Lead House Financial Services Committee again

Hensarling currently serves as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and will serve his third term in that role beginning in January.

In his time as the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, especially in his most recent term, Hensarling pushed for regulatory rollback.

Earlier this year, Hensarling introduced a bill in the House that would replace the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act with a “pro-growth, pro-consumer” alternative that would bring significant reforms to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and much more.

The bill, called the Financial CHOICE act, passed out of the House Financial Services Committee in September.

The bill looks to gain traction in the next Congress, as President-elect Donald Trump is already signaling that his administration plans to “dismantle” Dodd-Frank.

Recently, at the Housing America’s Families Forum hosted by the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, Hensarling called Dodd-Frank a “grave mistake” and said Republicans will work to repeal it in 2017.

“I am humbled by the support and trust of my colleagues to continue my service as chairman of the Financial Services Committee,” Hensarling said of his upcoming term.

“In the coming Congress, we will continue our important

Northwest reaches all time low

Pending home sales hit an all-time high in the Northwest, but new listings took a plunge, according to the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The report, which covers 23 counties in and around Washington state, showed that new listings added during November dropped to an 11-month low. This could increase home prices as buyers fight over the dwindling inventory, which is now at an all-time low.

“Last year’s holiday season ended up being the best time to sell a home around King County as sellers took the winter months off, but buyers remained persistent,” said Robert Wasser, Northwest MLS director and Prospera Real Estate owner/broker. “The supply of homes for sale hit a post-recession low, and so far, this year is mirroring last winter’s trends.”

Inventory decreased by 13.2% in November, but pending home sales increased 94% in the Northwest. Prices increased by 11% compared to last year.

This left a housing supply of just 1.69 months, a new low. King Country showed the lowest level of supply at just 0.96 of a month.

Pending home sales totaled 8,217 for the month, compared to the 5,779 new

Equal bad news for housing

In fact, even his website changed in regards to its immigration focus. Now, instead of telling stories of illegal immigrants who were rapists and the lives they destroyed, which is what it said before, it simply puts down his plan and outlines what he will focus on as president.

Still, 2 to 3 million people is no small amount to remove from the economy, and could have disastrous consequences. Since the election, Trump’s focus has been on those who have a criminal history, he never said he wouldn’t deport others.

From his website:

All immigration laws will be enforced – we will triple the number of ICE agents. Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country.

A mass deportation of this kind could greatly increase the foreclosure rate, at a time when it was just getting back to pre-crisis levels.

During the housing crisis, Hispanics had a higher foreclosure rate than any other race, partially due to the sudden increase in deportation, more than 3 million undocumented immigrants, from 2005 and 2013, according to

Ready for the coming increase in households

It’s official — Ben Carson accepted President-elect Donald Trump’s offer to become the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For HousingWire readers, this news isn’t surprising since we exclusively reported Carson’s intention to accept the nomination last week.

Although many expected Carson to announce his acceptance after the Thanksgiving holiday, a week passed in silence. In the meantime, other appointments were made, including Quicken Loans executive vice president Shawn Krause, who was named to the HUD transition team.

Whatever the reason, there’s no further room for speculation. Trump officially offered, and Carson accepted, the new role as HUD secretary. Now the only thing standing in Carson’s way is approval from Congress.

“I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” Trump said. “Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities.”

“We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities,” he said. “Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”

Attract international home buyers

As international buyers are increasing, they are also bringing new trends to the market. For example, the Chinese influence is affecting home values for street addresses that contain the Chinese lucky number – four.

Now, even the way homes are sold may need to change. Jack Ryan, founder of REX, an online brokerage, former partner at Goldman Sachs and a onetime opponent of President Barack Obama for the Illinois Senate seat, decided to do just that.

Home prices continue to increase, a trend that will continue into 2017, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

These increasing home prices are narrowing the scope of possible buyers on luxury homes, and increasing the possibility that it will be bought by an international buyer. That is exactly what Ryan realized when he decided to turn to virtual reality to sell a $57.5 million home in Malibu, California, according to an article by James Tarmy for Bloomberg.

From the article:

“For homes like this,” Ryan said, gesturing to the house’s fireplace, “there’s a 50 percent chance that the buyer is outside the U.S., in around 15 financial capitals—London, Shanghai, Paris, Beijing.”

To reach that elusive group of the super-rich, Ryan had to get creative, which is why he decided

Expect home prices to start rising

Consumers became more optimistic about the housing market immediately following the election, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index. What’s more, the share of Americans who expect home prices will only continue to increase grew four percentage points to 35%, reversing the three-month downward trend.

The HPSI decreased in November for the fourth consecutive month, sliding down 0.5 points to 81.2. Four of the six components of the HPSI decreased. The election created a great divide in confidence levels from before and after election day.

“The November Home Purchase Sentiment Index outcome is difficult to interpret as the data collection period occurred across the Presidential election timeline,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist. “The results are fairly evenly split between responses collected before and after the election, and there is evidence of an increase in consumer optimism in the immediate aftermath of the election.”

Those who said now is a good time to buy a home decreased by one percentage point to 30%, while those who said now is a good time to sell fell by six percentage points to 13% in November. Those who said now is a bad time to sell even rose two percentage points

Bank reportedly fails fair lending requirement

The dark clouds surrounding Wells Fargo are about to get a lot darker, as the bank, which is already in hot water over its recent fake account scandal, is reportedly falling short in its fair lending requirements and faces additional sanctions.

Over the last few months, Wells Fargo has been in the crosshairs of various regulators after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the city and county of Los Angeles fined Wells Fargo $185 million because more than 5,000 of the bank’s former employees opened approximately 2 million fake accounts in order to get sales bonuses.

In the fallout from the fake account scandal, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf lost his job, the bank lost business from several states, and the OCC slapped additional sanctions on it, including forcing the bank to ask the OCC for approval if it wants to make a change to its board of directors or its senior executive officers.

Now, according to a new report from Reuters, Wells Fargo is about to be more hot water with the OCC for reportedly failing to meet its requirements under the Community Reinvestment Act.

Under the Community Reinvestment Act guidelines, banks are legally required to meet the

The recovering housing market

This increase is already making waves in the housing market. According to Black Knight’s report, the number of potential refinance candidates fell by more than 50% over the last few weeks.

And it could only continue to increase from here. Housing experts are saying there is a 100% chance that the Federal Reserve will elect to raise rates at its last meeting of the year.

But now, next year could bring a new danger to the housing market via raising interest rates, according to Mark Fleming, First American senior vice president and chief economist. Supply for first-time buyers will be in greater demand than ever.

“As rates go up, all those existing home owners now don’t have an incentive to move,” Fleming told HousingWire. “They may not supply their homes to the market for that potential first-time homebuyer to buy.”

While previously first-time buyers tended to look at pre-existing homes, currently homeowners may be running out of incentives to put their home on the market, making the need for affordable newly constructed homes more important than ever, Fleming said.

“The need for new housing to be more affordable I think will be more important than it’s been in a long, long time,” he said.

However, there

Election pushes up consumer optimism

The Michigan average since its inception is 85.4. During non-recessionary years the average is 87.6. The average during the five recessions is 69.3.

“Consumer confidence surged in early December to just one-tenth of an Index point below the 2015 peak—which was the highest level since the start of 2004,” said Richard Curtain, Survey of Consumers chief economist. “The surge was largely due to consumers’ initial reactions to Trump’s surprise victory.”

“When asked what news they had heard of recent economic developments, more consumers spontaneously mentioned the expected positive impact of new economic policies than ever before recorded in the long history of the surveys,” Curtin said. “To be sure, an equal number volunteered negative judgments about prospective economic policies, but the frequency of those negative references was less than half its prior peak levels whereas positive references were about twice its prior peak.”

Within the index, current economic conditions increased 4.5% from last month’s 107.3 and 3.7% from last year’s 108.1 to 112.1 at the beginning of December.

“There were a few exceptions to the early December surge in optimism, mainly among those with a college degree and among residents of the Northeast, although no group has adopted a pessimistic outlook for the economy,”

Black Knight Financial Services

The bottom line, according to Black Knight’s report, is that housing is less affordable right now than it was before the election.

In fact, home affordability is now at its lowest point since June 2010.

Per Black Knight’s report, the post-election interest rate bump means that the average home price is $16,400 more expensive for the buyer than it was before the election.

That equates to borrowers being on the hook for $60 more per month in principal and interest in order to purchase the median home. That figures rises to $72 per month for borrowers putting 3.5% down on their home.

According to Black Knight’s report, it now requires 21.6% of median income to purchase the median priced home nationwide, which is still low by historical standards, but the highest it’s been since June 2010.

For reference, interest rates in June 2010 were 4.75%, but home prices were about 20% lower than they are now.

So the interest rate increase impacts potential borrowers and could inhibit home sales some moving forward.

But the impact isn’t felt by new buyers only.

According to Black Knight’s report, the number of potential refinance candidates fell by more than 50% over the last few weeks.

As a result of the increase rate

New fully digital mortgag

On Thursday, Caliber Home Loans, a mortgage origination and servicing company, unveiled a fully digital mortgage that the company claims can shrink the loan process from 45 days down to 10 days or less.

HousingWire got a preview of the program, which Caliber Home Loans calls the “Caliber Ultimate Homebuying Experience.”

According to details provided by Caliber, the “Ultimate Homebuying Experience” is a streamlined application, approval and closing experience for conventional, government, and Caliber portfolio loans.

The program takes nearly all of the mortgage process online, using various technological advancements to automate the process, from application all the way through closing.

Caliber boasts that this program is different than some other digital mortgages because of the company’s “best-in-class” loan officers and account executives, who work with the borrower throughout the process.

According to the company, the program can “simplify the mortgage process and to reduce stress” on borrowers.

So how does Caliber close a loan in 10 days or less?

According to the company, its “Ultimate Homebuying Experience” automates much of the home buying process, including appraisals in some cases, which several other lenders recently cited as a impediment to shorter loan closing times.

Caliber said that it developed a full application process that takes only minutes, as

Flipping of home are comes down

A home flip is a house sold in an arm’s length sale for the second time within a 12-month period based on publicly recorded sales deed data collected by ATTOM Data Solutions in more than 950 counties accounting for more than 80% of the U.S. population.

The number of homes flipped decreased from a six-year high of 53,892 in the second quarter this year and from 49,305 homes last year to 45,718 in the third quarter.

“While the macro trends of low housing inventory and rising home prices are favorable for flippers, they are also a double-edged sword, attracting more competition and reducing the availability of deals — particularly in the most fundamentally sound local markets,” ATTOM Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist said.

“This is chasing some investors into markets and neighborhoods that may be less fundamentally sound but also offer more value-add opportunities for flippers in the form of aging housing inventory,” Blomquist said.

Of the homes flipped in the third quarter, 67.9% were purchased with cash, down from 68.2% last quarter and from 69% last year. In fact, the number of home flippers buying in cash reached its lowest level since the third quarter of 2008.

The biggest rent hikes

In previous reports, the Sun Belt dominated the list, especially Florida and California. But in this report, RentRange identified a new emerging rental rate trend in the Rust Belt in areas like Pittsburgh, St. Louis and a trio of Ohio markets: Cleveland, Cincinnati and Canton.

“The emergence of rental rate increases in several Rust Belt markets is creating a unique opportunity for single-family rental market investors to pursue both property value increases and high yields,” said Wally Charnoff, CEO of RentRange Data Services.

“For years, the Rust Belt has produced strong yields, but tepid property price appreciation has kept rents relatively flat, forcing investors to choose between property appreciation or yield,” Charnoff said.

But now, he explained that strengthening economies in those markets combined with below average inventory and home-buying challenges, such as home buyers struggling to obtain mortgages, are creating the perfect environment for rental investors.

Millennials are helping fuel the single-family rental market since many are prolonging buying a home.

According to Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American Financial Corporation, since the beginning of the recession, the amount of rental households has increased by 22%, meaning there are 8.4 million new rental households.

As the biggest demographic group in American history, Millennials, finishes

Home sales increase

However, home sales in the Bay Area increased in November by 10% from last year. While they still decreased 6% from October to November, this is compared to the four-year average decrease of 16% during that time.

Sales of homes priced between $2 million and $3 million saw substantial growth of 38% from last year. Home sales of those priced between $1 million and $2 million saw the second-highest jump of 26% annually.

However, the median home price of $785,000 in the Bay Area remained unchanged from last month, but did increase 8% from last year. Some counties, Napa, Marin and San Francisco, saw annual decreases of 4%, 5% and 1% respectively. However, Napa’s home prices peaked in November 2015, which is part of the reason for the annual decline.

November also reversed the downward spiral of the number of listings sold above asking price with an increase of four percentage points in some areas. Homes priced above $3 million saw the most increase in homes sold over asking price with an increase of 10 percentage points from last month.

However, this increase does not seem to be permanent, but rather, a reaction to higher interest rates.

“The spike in activity was in large part due to

Borrowers facing foreclosure

The state of New York is taking the next step in its fight against abandoned foreclosures and neighborhood blight by unveiling a consumer bill of rights for borrowers facing foreclosure.

The consumer bill of rights is part of series of “sweeping” new laws announced by the state earlier this year designed to reform the state’s foreclosure process and address the state’s issues with abandoned foreclosures, also called zombie homes. New York has one of the longest foreclosure timelines in the nation, averaging 1,070 days to foreclose in the third quarter.

According to the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the new laws combat the blight of vacant and abandoned properties by expediting the rehabilitation, repair and improvement of these properties, and enable the state to assist homeowners facing foreclosure.

Additionally, the new laws also impose a pre-foreclosure duty on banks and servicers to maintain zombie homes, create an electronic registry of abandoned properties, and expedite foreclosure for vacant and abandoned properties to get those houses back on the market.

Included among the tenets of New York’s new laws is the establishment of a bill of rights for consumers facing foreclosure, which Cuomo and the New York Department of Financial Services introduced Wednesday.

The consumer bill of rights,