Housing Finance

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International experts from industry, academia, the financial community, and government share lessons learned from their efforts to objectively measure housing risk.

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For housing finance, as house prices rise above their trend, reduce the allowable loan-to-value ratios and increase required down payments, and put heavier capital requirements on the mortgage loans of lenders, writes AEI Scholar Alex J. Pollock in Housing Finance International: the Quarterly Journal of the International Union for Housing Finance.

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As the federal government searches for ways to reduce segregation, it should start by examining its own tax credit policies and considering that some federal housing policies promote economic and racial segregation.

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A decade after the peak of the US housing bubble, 15% of owners owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth.

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s profits utterly depend on having their obligations backed by the US Treasury — and thus by taxpayers.

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The claim that mortgage credit is very tight for all but pristine borrowers has been repeated so often by respected policymakers and economists that it is now taken as fact. This characterization of today’s mortgage market, however, is misleading.

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Senator Richard Shelby’s reforms look like a positive and balanced start at fixing the negative economic fallout created by the Dodd-Frank Act.

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Dianna Ingram | Bergman Group

Congress directed the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) how to set the g-fees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge for guaranteeing mortgage-backed securities, but the FHFA didn’t follow the directions.

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Today’s mortgage market is described by respected policymakers and economists as having very tight mortgage credit, but this characterization is misleading. A few statistics about FHA loans, which comprise 25 percent of government guarantee home purchase loans, are sufficient to dispel the myth that only pristine borrowers can get a mortgage.

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Claims that housing has not recovered since the financial crisis because credit is tight are everywhere: from Fed Chair Yellen to economists working within and outside the government.

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Nobody wants the old Fannie and Freddie back; nobody wants them to stay on indefinitely in conservatorship. What is required are practical steps forward, rather than designing the ideal but politically unachievable solution.c

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