticeably improved in the years since the financial crisis, but that mortgage credit continues to be too tight, DS News reported.

 
Mar 16, 2016 12:30 PM

Gap Widens Between Appraiser, Homeowner Value Opinions

The difference between appraiser and homeowner opinions of home value increased during the past month - just as the two sides appeared to be closing the gap, Quicken Loans reported March 8 in its Home Price Perception Index. Appraised values were almost 2 percent lower than homeowner expectations.

 
Mar 16, 2016 12:30 PM

Mortgage Rates Look Favorable for Spring Home Buying

Average fixed mortgage rates moved higher last week for the second consecutive week, as a solid February employment report boosted Treasury yields, making mortgage rates attractive for the upcoming spring home-buying season, Freddie Mac reported March 10 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

 
Mar 16, 2016 08:00 AM

Experts Divided on Commercial Real Estate Market: Valuation Magazine

Valuation professionals and other experts disagree as to whether 2016 will be another banner year for commercial real estate, or if the market bubble is about to burst, according to an article published this week in Valuation magazine.

 
Mar 09, 2016 11:30 PM

FDIC to Banks: Use Valuations to Assess Foreclosures

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on March 2 issued a letter on foreclosure policies and procedures to financial institutions reminding them to obtain the best practicable information on the market value of real estate subject to foreclosure and to use current valuation information to assess the viability of foreclosure proceedings.

 
Mar 09, 2016 12:30 PM

Kansas Supreme Court Rejects Law on Tax Valuation Increases

The Kansas Supreme Court on Feb. 25 struck down a state law that imposed a two-year moratorium on increases in tax valuation for citizens who requested and won a valuation appeal, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. The court ruled that the law violated the guarantee of "uniform and equal" property valuation and taxation.

 
Mar 08, 2016 08:00 AM

Updated Appraisal Institute Book Addresses Evolving Scope of Work Concept

“Scope of Work,” second edition, published this week by the Appraisal Institute, assists appraisers in objectively and impartially performing an evolving variety of services.

 
Mar 02, 2016 12:30 PM

FHFA: Lack of Capital Biggest Risk to Fannie, Freddie

Lack of capital is the biggest risk facing government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the one with the potential to further escalate, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt stated in a Feb. 18 speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, HousingWire reported.

 
Mar 02, 2016 12:30 PM

4 Legislative Issues Making CRE Market Vulnerable

Commercial real estate broker Sperry Van Ness noted in its report on pending federal, state and municipal legislation, that four specific legislative items have the potential to adversely affect commercial real estate, Bisnow reported Feb. 22.

 
Mar 02, 2016 12:30 PM

Green Construction Continues to Grow

Builders are going even greener, with more than one third of them saying that green buildings will account for more than 60 percent of their projects by 2018, according to the World Green Building Trends report from the U.S. Green Building Council and Dodge Data and Analytics, Eco Building Pulse reported Feb. 22.

 
Feb 24, 2016 12:30 PM

Fed Regulator: Break up Big Banks

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari, who formerly managed Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, said in a Feb. 16 speech in Washington that the biggest banks are still too big to fail and pose a significant risk to the economy, Bloomberg reported. Kashkari said he is researching ways to strengthen banking laws.

 
Feb 24, 2016 12:30 PM

Report: TILA-RESPA Slows Down Mortgage Process

The average closing time for a residential mortgage increased to 50 days, a 10-day increase from one year ago, and the change is attributed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's TILA-RESPA disclosure rules, according to a report from Ellie Mae, HousingWire reported Feb. 17.

 
Feb 24, 2016 12:30 PM

CFPB Seeks Comments on Rural Designation Proposal

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Feb. 18 opened for comment procedures that would allow businesses to appeal the agency's designation of a rural or underserved area. The Dodd-Frank Act gave the CFPB discretionary authority to exempt certain loans from the qualified mortgage rule for banks serving rural or underserved areas.

 
Feb 23, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Heads to Charlotte for 2016 Annual Conference

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, announced today that its 2016 Annual Conference will take place July 25-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Registration opens March 2.

 
Feb 17, 2016 12:30 PM

Morgan Stanley Settles 'Deceptive' Mortgage Practices for $3.2B

Morgan Stanley settled for $3.2 billion lawsuits filed by multiple states over allegedly deceptive mortgage practices leading up to the financial crisis, HousingWire reported Feb. 11. The settlement will be dispersed as both consumer relief and as payments to state governments.

 
Feb 17, 2016 12:30 PM

Homeowner, Appraiser Value Opinions Nearing Common Ground

The gap between homeowner and appraiser opinions of real estate value continues to narrow, with appraised values in January only 1.75 percent lower than homeowner expectations, Quicken Loans reported Feb. 9 in its Home Price Perception Index.

 
Feb 17, 2016 12:30 PM

Yellen: Fed not on 'Pre-set' Path to 'Normal' Policy

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress Feb. 11 that the central bank was not on a "pre-set" path to "normal" policy due to worsening global stock market conditions, Reuters reported. Yellen said that she anticipates a gradual rise in rates this year.

 
Feb 10, 2016 12:30 PM

House Committee Passes Bill on Controversial Fiduciary Rule

The House Education and the Workforce Committee approved on Feb. 2 HR 4293, legislation that provides an alternative to the U.S. Department of Labor's controversial proposed rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

 
Feb 10, 2016 12:30 PM

Flint Water Crisis Impacting Mortgage Lending

The contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan, could prevent buyers from securing home loans in the area due to minimum lender requirements of livability, HousingWire reported Feb. 4.

 
Feb 10, 2016 12:30 PM

Fed Testing Banks on Negative Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve's 2016 stress tests will examine how well big banks handle extended periods of time with negative interest rates on the three-month Treasury bill, Bloomberg reported Feb. 2. The Fed's action is a response to below-zero rates already in place in other countries.

 
Feb 04, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute, RESNET Agree to Coordinate Energy Efficiency Efforts

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers and a U.S. standards-setting body for energy efficiency rating and certification systems have agreed to work together to promote education, research and data standards.

 
Feb 03, 2016 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie Finalize Rep and Warranty Policies

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Feb. 2 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are implementing an independent dispute resolution process for loans that trigger a repurchase request due to perceived violations of their representation and warranty framework, HousingWire reported.

 
Feb 03, 2016 12:30 PM

Report: Real Estate Accounts for More than Half of World's Assets

The value of all developed real estate in the world reached $217 trillion last year, accounting for 60 percent of all mainstream assets around the world and amounting to 2.7 times the world's GDP, according to a report from real estate adviser Savills, MarketWatch reported Jan. 25.

 
Feb 03, 2016 12:30 PM

Mortgage Rates Drop Yet Again

Average fixed mortgage rates fell for the fourth consecutive week as the Fed held interest rates steady, Freddie Mac reported Jan. 28 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

 
Jan 29, 2016 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute 2015 Media Coverage Seen Nearly 2 Billion Times

Media stories including the Appraisal Institute and its professionals in 2015 were potentially read, seen or heard nearly 2 billion times, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers announced today.

 
Jan 27, 2016 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae: Housing Affordability to Decrease this Year

Housing affordability is expected to decrease this year, especially on the low-end of the market where price gains are expected to outpace household income growth, which negatively affects affordability, Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group reported Jan. 14.

 
Jan 27, 2016 12:30 PM

Virginia Settles $63 Million Suit with 11 Banks for RMBS Fraud

The Commonwealth of Virginia announced Jan. 22 that it reached a $63 million settlement with 11 banks over allegations that they defrauded the state's retirement system by allegedly misrepresenting the quality of residential mortgage-backed securities, HousingWire reported.

 
Jan 27, 2016 12:30 PM

FDIC: Closely held Community Banks Outperform Peers

Closely held community banks have significantly outperformed widely held banks relative to financial performance and operational efficiency, according to research from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, ABA Banking Journal reported Jan. 19. The survey further showed that closely held institutions were likely to be older and more rural.

 
Jan 20, 2016 12:30 PM

Global Urbanization among Top 6 CRE Trends

The increased growth of urban centers is cited as this year's top commercial real estate trend as people seek enhanced access to jobs, services and amenities, National Real Estate Investor reported Jan. 14. Other CRE trends: higher interest rates, continued stress on the retail sector and lower energy prices.

 
Jan 20, 2016 12:30 PM

Beige Book: Residential, Commercial Activity Improving

Activity has improved in both the residential and commercial real estate sectors, including increased housing and commercial rental rates in most Fed districts, the Federal Reserve reported Jan. 13 in its latest Beige Book. Residential and commercial construction was described as modest to moderate in most Fed districts.

 
Jan 20, 2016 12:30 PM

Report: Gap Shrinks Between Appraiser, Homeowner Value Opinions

The difference between appraiser and homeowner opinions of real estate value is declining, but December marked the 11th consecutive month in which homeowner estimates were higher than those of appraisers, Quicken Loans reported Jan. 13 in its Home Price Perception Index.

 
Jan 13, 2016 12:30 PM

Report: Sell Non-performing Loans to Private Investors

Selling non-performing loans to private investors is a good thing because investors can do more to help borrowers than can the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - although such sales are facing increased criticism, according to a report released Jan. 6 by the Urban Institute.

 
Jan 13, 2016 12:30 PM

Manhattan Land worth More than $1 Trillion

The value of all the land in Manhattan is about $1.4 trillion, according to data released by economists Jason Barr, Fred Smith and Sayali Kulkarni and reported by Vox Media Jan. 6. Land prices in Manhattan have increased 15.8 percent annually since 1993.

 
Jan 13, 2016 12:30 PM

Phoenix is Top City for 'Smart' Homes

Builders in Phoenix lead the smart-home charge, making it the top market for wired houses, Realtor.com reported Jan. 4. Other top markets for tech-heavy homes include Dallas, New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Noticeably absent: cities in and around the tech hub of Silicon Valley.

 
Jan 07, 2016 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Says Architectural Elements Can Impact Home Values

Construction elements give residential architectural styles their unique quality, but also may affect a home’s value according to a new book from the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Jan 06, 2016 12:30 PM

GAO: Dodd-Frank Costing Community Banks, Credit Unions

The Government Accountability Office on Dec. 30 released its annual report in which it said that the Dodd-Frank Act has been a burden on community banks and credit unions but noted that regulators are struggling to quantify exact costs.

 
Jan 06, 2016 12:30 PM

Initial TRID Enforcement Actions Corrective, Not Punitive

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it viewed the first months of implementation of its RESPA/TILA Integrated Disclosure rule as "corrective and diagnostic, rather than punitive," noting concern that investors may be rejecting TRID loans for minor errors, MBA NewsLink reported Jan. 4.

 
Jan 06, 2016 12:30 PM

Court Dismisses Quicken Loans Lawsuit against DOJ

A federal judge on Dec. 31 dismissed a lawsuit that Quicken Loans filed against the U.S. Department of Justice that alleged the company was being forced to make false admissions about and pay a big settlement over its mortgage lending and underwriting practices, Reuters reported.

 
Dec 31, 2015 11:55 AM

Raising Appraisal Limits Could Hurt Consumers, Bank Appraisers Say

More than 80 percent of bank appraisers think reducing the number of loans requiring an appraisal could increase risk to borrowers, according to a survey of its professionals released today by the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Dec 30, 2015 08:00 AM

Scott Robinson to Become President of Appraisal Institute on Jan. 1

Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Salisbury, North Carolina, will begin his one-year term as president of the Appraisal Institute on Jan. 1. The Appraisal Institute is the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers with nearly 20,000 professionals in almost 60 countries. ​

 
Dec 16, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Gap between Appraiser, Homeowner Opinions Continues to Decline

The difference between appraiser and homeowner opinions of home value shrank for the third consecutive month, but the November Home Price Perception Index released Dec. 8 by Quicken Loans is the 10th consecutive index in which homeowners' expectations of value exceeded appraisers' opinions of value.​

 
Dec 16, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Most New Mortgage Loans Have TRID Violations

A review of new mortgage loans revealed that more than 90 percent showed compliance violations with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, according to a Dec. 10 report from Moody's Investors Service, HousingWire reported.

 
Dec 16, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA to Increase Some Loan Limits in 2016

The Federal Housing Administration announced Dec. 9 that it will raise loan limits in 188 counties in 2016, HousingWire reported. However, loan limits in "high-cost" areas will remain at the national ceiling of $625,500 and limits for "low-cost" areas will stay at $271,050.

 
Dec 16, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisers Should Be Cautious of MLS Price Discrepancies: The Appraisal Journal

Prices reported in multiple listing services may differ significantly from prices reported on HUD-1 settlement statements and these discrepancies are likely to be larger during a market bust, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Dec 09, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed Restricts 'Too Big To Fail' Bailouts

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors on Nov. 30 approved a final rule restricting its emergency lending program from bailing out troubled financial institutions, HousingWire reported. The Fed will cease financial support to specific companies, and will only consider emergency lending for "broad-based" issues impacting larger market concerns.

 
Dec 09, 2015 12:30 PM

Quicken Loans May Ditch FHA Loan Program

Quicken Loans is considering leaving the Federal Housing Administration's first-time homebuyer program after voicing concerns about the FHA's methods for resolving unpaid loan obligations, Reuters reported Dec. 2. Quicken joins JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo in voicing frustration with the program.

 
Nov 24, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute, Building Codes Assistance Project Offer ‘Green’ Appraisal Guidance

The Appraisal Institute and the Building Codes Assistance Project today released guidance for homebuilders, buyers and lenders related to valuation of green and energy-efficient homes.

 
Nov 18, 2015 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Seminar Offers FHA Guidance

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today launched a seminar to help appraisers develop a better understanding of the Federal Housing Administration’s new “FHA Handbook 4000.1.”

 
Nov 12, 2015 11:33 AM

Solar Energy Systems Boost Home Values, Says Appraisal Institute Member-Led Study

An Appraisal Institute member specializing in valuation of green homes has produced a study released today by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that found homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic energy systems are sold at a premium compared to homes without PV systems.​

 
Nov 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Living Area is Most Common Appraisal Report Adjustment

The living area is the most frequently adjusted home feature in appraisal reports, with 96.4 percent of appraisal reports warranting an adjustment, analytics firm CoreLogic reported Oct. 28. The report noted that adjustments to quality rating and overall condition of a home have the largest financial impact.

 
Nov 03, 2015 08:00 AM

Time to Winterize is Now, Appraisal Institute Tells Homeowners

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today encouraged consumers to winterize their homes now for cold weather ahead to increase comfort, save money and possibly increase value.

 
Oct 29, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Dictionary Updated to Enhance Appraisers’ Knowledge

“The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal,” sixth edition, published this week by the Appraisal Institute, includes more than 5,000 entries, 1,250 revised definitions and 450 new terms and has been updated for consistency with current professional standards documents and with Appraisal Institute materials.​

 
Oct 27, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Bestows First Review Designation to Non-Designated Member

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced it has, for the first time, bestowed a review designation to a previously non-Designated member.

 
Oct 20, 2015 11:30 AM

Appraisal Institute Joins in Producing ‘Green’ Valuation Guide for Lenders

The Appraisal Institute, the Institute for Market Transformation and the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment today released a guide intended to help lenders understand the valuation of high-performance buildings.

 
Oct 14, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute, Land Trust Alliance Agree to Promote Appraisals for Conservation Easements

The Appraisal Institute and the Land Trust Alliance today announced they will enhance cooperative efforts to promote the quality of appraisals prepared for conservation easements.

 
Sep 22, 2015 08:00 AM

Valuing Automobile Dealerships Brings Challenges: The Appraisal Journal

Appraisers tasked with valuing automobile dealerships are met with unique challenges for generating an opinion of value on this specialized property type, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Aug 26, 2015 12:30 PM

AMCs, Lenders, Real Estate Firms among Fastest-growing Companies

The 2015 Inc. 5000 list released Aug. 12 ranked America's fastest growing private companies in America, and several appraisal management companies, mortgage lenders and real estate businesses made the cut, including Coester VMS (ranked 1,868) and Accurate Group (ranked 2,513).

 
Jul 31, 2015 08:00 AM

Jim Murrett Elected 2016 Appraisal Institute Vice President

James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA, of Hamburg, New York, was elected 2016 vice president of the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers Thursday by its Board of Directors in Dallas. Murrett’s one-year term at the Appraisal Institute will begin Jan. 1, followed by one year each as president-elect, president and immediate past president.

 
Jul 30, 2015 10:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Honors 8 National Award Winners

John P. Fredrickson, MAI, SRA, of Walla Walla, Washington; Jerome Haims, MAI, SRA, of New York; and Richard A. Stephens, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Little Rock, Arkansas, were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Michael V. Tankersley, MAI, SRA, AI-RRS, of Lewisburg, Tennessee, was named the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award during the Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting Wednesday in Dallas.

 
Jun 30, 2015 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Cites Unique Demands for Valuing Auto Dealerships

Auto dealerships are unique property types whose characteristics can make valuation fun but challenging, according to a new book from the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers. ​

 
Jun 24, 2015 12:30 PM

OCC Penalizes 6 Banks for Mortgage Servicing Failures

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said six big banks failed to comply with Independent Foreclosure Review requirements, and as a result, the OCC severely restricted their mortgage servicing operations, HousingWire reported June 17.

 
Jun 23, 2015 08:00 AM

Valuing Excess Land Creates Challenges for Appraisers: The Appraisal Journal

Appraisers tasked with valuing excess land are often met with unique challenges for developing opinions of the value for the unneeded tract, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Jun 17, 2015 12:30 PM

Survey: Most Americans Believe Housing Crisis Not Over

Many Americans believe the nation's housing crisis continues, according to a housing attitudes survey released June 8 by the nonprofit MacArthur Foundation. Forty-one percent of respondents said they think the U.S. is in the middle of the crisis while 20 percent said they felt the worst has yet to come.

 
Jun 17, 2015 12:30 PM

Survey: Dodd-Frank, CFPB Hurt Housing Market

Nearly 80 percent of lenders responding to an American Bankers Association survey released June 9 said they think Dodd-Frank has significantly damaged the mortgage banking industry and felt that new lending rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will hurt the housing market.

 
Jun 02, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Aids U.S. Department of Energy on Home Energy Efficiency

The Appraisal Institute today announced it has joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s new Better Buildings Accelerator, which will convene leaders to focus on key solutions to expanding energy efficiency in the residential sector.

 
May 19, 2015 08:00 AM

Landscaping Can Drive Property Values, Appraisal Institute Says

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today encouraged homeowners to maintain their landscaping in order to potentially enhance their property’s value.

 
May 05, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Shares Property Tax Appeal Tips

Homeowners who are considering property tax appeals should be prepared with all the relevant information and be mindful of local rules, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers said today.

 
Apr 23, 2015 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Addresses Evolving Role of Appraisal Review

Reviewing appraisals has become increasingly important in recent years with many appraisal reports being more closely scrutinized, according to a new book from the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Apr 14, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Expands ‘Green’ Education Offerings

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced it has extended its partnership with Build It Green, a California-based “green” building organization, enabling more valuation professionals to take relevant education courses.

 
Mar 31, 2015 08:00 AM

Lack of Data Complicates Valuation of Green Homes: The Appraisal Journal

Valuation professionals, real estate agents and homebuyers face challenges in the process of valuing, selling and purchasing green and energy-efficient homes due to a lack of comparable properties and a lack of data, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Mar 24, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Heads to Dallas for 2015 Annual Meeting

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, announced today that its 2015 Annual Meeting will take place July 27-29 in Dallas. Registration is now open.

 
Mar 10, 2015 08:00 AM

Minor Home Improvements Offer Best Return, Appraisal Institute Says

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today advised homeowners to choose upgrades instead of major remodeling projects to see the greatest potential return on investment.

 
Feb 11, 2015 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Form Helps Analyze ‘Green’ Commercial Real Estate Features

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today released a form intended to help analyze values of commercial buildings’ energy-efficient features. It is the first of its kind intended for appraisers’ use.

 
Jan 26, 2015 08:00 AM

New Fannie Mae Program Shows Importance of Hiring Qualified Real Estate Appraisers

A new Fannie Mae program available to mortgage lenders today shows the importance of hiring qualified appraisers, according to the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Jan 14, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Members Contribute to Landmark Solar Valuation Study

Two members of the Appraisal Institute contributed to a landmark study released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that found that home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic energy systems.

 
 
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