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New home sales plummet, CFPB wants to cut the paperwork

Sales of new single-family homes posted dismal March numbers, and Richard Cordray says the closing process requires too much paperwork. This and more in MPA's weekly update.

Video transcript below:

Happy Friday everyone. I'm Ryan Smith and this is MPA's weekend review.  
Sales of new single-family homes took a tumble in March posting a dismal seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units.  That's down from February's 449,000 unit piece and a 13 percent decline from March of last year.  A spokesman for the National Association of Realtors told MPA that the dismal numbers were largely the result of tight credit for both borrowers and builders.  

Mortgage bankers saw a significant drop-off in production in the fourth quarter according to data released last week.  A survey by the accounting firm Ritchie May showed an overall drop in production volume of 11% for the fourth quarter with refinance volume down by 9% and purchase volume down by nearly 12%.  The report also found that more lenders were extending credit to low FICO borrowers.  

The CFPB says closing documents desperately need streamlining and it only took 69 pages to say it in.  The CFPB issued a report on the need to cut down on the massive pile of  paperwork required at closing.  The report itself was 69 pages long.  To put that in perspective the US Constitution which spells out the governing powers of the oldest continuous democracy on the face of the earth is only 21 pages long.  In his introduction to the report CFPB director Richard Cordray wrote, this much is clear to me, the package of closing documents is too large, not clear to Cordray, an employee who is suing you for discrimination will be recording her phone calls.

Fixed mortgage rates edged up this week following the uptake in the 10 year treasury note, the 30 year fixed rate mortgage was averaged 4.33% this week up from last week's 4.27%.  The five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.03% this week which is unchanged from last week and the 1-year arm held steady this week at 2.44%.  
For MPA, this is Ryan Smith, have a great weekend.

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