|House Republicans Warming to Senate Deal on Dodd-Frank
House Republicans are warming up to a Senate bill that would loosen the banking rules put in place after the financial crisis.
The Senate is poised this week to pass the most significant changes to the Dodd-Frank Act since it became law in 2010. The bill has the support of more than a dozen Democrats, making it one of the few measures with a chance to become law this year.
“It is clear that the time is right for a bipartisan compromise to revise Dodd-Frank and better deal with the current lending environment,” said Collingwood Group Managing Director Tom Cronin. “I applaud the House for their hard work on the Choice Act and expect to see some acceptable amendments to S.2155 (Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act) before this deal is done. With all 34 of the big banks passing the Fed’s stress test of their financial health back in June, and with evidence that small community banks and credit unions are still suffering under Dodd-Frank, its time to get this done.”
With the GOP searching for accomplishments to tout ahead of the midterm elections, House conservatives who once derided the Senate bill are taking a second look, suggesting they may be open to compromise.
“I want to do what’s good for Main Street. I’m a dealmaker, so maybe not everything’s in it, but maybe there’s something that we can be happy with in it,” said Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas). He had called the Senate’s plan a “non-starter” in December.
read more: The Hill
Consumer Housing Sentiment Slips
The U.S. housing market may be starting to get volatile. Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index report found that consumer confidence in housing took a hit in February. The worry seems to be stemming from some general upheaval at the federal financial level.
“Volatility in consumer housing sentiment continued into February, with the new tax law beginning to impact respondents’ take-home pay and the stock market creating negative headlines due to early-month turbulence,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “Additionally, consumers’ expectations for higher mortgage rates suggest that consumers expect the Fed to hike rates a few more times in 2018.”
In raw numbers, Americans’ feelings about the housing economy translated into a nearly 4 percent drop in confidence in February. The net share of respondents to Fannie’s survey who said now is a good time to buy a home decreased 5 percent (to 22 percent) from January, while those who said it’s a good time to sell dropped 2 percent (to 36 percent).
The number who said home prices will go up in the next 12 months decreased to 45 percent overall in February. That’s a 7 percent drop that mirrors the number of consumers who said mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months.
read more: The MReport
New York Housing Is Getting (Gasp!) More Affordable
What will New Yorkers do if they can’t bemoan the cost of housing at every cocktail party and youth-soccer match? Signs are emerging that the city’s perpetual housing worries may be easing.
Housing costs are taking a smaller bite out of the typical household’s monthly budget, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau survey that is conducted every three years. The survey also shows a record amount of new housing and the third-highest rental-vacancy rate since the bureau’s first survey in 1965.
Driving the changes are a surge of construction in the past few years and a strong economy in which the growth of jobs has outpaced the increase in rents. The economic gains are beginning to benefit lower-income groups, economists said.
“A nearly decadelong rising economic tide really is starting to lift all boats,” said James Parrott, an economist at the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School. “The trends are all positive and encouraging and bode well for improved rental housing affordability,” he said. Some groups of New Yorkers, such as the mostly elderly tenants in rent-controlled apartments, aren’t sharing in the prosperity, he added.
read more: WSJ
MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased 0.3%
After increasing 2.7% the previous week, mortgage application volume increased 0.3% during the week ended March 2, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
Applications for refinances increased 2% while applications for purchases decreased 1%.
The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Washington’s Birthday (Presidents’ Day) holiday.
On an unadjusted basis, total volume increased 13% compared with the previous week. Applications for purchases increased 13% on an unadjusted basis and were 1% higher compared with the same week one year earlier.
read more: Mortgage Orb
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