Senator Sherrod Brown, Freddie Mac’s Layton, House Leadership’s McHenry …

WASHINGTON, DC (July 2, 2015) — Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton, U.S. House Chief Deputy Majority Whip and Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and key congressional committee leaders have joined the growing list of speakers confirmed for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) 2015 Congressional Caucus, scheduled Sept. 14-17 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

What: NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus, the association’s credit union lobbying event of the year, brings hundreds of credit union leaders to Washington to talk about the industry’s vital issues, visit with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and hear from prominent congressional and financial industry leaders.

Who: Donald Layton, Freddie Mac CEO

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s Housing and Insurance Subcommittee

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), chief deputy majority whip, U.S. House of Representatives and vice chairman of the House Financial Services Committee

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), member of the House Financial Services Committee

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), senior member of the House Financial Services Committee

Where: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

When: Monday, Sept. 14 – Thursday, Sept. 17

NAFCU’s Caucus, sponsored by NAFCU Services Corporation and MasterCard and CUNA Mutual Group, is open to everyone working in the credit union industry. The early-bird deadline on Caucus registration savings is July 17.

Visit to learn more and register. Follow the #NAFCUCaucus hashtag for the latest information on Caucus.

The event is complimentary for media, but registration is required. Please contact Patty Briotta at (703) 842-2820 or to register or with any questions.

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is the only national trade association focusing exclusively on federal issues affecting the nation’s federally insured credit unions. NAFCU membership is direct and provides credit unions with the best in federal advocacy, education and compliance assistance.

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Patty Briotta
Director of Public Relations

NAR’s property data tool adds new features

Realtors Property Resource (RPR), a subsidiary of the National Association of Realtors that provides data on 166 million properties and data tools to all Realtors free of charge, has added new features to make it easier for users to generate market reports, identify distressed listings and learn about training classes offered by RPR.

Realtors can click new tabs in RPR’s mapping tool to generate a neighborhood or market report. RPR also now offers a new chart on the charts tab of a property that highlights the inventory of distressed listings.

Realtors Property Resource’s click-to-create report tool.

Those listings “are now marked as short sales matched against the inventory of distressed properties that could be in any stage of foreclosure as identified through public recor…

Soaring home prices not a ‘bubble’: Realtors

Yun defines a “bubble” as home sales and prices rising at an unsustainable pace, not supported by economic fundamentals, such as steady job growth, and/or sales and prices driven by lax underwriting. Mortgage credit availability is now far tighter than it was during the housing boom, when anyone with a pulse could get essentially free money. Fundamentals, however, are another story.

“We are definitely not in a bubble in the sense of what we experienced in the mid-2000s,” said Peter Boockvar, managing director and chief marketing analyst at The Lindsey Group. “But I think it’s easy to argue that home price gains are running at an unsustainable pace. Interest rates are certainly in a bubble in that people could borrow over the past few years at rates never before seen. The industry itself, as measured by new homes, is still in a recession with sales so far below average levels.”

Read More Will 2 million ‘boomerang buyers’ ignite housing?

The year 2006 saw both sales and price bubbles. That is not the case today. Sales, while gaining, are still comparatively weak. This is all about prices. Today’s prices are being driven by very tight supply, increasing demand and still-low mortgage rates—not by a soaring economy. Does that still mean it’s not a bubble? Perhaps one microcosm offers some insight.

Home prices in California’s Bay Area are near peak levels. The median price has increased on an annual basis for 38 straight months, amid tight supply, and the May median of $650,000 was the second highest since its peak in the summer of 2007. Sales are now suffering, down 1 percent from April and up just 3 percent from a year ago. Compare that to the 9 percent annual jump in sales nationally.

“Bay Area home sales remain below the long-term average,” wrote Andrew LePage, a research analyst at CoreLogic in a monthly report. “Job growth, low mortgage interest rates and other forces have created a healthy housing demand. But that’s being checked by credit, affordability and inventory constraints.”

Read MoreApartment occupancy at all-time high: Here’s why

Sales are weakening in the Bay Area, which Yun actually pointed out during his no-bubble explanation. Sales nationally are still gaining, but at some point prices will take their toll. Then there is the matter of rising interest rates. The Realtors group apparently “stress-tested” the rate issue, consulting some of its members, and came up with the conclusion that only when the average on the 30-year fixed mortgage hits 6 percent, will sales be affected.

The average rate is now right at 4 percent. No one is expecting to see 6 percent this year, but it is not out of the question next year. Homebuyers, for now, are getting no help from builders or potential sellers—neither of which are adding enough supply to the market. Bubble? Clearly inflation.

Greater Wilkes-Barre, Greater Hazleton Realtor associations to merge next year – Wilkes Barre Times

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By Jerry Lynott

KINGSTON — The Greater Wilkes-Barre Association of Realtors will mark its 100th anniversary in October and prepare for a name change next year.

It will merge with the Greater Hazleton Association of Realtors on Jan. 1 and form the Luzerne County Association of Realtors.

“It’s a consolidation more or less,” Charles Adonizio, president of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Association, said.

The merger follows a trend to join forces and meet the mandates of the National Association of Realtors to provide members with most professional services; something Adonizio said was a challenge for smaller associations.

The Greater Hazleton group has 125 members and it was considering raising dues, Adonizio said.

Gerald McGuire, president of the Greater Hazleton group, was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

“We already have over 400 members. We already have critical mass,” Adonizio said.

The Greater Wilkes-Barre group has two full-time staff and its own office building on Pierce Street, Kingston. “We give our membership that high level of service that the National Association requires,” Adonizio said.

The Greater Wilkes-Barre group traces its beginnings to 1915 and Wilkes-Barre Real Estate Exchange. “We’re celebrating our 100th anniversary as an association on Oct.1. In doing so this will be the last anniversary we’re going to celebrate,” said Adonizio, whose two-year term as president ends at the end of the year.

“They approached us and in early 2015 we had a few meetings,” Adonizio, said. The Greater Wilkes-Barre group did its due diligence before its membership overwhelmingly voted last month to merge, said Adonizio, who also operates Atlas Realty Inc. in Plains Township. The Greater Hazleton group will dissolve and give back its charter.

The groups work in Luzerne County, can cross county lines and use the Multiple Listing Service to list properties for sale. In some states there is only one MLS, Adonizio said.

“We’re doing more business regionally. We’re all licensed in the state of Pennsylvania,” Adonizio said. He used as example the Greater Scranton Board of Realtors, Inc. which covers Lackawanna, Wyoming and Susquehanna counties.

“It’s time to change. It’s time to grow,” he said.

He wouldn’t be surprised to see more regionalization in the future, he said.


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Capital One provides an $11.9 million Freddie Mac loan

Capital One has announced that it has provided an $11.9 million Freddie Mac fixed-rate loan to refinance Catalina Village, a 376-space, all-age manufactured housing community (MHC) in Phoenix, Arizona. Damon Reed, Senior Vice President and Capital One’s Director of MHC Finance, originated the transaction. The key principal is a repeat customer of both Capital One and Reed. The proceeds of this loan allowed the borrower to retire existing higher-rate debt and free up equity to purchase additional properties.

“Time was an issue in this transaction,” said Reed, noting the borrower’s concern that interest rates would rise substantially before his loan matured.  Reed helped the borrower define his options, who decided to retire his existing debt early and incur a prepayment penalty.   “We were able to lock the rate early before treasuries increased dramatically,” Reed says.  “The interest rate on the new loan was approximately 200 basis points lower than the rate on the loan that was paid off.”

The borrower has owned Catalina Village for two decades, and has maintained high occupancy levels by regularly investing in capital improvements, adding a new pool and gated entranceway, upgrading the landscaping and the clubhouse, and adding a new stone security guard building and two stone walls at the property entrance. The property is close to Interstates 10 and 17 as well as downtown Phoenix, further adding to its attractiveness.

The 30-year fixed-rate loan has 10 years of interest-only payments, seven years of yield maintenance, and payable on an actual/360 basis.

Capital One Bank’s Commercial Real Estate Group offers a comprehensive array of financing solutions for property owners and developers nationwide, including balance sheet and agency lending. Additional information can be found at Capital One Commercial Banking leverages a relationship-based banking model that seamlessly delivers an array of products and services including loans and deposit accounts, treasury management services, merchant services, investment banking, international services and correspondent banking.

Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates increase to 2015 highs

Mortgage rates increased to new 2015 highs moving into the holiday weekend, the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market survey found.  

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08% for the week ended July 2, up from 4.02% last week. A year ago, it averaged 4.12%.

In addition, the 15-year, FRM averaged 3.24%, up from 3.21% a week prior. In 2014, it sat at 3.22%.

“Overseas events are generating significant day-to-day volatility in interest rates. Nonetheless, the week-to-week impact on most rates was modest—the 30-year mortgage rate increased just 6 bps, to 4.08%,” said Sean Becketti, chief economist with Freddie Mac.

“The (Mortgage Bankers Association) composite index of mortgage applications fell 4.7% in response to what is now three consecutive weeks of mortgage rates over 4 percent. Other measures, however, confirmed continued strength in housing—pending home sales rose 0.9 percent, exceeding expectations, and the Case-Shiller house price index recorded another solid increase,” said Becketti.

The 5-year Treasury hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.99% for this week, a slight increase from 2.98% a week ago. A year ago, it also sat at 2.98%.

The 1-year Treasury –indexed ARM averaged 2.52%, growing from 2.50% last week. The 1-year ARM averaged 2.38% a year ago.

Click to enlarge

(Source: Freddie Mac)

Bankrate posted similar results, with the 30-year, FRM rising to 4.19%, up from 4.16%. A year ago, it was 4.28%.

The 15-year, FRM fell to 3.34%, down from 3.35%, while the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage increased to 3.25%, up from 3.23%. 

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NetDirector Completes Integration With Fannie Mae’s