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Author Archives: Esther Cho

Fannie Mae: Economy Will ‘Reaccelerate’ in 2nd Half of 2013

Fiscal drags such as the sequester may have weakened economic momentum, but the economy should ""reaccelerate"" in the second half of this year as financial and housing conditions improve, according to Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group. ""Employment numbers are getting better, albeit it at a relatively slow pace, and the April employment picture should help boost consumer sentiment toward the economy overall,"" said Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae.

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OCC: More than 2.4M Foreclosure Review Checks Cashed

In its most recent update on the status of foreclosure review checks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced more than 2.4 million checks valued at $2.2 billion have been cashed or deposited as of May 16. So far, Rust Consulting, the paying agent, has sent 3.9 million checks totaling $3.4 billion. About 4.2 million borrowers are eligible for relief as part of the foreclosure review settlement reached in January between federal regulators and 13 servicers.

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NAR Speculates on Future of Housing at Realtor Expo

At the Realtors Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun projected further increases in existing-home sales. According to a release, Yun expects existing-home sales to increase to nearly 5 million this year, then grow to an annual rate of 5.3 million sales in 2014, and rise up to 5.7 million in 2015. NAR projects the median existing-home price will increase to about 8 percent this year from 6.4 percent in 2012, and then slow to 5 percent in 2014.

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Report: Foreclosures Led to Loss of $192B in Wealth in 2012

While the worst of the foreclosure crisis appears to be over, foreclosures led to the loss of $192.6 billion in wealth for Americans in 2012, according a report from the Alliance for a Just Society, national coalition of eight state-based grassroots community organizations. On average, the estimated loss in wealth last year comes out to about $1,700 per household for 114.7 million households in the nation, according to the coalition. The report also suggested the crisis is not yet over.

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Wolters Kluwer Appoints Three to Leadership Roles

Chris Zimmerman joined the company's consulting practice as a senior compliance consultant with a focus on default servicing. Wolters Kluwer also hired two industry veterans with strong backgrounds in the financial services industry to lead the residential and indirect lending businesses.

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Freddie Mac: Housing Is the Economic Recovery’s ‘Juice’

The ""juice"" that will fuel the economic recovery is housing, or more specifically, new home sales, according to Freddie Mac's economic and housing market outlook report for May. As the building of new homes adds to the availability of jobs, the unemployment rate should inch down. ""Based on historical correlations, every additional 100 thousand housing units started brings down the unemployment rate for construction workers by about three-fourths of a percentage point,"" the report stated. For 2013, Freddie Mac forecasts housing starts will increase by 200,000 units.

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GTJ Selects SecureView to Preserve Vacant Firehouses in Detroit

GTJ Consulting, LLC (GTJ) announced it has utilized SecureView to protect seven vacant firehouses for the city of Detroit. The property preservation and management company decided to use SecureView to maintain the value of the properties, avoid blighting the affected neighborhood, and ultimately make the locations as safe as possible until they are sold by the city and repurposed, according to a release.

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