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Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Study: Renting Makes More Sense than Buying in Manhattan

With fluctuations in rental and owner markets over the past few years, it can be difficult to determine whether one is better off renting or owning. In Manhattan, renting is currently the more financially viable option, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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Wells Fargo Releases Commentary on State of Housing

The housing market has managed to be one of the few areas in the economy that is ""essentially unshaken"" by fiscal cliff uncertainties, according to a commentary from the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group. Based on recent moves from the Federal Reserve, the commentary further noted the Fed ""appears to be banking on a housing recovery."" Last week, the Fed announced plans to continue buying $45 billion in long-term securities amid the expiring Operation Twist. The Fed also maintained its pace of buying $40 billion in MBS. In addition to actions from the Fed, the housing market has gained support from other factors such as an improving unemployment rate, increasing home prices and sales, and decreasing foreclosures.

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FOMC Ties Fed Funds Rate to Unemployment

Despite recent improvements in the unemployment rate and housing, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Wednesday voted to continue its program of purchasing $40 million a month of mortgage backed securities and to maintain the target Fed Funds rate at 0 to 0.25 percent. The FOMC vote was 11-1 with only Richmond Fed President Jeffery M. Lacker dissenting.

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Treasury Selling Last of AIG Shares

The Treasury announced Tuesday it will sell the remainder of its shares of American International Group, Inc. common stock. The move brings Treasury's stake in the company to an end. After the offering, Treasury will still hold warrants to purchase about 2.7 million shares of AIG common stock. Together, Treasury and the Federal Reserve invested $182.3 billion to stabilize the failing insurance behemoth in September 2008 at the start of the financial crisis.

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Home Values Up in Q3 Per Fed Report

Fueled by a $370 billion jump in the value of household real estate, household net worth grew $1.7 trillion in the third quarter to $64.8 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday in its quarterly Flow of Funds report. And, while the value of owner-occupied household real estate increased, total residential mortgage debt fell $85.8 billion. As a result, owners' equity increased almost $390 billion. Homeowners' equity as a percentage of the value of the real estate rose to 44.8 percent, the highest level since 2007, according to the report.

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Beige Book Shows Regional Economic Differences

The Federal Reserve painted a picture of a split economy with concerns about the ""fiscal cliff"" in its periodic Beige Book released Wednesday. The economy, according to the Beige Book, expanded ""at a measured pace"" in seven of the 12 federal reserve districts--Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco. According to the Beige Book, business leaders and others ""expressed concern and uncertainty about the federal budget, especially the fiscal cliff.""

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Fannie Mae Releases Forecast on Housing, Economy

Given improvements seen in housing, Fannie Mae revised its housing forecast higher for 2012 and 2013 in its November economic outlook report. The GSE's Economic & Strategic Research Group anticipates single-family housing starts will jump 25 percent this year, then rise by another 22 percent in 2013. Existing-home sales should also rise and see a 9 percent increase in 2012 and a 4 percent gain in 2013. Even though reports on the housing sector give reasons to be optimistic, Fannie Mae still warned ""data continue to show a sluggish recovery overall.""

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Lingering Headwinds Make Recovery ‘Disappointingly Slow’

While various economic reports hint at improvements in the nation's economy since the economic crisis was in full swing, improvement is meek and recovery seems too strong a word to describe the progress thus far. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke calls the pace of recovery ""disappointingly slow."" In a speech before the New York Economic Club Tuesday, Bernanke pointed out some of the lingering headwinds preventing the economy from more momentous progress.

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Banks May Get More Time on Basel III Requirements

The implementation of the Basel III capital rules may be postponed beyond the start of 2013, according to a joint statement released by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve. The announcement follows a comment period during which many trade organizations and institutions expressed apprehension about the new requirements.

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