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Results: 786 Articles found.
Sep 26, 2018 12:30 PM

Investors Expect Senior Housing Market to Remain Strong, CBRE Reports

Nearly two-thirds of real estate investors said they are planning to add more senior housing to their portfolios, and interest in independent living properties is especially high, according to commercial real estate company CBRE, MBA NewsLink reported Sept. 17. The senior housing vacancy rate is hovering around 9 percent.

 
Sep 26, 2018 12:30 PM

US Economic Growth to Halt in 2020, Wall Street Journal Survey Shows

Fifty-nine percent of economists responding to a Wall Street Journal survey said they believe the U.S. economy will stop expanding in 2020, HousingWire reported Sept. 18. Sixty-two percent of respondents said the most likely cause of the next downturn would be an overheated economy that leads to increased Fed tightening.

 
Sep 26, 2018 12:30 PM

House Passes Legislation Raising Threshold Levels for SBA Loan Programs

The U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 25 approved HR 6347 and HR 6348, legislation the Appraisal Institute says will put taxpayers at significant risk by virtually eliminating appraisal requirements for the Small Business Administration’s two largest loan programs. AI had submitted a letter urging the House to vote against the legislation.

 
May 09, 2018 12:30 PM

FAA Legislation May Impact Property Values, Development Near Airports

Property values and development near airports could be affected by language in legislation that extends authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, The Real Estate Roundtable reported April 27. The language, known as One Engine Inoperative, modifies take-off and landing paths in a way that restricts building heights and development around airports.

 
May 02, 2018 12:30 PM

Senators Skeptical About Housing Reform this Year

Legislation for comprehensive housing reform is unlikely to pass this year, senators from both parties told attendees at the Mortgage Bankers Association National Advocacy Conference April 24 in Washington. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said there is bi-partisan cooperation and legislators are working on a solution.

 
Apr 11, 2018 12:30 PM

Data Shows No Shortage of Investor Interest in the Self Storage Sector

Investor interest in self-storage properties is high, with sale prices rising and cap rates averaging 6.3 percent during the fourth quarter, down from 6.5 percent the previous year, according to analytics firm RCA, National Real Estate Investor reported April 3.

 

CFPB Asks Congress for Major Reforms that Reduce Agency's Independence

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, asked Congress to enact major reforms to reduce the agency's independence, HousingWire reported April 2. Mulvaney specifically targeted bureau funding, which he wants to fold into the congressional appropriations process; funding currently comes from the Federal Reserve.

 
Apr 04, 2018 12:30 PM

Investors Favor Suburban Offices

Investors want suburban office properties, spending $83.1 billion on acquisitions last year, a 2 percent increase from the year before, according to real estate services firm Colliers International, GlobeSt.com reported March 26. Conversely, investment in office properties in central business districts fell 21 percent last year to $48.8 billion.

 
Apr 04, 2018 12:30 PM

Barclays to Pay $2 Billion to Settle RMBS Fraud Charges

Barclays will pay the U.S. government $2 billion to settle charges it misled investors about the quality of mortgages in $31 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities that it sold in the lead up to the housing crisis, HousingWire reported March 29.

 
Apr 04, 2018 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie Single Mortgage-backed Security Arrives in June

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced March 28 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on June 3 will start issuing the long-awaited single mortgage-back security, called the uniform mortgage-backed security. The UMBS replaces TBA-eligible mortgage-backed securities; more than 90 percent of agency MBS trading occurs in the TBA market.

 
Jan 17, 2018 12:30 PM

Fed Mulls Significant Policy Changes

Markets are performing well, but Fed officials reportedly are concerned about another recession and are contemplating significant policy changes, including eliminating the 2 percent inflation target, CNBC reported Jan. 10. Another option under consideration: price-level targeting, where interest rates would remain lower for longer periods and avoid zero altogether.

 
Jan 17, 2018 12:30 PM

FDIC Survey Finds Fewer High-risk Banks, Newer Credit Risks

About one in 10 banks are considered high credit risk, a significant drop from 2010 when 42 percent of banks were high-risk, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported Jan. 10 in its credit survey, according to ABA Banking Journal. However, the survey identified new credit risks, including some affecting commercial real estate.

 
Jan 17, 2018 12:30 PM

Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Seeks Dismissal of FTC Complaint

The Federal Trade Commission announced Jan. 10 that it will hear oral arguments next month on motions filed by the FTC and the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board. The LREAB in November filed a motion to dismiss the complaint filed against it by the FTC, while the FTC filed motions for partial summary judgment and for opposition to the LREAB's motion to dismiss.

 
Dec 06, 2017 12:30 PM

Bank Request for Appraisal Waiver has Huge Implications

A community bank in Tennessee has submitted a request to the Appraisal Subcommittee seeking a one-year waiver from appraisal regulation requirements to use a certified appraiser, the Appraisal Institute learned Nov. 29. If the waiver is approved, it would apply to all institutions, not just the requesting organization.

 
Nov 08, 2017 12:30 PM

Lenders Optimistic About Agriculture Despite Lower Profits: Survey

Eighty-two percent of agriculture lenders reported a decline in farm profitability during the past year, but a reported 84 percent loan-approval rate indicates optimism about the agriculture sector, according to the Summer 2017 Agricultural Lender Survey released Oct. 31 by the American Bankers Association and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp.

 
Nov 08, 2017 12:30 PM

Trump Committed to Ending GSE Conservatorship: VP's Economist

The Trump administration is committed to ending conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to Mark Calabria, the vice president's chief economist, HousingWire reported. Speaking at a housing conference Nov. 1, Calabria said the current conservatorship agreement for the government-sponsored enterprises leaves taxpayers too exposed to the mortgage market.

 
Nov 08, 2017 12:30 PM

Airbnb Drives Up Rents, Home Prices, Research Shows

Home-sharing service Airbnb contributes to an increase in both rents and home prices by making it financially viable for homeowners to refrain from selling their house or finding a long-term renter, further reducing the already limited supply of available properties, according to researchers at UCLA, MarketWatch reported Oct. 31.

 
Nov 02, 2017 11:30 PM

Stop Penalizing Banks for Innocent Mortgage Mistakes: HUD

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said he wants to stop penalizing big banks for “innocent” mortgage lending mistakes, Bloomberg reported. Speaking Oct. 23 at a Mortgage Bankers Association conference, Carson said he wants lenders to help lower-income borrowers without fear of being sued by the federal government.

 
Nov 01, 2017 11:30 PM

Older Americans Disrupting Rental Markets, Census Data Shows

The rate at which Americans aged 55 and older entered the rental market increased 28 percent between 2009 and 2015, while the rate for those aged 34 and younger rose only 3 percent during the same six-year period, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Oct. 17, RENTCafe reported.

 
Nov 01, 2017 12:30 PM

Court Finds Subcontractor Guilty of CoStar Data Theft

A Pennsylvania court on Oct. 23 ruled in favor of analytics firm CoStar, which alleged that its competitor Xceligent stole propriety data by hiring subcontractor RE BackOffice to hack CoStar’s websites and copy its contents, Bisnow reported. The court ordered RE BackOffice to pay CoStar all profits it received from Xceligent.

 
Nov 01, 2017 12:30 PM

Federal Agencies Release Final Rule on Regulatory Capital Treatment

The U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on Nov. 21 adopted a final rule to extend regulatory treatment applicable under the regulatory capital rules for certain items, including treatment of mortgage servicing assets.

 
Oct 25, 2017 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Updates Appraisal Requirements for Settlement Dates

Freddie Mac announced Oct. 18 that it updated the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp's appraisal policies, eliminating the requirement that a new appraisal be obtained when the settlement date is 120 days following the note date. Sellers will now have to certify that the property value is not less than the appraised value as of the appraisal's effective date.

 
Oct 25, 2017 12:30 PM

AI Advises on Disaster Appraisal Exemptions, Collateral Risks

The Appraisal Institute on Oct. 25 advised real estate appraisers servicing areas affected by recent disasters that the exemption from appraisal requirements issued by federal bank regulatory agencies does not itself reduce collateral risks. Rather, regulated financial institutions are seeking greater flexibility in reviewing loan applications and loans held in portfolios.

 
Oct 25, 2017 12:30 PM

Agencies Ease Appraisal Requirements in Hurricane Disaster Areas

Acting in response to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Oct. 17 that they would temporarily ease appraisal requirements in major disaster areas.

 
Oct 18, 2017 12:30 PM

Fed Minutes Reveal Anticipated Rate Hike Despite Low Inflation

Federal Reserve meeting minutes released Oct. 11 revealed that some Fed officials expressed concern about low inflation rates but that a December rate hike is still anticipated, HousingWire reported. The minutes also noted that the Fed has started selling the mortgage-backed securities it acquired as part of its quantitative easing program.

 
Oct 18, 2017 12:30 PM

FEMA Slow to Map Flood Risks, Cabinet Agency Reports

The Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to map flood risks in a timely manner, giving homeowners the false impression that they don't need flood insurance, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog, The Hill reported Oct. 9. FEMA currently has more than 240 mapping projects on hold.

 
Oct 18, 2017 12:30 PM

House Committee Considers Only Minor Changes to Dodd-Frank

When the House Financial Services Committee met Oct. 11, members discussed minor tweaks to the Dodd-Frank Act rather than the major changes suggested by President Trump, Bloomberg reported. The committee was slated to address about two dozen legislative proposals pertaining to financial regulations.

 
Oct 11, 2017 12:30 PM

FHFA Implores Congress to Act on GSE Reform

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt on Oct. 3 told the House Financial Services Committee that the capital buffer for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will reach zero in less than three months without congressional action on housing finance reform, HousingWire reported. Future losses could require a taxpayer bailout.

 
Oct 11, 2017 12:29 PM

Net Lease Cap Rates Decline during Third Quarter

Retail, office and industrial net lease cap rates declined during the third quarter, marking a change from the two previous quarters during which they recorded increases, according to commercial real estate firm The Boulder Group, Commercial Property Executive reported Oct. 4.

 
Oct 11, 2017 12:29 PM

Wells Fargo Refunding Improper Mortgage Fees

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan on Oct. 3 told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that the bank would refund borrowers who were improperly charged fees for mortgage rate lock extensions, HousingWire reported. Approximately 110,000 borrowers were charged nearly $98 million in fees between September 2013 and this past February.

 
Oct 04, 2017 12:30 PM

FHFA Seeks Input on 2018-22 Strategic Plan

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Sept. 27 that it is seeking feedback on its strategic plan for the fiscal years 2018-22. The plan addresses the FHFA's priorities as regulator of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Input is due by Oct. 27.

 
Oct 04, 2017 12:30 PM

Fed Wants Rate Hikes Despite Weak Inflation

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Sept. 26 said that the Fed should continue gradual rate increases even though the path of inflation remains in limbo, Reuters reported. Yellen said that the Fed may have been wrong about its inflation models and the strength of the labor market.

 
Oct 04, 2017 12:30 PM

Appraisal Threshold Comments Reveal Divide

The comment period on the proposed rule to increase the commercial real estate appraisal threshold level closed Sept. 28, and the federal bank regulatory agencies received 70 comments. The Appraisal Institute and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers jointly submitted their opposition to the proposed increase.

 
Sep 27, 2017 12:30 PM

Quantitative Easing Over, MBS Sales Begin, Fed Announces

The Federal Reserve announced Sept. 20 that it will begin monthly sales of the mortgage-backed securities it acquired as part of a policy known as quantitative easing, HousingWire reported. The Fed will start selling $4 billion in MBS per month, eventually reaching $20 billion per month.

 
Sep 27, 2017 12:30 PM

GSE Reform Coming Next Year, Treasury Says

The process of taking the government-sponsored enterprises out of conservatorship likely will begin next year — once the U.S. Department of the Treasury handles tax reform, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a Sept. 15 policy summit, HousingWire reported.

 
Sep 27, 2017 12:30 PM

ASC Releases Final Rule for AMC Fees; AI Reiterates Concerns

The Appraisal Subcommittee on Sept. 25 published the final rule on the Collection and Transmission of Annual Appraisal Management Company Registry Fees, which establishes the formula for transmitting registry fees to the ASC by states that elect to register and supervise AMCs. The Appraisal Institute reiterated its concern about the final rule.

 
Sep 20, 2017 12:30 PM

Brian Montgomery Nominated to Head FHA

President Trump on Sept. 13 nominated Brian Montgomery to serve as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, HousingWire reported. He awaits Senate confirmation. Montgomery previously served in this capacity under President George W. Bush, and the White House cited his prior success as a reason for the current nomination.

 
Sep 20, 2017 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Reveals HARP Replacement

Freddie Mac on Sept. 9 unveiled its Enhanced Relief Refinance Mortgage, which will replace the Home Affordable Refinance Program for mortgage applications received on or after Nov. 1, 2018, Mortgage News Daily reported. The program will have no loan-to-value limit for fixed-rate loans, and a maximum 105 LTV for adjustable-rate mortgages.

 
Sep 20, 2017 12:30 PM

Ginnie Mae Investigates Lenders for Targeting Military Members

Ginnie Mae is investigating allegations that lenders pressured current military members and veterans into unnecessary mortgage refinancing in order to reap high fees from the process, Bloomberg reported Sept. 14. The loans in question are tied to Ginnie securities, which support loans made through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

 
Sep 13, 2017 12:30 PM

Fed Beige Book Shows Mixed Activity Across Districts

Residential construction increased in many Fed districts in July and August while sales activity decreased during those months, the Federal Reserve reported Sept. 6 in its latest Beige Book. Commercial construction also grew, and sales activity showed a slight increase.

 
Sep 13, 2017 12:30 PM

Hurricane Harvey, Irma Damage Could Reach $290 Billion: Report

Hurricane Harvey is on track to be the nation’s costliest weather disaster, causing $190 billion in damage, according to a Sept. 11 report from AccuWeather. Hurricane Irma is not far behind, causing an estimated $100 billion in damage.

 
Sep 13, 2017 12:30 PM

National Flood Insurance Program Gets 3-month Extension

President Trump on Sept. 8 signed a three-month extension to the National Flood Insurance Program, extending it through Dec. 8, HousingWire reported. The extension gives Congress more time to come up with a long-term financial solution to the program, which the Congressional Budget Office said is short $1.4 billion.

 
Sep 06, 2017 12:30 PM

Most Hurricane Victims Lack Flood Insurance: Consumer Group

About 80 percent of property owners impacted by Hurricane Harvey don't have flood insurance, according to the Consumer Federation of America, USA Today reported Aug. 29. And research firm CoreLogic estimated that nearly 1.2 million homes were built in areas with high/moderate flood risk but outside zones where flood insurance is required.

 
Sep 06, 2017 12:30 PM

AI Guide Note Can Help Appraisers in Disaster Areas

As post-hurricane recovery efforts continue in Texas and Louisiana, the Appraisal Institute on Sept. 6 reminded appraisers assisting property owners and lenders in communities affected by Hurricane Harvey that they can find guidance in AI Guide Note 10: Development of an Opinion of Market Value in the Aftermath of a Disaster.

 
Sep 06, 2017 12:30 PM

SBA Seeks Appraisers to Aid Harvey Recovery Efforts

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Sept. 5 that it is seeking appraisers and other professionals to help process an extraordinary number of disaster loan applications resulting from Hurricane Harvey. SBA is the federal government's primary source of lending to help homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations recover from disasters.

 
Aug 30, 2017 12:30 PM

Cap Rates Steady in Most Sectors: CBRE

Cap rates and returns were steady during the first half of the year and are expected to remain that way during the second half, according to the North America Cap Rate Survey from commercial real estate firm CBRE, GlobeSt.com reported Aug. 24.

 
Aug 30, 2017 12:30 PM

Regulators Propose Basel III Delay

The Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Aug. 23 issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to delay Basel III implementation for mortgage servicing assets for institutions with less than $250 billion in total consolidated assets, MBA NewsLink reported.

 
Aug 30, 2017 12:29 PM

Zillow 'Zestimate' Lawsuit Dismissed

Zillow on Aug. 23 won dismissal of a federal lawsuit that challenged the accuracy of its "Zestimate" home valuation tool, Reuters reported. The lawsuit alleged that Zestimates constituted illegal appraisals and undervalued properties making them harder to sell. The court ruled that Zestimates were simply a starting point.

 
Aug 23, 2017 12:30 PM

PACE Loan Defaults on the Rise, Analysis Shows

Defaults on loans that are part of the Property Assessed Clean Energy program have increased, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of tax data in 40 California counties, Dow Jones Newswire reported Aug. 15. Data shows roughly 1,100 borrowers missed two consecutive payments through June, compared to 245 last year.

 
Aug 23, 2017 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Eases Appraisal Requirements on Lower LTV Mortgages

Fannie Mae announced Aug. 18 that lenders can forego appraisals on some loans with low loan-to-value ratios as part a larger program that waives property inspection requirements on lower-LTV mortgages. Fannie Mae said it will continue to require full appraisals on most mortgages.

 
Aug 23, 2017 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac OKs Appraisal Alternative for Some Mortgages

Freddie Mac announced Aug. 18 that it will utilize automated collateral evaluations to determine when an automated appraisal can supplant a traditional appraisal for new home mortgages and refinancing. ACE will be available Sept. 1 and use data from multiple listing services, public records and historical home values to determine collateral risks.

 
Aug 16, 2017 11:30 PM

GSEs Fail Stress Test, May Require Future Bailout

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported Aug. 7 that government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed stress tests and may need as much as $100 billion in assistance should another financial crisis hit, Bloomberg reported.

 

Lender PHH Fined $74M Over Defective Mortgages

Mortgage lender PHH will pay more than $74 million to resolve claims that it generated defective loans that were purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Aug. 8, Reuters reported. The settlement is the latest between DOJ and lenders over faulty loans issued during the financial crisis.

 
Aug 16, 2017 12:30 PM

Wells Fargo to Pay $108M Over Veteran Refinance Fees

Wells Fargo agreed to pay $108 million to the federal government to settle accusations that it overcharged veterans who refinanced their mortgages, HousingWire reported Aug. 4. The bank was alleged to have collected unauthorized fees, which would have made some loans ineligible for Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees.

 

Interest Rates Won't Be Set by LIBOR after 2021, FCA Head Says

The scandal-plagued London Interbank Offered Rate, which is used worldwide to set rates for mortgages, loans and other financial agreements, will be replaced by the end of 2021, CNBC reported July 27. The head of the Financial Conduct Authority said LIBOR will be replaced with a more reliable alternative.

 
Aug 02, 2017 12:30 AM

Feds to Raise Interest Rates, Unload Mortgage Bonds

The Federal Reserve is expected to reaffirm its commitment to increasing interest rates this year and begin selling mortgage bonds to gradually unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, MarketWatch reported July 26. Job creation and economic growth has the Fed optimistic, but consumer spending is a concern.

 
Aug 02, 2017 12:30 AM

FTC Grants Stay of its Complaint Over Louisiana Appraisal Laws

The Federal Trade Commission, which alleged May 31 that Louisiana's laws mandating how appraisal management companies pay appraisers amount to price-fixing, on July 28 granted the Louisiana Real Estate Appraiser Board's request for a stay to allow the state to repeal its laws and implement new policies, HousingWire reported.

 
Jul 26, 2017 12:30 PM

Federal Banking Agencies Propose Raising CRE Appraisal Threshold

The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on July 19 issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to increase to $400,000 the threshold for commercial real estate transactions requiring an appraisal.

 
Jul 26, 2017 12:30 PM

Quicken Loans Fined $11 Million for Appraisal Tampering

A federal court found that Quicken Loans provided appraisers with inflated estimates of property values to secure higher-value loans, The Washington Post reported July 19. More than 2,750 plaintiffs filed a class-action suit claiming their loans were underwater from the start.

 
Jul 26, 2017 12:30 PM

FTC Alleges Louisiana Appraisal Law Restricts Competition

The Federal Trade Commission alleged that Louisiana’s new law mandating how appraisal management companies pay appraisers amounts to price-fixing and rejected the state’s request to withhold enforcement actions so it could repeal the law and implement new policies, HousingWire reported July 25.

 
Jul 19, 2017 12:30 PM

Single-Tenant Net Lease Cap Rates Increase, Real Estate Firm Reports

Single-tenant net lease cap rates increased across all asset classes in the second quarter, with cap rates for retail and office sectors increasing to 6.23 percent and 7.14 percent, respectively, according to commercial real estate firm, Boulder Group, MBA NewsLink reported July 13.

 
Jul 19, 2017 12:30 PM

FHFA Proposes Housing Goals for Fannie, Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on July proposed 2018-20 housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which create new single-family and multifamily benchmarks for the government-sponsored enterprises. The current goals expire at the end of 2017, and comments on the new ones are due by Sept. 5.

 
Jul 19, 2017 12:30 PM

US Metro Markets Embracing Green Office Space, Study Shows

Nine of the top 10 cities in the annual Green Building Adoption Index have implemented energy benchmarking ordinances, and the number of office buildings with green certifications has risen, Commercial Property Executive reported July 10. The Index was produced by CBRE and Maastricht University in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council.

 
Jul 12, 2017 12:30 PM

Report Shows Firms Slow to Adopt Lease Accounting Standards

Nearly 25 percent of affected companies have not begun implementing new lease accounting standards that were released 18 months ago and that take effect December 2018, according to real estate services firm CBRE and consultant PwC, MBA NewsLink reported July 6. The standards require lessees to reclassify their leases.

 
Jul 12, 2017 12:30 PM

VA Will Demolish or Reuse Vacant Properties within 2 Years

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced June 20 that it will demolish or plan the reuse of all its vacant buildings within 24 months. The VA currently holds 430 vacant or mostly vacant buildings with an average age of 60 years old that annually cost taxpayers more than $7 million to maintain.

 
Jul 12, 2017 12:30 PM

Many Financial Regulatory Changes OK without Congress: Treasury

An official with the U.S. Department of the Treasury stated on June 22 that most of the 100-plus regulatory changes it's proposing can be made without congressional approval, MarketWatch reported. The official said Treasury needs to manage regulatory risk in preparation for the next financial crisis.

 
Jun 21, 2017 11:30 PM

Trump Administration Wants Wall Street Rules Overhauled

The Trump administration wants to ease but not eliminate rules that were imposed on Wall Street by the Dodd-Frank Act, according to a report released June 12 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bloomberg reported. Included in the report is a request to reduce the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

Disney Alleges 'Excessive' Property Tax Assessments

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts filed suit over "excessive" 2016 property tax assessments, alleging that the appraiser's assessment of Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios exceeded the properties' fair market value and incorrectly included the value of some intangible property, the Orlando Sentinel reported June 13.

 
Jun 21, 2017 12:30 PM

Fed Raises Rates, Plans to Reduce Bond Holdings

The Federal Reserve on June 14 increased interest rates for the second time in three months and committed to reducing holdings of bonds and other securities this year, Reuters reported. The Fed's move shows confidence in the U.S. economy and job market.

 
Jun 14, 2017 12:30 PM

Report Shows May CMBS Issuance Up, Delinquencies Down

Commercial mortgage-backed securities issuance increased in May while the delinquency rate dropped, according to analytics firm Trepp and the Kroll Bond Rating Agency, MBA NewsLink reported June 7. May CMBS issuance was $8.1 billion — more than double April's $3.7 billion — bringing its year-to-date total to $24.3 billion.

 
Jun 14, 2017 12:30 PM

CRE Prices Return to Post-election Slump, Report Shows

Commercial property prices declined 10 basis points in May, marking a return to the market flattening the CRE sector experienced immediately following November's presidential election, according to online commercial real estate broker Ten-X, MBA NewsLink reported June 8.

 
Jun 14, 2017 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Eases Debt-to-Income Requirement

Fannie Mae announced June 6 that it will ease its debt-to-income requirements, raising the ceiling from 45 percent to 50 percent starting July 29, a move that's expected to make it easier for more individuals — particularly millennials with significant student loan debt — to qualify for a mortgage. ​

 
May 31, 2017 12:30 PM

Trump Budget Seeks Significant CFPB Funding Cuts

President Trump's proposed budget released May 23 calls for significant cuts to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and shifts appropriations from the Federal Reserve to Congress, HousingWire reported. The budget includes a $145 million cut to the CFPB next year, with cuts rising to more than $700 million by 2021.

 
May 31, 2017 12:30 PM

AI Expresses Concern about Possible Appraisal Waivers

The Appraisal Institute was one of several organizations that met with officials from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on May 23 to discuss concerns about initiatives under consideration that would waive appraisals in purchase and refinance loan transactions. AI followed up its meeting with a letter to the government-sponsored enterprises reiterating its position against the waiver.

 
May 31, 2017 12:30 PM

Fiduciary Rule Excluding Appraisals Takes Effect Soon

Major parts of the U.S. Department of Labor's fiduciary rule will take effect June 9, Investment News reported May 23. While the final rule excludes appraisals and fairness opinions, as requested by the Appraisal Institute, the DOL said it would address those issues later, but did not provide specifics.​

 
May 24, 2017 11:30 PM

Dodd-Frank Overhaul Is Unlikely, McConnell Says

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Bloomberg News May 16 that Congress is unlikely to make major changes to the Dodd-Frank Act due to lack of support from Democrats. McConnell specifically cited the need to help community banks because he believes they are unduly harmed by the legislation.

 
May 24, 2017 11:30 PM

More Banks Restrict CRE Lending, Fed Reports

Banks have tightened most credit policies on commercial real estate loans over the past year, the Federal Reserve reported May 12 in its Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices, MBA NewsLink reported. Reasons cited for the tightening include uncertainty over CRE property prices, cap rates and vacancy rates.

 
May 24, 2017 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Reports Strong Multifamily Fundamentals

Multifamily fundamentals remain strong, showing an annual increase in eight of the 14 major metropolitan markets that Freddie Mac tracks in its Multifamily Apartment Investment Market Index, which was updated May 16. Markets with the biggest index gains were Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; and Houston.

 
May 10, 2017 12:30 PM

Fed Leaves June Rate Hike on the Table

The Federal Reserve on May 3 kept interest rates unchanged and left open the possibility of a June rate hike, USA Today reported. The Fed cited job gains and reduced unemployment as causes for optimism, and said slowing first quarter economic growth is likely transitory.

 
May 10, 2017 12:30 PM

House GOP Calls for Further Delay on Fiduciary Rule

Congressional Republicans are calling for an extended delay of the U.S. Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which would, among other things, define who is considered a financial adviser, according to a letter submitted to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and signed by 124 House Republicans, Investment News reported May 2.

 
May 10, 2017 12:30 PM

Report Shows CRE Valuations on the Rise

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May 03, 2017 12:30 PM

GSEs Should Maintain Funds, Community Bankers Say

The Independent Community Bankers of America on April 25 released a white paper calling for the government-sponsored enterprises to keep their capital reserves instead of the current plan of drawing them to zero in 2018, HousingWire reported. ICBA supports the GSEs maintaining their funds to avoid a potential bailout in the future.

 
May 03, 2017 12:30 PM

Tennessee Governor Signs Law Protecting Appraisers

On April 28, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law HB 376 that will establish a new statute of limitations regarding civil lawsuits and disciplinary actions against real estate appraisers.

 
May 03, 2017 12:30 PM

AI Lobbies to Modernize Appraisal Regulatory Process

More than 100 Appraisal Institute professionals will go to Capitol Hill May 4 to urge congressional support for the modernization of the appraisal regulatory process.

 
Apr 26, 2017 12:30 AM

Beige Book Shows Varied Commercial, Residential Activity

Commercial and residential real estate activity was mixed in most districts in March, the Federal Reserve reported April 19 in its newest Beige Book. Office construction was restrained across most markets while apartment construction was strong. On the residential side, districts reported a shortage of both single-family homes and condos.

 
Apr 26, 2017 12:30 AM

House Introduces Another Alternative to Dodd-Frank, CFPB

The House Financial Services Committee on April 19 unveiled the updated version of the Financial CHOICE Act, which would replace the Dodd-Frank Act and significantly alter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, HousingWire reported. A hearing to discuss the Act is scheduled for this week.

 
Apr 26, 2017 12:30 AM

Appraisal Institute Supports Legislation to Modify PACE Loans

The Appraisal Institute was among more than two dozen real estate trade organizations April 24 announcing their support of S 838/HR 1958, the Protecting Americans from Credit Entanglements Act of 2017 – legislation that would modify consumer protection requirements for Property Assessed Clean Energy loans, known as PACE loans.

 
Apr 19, 2017 12:30 PM

Industrial is becoming the hottest commercial real estate sector thanks to e-commerce trends causing atypical growth in rents and property values, according to analytics firm MSCI, Commercial Property Executive reported April 13. Industrial prope

Industrial is becoming the hottest commercial real estate sector thanks to e-commerce trends causing atypical growth in rents and property values, according to analytics firm MSCI, Commercial Property Executive reported April 13. Industrial property values last year rose 11.7 percent compared to the 7.7 percent CRE average.

 
Apr 19, 2017 12:30 PM

Reis Reports Steady Retail Sector Despite Store Closures

Store closures have had little overall effect on retail real estate statistics, with rents increasing slightly across most retail properties, including malls and neighborhood and community shopping centers, according to the Retail Sector Trends report from commercial real estate data firm Reis, MBA NewsLink reported April 13.

 
Apr 19, 2017 12:30 PM

CRE Executives Expect Cap Rates to Increase

Sixty-seven percent of commercial real estate executives said they expect cap rates to increase over the next 12 months because of rising interest rates, according to the National Real Estate Investor’s Office CRE Market Study released April 10. Only 16 percent said they expect cap rates to decrease. ​

 
Apr 12, 2017 11:30 PM

Infrastructure Bill May Include HUD Funding, Agency Reports

The Trump administration will seek to add housing funding to its upcoming infrastructure spending bill, according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, The Washington Post reported April 3. President Trump reportedly is considering cutting $6 billion from the HUD budget.​

 
Apr 12, 2017 12:30 PM

Trump to CEOs: Dodd-Frank is Target for Major Overhaul

President Trump told a gathering of CEOs at the White House April 4 that the era of "horrible regulations" is coming to an end, specifically citing the Dodd-Frank Act as a target for regulatory reform, HousingWire reported. The president said he sees Dodd-Frank as an impediment to the banking industry.​

 
Apr 12, 2017 12:30 PM

Chase Says Servicing Rule Changes May Add $300B in Mortgages

JPMorgan Chase sees the possibility of generating an additional $300 billion in mortgages annually if the U.S. Department of the Treasury and government agencies established service standards to simplify mortgage origination and servicing, according to Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, HousingWire reported April 4.

 
Mar 22, 2017 12:30 PM

Fed Implements First of Three Expected Rate Hikes

The Federal Reserve on March 16 raised its benchmark rate, signaling its commitment to three increases per year, National Real Estate Investor reported. The Fed cited an improving job market, moderate economic growth and increasing inflation as reasons for the hike, which isn't expected to significantly disrupt real estate capital markets.

 
Mar 22, 2017 12:30 PM

Real Estate Markets Suffer Without Flood Insurance Program: FEMA

The Senate Banking Committee on March 14 held the first of several hearings on reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program. Roy E. Wright, deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, testified that failure to reauthorize NFIP could hurt real estate and mortgage markets.

 
Mar 22, 2017 12:30 PM

Appraisal Institute Urges Caution on Appraisal Threshold

The Appraisal Institute on March 21 responded to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's Joint Report to Congress by cautioning federal regulators against increasing from $250,000 to $400,000 the appraisal threshold for commercial real estate transactions. The report indicated the threshold for residential real estate transactions would remain unchanged.

 
Mar 15, 2017 12:30 PM

Agency Report Delayed, Appraisal Questions Unanswered

Questions concerning appraisals and appraisal threshold levels remain unanswered more than two years after outreach and requests for comments were initiated by federal bank regulatory agencies regarding the final report they're required to submit to Congress that outlines potential regulatory relief for banks, the Appraisal Institute reported March 15.

 
Mar 15, 2017 12:30 AM

Watchdog Says HUD Lacks Oversight for Down Payment Programs

Borrowers and the Federal Housing Administration insurance fund face "unnecessary risk" due to a lack of sufficient oversight into borrower-financed down payment assistance programs for FHA-insured loans, according to a report from the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HousingWire reported March 8.

 
Mar 15, 2017 12:30 AM

White House Financial Reforms Focus on Guidance, Not Rules

The White House's initial efforts at financial regulatory reform will focus on reversing guidance rather than formal rule-making because a significant amount of regulation during the Obama administration was made by guidance, according to the vice president's chief economist, Bloomberg reported March 7.

 
Mar 08, 2017 12:30 PM

Treasury Expands Money Laundering Investigation over Home Sales

Title insurance companies in designated geographic areas are now required to identify the person behind shell companies that pay cash for high-end U.S. residential real estate as part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's expanded investigation into money laundering, HousingWire reported Feb. 24.

 
Mar 08, 2017 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie Reportedly Could Require another Bailout

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to lose capital because the U.S. Department of the Treasury takes most of the government-sponsored enterprises' earnings, an action that could necessitate another bailout, Politico reported Feb. 27. The Trump administration's plans for corporate tax reform could cause the GSEs to take large write-downs.

 
Mar 08, 2017 12:30 PM

Interest Rates May Have Muted Effect on Cap Rates: Report

Interest rate increases this year are expected to have less of an impact on cap rates than originally anticipated, which could impact foreign investment in U.S. real estate, National Real Estate Investor reported March 1.

 
Mar 08, 2017 12:30 PM

Detroit Offers Buyers Separate Purchase, Renovation Mortgages

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Feb. 18 announced the city's new mortgage program, which allows borrowers to take out two mortgages when buying a home - one for the purchase price and one for renovations - and the combined mortgages can exceed the appraised value of the house, MarketWatch reported.

 
Mar 01, 2017 12:30 PM

NAR Forecast Shows Stable CRE Growth

The commercial real estate sector is expected to remain stable for the remainder of the year, the National Association of Realtors reported Feb. 23 in its quarterly commercial real estate forecast. The national vacancy rates for the office, industrial and retail sectors are expected to decline slightly.

 
Mar 01, 2017 12:30 PM

Commercial, Multifamily Originations to Increase, Report Shows

Commercial and multifamily mortgage originations are expected to grow by 3 percent to $515 billion this year, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Feb. 23. Multifamily should be especially strong, accounting for $219 billion of the expected total.

 
Mar 01, 2017 12:30 PM

HUD Issues Fraud Alert for Appraiser Identity Theft

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General issued a Fraud Alert on Feb. 22 after uncovering a series of appraiser identity theft cases.

 
Feb 22, 2017 12:30 PM

Report Shows Strong Apartment Fundamentals

Apartment fundamentals are expected to remain strong this year, with rents rising faster than inflation and units experiencing healthy occupancy rates, according to real estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap, National Real Estate Investor reported Feb. 14.

 
Feb 22, 2017 12:30 PM

US Court of Appeals Agrees to Rehear CFPB Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Feb. 16 ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can defend the constitutionality of its leadership structure, HousingWire reported. A three-judge panel of the court previously ruled the leadership structure was unconstitutional; the entire court will now hear the case.

 
Feb 22, 2017 12:30 PM

Fed Sees CRE Valuations as 'Area of Concern'

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress Feb. 14 during the central bank's semiannual Monetary Policy Report that commercial real estate valuations have been an increasing area of concern during the past year, Reuters reported. Yellen further noted that commercial property prices are a growing concern.

 
Feb 15, 2017 12:30 PM

US Has 3 Most Dynamic CRE Markets in the World: JLL

Boston; Austin, Texas; and California’s Silicon Valley are among the world’s 10 most dynamic commercial real estate markets, according to a report from real estate services firm JLL, Multi-Housing News reported Feb. 8. The most dynamic CRE market: Bangalore, India.

 
Feb 15, 2017 12:30 PM

Investment in US Real Estate to Increase, KPMG Reports

Real estate executives said they plan to expand investments in the U.S. this year and anticipate continued growth beyond 2017, according to a study from financial advisory firm KPMG, MBA NewsLink reported Feb. 9. Fifty-two percent of executives said improving real estate fundamentals was their firm’s biggest driver of revenue growth.

 
Feb 15, 2017 12:30 PM

Fed Expects to Unwind Trillions in MBS

Federal Reserve officials said the central bank may begin to reduce its mortgage-backed securities holdings, which total $1.75 trillion and were amassed as part of a quantitative easing program during the financial crisis, Bloomberg reported Feb. 5. However, some worry that the drawdown could harm the U.S. housing market.

 
Feb 08, 2017 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Selling Guide Addresses Appraiser Trainees, Adjustments

The updated Fannie Mae Selling Guide released Jan. 31 clarifies rules for property inspections by appraiser trainees and dollar adjustments for financing or sales concessions. All clarifications and updates are effective immediately.

 
Feb 08, 2017 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Unveils Updated Collateral Underwriter

Fannie Mae announced Jan. 31 enhancements to Collateral Underwriter, including updates to property value representations and warranties as well as user interface enhancements. Version 4.1 is scheduled for release the weekend of March 25.

 
Feb 08, 2017 12:30 PM

State Agency Warns Appraisers of 'Phishing Scheme'

The California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers on Jan. 31 issued guidance to appraisers across the country who received an email stating that a complaint had been filed against their practice.

 
Feb 01, 2017 12:30 PM

Hotel Lender Outlook 'Cautious:' Data Firm

Lenders are taking a "cautious" attitude about hotel lending, shifting their views from "confident" due to a belief that asset values have peaked as well as concerns about the overall economic outlook, according to a survey from hotel data firm STR, MBA NewsLink reported Jan. 26.

 
Feb 01, 2017 12:30 PM

Data Center Sector to Expand, JLL Reports

The data center sector is projected to grow very quickly amid "soaring" cloud use by big data companies and increased use of mobile devices, according to real estate services firm JLL, MBA NewsLink reported Jan. 26.

 
Feb 01, 2017 12:30 PM

Mortgage Market in 'Disarray,' Analysts Say

Mortgage markets are in greater "disarray" now than in 2008, according to analysts from the financial firm Rafferty Capital Markets, Yahoo Finance reported Jan. 25. Concerns focused on a breakdown in mortgage rules and mortgage insurance, and the inability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to back loan guarantees.​

 
Jan 25, 2017 12:30 PM

Credit Suisse Accepts $5.3B Penalty over Mortgage Practices

Credit Suisse on Jan. 18 accepted a $5.3 billion settlement offer from the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that it misled investors over residential mortgage-backed securities, Reuters reported. Credit Suisse will pay a $2.48 billion cash penalty and provide $2.8 billion in consumer relief.

 

Deutsche Bank Finalizes $7.2B RMBS Settlement

Deutsche Bank on Jan. 17 finalized a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly making false and misleading statements to investors about mortgage loans it securitized from 2005 to 2007, HousingWire reported. The bank will pay a $3.1 billion civil penalty and provide $4.1 billion in consumer relief.

 
Jan 25, 2017 12:30 PM

Beige Book Shows Mixed Results for Residential, Commercial Sectors

Sales and construction of residential real estate were mixed across most Fed districts, except in San Francisco where activity remained strong, the Federal Reserve reported Jan. 18 in its newest Beige Book. Commercial real estate across most districts was stable, but especially strong in Atlanta and Cleveland.

 
Jan 18, 2017 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Remains Top Multifamily Lender

Freddie Mac reported Jan. 11 that it is the nation's largest multifamily lender for the second consecutive year, reporting a record $56.8 billion in loan purchase and bond guarantee volume. In 2015, Freddie Mac's volume was $47.3 billion.

 
Jan 18, 2017 12:30 PM

HUD Lowers FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Jan. 9 that mortgage insurance premiums on FHA-backed loans will drop by 25 basis points. The change takes effect Jan. 27.

 
Jan 18, 2017 12:30 PM

Updated HUD Standards Allow More Noise, Amenities

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development changed its noise standards to reflect the market shift toward urban sensibilities and environments where noise levels generally are higher, MBA NewsLink reported Jan. 12. As a result, developers will be able to add more balconies and other exterior amenities.

 
Jan 11, 2017 12:30 PM

Retail Rents Decline in Major Cities, Colliers Reports

Asking rents for retail space in major cities are softening across property types as retailers face continued pressure from online shopping, changing consumer tastes and brick-and-mortar competitors, according to commercial real estate services firm Colliers International, National Real Estate Investor reported Jan. 5.

 
Jan 11, 2017 12:30 PM

Fed Expects Economy to Grow, not Boom Under Trump

Notes from the Federal Reserve's mid-December meeting indicate that Donald Trump's presidency is expected to foster economic growth but not create the boom the president-elect has promised, The New York Times reported Jan. 4. The Fed indicated it will raise rates faster if growth accelerates.

 
Jan 11, 2017 12:30 PM

Basel Accord with Valuation Component Delayed

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision announced Jan. 3 that it will delay voting on a new accord, part of which focuses on real estate risk requirements, including valuation. The Basel Accords establish regulatory capital requirements for bank regulatory agencies worldwide. The committee will resume work on the accord in the "near future."

 
Jan 04, 2017 12:30 PM

Analysts Expect Treasury Yields to Increase This Year

Analysts monitoring the bond market believe that 10-year Treasury yields, which influence mortgage rates, could reach 4 percent this year based on the Federal Reserve's call for three rate hikes, MarketWatch reported Dec. 29. Inflationary risk in President-elect Trump's spending plan also could impact those yields.

 
Jan 04, 2017 12:30 PM

Deutsch Bank Accepts $7.2B Mortgage Securities Settlement

Deutsch Bank has agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over the bank's pooling and sale of allegedly toxic mortgage securities leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, Reuters reported Dec. 23.

 
Jan 04, 2017 12:30 PM

IRS Says Some Conservation Easements Are Listed Transactions

The IRS on Dec. 23 released Notice 2017-10 that identified certain syndicated conservation easement transactions as listed transactions. Investors who have entered into such transactions since 2010 or who enter into such transactions prospectively must comply with certain disclosure requirements, and appraisers acting as advisors must comply with certain disclosure obligations.

 
Dec 29, 2016 08:00 AM

Jim Amorin to Become President of Appraisal Institute on Jan. 1

Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Austin, Texas, 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 20, 2016 08:00 AM

Sale Conditions Impact Office Building Prices: The Appraisal Journal

The context and conditions of sale transactions can impact office buildings’ sale prices, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Dec 14, 2016 12:30 PM

Hotel Supply at Tipping Point, PwC Reports

The hospitality sector could face its first decline in eight years as hotel supply increases but market growth decreases, according to financial services firm PwC, MBA NewsLink reported Dec. 8.

 
Dec 14, 2016 12:30 PM

S&P 500 Real Estate Sector is Worst Performer in Market

The Standard & Poor’s 500 real estate sector has been the market’s worst performer since it launched in September, down 10 percent with further declines expected if rates go up, CNBC reported Dec. 6. The S&P has increased 2 percent during the same timeframe.

 
Dec 14, 2016 12:30 PM

Trump Adviser Expects "Very Substantial" Regulation Reversal

Blackstone Group Chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman, speaking Dec. 6 at an investor conference, said he anticipates “very substantial reversal of regulations of all types” for the financial sector under President Trump, Reuters reported. Schwarzman chairs a panel of business leaders who will advise Trump during his presidency.

 
Dec 12, 2016 08:45 AM

New Appraisal Institute Course Teaches Review Process

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today premiered a course to help appraisers work through all seven steps of the appraisal review process and apply them within a simulated, real-to-life assignment.

 
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 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.

 

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 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 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

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 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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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.

 
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

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.

 
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 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

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 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.

 
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 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."​

 

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 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

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 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

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 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.

 
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

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.

 
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 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 24, 2016 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae: Expect Economic Rebound

Economic growth is expected to rebound for the remainder of the year thanks to a higher than expected July jobs report, credit expansion, improving labor market conditions and strengthening household finances, Fannie Mae reported Aug. 18 in its newest Economic and Housing Outlook report.

 
Aug 24, 2016 12:30 PM

ASB Releases Second Exposure Draft on 2018-19 USPAP

The Appraisal Standards Board of The Appraisal Foundation on Aug. 16 released its second exposure draft on proposed changes for the 2018-19 edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Changes in this version primarily address draft reports and preliminary communication of an appraiser’s assignment results. Comments are due Oct. 21.

 
Aug 24, 2016 12:30 PM

FEMA Proposes New Rules for Construction in Flood Zones

The Federal Emergency Management Agency proposed regulations Aug. 22 that would require developers and homeowners using federal funds for construction projects in flood zones to build on higher ground - in some cases as much as two feet higher than 100-year floodplains.

 
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 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

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 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

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

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 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 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 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

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 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 13, 2016 12:30 PM

AQB Alters Supervisory Appraiser Criteria

The Appraiser Qualifications Board of The Appraisal Foundation on June 24 adopted changes to the Real Property Qualification Criteria, altering the minimum requirements for supervisory appraiser qualification.​

 
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 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 06, 2016 12:30 PM

NY Adopts Law to Combat Zombie Foreclosures

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 23 signed into law legislation that reforms the state’s foreclosure processes and imposes a pre-foreclosure duty on banks and servicers to maintain “zombie” homes — properties vacated as a result of foreclosure, HousingWire reported June 27.

 
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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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.

 
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

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.

 
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 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

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 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.

 
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

 

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

Gap Between Appraiser, Homeowner Value Opinions Drops

The disparity between appraiser and homeowner opinions of property value slightly narrowed during the past month, with appraiser valuations only 1.95 percent lower than homeowner estimates in April, down from 2.17 percent in March, Quicken Loans reported May 10 in its Home Price Perception Index

 
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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 13, 2016 12:30 PM

Goldman Sachs Reaches $5 Billion MBS Settlement

Goldman Sachs and the U.S. Department of Justice on April 11 agreed to a $5 billion settlement that resolves claims related to the bank's sale of toxic residential mortgage-backed securities to investors, HousingWire reported.

 
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 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.

 
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

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.

 
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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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.

 
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

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.

 
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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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 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

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.

 
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

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.

 
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

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 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 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

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

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

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 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 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

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.

 
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.

 
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

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 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

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 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.

 
Dec 09, 2015 12:30 PM

HUD Warns of Fraudulent, Inflated Reverse Mortgage Appraisals

The Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Nov. 30 warned of fraudulent appraisals being used to boost loan amounts for the refinancing of HUD's Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, HousingWire reported. Some appraised values were inflated by 60 to 100 percent more than actual market values.

 
Dec 02, 2015 12:30 PM

Survey: Lending Not Delayed by TRID

Concerns about lending delays caused by the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule that took effect in October appear unfounded, according to a Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey, HousingWire reported Nov. 23. The total average closing time for most loan types remained relatively unchanged between September and October.

 
Dec 02, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA: Few Changes to 2016 Conforming Loan Limits

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Nov. 25 that conforming loan limits will remain at $417,000 for loans acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in most of the U.S. in 2016, HousingWire reported. The limit will rise in 39 “high-cost” counties, including some in California, Massachusetts, Colorado and Washington.

 
Dec 02, 2015 12:30 PM

Google Launches Mortgage Comparison Tool

Google is rolling out a mortgage comparison tool through its Compare service, a move that will give homebuyers another way in which to shop for a mortgage, HousingWire reported Nov. 23. The comparison tool currently is available only in California, with more states to follow.

 
Nov 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Errors Abound in CFPB Complaint Portal

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's consumer complaint database allegedly is riddled with errors and distrusted by some of its own employees, according to internal documents and interviews with current and former agency officials, National Mortgage News reported Nov. 18.

 
Nov 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Rising Valuations Means Uncertain Commercial Market

Some investment managers reported worrisome signs in commercial mortgage-backed securities due to loosening underwriting standards, and while they noted the market appears "frothy" as a result of high commercial valuations, they aren't yet forecasting a bubble, Bloomberg Business reported Nov. 18.

 
Nov 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Mortgage Firm Settles Multistate Suit over Appraisal Fees

Prospect Mortgage settled with the Multi-State Mortgage Committee on behalf of 50 state mortgage regulators after investigators uncovered a pattern of improperly disclosed and unsupported fees paid to the company's affiliate, C2C Appraisal Services, HousingWire reported Nov. 19. Prospect will pay more than $10 million in fines and restitution.

 
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 12:30 PM

Mortgage Rates Rise for Second Consecutive Week

Averaged fixed mortgage rates rose for the second consecutive week, amid continued expectations of a rate increase by the Federal Reserve and a stronger than expected October jobs report, Freddie Mac reported in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Nov. 12.

 
Nov 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Study: Solar Energy Systems Boost Home Values

Homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic energy systems sell for a premium compared to homes without PV systems, according to a study authored by Appraisal Institute member Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA, and released Nov. 12 by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

 
Nov 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Gap Narrows between Appraiser, Homeowner Value Opinions

The discrepancy between appraiser and homeowner opinions of home values is shrinking, but October still was the ninth consecutive month in which homeowner estimates exceeded those of appraisers, Quicken Loans reported Nov. 10 in its Home Price Perception Index.

 
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 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Despite Freddie Mac Quarterly Loss, No Aid Necessary

Freddie Mac's third-quarter loss was its first since 2011, but despite the shortfall, additional aid from the U.S. Department of the Treasury won't be needed, Bloomberg reported Nov. 3. Freddie has operated under federal conservatorship since 2008 and received $71.3 billion in aid; it regained profitability in 2012 and returned $96.5 billion to Treasury.

 
Nov 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed Sees Possible Commercial Real Estate Bubble

Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Fed, expressed concern about the rapid rise in commercial real estate prices, noting in a Nov. 9 speech in Rhode Island, that investors are compensating for low rates by taking on too much risk in order to improve returns, MarketWatch reported.

 
Nov 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Yellen: December Rate Hike a 'Live Possibility'

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's remarks to the House Financial Services Committee on Nov. 4 formally allowed the possibility of a rate hike when the Federal Open Markets Committee meets in December, HousingWire reported. The Fed has not raised interest rates since June 2006.

 
Nov 04, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA Revising Condo Rules

The Federal Housing Administration is in the process of revising its condo rules, but the agency doesn't have a timeframe for completion, according to comments from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro at an Oct. 27 housing event in Washington, National Mortgage News reported.

 
Nov 04, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Releases 2016 List of Rural, Underserved Counties

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Oct. 29 released its updated list of the nation's rural and underserved counties, HousingWire reported. In September, the agency finalized changes to its mortgage rules to increase the number of financial institutions able to provide mortgages in rural and underserved areas.

 
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 28, 2015 04:07 PM

FHFA Considering Appraisal Representations, Warranties

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Melvin Watt, speaking at the Mortgage Bankers Association Annual Convention and Expo in San Diego Oct. 19, said his agency is conducting pilot programs that would consider representations and warranties for appraisals submitted to the government-sponsored enterprises.​

 
Oct 28, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA Abandons Insurance Claims Deadline

The Federal Housing Administration reportedly will abandon its plan to establish a deadline for lenders and servicers to file FHA insurance claims, citing mortgage industry concerns, HousingWire reported Oct. 19. In July, the FHA had proposed a three-month claims deadline.

 
Oct 28, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Green DC Homes Sell for More Green

Washington homebuyers are willing to pay nearly 3.5 percent more for high-performance homes, according to a report authored by Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA, and released Oct. 22 by the Institute for Market Transformation and the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment.

 
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 21, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Appraisers, Homeowners Still Differ on Value Opinions

The disparity between homeowner and appraiser opinions of home values increased for the eighth consecutive month, mortgage lender Quicken Loans reported Oct. 13 in its Home Price Perception Index. However, September marked the first month the gap has narrowed since February.

 
Oct 21, 2015 12:30 PM

White House Rejects Idea to Recapitalize, Release GSEs

The White House on Oct. 19 said that it has no plans to support the recapitalization of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or release them from conservatorship, HousingWire reported. Officials said the only acceptable path is comprehensive housing policy reform.

 
Oct 21, 2015 12:30 AM

Beige Book: Residential, Commercial Activity Improves

Residential real estate activity has been positive in most Fed districts, with many reporting that moderately priced homes have outperformed those at the high-end of the market, the Federal Reserve reported Oct. 14 in its newest Beige Book. Commercial and multifamily activity also has improved in all 12 Fed districts.

 
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 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie Unveil New Mortgage Buyback Rules

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced on Oct. 7 their plan to implement new repurchase procedures that would provide lenders with more clarity and transparency and encourage them to increase access to credit for qualified borrowers, HousingWire reported. The new rules takes effect Jan. 1.

 
Oct 14, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Issues Guidance on Marketing Service Agreements

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Oct. 8 provided additional guidance to the mortgage industry concerning marketing service agreements, offering an overview of the federal prohibition on mortgage kickbacks and referral fees and the risks lenders face by entering into these agreements.

 
Oct 14, 2015 12:30 PM

Maryland Reduces Appraiser Licensing Fees

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Oct. 6 plans to reduce or eliminate more than 100 state fees, including professional licenses for appraisers and real estate brokers, the Baltimore Sun reported.​

 
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.

 
Oct 07, 2015 12:30 PM

Single-family Homes Can Ease Affordable Rental Shortage

As many as 13 million families will become renters over the next 20 years, according to the Urban Institute, which reported Sept. 28 that single-family homes could be used to help solve the shortage of affordable rental housing if government programs didn't routinely exclude them.

 
Oct 07, 2015 12:30 PM

Ginnie Mae Increases Lender Reporting Requirements

Ginnie Mae will increase oversight of non-bank issuers by adding more reporting requirements and conducting deeper analysis of their capital and liquidity positions, National Mortgage News reported Sept. 29.

 
Oct 07, 2015 12:30 PM

Big Banks Accused of Violating Foreclosure Settlement

The nation's biggest lenders are being accused by some housing counselors and government prosecutors of continuing to violate terms of the 2012 settlement in which five of the nation's largest banks agreed to pay $25 billion to resolve accusations of deceptive foreclosure practices, Politico reported Sept. 28.

 
Sep 30, 2015 12:30 PM

Freddie Offers Rebate to Multifamily Borrowers with Energy Star Score

Freddie Mac announced on Sept. 15 a new program to help increase the energy efficiency of multifamily properties by offering a rebate on new mortgages for borrowers who voluntarily submit an Energy Star Score with their loan documents.

 
Sep 30, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed: Dodd-Frank Not Hurting Mortgage Access

Qualified mortgage rules that took effect January 2014 and were mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act have had little effect on consumers' ability to get a mortgage, according to a Federal Reserve review of mortgage disclosure data, MarketWatch reported Sept. 22.

 
Sep 30, 2015 12:30 PM

Cordray Signals 'Hold-Harmless' Period for TRID Compliance

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray delivered his semi-annual report to the House Financial Services Committee Sept. 29, signaling that financial regulators are working on guidance for a "hold-harmless" period to facilitate compliance with TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures that take effect Oct. 3, the ABA Banking Journal reported.

 
Sep 23, 2015 12:30 PM

IRS Issues Guidance on REITs

The Internal Revenue Service, worried that companies increasingly are creating real estate investment trusts to avoid taxes, announced Sept. 15 that it would stop pre-approving deals and issued new guidance stating that REITs must have a legitimate business purpose, GlobeSt.com reported.

 
Sep 23, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate Unchanged

The Federal Reserve decided Sept. 17 to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged due to global economic weakness and financial market uncertainty, USA Today reported. During the run-up to the meeting, economists had heated debates about whether the central bank would raise the rate, which has been near zero since 2008.

 
Sep 23, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Rule Increases Credit Access in Rural and Underserved Areas

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Sept. 21 announced a new rule that will increase the number of financial institutions able to provide mortgages in rural and underserved areas, and gives lenders time to adjust their business practices to comply with the rules, which take effect Jan. 1.

 
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.

 
Sep 16, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie add UCDP Appraisal-sharing Functionality

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced Sept. 8 that they will implement new appraisal-sharing functionality within the Uniform Collateral Data Portal during the first quarter of 2016. The feature will allow correspondent lenders to share appraisal information within the UCDP with their aggregators.

 
Sep 16, 2015 12:30 PM

Freddie Changes Mortgage Modification Rules

Freddie Mac announced Sept. 9 that it's changing its guidelines for standard and streamlined modifications so more borrowers can qualify, HousingWire reported. Freddie also said it was changing eligibility rules for MyCity modification programs, which are designed to help stabilize communities hit hard by the housing crisis

 
Sep 16, 2015 12:30 PM

Gap Expands Between Homeowner, Appraiser Opinions

The gap between homeowner and appraiser opinions of property values increased for the seventh consecutive month, mortgage lender Quicken Loans reported Sept. 8 in its Home Price Perception Index. The discrepancy was attributed to homeowners assuming home values have been steadily increasing.

 
Sep 09, 2015 04:14 PM

Credit Suisse Ordered to Pay $287.5M over Flawed Appraisal

A Texas court found that Credit Suisse used a flawed appraisal to "dupe" private equity firm Highland Capital Management into refinancing a Las Vegas-area development that ultimately went bankrupt, Bloomberg reported Sept. 4. Credit Suisse was ordered to pay Highland Capital Management $287.5 million for losses it suffered.

 
Sep 09, 2015 04:13 PM

HUD Proposes Rule Changes for FHA Loans

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Sept. 1 unveiled proposed changes to its rules for lenders that remit loans to the Federal Housing Administration, HousingWire reported. The new proposal revises rules first proposed in July that reportedly irked key members of the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees.

 
Sep 09, 2015 12:30 PM

Fitch: Mortgage Origination, Appraisal Changes Combat Fraud

Ratings agency Fitch Ratings said that post-recession modifications made to residential mortgage origination practices, including reduced communication between originators and appraisers during the loan production process, have helped to lower the risk of fraud and misrepresentation, MBA NewsLink reported Sept. 2.

 
Sep 02, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie: Economic Growth Slows in Second Quarter

Economic growth was slower than expected in the second quarter, as a strong dollar, reduced oil prices and a drop in nonresidential investment stymied growth, Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group reported Aug. 24. The group sees some improvement in the housing sector, with lean inventories and home sales trending up.

 
Sep 02, 2015 12:30 PM

BofA Settles Appraiser Overtime Lawsuit

Bank of America’s appraisal subsidiary, LandSafe Appraisal Services, agreed to pay $36 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the misclassification of 365 current and former appraisers as exempt from overtime when they actually were eligible, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Aug. 27. The employees will each receive $60,000 to $65,000.

 
Sep 02, 2015 12:30 PM

Austin Sues Texas over Unfair Appraisal System

A lawsuit filed Aug. 24 against the state of Texas by the city of Austin alleges the state’s property appraisal system unfairly enforces an imbalance in the tax burdens between residential and commercial property owners, and that the appraised values of commercial property don’t match market prices, the Texas Tribune reported.

 
Aug 26, 2015 04:16 PM

FHFA Sets Low-income Housing Goals for Fannie, Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Aug. 19 set new two-year goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase the number of mortgages issued to low-income consumers and to landlords who rent to those individuals, The New York Times reported.

 
Aug 26, 2015 04:16 PM

Report: Too Late for FHFA to Offer Principal Reduction

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is reconsidering its ban on principal reductions for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, but the move now would have little impact because the housing market has recovered enough to eliminate most negative equity, according to an Aug. 18 report from think tank Urban Institute.​

 
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).

 
Aug 19, 2015 12:30 PM

Mandatory Registration Begins for FHA Appraisal Portal

The mandatory registration period for the Federal Housing Administration's Electronic Appraisal Delivery portal began Aug. 17, and all FHA-approved mortgagees must register for and participate in a 60-day onboarding phase to familiarize themselves with the portal, HousingWire reported. Onboarding begins Oct. 15 and all users must be registered by June 26, 2016.

 
Aug 19, 2015 12:30 PM

Bank of America Sells Appraisal Business

Bank of America announced Aug. 8 that it's selling its real estate appraisal business to analytics firm CoreLogic for an undisclosed sum, the Charlotte Observer reported. The bank acquired the business in 2008 through its acuisition of mortgage company Countrywide Financial Corp.

 
Aug 19, 2015 12:30 PM

Gap Widens between Homeowner, Appraiser Opinions

The gap between homeowner and appraiser opinions of home values has nearly doubled since May, mortgage lender Quicken Loans reported Aug. 11 in its Home Price Perception Index. The discrepancy was attributed to homeowners seeing national headlines about increased home values.

 
Aug 12, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed Repo System Could Impact Millions of Mortgages

The Federal Reserve reportedly will expand its use of overnight reverse repo agreements to help drain the $4.5 trillion it has on its balance sheet from years of quantitative easing, and doing so while raising interest rates could significantly affect the mortgage-backed securities market, Bloomberg reported Aug. 5.

 
Aug 12, 2015 12:30 PM

New Collateral Underwriter Releases in September

Fannie Mae announced Aug. 4 that it will release Collateral Underwriter 3.0 on Sept. 26. The updated version will provide access to appraisal data, risk score, flags and messages in the CU Web application within 10 minutes of submitting an appraisal through the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (Forms 1004/1073 only).

 
Aug 12, 2015 12:30 PM

NC Passes Recordkeeping and Background Check Legislation

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Aug. 5 signed into law HB 651, legislation that eliminates the discovery rule for civil action related to real estate appraisals and establishes a five-year statute of limitations that brings the state in line with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.​

 
Aug 05, 2015 12:30 PM

Mortgage Rates Drop as Foreign Markets Disappoint

Average fixed mortgage rates dropped during the past week as foreign markets - particularly China - reported disappointing economic performance, Freddie Mac reported July 30 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

 
Aug 05, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Asks Mortgage Industry to Stop Using MSAs

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reportedly is concerned about the business model behind marketing services agreements and wants mortgage lenders to stop using them, HousingWire reported July 30. The CFPB recently has fined lenders for alleged kickbacks and other MSA-related violations.

 
Aug 05, 2015 12:30 PM

House Committee Says Dodd-Frank Hurting Recovery

The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing July 28 to review the nation's economic prosperity in the five years since Dodd-Frank was enacted, with committee Republicans saying the law's regulatory burdens have done more harm than good, HousingWire reported.

 
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.

 
Jul 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed Directs 8 Largest US Banks to Hold Extra Capital

Federal regulators are directing the eight largest U.S. banks to maintain capital at levels beyond industry requirements to protect against unexpected losses and to reduce the possibility of future taxpayer bailouts, the Chicago Tribune reported July 20. The banks will have to jointly possess $200 billion in additional capital.

 
Jul 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Mortgage Rates Reverse Course

Mixed economic and lending reports caused average fixed mortgage rates to drop during the past week, Freddie Mac reported July 23 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

 
Jul 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Court Orders Release of Fannie, Freddie Conservatorship Docs

A Federal Claims Court on July 21 granted a motion requiring the U.S. Department of the Treasury to release all discovery document materials related to the decision to put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship, HousingWire reported.

 
Jul 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Beige Book: Residential, Commercial Markets Improving

The Federal Reserve Beige Book released July 15 showed positive activity in both residential and commercial real estate markets, including increases in home sales, home-price appreciation and declining inventory in most districts. Several districts reported modest-to-moderate increases in commercial real estate activity.

 
Jul 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Appraiser, Homeowner Opinions Growing Further Apart

June was the fifth consecutive month when homeowner and appraiser opinions on home values grew further apart, Quicken Loans reported July 14 in its Home Price Perception Index. The disparity is attributed to the normalization of home prices across the country.

 
Jul 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Georgia Proposes AMC Fee Rule, Releases Fee Study

The Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board on July 17 proposed a rule requiring appraisal management companies to pay appraisers customary and reasonable fees for appraisal services performed for single- to four-family residential dwellings. The Board also released the results of an appraisal fee study.

 
Jul 15, 2015 01:08 PM

Industry Groups Join Fannie, Freddie to Create Advisory Group

Multiple trade associations joined Fannie, Freddie and Common Securitization Solutions, the company formed by the government-sponsored enterprises to help design and implement a single security, to create an industry advisory group to provide feedback on single-security development, HousingWire reported July 8.

 
Jul 15, 2015 12:30 PM

White House Introduces Tougher Housing Segregation Rules

The White House on July 8 announced new rules that will require cities and localities to account for how they use federal housing money to reduce racial disparities or face possible penalties, The New York Times reported. The rules seek to enforce the civil rights-era fair housing law that prohibits overt residential discrimination.

 
Jul 15, 2015 12:30 PM

Study Shows Housing Value in Every US County

New York City's five counties account for less than 1 percent of the nation's total land area but constitute 5 percent of its housing value, analytics firm Metrocosm reported July 7 in a series of cartograms that track housing values by U.S. county.

 
Jul 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Small Lender Loan Purchases Rise as G-fees Drop

The percentage of loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased from small lenders grew significantly in 2014 as the guarantee fees they charge small lenders decreased, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported June 30. The government-sponsored enterprises charge lenders G-fees as compensation for guaranteeing timely payment of principal and interest.

 
Jul 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Coalition Challenges Corporate Sustainability Standards

A coalition of real estate stakeholders sent a letter June 30 to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board challenging its attempt to create corporate reporting standards for property companies’ sustainability efforts. The letter noted that the proposed standards seem inconsistent with current economic and market trends driving sustainability programs.

 
Jul 08, 2015 12:30 PM

CalPERS Pension to Sell $3 Billion in Real Estate Holdings

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the nation’s largest pension, intends to sell up to $3 billion of its real estate portfolio as part of a broader cost-cutting plan, Bloomberg reported June 30. The $303 billion fund could sell up to12 percent of its $25.5 billion commercial real estate holdings.

 
Jul 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Drops Desktop Underwriter Fee

Fannie Mae announced June 23 that it eliminated the fee for its Desktop Underwriter mortgage underwriting system and Desktop Originator tool, HousingWire reported. The government-sponsored enterprise also indicated it would soon unveil a new loan delivery system.

 
Jul 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Risk of Valuation Fraud Up, Mortgage Fraud Down

The overall risk of mortgage fraud, which includes valuation, identity, occupancy and employment/income fraud, dropped 4 percent between 2013 and 2014, but the specific risk of valuation fraud increased 17 percent during the same reporting period, analytics firm Interthinx reported June 25 in its Mortgage Fraud Risk Report.

 
Jul 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Fair Housing Act Claims can Include Disparate Impact

The U.S. Supreme Court announced June 25 its decision that the legal doctrine of disparate impact is recognizable under the Fair Housing Act, HousingWire reported. Disparate impact refers to policies, practices or rules that appear to be neutral but have a discriminatory effect.

 
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

Fed on Track for September Rate Hike

The Federal Reserve on June 17 signaled that it's on track to raise historically low interest rates this September, although more gradually than initially anticipated, USA Today reported. The increase would be the first for the benchmark rate since 2006.

 
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 24, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Delays TILA-RESPA Mortgage Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on June 24 proposed delaying until Oct. 3 the effective date of the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, which consists of two new loan disclosure forms that consolidate existing TILA-RESPA forms.

 
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

Report: US Growth Heads West

Southwestern states accounted for most of the country's grown in 2014, with gross domestic product increasing by 4.3 percent, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report released June 10. The Rocky Mountain region grew 3.9 percent while the Far West region grew 2.7 percent. See a state-by state analysis.

 
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 10, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Institutes Grace Period on TRID Enforcement

The TILA-RESPA Regulated Disclosure requirements will still be implemented Aug. 1, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an open-ended grace period during which it would delay enforcement so mortgage lenders can get up to speed, HousingWire reported June 3.

 
Jun 10, 2015 12:30 PM

Supreme Court Upholds Second Mortgages in Bankruptcies

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 1 that a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding cannot cancel a second mortgage lien when the home used as collateral is underwater on its first mortgage lien, HousingWire reported.

 
Jun 10, 2015 12:30 PM

Texas Governor Signs Updates to Appraiser Law

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on June 9 signed into law Senate Bill 1007, legislation that contains many revisions and additions to the state's current appraiser licensing and certification law, the Appraisal Institute reported. The provisions in the bill will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

 
Jun 03, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed says Weak Global Economy Could Slow Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer noted in a May 26 speech at Tel Aviv University that policy makers will consider international growth as they start to increase interest rates, and that borrowing costs could increase slowly if the global economy falters, Bloomberg reported.

 
Jun 03, 2015 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Drops Loan Prospector Fee

Effective June 1, Freddie Mac stopped charging lenders $20 to use Loan Prospector, its automated underwriting service and risk-assessment tool that gives lenders access to Freddie’s credit and pricing terms, HousingWire reported May 27.

 
Jun 03, 2015 12:30 PM

Housing Market Continues to Stabilize

The U.S. housing market continues to stabilize, with the most improved metro markets seeing strong demand for home sales during the spring homebuying season, according to Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index released May 27. Overall, the index shows 80 percent of the country’ top housing markets are improving.

 
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 27, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Downgrades Economic Forecast

Low mortgage rates helped keep homebuyer affordability high during the first quarter, but housing markets likely will see increased volatility for the remainder of the year as market participants try to determine the Federal Reserve's timing on short-term interest rate increases, Freddie Mac reported May 19.

 
May 27, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA Issues New Single-family Lender Requirements

Single-family mortgage seller/servicers that want to continue doing business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have to comply with new operational and financial requirements, including a minimum net worth of $2.5 million, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported May 19.

 
May 27, 2015 12:30 PM

Appraiser Shortage Could Hurt Mortgage Lenders

A shortage of residential appraisers could create a situation where, in the next 5-10 years, lenders won't be able to have their volume of home appraisals sufficiently handled, National Mortgage News reported May 20. The result could be higher appraisal fees and longer closing times. (Log-in required).​

 
May 20, 2015 12:30 PM

Nomura, RBS Settle with FHFA over ‘Enormous Deception’

Financial holding company Nomura Holdings and the Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $806 million in damages to the Federal Housing Finance Agency for exhibiting “enormous deception” in the sale of allegedly flawed mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bloomberg reported May 15.

 
May 20, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Gap Grows Between Homeowner, Appraiser Opinions

For the third consecutive month, homeowner opinions of home values are higher than the value assessed by professional appraisers, according to the Home Price Perception Index released May 13 by mortgage lender Quicken Loans, HousingWire reported May 13.

 
May 20, 2015 12:30 PM

Illinois Appraisals Halted

Appraisals in the state of Illinois came to an abrupt halt last week after the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation revoked the licenses of 70 appraisal management companies over non-compliance with Illinois bonding regulations, HousingWire reported May 14.

 
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 13, 2015 12:30 PM

Survey: Consumers Positive, Cautious on Housing

Consumers want to purchase homes, but rising house prices have convinced them now isn't a good time to buy, according to the April 2015 National Housing Survey released May 7 by Fannie Mae. Overall, the survey showed improved housing sentiment, but not enough to trigger any breakout housing market activity.​

 
May 13, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA Delays Revised Single-family Handbook

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced April 30 that stakeholder concerns have delayed by three months implementation of the revised Single Family Housing Policy Handbook. Policies in the handbook now will take effect Sept. 14.

 
May 13, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Mortgage Fraud Up, Valuation Fraud Down

The Mortgage Fraud Risk Report released May 5 by risk management firm Interthinx showed that mortgage fraud during the fourth quarter 2014 was up slightly from the previous quarter while valuation fraud saw a slight 2 percent drop during the same reporting period.

 
May 06, 2015 12:30 PM

Final Rule Released on Minimum Requirements for AMCs

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the National Credit Union Administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a final rule April 30 that implements minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies.​

 
May 06, 2015 12:30 PM

Expanded Fiduciary Rule Addresses Appraisals, Seeks Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking comment by July 6 on its proposed rule to change who is considered a fiduciary of a qualified plan, IRA or health savings account. A more expansive proposal was released in 2010, but it faced significant pushback and was quickly withdrawn.

 
May 06, 2015 12:30 PM

SBA Issues Revised Appraisal Policies

The U.S. Small Business Administration on May 1 issued revised appraisal policies for change-in-ownership transactions involving special-purpose properties. The SBA removed requirements for business valuation credentials and repositioned such scenarios as real property-centric valuation scenarios.

 
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 29, 2015 12:30 PM

US Sues Quicken Loans over FHA Loan Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Quicken Loans alleging it improperly originated and underwrote loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration from September 2007 to December 2011, HousingWire reported April 23.

 
Apr 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Treasury: Fannie, Freddie Bailout Not a Loan

The U.S. Department of the Treasury responded to questions from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, about the $187.5 billion taxpayer bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008 by reporting it wasn’t a loan but an investment on which taxpayers are now being compensated, The Wall Street Journal reported April 21.

 
Apr 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Report says US Land Worth Nearly $23 Trillion

The estimated value for the 1.89 billion acres of land that comprise the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia is $22.98 trillion, according to U.S. government economist William Larson, The Wall Street Journal reported April 22.

 
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 22, 2015 12:30 PM

House Members Want Greater CFPB Transparency

A total of 401 members of Congress — both Democrats and Republicans — voted April 14 in favor of HR 1265, the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act, which calls for more transparency and accountability from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by subjecting it to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, HousingWire reported.

 
Apr 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Appraisers, Homeowners Not Aligned on Home Values

Home prices were down in March, and as a result, the disparity between homeowners and appraisers on home value perception increased as homeowners’ estimates remained higher than appraiser opinions, according to the Home Price Perception Index released April 14 by Mortgage Lender Quicken Loans.

 
Apr 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Final Rule Released on Minimum AMC Requirements

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released on April 21 its final rule on minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act.

 
Apr 15, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed to Unwind Trillions in Bond Purchases

The Federal Reserve faces the challenge of when and how to start unwinding billions of dollars in bonds that were purchased as part of the quantitative easing program, Bloomberg reported April 7. The bonds constitute the world's largest fixed-income portfolio. > FULL STORY

 
Apr 15, 2015 12:30 PM

GE to Sell Real Estate Portfolio

General Electric is nearing a deal to sell its $30 billion real estate portfolio to a group led by private-equity firm Blackstone and Wells Fargo, Reuters reported April 9. The sale would be the largest commercial real estate deal since Blackstone's 2007 purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust.

 
Apr 15, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA Hosting April 16 Call on New Appraisal Requirements

The Federal Housing Administration will host a conference call April 16 for appraisers and underwriters interested in hearing about changes in the revised Single-Family Handbook, including to the Appraiser and Property Requirements section and the Appraisal Report and Data Delivery Guide.

 
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.

 
Apr 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Credit Program Expected to Impact Millions of Consumers

Financial data firms FICO, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Equifax announced a pilot program April 1 that potentially could help millions of consumers qualify for mortgages, HousingWire reported.

 
Apr 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Retail Investment Up, Underwriting Standards Down

Investment in retail properties grew 16 percent between 2013 and 2014, and competition among lenders to make retail real estate loans led to a "modest" easing in underwriting standards last year, according to real estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap, MBA NewsLink reported April 2.

 
Apr 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Golding Likely to Lead FHA

The White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development plan to name senior HUD advisor Edward Golding as head of the Federal Housing Administration, HousingWire reported March 26.

 
Apr 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie Likely to Remain in Conservatorship

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chair of the Senate Banking Committee, said he’d rather leave the government-sponsored enterprises in conservatorship than pass a bill that includes specific government support for the housing market, Bloomberg reported March 25. Bloomberg noted the comments appear to confirm that the GSEs will remain under federal control for years.

 
Apr 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Electronic Appraisal Submissions Coming June 2016

The Federal Housing Administration will require appraisals for single-family homes to be submitted through an online electronic delivery portal starting in June 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced March 26.

 
Apr 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Virginia Enacts Law on Reasonable and Customary Fees

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on March 23 signed into law S.B. 1445, which requires appraisal management companies operating in the state to compensate appraisers at a reasonable and customary rate. ​

 
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 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed Prepares for Rate Increase, Downgrades Outlook

The Federal Reserve, citing its confidence in the U.S. economy, set the stage March 18 for its first rate hike since 2006 — at the same time it slightly downgraded its economic outlook, USA Today reported. The Fed said growth “had moderated somewhat” due to several factors, including a sluggish housing market.

 
Mar 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Fannie, Freddie Might Need another Bailout

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may need another taxpayer bailout due to increased risks caused by shrinking reserves, according to a report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General, Reuters reported March 18. The government-sponsored enterprises received a $187 billion taxpayer bailout in 2008.

 
Mar 25, 2015 12:30 PM

AQB Adopts New State Background Check Requirements

The Appraiser Qualifications Board on March 20 adopted significant changes to the background check requirements of the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. The new requirements are modifications to original background check requirements adopted by the AQB in December 2011, which never took effect. The new requirements will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

 
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 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Arizona Passes Law Eliminating Appraisal Board

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on March 12 signed into law SB 1480, legislation that eliminates the Arizona Board of Appraisal effective July 1. The ABOA’s administrative functions will be reassigned to the Department of Financial Institutions. Arizona joins a handful of states that don’t have an appraiser board or commission.

 
Mar 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Appraisers, Homeowners Differ on Opinions of Value

Appraisers’ opinions of home values dropped below homeowner estimates in February, the first time in 18 months that appraised value was not higher than homeowner opinion, according to the Home Price Perception Index released March 10 by mortgage lender Quicken Loans.

 
Mar 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Cleveland Fed: Rate Hike Needed ‘Soon’

Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Meister told an association of business economists on March 9 that improved economic conditions indicate that the Fed should increase rates “soon,” Reuters reported. Mester said that while inflation remains weak, she is “reasonably confident” that prices will rise by the end of 2016.

 
Mar 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Washington Strips Power from New York Fed

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been stripped of its power in a behind-the-scenes reorganization at the nation’s central bank, The Wall Street Journal reported March 4.

 
Mar 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Beige Book: Residential, Commercial Markets Continue to Improve

The Federal Reserve Beige Book released March 4 showed continued improvements at a modest-to-moderate pace in most markets, with home sales and prices increasing in most districts. Commercial real estate also showed positive growth, with vacancy declining in some districts and construction increasing in others.

 
Mar 11, 2015 12:30 PM

AI Report Analyzes State Rules on Appraiser Background Checks

The Appraisal Institute announced March 11 that it has analyzed and compiled all state licensing and certification statutes and regulations pertaining to background checks for applicants seeking appraiser credentials and published them in the special report “State Requirements Regarding Background Checks for Real Estate Appraisers.”

 
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.

 
Mar 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Yellen Says Rates May Rise with Low Inflation

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the House Financial Services Committee Feb. 25 that the central bank could raise interest rates before inflation goes up, provided price increases move ahead and the job market picks up, USA Today reported.

 
Mar 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Cushman & Wakefield Looks for a Buyer

Commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield is on the market, and banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been hired to help it find a buyer, Bloomberg reported Feb. 24. The firm is majority-owned by Exor SpA, and they are seeking approximately $2 billion and a buyer that isn’t a direct competitor.​

 
Mar 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Court: Appraisers Don’t Need Access to Homes

The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division in Rochester ruled that the city of Buffalo does not have the right to send appraisers into private homes without approval, the Buffalo News reported Feb. 23. The court said interior inspections violated homeowners’ privacy rights, which are protected by the Fourth Amendment.

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM

ASB Adopts Changes to 2016-17 USPAP

The Appraisal Standards Board on Feb. 6 adopted modifications to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice for 2016-17. The action followed a 19-month process during which four exposure drafts were issued, as well as another one on proposed Advisory Opinions; the Appraisal Institute provided input to ASB during the process.

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Attorney General Targets Banking Executives

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Feb. 17 that he gave federal prosecutors 90 days to determine whether cases can be brought against top bank executives and other individuals whose misconduct in the pooling and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, Reuters reported.

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Survey: Appraisers Want Collateral Underwriter Transparency

Nearly 90 percent of appraisers responding to the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals’ Collateral Underwriter survey said they think Fannie Mae should make the CU process transparent and nearly 70 percent said they would raise fees to cover extra work required by CU, the organization reported Feb. 18.

 
Feb 18, 2015 12:30 PM

HUD Secretary Challenged on Mortgage Insurance Premiums

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro was grilled by House Republicans during a Feb. 11 hearing on the Federal Housing Administration’s plan to reduce mortgage insurance premiums, The Hill reported.

 
Feb 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Military Members Receive $123 Million for Illegal Foreclosures

Mortgage servicers that are part of the National Mortgage Settlement are required to pay out $123 million in relief to compensate 952 U.S. service members whose homes were illegally foreclosed on, HousingWire reported Feb. 10.

 
Feb 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Study: Appraisers, Homeowners Agree on Home Values

Mortgage lender Quicken Loans reported Feb. 10 that appraisers’ opinions of home values in January were nearly identical to those held by homeowners; the gap was 0.18 percent, with appraisers offering a slightly higher opinion of value, according to the Home Price Perception Index.

 
Feb 11, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA: Debt Reductions Possible for Underwater Homeowners

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt said Feb. 4 that he still supports the idea of principal reduction on properties where borrowers owe more than their homes are worth, Bloomberg reported. Watt is working out how to accomplish that goal without passing along the costs to taxpayers.

 
Feb 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Farm and Ranch Land Values Stabilize in 2014

Farm and ranch land values stabilized in 2014 after years of double-digit increases, according to a Feb. 5 report from Farmers National Company, a firm that specializes in farm and ranch land real estate. The biggest drivers for land values remains location and quality.

 
Feb 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Clarifies CU Details; AI Wants More Answers

Fannie Mae clarified key details of its new Collateral Underwriter tool in a Feb. 4 lender letter, noting that CU does not accept or reject appraisal reports or characterize such reports as “good” or “bad.” The Appraisal Institute sees the clarifications as a necessary step because it has received numerous questions about CU.

 
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.

 
Feb 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Court Rules Fannie, Freddie Lawsuits Can Proceed

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Jan. 28 rejected a bid by the federal government to delay a series of lawsuits filed by investors challenging the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s decision to take profits from now-profitable Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bloomberg reported.

 
Feb 04, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Proposes Expanded Rural Financing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Jan. 29 proposed several changes to its mortgage rules to expand lending in rural and other underserved areas. If finalized, the proposal would increase the number of financial institutions allowed to offer loans in those areas.

 
Feb 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Appraisals Blamed for Slow Closings on Auctioned Homes

A home auction program launched last May in Detroit met its goal of auctioning nearly 400 abandoned homes, but only one-third of the sales actually closed — a snag that’s being partly blamed on appraisals and the comparisons being used, The Detroit News reported Jan. 23.

 
Jan 28, 2015 12:30 PM

S&P to Pay $77M for Alleged CMBS Misrepresentation

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for $77 million over claims it misled investors on some commercial mortgage-backed securities it rated, Reuters reported Jan. 21. S&P also will be banned from rating any CMBS for one year.

 
Jan 28, 2015 12:30 PM

Housing Gets Little Attention at State of the Union

During his Jan. 20 State of the Union address, President Obama only briefly mentioned housing and mortgage issues and only when talking about the Federal Housing Administration’s decision to reduce mortgage insurance premiums, MarketWatch reported. Experts say that failure to address the still “broken” housing finance system was a mistake.

 
Jan 28, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Program Addresses Hiring of Qualified Appraisers

Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter, an automated quality assurance program that checks for aberrations in appraisal report data and analysis, was made available to mortgage lenders Jan. 26, underscoring the importance of hiring qualified appraisal review staff who can navigate CU messages, alerts and other issues, the Appraisal Institute reported.

 
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 21, 2015 12:30 PM

Supreme Court Gives Consumers Mortgage Cancellation Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court gave homeowners an additional opportunity to cancel their mortgages if lenders fail to provide required disclosures, Bloomberg reported Jan. 13. The case centered on a three-year deadline for borrowers wishing to rescind their loans; the justices unanimously agreed that borrowers don’t have to file suit within three years and instead can meet the deadline by sending a letter to lenders.

 
Jan 21, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Launches Mortgage Toolkit, Critics Fault Disclosures

Nearly half of all homebuyers don’t shop around for mortgages, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported Jan. 13, and so the agency launched “Owning a Home,” an online toolkit to help consumers navigate the mortgage process. However, the toolkit is being criticized for sharing rates and costs without including required disclosures, HousingWire reported.

 
Jan 21, 2015 12:30 PM

Homebuyers Willing to Pay More for Solar; AI Aids in Research

Homebuyers are willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic energy systems, according to a report released Jan. 13 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Two Appraisal Institute professionals contributed to the landmark study as part of a multi-institutional research team.

 
Jan 14, 2015 12:30 PM

Montana Mulls Updates to Appraiser Licensing and AMC Laws

During its 2015 session, the Montana legislature will consider House Bill 29, which would revise the state’s appraiser licensing and appraisal management company oversight laws, the Appraisal Institute reported Jan. 8.

 
Jan 14, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA to Reduce Annual Insurance Premiums

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Jan. 8 said that the Federal Housing Administration will lower by a half-percent the annual premiums borrowers will pay. This action is projected to save more than two million FHA homeowners an average $900 annually and spur 250,000 homebuyers to purchase a home over the next three years.

 
Jan 14, 2015 12:30 PM

Barney Frank Worried GOP Will Gut Dodd-Frank Act

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said he is concerned the new Republican Congress will water down key elements of the financial reform legislation he helped write, MarketWatch reported Jan. 6. Incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he wants to review Dodd-Frank with an eye toward amending some components.

 
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.

 
Jan 07, 2015 12:30 PM

CoreLogic: Top Housing Market Drivers in 2015

More millennials are expected to enter the housing market in 2015, analytics firm CoreLogic reported Dec. 29 in its 2015 Housing Outlook. The prediction was one of several the firm identified for the coming year; among the others: housing will benefit from oil price drops and Houston will be the most interesting housing market to watch.

 
Jan 07, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA Warns Against ‘Super Priority’ Liens

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a warning Dec. 22 to homeowners, financial institutions and state authorities regarding super priority liens created by energy retrofit programs or homeowner associations. The FHFA expressed concern that such liens can sometimes force a Freddie Mac or a Fannie Mae lien into a risky secondary position.

 
Jan 07, 2015 12:30 PM

Ambac Sues Bank of America over Faulty Mortgage Bonds

Insurance firm Ambac Assurance Corp. filed suit against BofA Dec. 30 in an effort to recover hundreds of millions of dollars it lost during the financial crisis from insuring approximately $1.68 billion of securities backed, in part, by risky mortgages issued by Countrywide, Reuters reported Dec. 31.

 
Dec 30, 2014 08:00 AM

Lance Coyle to Become President of Appraisal Institute on Jan. 1

M. Lance Coyle, MAI, SRA, of Dallas 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 22,000 professionals in almost 60 countries.

 
Dec 17, 2014 12:30 PM

GSEs Introduce 3 Percent Down Payment Programs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Dec. 8 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer new mortgage programs that allow individuals to make down payments of only 3 percent in a bid to help first-time and lower-income buyers enter the housing market, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 
Dec 17, 2014 12:30 PM

Ratings Agency Suspension Could Damper CMBS Outlook

While commercial mortgage-backed securities have experienced a major boost over the past few years, a move by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to suspend ratings agency Standard & Poor’s abilities to rate CMBS could dampen future growth, commercial real estate data firm CoStar Group reported Dec 10.

 
Dec 17, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Adjusts Comparative Sales Guidelines, Solar Policy

Fannie Mae released on Dec. 16 its updated Selling Guide for single-family homes, which includes an adjustment to comparable sales that eliminated the 15 percent net and 25 percent gross adjustment guidelines. It also clarified its policy on the valuation of homes with solar panels.

 
Dec 10, 2014 12:30 PM

Court Won’t Unseal Files on Washington Mutual Appraisal Scheme

A federal judge said he will not unseal files related to an alleged appraisal rigging scheme that Washington Mutual launched in an effort to favor mortgage lenders just before the 2008 market crash, Courthouse News Service reported Dec. 3.

 
Dec 10, 2014 12:30 PM

SEC Decision on IFRS Could Affect Appraisals

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is once again reviewing issues related to whether or not U.S. public companies can utilize the International Financial Reporting Standards for financial reporting purposes, the Appraisal Institute reported Dec. 10.

 
Dec 10, 2014 12:30 PM

AQB Proposed Background Checks Focus on ‘Public Trust’

The Appraiser Qualifications Board of The Appraisal Foundation released on Dec. 2 a new exposure draft of proposed revisions to the 2015 Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. Included among the revisions is a requirement that all applicants for real property appraiser credentials have a background that does not call into question public trust.

 
Dec 10, 2014 08:00 AM

Importance of Property Attributes Key to Market Value: The Appraisal Journal

Appraisers can simulate the actions and thought processes of buyers by analyzing the importance of the quality of property attributes in the market, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Dec 03, 2014 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Increases Access to Credit Risk Data

Freddie Mac is giving investors greater access to credit risk details by opening up loan-level actual loss data in an effort to improve transparency and increase confidence in its credit risk-sharing offerings, HousingWire reported Nov. 24.

 
Dec 03, 2014 12:30 PM

GSEs Will Let Foreclosed Borrowers Buy Back Homes

Government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac instituted a policy change that will allow borrowers who have gone through foreclosure to buy back their homes at market price, Bloomberg reported Nov. 25.

 
Dec 03, 2014 12:30 PM

BofA’s $16.65B Toxic Mortgage Settlement Approved

A record-setting settlement between Bank of America, the U.S. Department of Justice, other federal agencies and six states to resolve claims over allegedly toxic residential mortgage-backed securities was finalized, HousingWire reported Nov. 26.

 
Nov 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Changes UCDP Proprietary Appraisal Messages

Fannie Mae announced on Nov. 18 changes to proprietary appraisal messages in the Uniform Collateral Data Portal that are designed to provide more information to lenders and help them identify potential defects during the appraisal review process.

 
Nov 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Watt Updates Congress, Challenged on Lack of Progress

In his first appearance before Congress as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Nov. 19, Mel Watt gave the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee updates on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, but he came under fire for not doing enough to help underwater homeowners, HousingWire reported.

 
Nov 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie Clarify Buyback Rules

In an effort to encourage banks to loosen lending standards, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released rules Nov. 20 that clarify exactly when banks would be required to repurchase bad loans. Banks have been reluctant to ease lending standards after suffering billions of dollars in penalties for having issued poorly documented loans in the wake of the financial crisis.

 
Nov 19, 2014 01:52 PM

Bank of America Won’t Loosen Lending Standards

Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan said the bank will not loosen mortgage lending standards even though regulators are trying to increase credit availability, Bloomberg reported Nov. 12. He said the bank has no incentive to create more mortgage availability when customers are susceptible to default.

 
Nov 19, 2014 01:47 PM

CFPB Changes Compliance Guide for Mortgage Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 10 announced two changes to its compliance guide for the new major qualified mortgage rules that took effect this year. The changes address lender and policymaker concerns.

 
Nov 19, 2014 01:44 PM

AI Cautions USDA about Raising Appraisal Threshold

The Appraisal Institute and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers jointly submitted a letter Nov. 14 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in which they cautioned against proposed changes to the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program that would raise the threshold for when appraisals are required.

 
Nov 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Basel III Accords Scrutinize ‘As Completed’ Appraisal Values

New loan risk weight requirements that impact commercial real estate are putting greater emphasis on the “as completed” value within appraisal reports prepared for acquisition, development and construction loans, known as ADC loans, the Appraisal Institute reported Nov. 12.

 
Nov 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Court Vacates HUD’s Disparate Impact Rule

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s disparate impact rule under the Fair Housing Act after it determined the rule made lenders unfairly vulnerable to discrimination claims even when they took steps to prevent discrimination or when intentional discrimination was absent, MBA NewsLink reported Nov. 5.

 
Nov 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Dodd-Frank, Bank Regulation Uncertain with New Senate

With Republicans about to take control of the Senate, the future of the Dodd-Frank Act remains uncertain, as new conservative lawmakers are expected to target the 2010 law that introduced financial regulatory reform, MarketWatch reported Nov. 5.

 

Appraisers Able to Access RESNET Home Energy Ratings Database

The Residential Energy Services Network announced Oct. 28 that its National Registry is open to the public, which gives appraisers performing “green” property valuations access to valuable home energy ratings data. RESNET is the recognized national standards-making body for building energy-efficiency rating and certification systems in the U.S.

 
Nov 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Mortgage and Valuation Fraud Increase

Instances of mortgage and appraisal fraud are on the rise, CoreLogic reported Oct. 28 in its 2014 Mortgage Fraud Report. During the second quarter, an estimated 11,100 mortgage applications, or 0.69 percent of all mortgage applications, contained fraud, as compared with 19,700 or 0.67 percent in the second quarter of 2013, when the total application volume was substantially higher.

 
Nov 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Officially Ends Bond Buying Program

The Federal Reserve announced Oct. 29 that it ended its quantitative easing bond-buying program, The Wall Street Journal reported. The announcement was followed by an assurance that short-term interest rates would remain low. Ending the program reflects the Fed’s confidence in the nation’s economy, which grew almost 3 percent in the third quarter, significantly better than the economies in Japan and Europe.

 
Nov 04, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Encourages Consumers To Plan Now for Home Winterization

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today encouraged consumers to winterize their homes to potentially reduce energy costs, increase comfort in cold months and possibly improve resale value.

 
Oct 22, 2014 12:30 PM

FHA Insurance Fund Close to Achieving Required Minimums

After taking $1.7 billion in taxpayer funds last year to balance its books, the Federal Housing Administration is close to replenishing its troubled insurance fund to minimum required levels, according to a report by ratings firm Moody’s Analytics, Bloomberg reported Oct. 16.

 
Oct 22, 2014 12:30 PM

Valuations Part of New Rules for Nontraded REITs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule change that provides investors with greater insight into the costs of unlisted real estate investment trusts, Investment News reported Oct. 14. The change allows the use of two methodologies, including appraised value.

 
Oct 22, 2014 12:30 PM

FHFA Announces Plans to Reduce Lender Liability

A plan announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Oct. 20 would clarify the representation and warranty framework for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so as to limit lender confusion and liability on loan buybacks, HousingWire reported.

 
Oct 21, 2014 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Addresses Latest Methods for Valuing Contaminated Properties

Properties impacted by contamination raise challenging appraisal issues, according to a new book from the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Oct 08, 2014 12:30 PM

Lawsuit Challenging Fannie, Freddie Profits Dismissed

A judge dismissed a lawsuit Sept. 30 that challenged the way profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were funneled to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Mortgage News Daily reported. The lawsuit was filed by investors who claimed the profit-funneling violated terms of the 2008 conservatorship agreement for the government-sponsored enterprises.

 
Oct 08, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Faulted for Badly Executing Foreclosure Settlements

The Federal Reserve's Office of the Inspector General faulted the regulatory agency for poorly preparing, managing and executing settlements in 2013 with 13 financial firms over foreclosure errors, Bloomberg reported Oct. 2.

 
Oct 08, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Home Prices Undervalued by 3 Percent

Home prices nationwide are undervalued by an average 3 percent, the real estate site Trulia reported Oct. 1. Conversely, the report noted that around 7 percent of the nation's 100 largest metro areas have homes that are more than 10 percent overvalued.

 
Sep 18, 2014 08:00 AM

Deconstructing Elements Key to Valuing Defunct Railroad Corridors: The Appraisal Journal

When appraising obsolete railroad corridors, each element of the land’s value as-is must be deconstructed in order to develop a credible opinion of value for the land, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Sep 10, 2014 12:30 PM

Comments Requested for Additional USPAP Changes

The Appraisal Foundation’s Appraisal Standards Board has issued a third exposure draft of proposed changes to its 2016-17 edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, and is seeking feedback on the proposed changes by Oct. 10.

 
Sep 10, 2014 12:30 PM

VA Announces New Fannie Mae Appraisal Report Requirements

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Sept. 2 that it now requires appraisers to include Fannie Mae Form 1004MC, Market Conditions Addendum, in all VA appraisal reports.

 
Sep 10, 2014 12:30 PM

Beige Book: Real Estate Activity Shows Modest Growth

The Federal Reserve Beige Book released Sept. 3 showed that markets improved modestly from June through late August, as slightly more than half of the 12 districts reported some growth in nonresidential real estate activity, with increased construction or leasing (or both) tied to steady or falling vacancy rates and rent increases.

 
Sep 03, 2014 12:30 PM

HUD Finalizes Changes on FHA-insured ARMs, Prepayments

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development finalized on Aug. 26 two new rules for Federal Housing Administration-insured adjustable-rate mortgages, with one focused on how ARMs are adjusted and the other on post-payment interest charges on single-family FHA mortgages.

 
Sep 03, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: GSEs Still at Risk of Mortgage Scams

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of the Inspector General reported that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae remain vulnerable to scams, and that all three need to make significant improvements so as to avoid suffering multibillion dollar losses due to fraud, HousingWire reported Aug. 26.​

 
Sep 03, 2014 12:30 PM

Obama Announces Partnership with Lenders to Help Military Homeowners

President Obama announced on Aug. 26 changes to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 that will make it easier for military families to lower their monthly mortgage payments, National Mortgage News reported.

 
Aug 27, 2014 12:30 PM

Study: Utah Lenders Pay Higher Fees for Complex Appraisals

Mortgage lenders are willing to pay higher fees based on complexity of an appraisal assignment, not on the appraiser’s experience and education; however, appraisers who have a professional designation are more likely to be hired, according to a study conducted by the Utah Association of Appraisers on customary and reasonable fees and released on Aug. 13.

 
Aug 27, 2014 12:30 PM

Bank of America Pays Record Fine for Faulty RMBS

Bank of America will pay a record $16.65 billion penalty in the largest civil settlement ever between a single entity and the federal government, USA Today reported Aug. 21.

 
Aug 27, 2014 12:30 PM

Congress Challenges Fed Bailout Procedures

Lawmakers sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in which they requested she rewrite the Fed’s proposed rule on bailing out banks considered “too big to fail,” HousingWire reported Aug. 18.​

 
Aug 26, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Unveils Standards of Valuation Practice

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today announced to global users of real estate valuation services the availability of its Standards of Valuation Practice. The SVP can serve as an alternative for valuation professionals where national or other standards are not required.

 
Aug 20, 2014 12:30 PM

CFPB Fines Lender, AMC for Inflated Appraisal Fees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Aug. 12 that it fined mortgage lender Amerisave Mortgage Corp., its affiliate, Novo Appraisal Management Company, and the organizations’ collective owner, Patrick Markert, $19.3 million for allegedly luring prospective borrowers with misleading interest rates and trapping them with inflated appraisal fees.

 
Aug 20, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae: 80 Percent of Lenders Avoid Non-QM Loans

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Qualified Mortgage and Ability-to-Repay mortgage regulations that took effect in January have had little impact on lenders’ strategies so far, but most anticipate a tough environment going forward, according to an Aug.14 Fannie Mae survey of 2,000 senior executives from its list of approved lenders.

 
Aug 20, 2014 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac: Housing Market on Path to Normal

The nation’s economy is stabilizing and the housing market is expected to return to a more normal state driven by fundamentals such as labor market gains and unemployment rates, Freddie Mac reported Aug. 13 in its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for August.

 
Aug 14, 2014 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Supports Development of Market Analysis

The analysis of real estate markets is a core skill of modern appraisal and is critical for risk management in the marketplace, according to a new book from the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Aug 13, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Banks Making Fewer Loans Due to New Mortgage Rules/ mortgage scrutiny

The Federal Reserve Board released a survey Aug. 4 in which it reported that some banks are making fewer loans because of new qualified mortgage rules enacted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January, National Mortgage News reported.

 
Aug 13, 2014 12:30 PM

FHA Commissioner Galante Stepping Down/ galante

Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante announced Aug. 11 that she will be leaving the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and stepping down from her role as assistant secretary for housing at the end of this year, HousingWire reported.

 
Aug 13, 2014 12:30 PM

Federal Regulators Critical of Bank Living Wills

The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation criticized 11 of the nation’s biggest banks Aug. 5 for their failure to create adequate plans for dismantling themselves in the event of a financial crisis in a way that would not be harmful to the overall financial system, USA Today reported.​

 
Aug 08, 2014 01:59 PM

Appraisal Institute Honors 8 National Award Winners

Peter D. Bowes, MAI, of Denver and Reaves C. Lukens Jr., MAI, SRA, of Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Michael G. Miller, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Richmond, Virginia, and Charles J. Lentz, MAI, of Orlando, Florida, were named the recipients of the Outstanding Service Award during the Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting Wednesday in Austin, Texas.

 
Aug 08, 2014 08:19 AM

Austin’s Jim Amorin Elected 2015 Appraisal Institute Vice President

Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Austin, Texas, was elected 2015 vice president of the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers by its Board of Directors Thursday in Austin. Amorin’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.

 
Aug 06, 2014 01:00 PM

FHA Issues Draft of New Appraisal Requirements

The Federal Housing Administration on July 31 issued drafts of four new appraiser policy documents that it plans to add to its Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook. The FHA is seeking feedback before the documents are finalized.

 
Aug 06, 2014 01:00 PM

CFPB Wants More Lender Disclosures

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a proposal July 24 that would require lenders to disclose more information on mortgages, including homebuyer age and credit score and details about property value and interest rates.

 
Aug 06, 2014 01:00 PM

House Committee Passes USPAP Exemption Bill

The House Financial Services Committee on July 29 approved H.R. 5148, the Access to Affordable Mortgages Act, which would grant certain “high-risk” mortgages an exemption from having an appraisal performed in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, the Appraisal Institute reported.

 
Jul 31, 2014 08:00 AM

Drop in US Real Estate Appraisers Slows: Appraisal Institute Research

The number of active real estate appraisers in the United States fell less than 1 percent in the first half of 2014, the Appraisal Institute announced today, lower than the average annual decrease of 2.6 percent over the past six years.

 
Jul 30, 2014 12:30 PM

CFPB, FTC Launch Sweep against Foreclosure Relief Scams

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and 15 states initiated a crackdown on foreclosure relief scams that allegedly used deceptive marketing tactics to rip off distressed homeowners, the CFPB announced July 23.

 
Jul 30, 2014 12:30 PM

Four Years of Dodd-Frank have Changed Wall Street

With implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act four years ago, the federal regulatory climate has changed Wall Street, leading banks to sell off once profitable business lines, cut back short-term funding markets and break ties with entities that fall under extra regulatory scrutiny, The Wall Street Journal reported July 21.

 
Jul 30, 2014 12:30 PM

Nonbank Mortgage Lenders Fight FHFA Watchdog Report

Nonbank mortgage lenders are furious about a report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General that claimed they are less regulated than large banks and pose increased risks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, National Mortgage News reported July 22.

 
Jul 23, 2014 05:00 PM

Illinois Considers Bill to Clarify BPOs, CMAs

Legislation that would clarify several aspects of an Illinois law governing broker price opinions and comparative market analyses has passed the state legislature and currently is under consideration by Gov. Pat Quinn, the Appraisal Institute reported July 21.

 
Jul 23, 2014 05:00 PM

CFPB Wants to Publicize Consumer Complaints

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed a policy that would allow consumers to publicize their complaints about financial products and services — including mortgages, HousingWire reported July 16.

 
Jul 23, 2014 05:00 PM

Beige Book: Real Estate Activity Mixed Across Districts

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book released July 16 showed that real estate activity varied across the districts, with many reporting low inventories and increasing home prices but mixed consumer demand.

 
Jul 16, 2014 12:30 PM

Citigroup Settles Mortgage Probe, Pays Record Penalty

Citigroup will pay $7 billion to resolve claims it misled investors who purchased shoddy mortgage-backed securities that helped lead to the financial crisis six years ago, Reuters reported July 14. The deal includes the largest civil fraud penalty ever levied by the U.S. Department of Justice.

 
Jul 16, 2014 12:30 PM

Senate Confirms Julian Castro as HUD Secretary

The Senate on July 9 confirmed San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by a 71-26 vote, HousingWire reported.

 
Jul 16, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Defends Settlement with Banks over Foreclosures

In a July 7 report, the Federal Reserve defended its decision to halt its review of banks’ foreclosure practices last year in favor of a general $9.3 billion settlement to reimburse borrowers who may have wrongly experienced foreclosure, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 
Jul 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Property Valuation Fraud Risk Rises Nationwide

Property valuation fraud risk increased during the first quarter, and indicators suggest that the rise of properties being appraised well above traditional valuation thresholds in order to create “equity” is a contributing factor, analytics firm Interthinx reported July 2 in its 1Q 2014 Valuation Fraud Risk Index.

 
Jul 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Chair Urges Stronger Regulation

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in a July 2 speech to the International Monetary Fund in the District of Columbia that she thinks stronger regulation is necessary to preserve financial stability, and that raising interest rates would be a second line of defense and unnecessary at this time, The New York Times reported.

 
Jul 09, 2014 12:30 PM

FHFA: Nonbank Mortgage Servicers Lack Sufficient Funds, Pose Financial Risk

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said that nonbank mortgage servicers that process payments on delinquent loans may lack sufficient funding and could pose a financial risk for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which guarantee the mortgages, The Wall Street Journal reported July 1.

 
Jul 08, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Supports USGBC’s ‘Green’ Home Report Findings

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced its support for a U.S. Green Building Council report released June 19 that found green labeled homes can sell at higher prices.

 
Jul 02, 2014 02:42 PM

Hawaii Mandates Transparency for Appraisers Acting as Arbitrators

An alleged “lack of openness and transparency” in the oversight of appraisers who act as arbitrators led Hawaii lawmakers to enact legislation that took effect July 1 that requires arbitration awards, records of award and related supporting materials to be public records, Valuation Review reported.

 
Jul 02, 2014 02:39 PM

New Bill Changes Louisiana Appraisers Law, Board

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law a new bill that takes effect Aug. 1 and makes multiple changes to the state’s Real Estate Appraisers Law, Valuation Review reported.

 
Jul 02, 2014 02:28 PM

Inspector General: FHFA Should Sue Over Forced-placed Insurance

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Inspector General said the agency should sue forced-placed insurance companies and large banks for inflating prices and causing losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Mortgage Servicing News reported June 25.

 
Jul 02, 2014 12:30 PM

Inspector General: FHFA Should Sue Over Forced-placed Insurance

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Inspector General said the agency should sue forced-placed insurance companies and large banks for inflating prices and causing losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Mortgage Servicing News reported June 25.

 
Jul 02, 2014 12:30 PM

Hawaii Mandates Transparency for Appraisers Acting as Arbitrators

An alleged "lack of openness and transparency" in the oversight of appraisers who act as arbitrators led Hawaii lawmakers to enact legislation that took effect July 1 that requires arbitration awards, records of award and related supporting materials to be public records, Valuation Review reported.

 
Jul 02, 2014 12:30 PM

New Bill Changes Louisiana Appraisers Law, Board

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law a new bill that takes effect Aug. 1 and makes multiple changes to the state's Real Estate Appraisers Law, including provisions related to examination applications, experience review and license renewal and continuing education requirements, among others, Valuation Review reported.

 
Jun 18, 2014 12:30 PM

Bank of America, Justice Department Reach Impasse

Bank of America and the U.S. Department of Justice failed to reach an agreement on a multibillion-dollar settlement that would resolve state and federal investigations into the bank’s sale of failed mortgage-backed securities, The New York Times reported June 10. The case now heads to trial with the Justice Department seeking $17 billion.

 
Jun 18, 2014 12:30 PM

Freddie to Host Multifamily Appraisal Webinar

Freddie Mac will host a webinar June 26 that will highlight upcoming changes to its multifamily appraisal requirements. Freddie’s new requirements, which take effect July 1, will address tying together an appraiser’s multifamily data with their conclusions.

 
Jun 18, 2014 12:30 PM

Fight Brewing over Small Business Tax Write-offs

A $73.1 billion tax reduction bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives June 12 would allow small businesses to write-off capital purchases more quickly, Bloomberg reported. The House voted to revive the provision that lapsed at the close of 2013; the White House, however, opposes the bill.

 
Jun 12, 2014 08:00 AM

Special Skills Crucial for Restaurant Valuation: The Appraisal Journal

Appraisers should understand and correctly use methods and techniques employed by investors to determine the value of restaurants, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Jun 11, 2014 12:30 PM

Green Homes a Growth Sector in Housing Market

Green construction is a growth sector in the recovering housing market, McGraw Hill Construction reported June 5 when it released its report “Green Multifamily & Single Family Homes: Growth in a Recovering Market.”

 
Jun 11, 2014 12:30 PM

Beige Book: Real Estate Lending Activity Increases Nationwide

The Federal Reserve Beige Book released June 4 showed that real estate markets improved unevenly across the 12 districts from April through late-May, but overall lending activity increased nationwide, with roughly two-thirds of the districts reporting rising loan demand particularly in the New York and San Francisco districts.

 
Jun 11, 2014 12:30 PM

South Carolina Passes New Appraiser Licensing Standards

South Carolina has instituted the new Real Estate Appraisers License and Certification Act in order to bring appraiser licensing and standards in line with uniform national standards, Valuation Review reported June 5. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed HB4644 into law May 16.

 
Jun 05, 2014 08:00 AM

Only Certain Home Improvements Pay Off, Appraisal Institute Says

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today encouraged homeowners to exercise good judgment when deciding which home improvement projects to take on, saying that not all renovations enhance property values.

 
Jun 04, 2014 12:30 PM

Investigators Probe Mortgage Fraud at Smaller Banks

After making billion-dollar settlements with the nation’s largest banks, federal investigators are now focusing their attention on smaller lenders, looking at the banks’ mortgage lending and loan servicing practices in the years leading up to the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported May 28.

 
Jun 04, 2014 12:30 PM

Conservation Easement Credit Included in House Tax Plan

On May 29, the House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation that makes permanent the bonus depreciation of improvements for qualified properties; the legislation also made permanent a number of tax measures related to charitable giving.

 
Jun 04, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed has Little Control over Housing Recovery

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has expressed concern about a slowing housing recovery that could pose a risk to the overall economic outlook, but there is very little the regulator can do other than influence mortgage rates, Bloomberg reported May 28. Adjusting rates, however, has no impact on other factors contributing to a sluggish housing sector, including lagging household formation and cautious lenders and borrowers.

 
May 28, 2014 12:30 PM

Connecticut Law Could Shift Appraiser Requirements

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is expected to sign into a law a bill that will change the state’s real estate appraiser and appraisal management regulations to bring them into compliance with federal requirements, Valuation Review reported May 21. Senate Bill 205 was introduced Feb. 19 and sent to the governor May 14.

 
May 28, 2014 12:30 PM

Change Proposed for Conservation Value of Wildlife Habitats

In a move that would affect the valuation of wildlife habitats, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed to amend the definition of “destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, according to a U.S. Small Business Administration May 21 news release.

 
May 28, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie: Housing Remains Economy’s Weakest Link

Fannie Mae economists said the U.S. economy is poised for growth despite having stalled during the first quarter, but they noted that housing remains the weakest link, Inman News reported May 21. Fannie Chief Economist Doug Duncan said that the growing financial and labor market should reflect a rebound when reports come out for April, May and June, and show that growth accelerated to an annual rate of 3 percent.

 
May 21, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Big Banks Improve Loan Servicing

A court-appointed monitor overseeing the $25 billion settlement between the nation’s five largest banks, 49 states and the U.S. Department of Justice issued a compliance report May 14 that said the banks are improving treatment of troubled borrowers, Bloomberg reported.

 
May 21, 2014 12:30 PM

Senate Banking Committee Approves Fannie, Freddie Overhaul

The Senate Banking Committee approved a bipartisan bill to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, though it was a narrow and likely hollow victory, according to a May 15 article in The Wall Street Journal. Thirteen committee members, including seven Republicans and six Democrats, approved the bill on May 15, a narrow majority of the 22 lawmakers on the committee.

 
May 21, 2014 12:30 PM

NAR Considers Policy Change on Automated Valuations

The National Association of Realtors is reviewing a proposed policy amendment that would require multiple listing services to provide data feeds to brokers who want to use them to establish automated valuations of properties, Inman News reported May 14. If adopted, the policy would also not allow brokers to opt out of including their data in these feeds.

 
May 14, 2014 12:30 PM

Yellen: Housing Market Not Helping Economy

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a joint congressional committee May 7 that the nation’s housing market has gone from boosting economic recovery to stalling it, HousingWire reported. Yellen said that the lack of growth in the first quarter was largely due to the housing market, which was impacted by bad weather.

 
May 14, 2014 12:30 PM

Key Democrats Reject Johnson-Crapo GSE Reform Bill

Four formerly undecided Senate Democrats announced that they would not support the Johnson-Crapo bill to reform the government-sponsored enterprises, Mortgage News Daily reported May 9. The bill’s co-author, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., had hoped to have 16 favorable votes in the Senate Finance Committee before bringing S 1217 before to the floor; the bill obtained only 12 “yes” votes on May 8 with six Republicans and six Democrats in favor of the legislation.

 
May 14, 2014 12:30 PM

Watt Unveils Major Shift in FHFA Housing Policies

In his first major policy statement, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt announced a shift in housing finance policies May 13 that signals a new strategic plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, CQ Roll Call reported.

 
May 08, 2014 12:55 PM

Appraisal Institute Unveils New Certification Organization

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today announced the formation of a new certification organization: the International Center for Valuation Certification.

 
May 07, 2014 12:30 PM

GAO: Lack of Foreclosure Reviews Led to $1.5 Billion Loss

If regulators had conducted a comprehensive review of bank foreclosure files, they could have netted an additional $1.5 billion in cash payments, the Government Accountability Office reported April 29, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 
May 07, 2014 12:30 PM

GSEs May Require another Bailout if Recession Returns

If the nation faced another major economic downturn, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could require an additional taxpayer bailout of around $190 billion, according to stress test results released April 29 by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Bloomberg reported.

 
May 07, 2014 12:30 PM

Congress Asked to Reinstate Land Conservation Tax Breaks

Supporters of an “enhanced” but expired federal tax deduction for landowners who donate property for conservation or preservation want Congress to reinstate it and make it permanent, CQ Roll Call reported May 2.

 
Apr 30, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Fracking Can Decrease Property Values by 15 Percent

In its "Oil and Gas Exploration for Mortgage Bankers" presentation, the law firm Ballard Spahr reported that fracking, which is the practice of accessing natural gas reserves from shale, can cause property values to decrease by as much as 15 percent, HousingWire reported April 22.

 
Apr 30, 2014 12:30 PM

CFPB Announces Mortgage Closing Pilot Program

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told the Mortgage Closing Forum in Washington, D.C., April 23, that his agency will launch an eClosing pilot project later this year that's designed to improve the closing experience for homebuyers, Mortgage News Daily reported. ​

 
Apr 30, 2014 12:30 PM

Vote on GSE Reform Bill Postponed

On April 29, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee postponed a vote on legislation to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a move that may reflect the difficulty the committee has had rounding up enough support for a vote in the full Senate, Reuters reported

 
Apr 29, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Seeks Comments on Standards of Valuation Practice

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today invited valuation professionals to provide additional input on the organization’s proposed standards of valuation practice, one of the Appraisal Institute’s three previously announced major strategic initiatives.

 
Apr 23, 2014 12:30 PM

Housing Industry Tires of Waiting on Direction from FHFA Chief

Lawmakers and those involved in the nation’s housing industry remain frustrated by a lack of communication and guidance from the office of Mel Watt, who took over as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency in January, regarding his plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Reuters reported April 14.​

 
Apr 23, 2014 12:30 PM

Senate May Delay Vote on GSE Reform

The Senate Banking Committee may delay a pending vote on reform of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as it looks to acquire further votes, National Mortgage News reported April 14.

 
Apr 23, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Updates Appraisal Policies

On April 15, Fannie Mae announced updates to its Selling Guide that affect appraisal policies relating to appraisal updates, required photos and acceptable comparable properties. The changes, which are effective immediately, follow a comprehensive review of the Guide’s appraisal requirements chapters.​

 
Apr 16, 2014 12:30 PM

FHA Reconsidering Spot Loans for Condos

Condominium owners in buildings that are not approved for Federal Housing Administration lending may soon be able to obtain “spot loans,” which the agency banned nearly four years ago, Inman News reported April 8.

 
Apr 16, 2014 12:30 PM

FHFA, Chicago Settle Feud over Vacant Property

The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the city of Chicago settled their nearly three-year legal battle over Chicago’s vacant property ordinance that requires mortgagees to register, secure and maintain foreclosed properties, HousingWire reported April 8.

 
Apr 16, 2014 12:30 PM

Appraiser, Lender Feedback Sought for New FHA Handbook

On April 8, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development asked appraisers, lenders and other stakeholders to provide feedback on its new Federal Housing Administration handbook, which will serve as a consolidated resource for the agency’s single-family housing policy. The comment period will last 30 days.

 
Apr 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Mortgage Complaints Skyrocket in 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 163,700 consumer complaints in 2013, almost double the amount it received in 2012, and mortgages were the most groused about item, accounting for 37 percent of all complaints, according to the 2013 Consumer Response Annual Report released March 31.

 
Apr 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Lawsuits Targeting Appraisal Reviews on the Rise

The frequency of negligence claims against appraisers for work performed at the height of the real estate bubble is winding down, but as this occurs, new areas of litigation are emerging and focusing on appraisal review, according to an article published in the First Quarter 2014 issue of Valuation magazine.​

 
Apr 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: CFPB Slow to Complete Bank Examinations

The Office of the Inspector General for the Federal Reserve reported that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took too long to complete bank and non-bank examination reports and failed to meet its own timeline when offering feedback to financial institutions on their compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act, Bloomberg reported April 1.

 
Apr 08, 2014 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Aids Valuation of ‘Green’ Homes

Appraisers need to get up to speed on the latest energy efficient home features and should learn to determine how green a property is, according to a new book by the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Apr 02, 2014 11:43 AM

Report: GSEs Conduct Faulty Pre-foreclosure Inspections

The Office of Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency released a report claiming that pre-foreclosure inspections for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac showed major quality control issues, including potentially fraudulent or manipulated data, HousingWire reported March 25.

 
Apr 02, 2014 11:31 AM

Fannie Mae Releases New Guidelines for Rural Appraisals

Fannie Mae released new guidelines for appraising rural properties March 25, and at the same time clarified its policy on using appraisal management companies. In releasing the guidelines, Fannie noted that it recognizes how properties in low-population areas can present appraisers with special challenges.​

 
Apr 01, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Expands Registries of ‘Green’ Appraisers

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced it has expanded its Valuation of Sustainable Buildings Professional Development Program’s online registries of residential and commercial appraisers.

 
Mar 26, 2014 12:30 PM

IRS Bans Appraiser Group from Façade Easement Valuations

The Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Professional Responsibility announced March 19 that it reached a settlement with a group of appraisers from a firm accused of aiding in the understatement of federal tax liabilities by overvaluing façade easements for charitable donation purposes.

 
Mar 26, 2014 12:30 PM

FHA to Launch New Appraisal Portal

The Federal Housing Administration’s Office of Single-Family Housing will soon offer a web-based appraisal portal similar to the Uniform Collateral Data Portal already in use by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, HousingWire reported March 20.

 
Mar 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Regulators Propose Supervision Requirements for AMCs

Six federal agencies jointly issued a proposed rule March 24 that would implement minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies.

 
Mar 19, 2014 12:30 PM

White House, Senate Agree on Plan to Wind Down GSEs

The White House and Senate leaders have agreed on a proposal for winding down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac almost six years after the federal government bailed out the two firms, The Wall Street Journal reported March 11.

 
Mar 19, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: DOJ Failed to Adequately Prosecute Mortgage Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice has repeatedly emphasized that prosecuting mortgage fraud is one of its top priorities, but the DOJ Inspector General released an audit showing that between 2009 and 2011, the agency had done little to fulfill its commitment, HousingWire reported March 13.

 
Mar 19, 2014 10:55 AM

CFPB Scrutinizing ‘Zombie Foreclosures’

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is starting to scrutinize mortgage servicers’ practice of starting foreclosures and then walking away from them, leaving homeowners who may already have vacated the property on the hook for mortgage debt, taxes and maintenance, National Mortgage News reported March 12.

 
Mar 18, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Provides Its First Education in Persian Gulf

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today concluded an historic week-long teaching opportunity at Kuwait University – Real Estate Academy.​

 
Mar 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Risk of Mortgage Fraud Drops, Valuation Fraud Steady

Lenders faced a reduced risk of mortgage fraud during the fourth quarter of 2013, yet borrowers were three times as likely to lie about occupancy on multi-unit properties compared to single-unit properties, according to the National Mortgage Fraud Risk Report released Feb. 28 by analytics firm Interthinx.​

 
Mar 12, 2014 12:30 PM

AI Addresses ‘Green’ Issues at White House Appraisal Roundtable

On March 11, the Appraisal Institute participated in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Mortgage Appraisal Roundtable at the White House to help identify ways in which the mortgage appraisal process can be improved. 2014 President Ken P. Wilson, MAI, SRA, and Sandra Adomatis, SRA, attended.

 
Mar 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Congress Wants Answers from SBA on ‘Going Concern’ Appraisals

Responding to growing concern from the real estate industry over the U.S. Small Business Administration’s policy change on the appraisals of special purposes properties, 15 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter March 6 to the SBA’s acting administrator Marianne O’Brien Markowitz seeking clarification on the matter.

 
Mar 11, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisers Key to Property Loss Deductions: The Appraisal Journal

Natural disasters often cause damages to properties that qualify for deductions on federal income tax returns, but property owners need a qualified appraiser to substantiate and defend those losses, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Mar 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Morgan Stanley Settles with SEC for $275 Million

Morgan Stanley has agreed to a $275 million deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle allegations that it traded toxic subprime mortgage bonds, HousingWire reported Feb. 26. The trades date back to 2007.

 
Mar 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Bank of America Investigated for FHA Compliance

Bank of America is undergoing another federal probe, this time by the civil division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York over the bank’s alleged failure to comply with the Federal Housing Administration’s Direct Endorsement Program, Reuters reported Feb. 25.

 
Mar 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Yellen Says Fed May Slow Quantitative Easing

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee Feb. 27 that the Central Bank may suspend further reductions in quantitative easing if economic growth continued to slow, although she conceded that some of the slowdown could be the result of severe winter weather, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 
Feb 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Federal Reserve: Economy Strong Enough for More Quantitative Easing

Officials from the Federal Reserve banks of Atlanta, San Francisco and St. Louis said they believe the U.S. economy is performing strongly enough that the central bank will be able to stick to its plan to wind down quantitative easing this year, Reuters reported Feb. 19.

 
Feb 26, 2014 12:30 PM

CFPB Targets Servicers Who Fail to Follow Reforms

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Deputy Director Steven Antonakes said that the agency will crack down on mortgage servicers that are in violation of new rules that went into effect Jan. 10, noting that they had a year to prepare for changes, National Mortgage News reported Feb. 19.

 
Feb 26, 2014 12:30 PM

SBA Nominee Queried on Going Concern Appraisals

Maria Contreras-Sweet, the nominee for administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, was questioned during a Senate confirmation hearing Feb. 12 on a policy change that prevents qualified real estate appraisers from performing going concern appraisals.

 
Feb 19, 2014 12:30 PM

HUD Seeks Court Guidance on Eminent Domain

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan told attendees at a Feb. 12 Politico event that the use of eminent domain to force the sale of private-label mortgages out of securitized trusts needs to be decided by the courts, National Mortgage News reported Feb. 13.

 
Feb 19, 2014 12:30 PM

Bipartisan GSE Reform Bill Nearing Completion

The Senate Banking Committee is near completion of a bipartisan bill that would reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, National Mortgage News reported Feb. 12. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said it is critical to move on reform now, given pending litigation.

 
Feb 19, 2014 12:30 PM

GSEs Updating Method for Processing Appraisal Reports

According to guidance released Feb. 11 by Fannie Mae, beginning July 13 both Fannie and Freddie Mac will only accept MISMO XML submissions in the Uniform Collateral Data Portal. The PDF extraction service in UCDP will be retired as of that date, and the GSEs will no longer accept appraisals submitted in other file formats.

 
Feb 18, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Tells Homeowners How to Prepare for Appraisal

With the spring home-buying season approaching, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today encouraged homeowners to be prepared with all relevant property information when an appraiser visits.

 
Feb 18, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Tells Homeowners How to Prepare for Appraisal

With the spring home-buying season approaching, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today encouraged homeowners to be prepared with all relevant property information when an appraiser visits.

 
Feb 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Judge Postpones $8.5B Bank of America Settlement

Bank of America’s proposed $8.5 billion settlement with investors who purchased allegedly faulty mortgage securities from the bank’s Countrywide unit during the financial crisis has been delayed, Reuters reported Feb. 5.

 
Feb 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Suit Alleges Banks Filed False Mortgage Claims with HUD

A whistleblower filed suit against 22 banks, mortgage companies, trustees and custodians Feb. 3, alleging that they submitted fraudulent mortgage claims to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Mortgage News reported. Damages are expected to amount to around $10 billion.

 
Feb 12, 2014 12:30 PM

FHFA: Fannie, Freddie Fail to Analyze Appraisal Data

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed to fully analyze data from the Uniform Collateral Data Portal and continue to take unnecessary risks when purchasing and guaranteeing mortgages, according to a report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of the Inspector General, Mortgage Daily reported Feb. 6.

 
Feb 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Resolves $18.9 Billion Claim against Lehman Brothers

Fannie Mae reached a settlement with the remnants of Lehman Brothers Holdings that will resolve an $18.9 billion claim against the investment bank over mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities it sold the government-sponsored enterprise before the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 24.

 
Feb 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Government Increases BofA Penalty by More Than $1 Billion

The federal government increased by more than $1 billion the penalty amount it’s seeking from Bank of America for selling defective mortgages through its Countrywide unit, Reuters reported Jan. 30.

 
Feb 05, 2014 12:30 PM

NJ Governor Vetoes BPO Legislation...Again

Legislation that would have significantly expanded the ability of New Jersey real estate brokers and salespersons to offer broker price opinion services did not become law because of a Jan. 21 “pocket veto” by Gov. Chris Christie. This is the second time Christie has vetoed BPO legislation.

 
Jan 29, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed to Cut Bond Buying Program Again

The Federal Reserve is ready to make a second cut to its bond-buying program, reducing its purchase of Treasurys and mortgage bonds from $75 billion per month to $65 billion per month, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 20.

 
Jan 29, 2014 12:30 PM

Super Bowl Real Estate Showdown: Denver vs. Seattle

More than 50 percent of the population in the cities of Denver and Seattle are homeowners, but Seattle homeowners pay a lot more for property than those in Denver for virtually the same square footage, according to data released Jan. 21 by real estate analytics firm Redfin.

 
Jan 29, 2014 12:30 PM

Treasury Supports Comprehensive Housing Finance Reform

Despite Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s recent and significant profits, the U.S. Department of the Treasury still is pushing for comprehensive housing finance industry reform, Mortgage News Daily reported Jan. 22.

 
Jan 28, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Bestows First Review Designations in its History

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced it has issued the first appraisal review designations in its more than 80-year history.​

 
Jan 22, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Property Appreciation Approaching Peak Levels

Residential real estate values and appreciation grew during the fourth quarter of 2013, but at a slower rate than previous quarters, which may indicate that the market is topping out, analytics firm Veros Real Estate Solutions reported Jan. 16.

 
Jan 22, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Settlements Could Cost Wall Street Firms $50 Billion

Wall Street banks looking to settle with federal authorities over their alleged roles in helping to set off the mortgage crisis could be on the hook for as much as $50 billion, The New York Times reported Jan. 9. Wall Street is using the Fed's $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase as a guide for determining how much each bank might have to pay in order to settle with regulators.

 
Jan 22, 2014 12:30 PM

Congress: Qualified Mortgage Rule Could Stall Recovery

Some congressional members have expressed concern that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new Qualified Mortgage Rule could curb mortgage credit access and slow the housing recovery, HousingWire reported Jan. 14.

 
Jan 15, 2014 12:30 PM

Feds Probe Alleged Intentional MBS Misrepresentations

Federal regulators have launched an investigation into whether or not numerous large Wall Street banks cheated customers in the aftermath of the financial crisis by deliberately mispricing mortgage bonds, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 7.

 
Jan 15, 2014 12:30 PM

Mortgage Firms Settle for $320M after Whistleblower Complaint

Home America Mortgage and Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage will pay more than $320 million to settle allegations they falsified loan applications and documentation - including appraisals - in order to secure government backing for mortgages, National Mortgage News reported Jan. 7.

 
Jan 15, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Launches Appraiser Quality Monitoring Website

Fannie Mae launched a website Jan. 6 focused on its new Appraiser Quality Monitoring process, which evaluates appraisals for data accuracy and consistency. The site gives lenders access to a list of appraisers whose reports will be subject to 100 percent review or no longer accepted by Fannie.

 
Jan 09, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Issues Guidance on Valuing ‘Green’ Buildings

When valuing green buildings, real estate appraisers’ analysis must be supported by market data on the subject property that helps explain why it stands out from its conventional peers, according to guidance issued today by the Appraisal Institute and the Institute for Market Transformation.

 
Dec 30, 2013 08:00 AM

Ken P. Wilson, MAI, SRA, to Become President of Appraisal Institute on Jan. 1

Ken P. Wilson, MAI, SRA, of Plano, Texas, 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 23,000 professionals in almost 60 countries.

 
Dec 18, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Seeks Comments on Proposed Standards of Valuation Practice

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today unveiled proposed standards of valuation practice, one of the Appraisal Institute’s three previously announced major strategic initiatives that have the potential to fundamentally reshape the global valuation profession.

 
Nov 26, 2013 08:00 AM

Actual Cash Value Must Be Defined When Appraising Properties for Insurance Purposes: The Appraisal Journal

The relationship between actual cash value and fair market value needs to be clearly defined by real estate appraisers called upon to develop an opinion of value for insurance purposes, especially in legal situations between the insurer and insured, according to an article published last week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Nov 19, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Launches First New Designations

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today announced it will begin issuing two review designations in 2014. The AI-GRS, (Appraisal Institute – General Review Specialist) and AI-RRS (Appraisal Institute – Residential Review Specialist) designations will be the Appraisal Institute’s first new designations in more than 20 years.

 
Oct 31, 2013 08:00 AM

Solar Electric Systems Positively Impact Home Values: Appraisal Institute

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today announced that solar photovoltaic systems typically increase market value and almost always decrease marketing time of single-family homes in the Denver metropolitan area.

 
Oct 22, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisers Expect Continued Growth: Appraisal Institute Survey

Appraisers anticipate continued growth in mortgage lending appraisals and in specialized areas of consulting, according to a recent survey conducted by the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Oct 07, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Announces Major Strategic Initiatives for Valuation Profession

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced three major strategic initiatives that have the potential to fundamentally reshape the global valuation profession.

 
Sep 23, 2013 08:00 AM

Marketability Studies Can Reveal Demand for Apartments: The Appraisal Journal

Marketability studies by real estate appraisers can provide essential insight into demand trends and factors impacting the success or failure of future apartment developments, according to an article published last week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Sep 16, 2013 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Textbook Responds to Changing Role of Valuation Professionals

"The Appraisal of Real Estate, 14th Edition," published this week by the Appraisal Institute, reflects a new commitment to the essential principles of appraisal and the sound application of recognized valuation methods. The textbook long has been recognized as the valuation profession’s most comprehensive source of information for appraisers and other real estate professionals.

 
Aug 13, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraiser Trainee Hiring to Remain Weak: Appraisal Institute Survey

Hiring of appraiser trainees will remain weak for the next one to two years, according to a recent survey conducted by the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Aug 06, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute's Sara Stephens Named to Global Property Standards Group

Appraisal Institute Immediate Past President Sara W. Stephens, MAI, was among 19 real estate experts selected today by the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition to create the first global standard for measuring property.

 
Jul 29, 2013 08:00 AM

Salisbury's Scott Robinson Elected Appraisal Institute Vice President

J. Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, of Salisbury, N.C., was elected 2014 vice president of the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers July 26 in Indianapolis. Robinson’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, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Honors 5 National Award Winners

Harry B. Holzhauer, MAI, SRA, SRPA, formerly of Lake Oswego, Ore., posthumously received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin C. Amorin, MAI, of Austin, Texas, received the Outstanding Service Award and three individuals received the President’s Award during the Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting Thursday in Indianapolis.

 
Jul 16, 2013 08:00 AM

Real Estate Appraisers Optimistic About Future: Appraisal Institute Survey

More than three-fourths of U.S. real estate appraisers are very or somewhat positive about the demand for their services over the next one to two years, according to an Appraisal Institute survey released today.

 
Jun 17, 2013 08:00 AM

Movie Theater Industry Faces Obsolescence, Falling Property Values: The Appraisal Journal

The movie theater business is in troubled times, facing competition from many viewing alternatives, decreasing attendance and falling values for some properties, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Jun 10, 2013 08:00 AM

Only Certain Home Improvements Pay Off, Appraisal Institute Says

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today advised homeowners to use discretion when deciding which home improvement projects to take on, saying that not all renovations positively impact property values.

 
Jun 06, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Calls on Congress to Pass Green Real Estate Bill

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers announced its support today for federal legislation that would improve the mortgage underwriting process by ensuring appraisers are provided relevant property information relating to green and energy-efficient features.

 
May 28, 2013 08:00 AM

Technological Integration Critical to Future of Real Estate Appraisal, Forum Participants Say

Technological development in the real estate valuation profession remains too focused on appraisal report forms and not attentive enough to market analysis, said appraisers, their residential clients, mortgage finance industry leaders, bank regulators and other participants May 24 at the Appraisal Institute Stakeholders Forum in Washington, D.C.

 
May 14, 2013 08:00 AM

Landscaping Can Impact Home Values, Appraisal Institute Says

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today advised homeowners to properly maintain their landscaping, which can significantly affect property values.

 
May 06, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Joins Global Property Standards Coalition

The Appraisal Institute joined some of the world’s leading professional organizations May 2 in forming the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition. The two-day meeting at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., focused on developing and embedding a single standard for the way property is measured worldwide.

 
Apr 08, 2013 08:00 AM

Certified Appraisers at All-time High, Opportunities Coming: Appraisal Institute

The percentage of appraisers with a state certification is at an all-time high, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers announced today. With more than half of U.S. appraisers aged 51 to 65, the Appraisal Institute anticipates opportunities for new appraisers.

 
Mar 20, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Provides Homeowners with Property Tax Appeal Tips

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

 
Mar 06, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Releases Enhanced Form to Help Real Estate Appraisers Analyze Green Features

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today released an updated form intended to help analyze values of energy efficient home features. It remains the first of its kind intended for appraisers use.

 
Feb 27, 2013 08:00 AM

Relative Size of Homes May Affect Overall Property Values: The Appraisal Journal

The size of a property relative to the average sized property in its neighborhood may affect its sale price, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Feb 20, 2013 08:00 AM

Latest Green Course from Appraisal Institute Teaches How to Value Solar Features

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers premiered its “Residential and Commercial Valuation of Solar” course today in Albuquerque, N.M. The course is the latest offering in the Appraisal Institute’s Valuation of Sustainable Buildings Professional Development Program. ​

 
Feb 11, 2013 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute’s New Guidance Helps Real Estate Appraisers Analyze Exposure Time

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, published guidance today to help appraisers understand exposure time and how to incorporate its analysis into an appraisal.

 
Jan 29, 2013 08:00 AM

Bad Neighbors Can Reduce Property Values, Appraisal Institute Warns

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today cautioned homeowners and potential homebuyers that bad neighbors can significantly reduce nearby property values.

 
Dec 25, 2012 08:00 AM

Richard L. Borges II, MAI, SRA, to Become President of Appraisal Institute on Jan. 1

Richard L. (Rick) Borges II, MAI, SRA, of Greenwood, Ind., will begin his one-year term as president of the Appraisal Institute on Jan. 1. The Appraisal Institute is the nation’s largest organization of real estate appraisers with nearly 23,000 members in nearly 60 countries.

 
Nov 19, 2012 08:00 AM

Accessory Dwelling Units May Have Higher Values when Using Income Approach: The Appraisal Journal

Residential properties with accessory dwelling units — such as in-law apartments or coach houses — may have higher value potential if the properties are valued for investment income using the income capitalization approach, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Nov 13, 2012 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Helps Appraisers Perform Evaluations for Lenders

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers published guidance today to help appraisers learn what evaluations are, when they are used and who can prepare them.

 
Oct 28, 2012 08:00 AM