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Fannie Mae will need $3.7 billion from the U.S. Treasury to prevent its net worth from becoming negative in March, Bloomberg reported Feb. 14. The government-sponsored enterprise hasn’t required taxpayer funding since 2012, but newly passed cuts to corporate taxes led to a $6.5 billion fourth-quarter loss.
Office vacancies in major U.S. metro areas reached a 10-year low in December, according to commercial real estate firm Transwestern, GlobeSt.com reported Feb. 12. The nationwide vacancy rate was 11.5 percent. The Dallas/Fort Worth area had the highest quarterly and annual net absorption rates.
Commercial and multifamily originations this year are expected to total around $549 billion, a 3 percent drop from last year, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Feb. 15. Factors contributing to the decline include rising interest rates and pressure on capitalization rates.
Mortgage rates during the past week reached their highest point since April 2014, Freddie Mac reported Fed. 15 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Treasury yields also rose to their highest level since January 2014.
Defects, fraud and misrepresentation jumped 20.3 percent between 2016 and 2017, and could rise even higher this year, according to the Loan Application Defect Index released Feb. 7 by lender First American Financial Corp. MBA NewsLink reported. The defect index rose for both purchase and refinance loans.
Hospitality marketplace Airbnb partnered with Fannie Mae, Quicken Loans and Citizens Bank on a program to allow rental income to be used on mortgage refinance applications, HousingWire reported Feb. 8. The initiative is part of Fannie Mae’s effort to expand its mortgage credit availability.
Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate reached a record $7.48 billion last year, according to the U.S. Ultra Prime Real Estate report released Feb. 15 by real estate firms Beauchamp Associates and Leslie J. Garfield & Company, MBA NewsLink reported. Miami saw the most foreign investment during the past year.
Investors who snapped up single-family homes in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis and turned them into rental properties are now scooping up cheaper houses they previously overlooked because such properties can bring much higher yields — although with much higher risk, according to multiple investor reports, Bloomberg reported Feb. 16.
Mortgage applications for newly constructed homes jumped 34 percent between December and January, and were up 18.4 percent from the same point a year ago, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Feb. 13. The surge is attributed to job growth and strong economic fundamentals.
Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California are among states still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, as evidenced by mortgage balances more than 10 percent lower than their previous peak, according to a report from the New York Fed, MarketWatch reported Feb. 14.
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