Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Metro Denver Job Growth Study

the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) released its fifth annual Industry Cluster Study, a competitive analysis of industries leading the region's future economic growth.

The industries in the cluster are: Aerospace, Aviation, Bioscience, Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Energy, Financial Services, Information Technology.

Link to Web Article

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New FHA Rules - a price worth paying

The FHA announced a tightening of its mortgage underwriting rules in late January of 2010. The policy changes are designed to shore up the FHA's capital reserves and help the agency do a better job of managing risk.

Some of the changes:
- mortgage insurance premiums going up from 1.75% to 2.25%
- increases minimum down-payment to 10% for low credit scores (580 or less)
- reduces permissible seller concessions from 6% down to 3%

First time home buyers may be affected (those who have not yet established their credit history, for example).

For the entire article, see the following link from

Monday, March 8, 2010

What do HUD and FHA do?

US Department of Housing and Urban Development - HUD

Mission Statement:
HUD's mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. To fulfill this mission, HUD will embrace high standards of ethics, management and accountability and forge new partnerships--particularly with faith-based and community organizations--that leverage resources and improve HUD's ability to be effective on the community level.

FHA - Federal Housing Administration

The Federal Housing Administration, generally known as "FHA", is the largest government insurer of mortgages in the world. A part of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), FHA provides mortgage insurance on single-family, multifamily, manufactured homes and hospital loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. While borrowers must meet certain requirements established by FHA to qualify for the insurance, lenders bear less risk because FHA will pay the lender if a homeowner defaults on his or her loan. FHA has insured over 37 million home mortgages and 47,205 multifamily project mortgages since 1934. Currently, FHA has 5.2 million insured single-family mortgages and 13,000 insured multifamily projects in its portfolio. Clearly, FHA provides a huge economic boost to the country in the form of home and community development, particularly in today's challenging financial climate.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Who are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Sunday July 13, 2008

Fannie Mae -- the Federal National Mortgage Association -- and Freddie Mac -- the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, while privately owned by shareholders are congressionally-authorized, "government sponsored enterprises" (GSEs) regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

As the largest sources of home financing in the U.S., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as regulated by HUD, are charged by Congress with "providing stability and liquidity in the secondary mortgage market, providing secondary market assistance relating to mortgages for low- and moderate-income families, and promoting access to mortgage credit throughout the Nation, including underserved areas." Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fund residential mortgages by purchasing loans directly from lenders, such as mortgage bankers and depository institutions, and holding these loans in portfolio or by issuing mortgage-backed securities that are sold to a wide variety of investors in the capital markets.

While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are privately owned corporations, their status as congressionally authorized, government sponsored enterprises, empowers them with certain privileges including being exempt from paying state and local taxes (except property taxes) and enjoying access to a $2.25 billion standing line of credit from the U.S. Treasury Department. The Treasury Department, at the urging of the Federal Reserve may now temporarily increase this line of credit, in order to help Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through their current economic problems.

The other two government sponsored enterprises are the Institutions of the Farm Credit System, which include the Agricultural Credit Bank and Farm Credit Banks, and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac). Both of these GSEs provide agricultural real estate interests with the essentially the same services Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide to the home mortgage industry.

On September 7, 2008, James Lockhart, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were being placed into conservatorship of the FHFA. The action is "one of the most sweeping government interventions in private financial markets in decades". As of 2008, Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) owned or guaranteed about half of the U.S.'s $12 trillion mortgage market.