Morning Briefing: Fannie says mortgage help is available following Louisiana floods

by Steve Randall16 Aug 2016
Fannie says mortgage help is available following Louisiana floods
Fannie Mae has reminder homeowners and mortgage servicers that help is available following the devastation caused by the flooding in Louisiana.

The corporation says that services can grant an initial period of forbearance for any mortgage borrowers that are believed to be affected by the disaster with the possibility of further help with Fannie’s approval.

Mortgage repayments can be put on hold for up to 90 days if the servicer believes a natural disaster has adversely affected the value or habitability of the property or if the natural disaster has temporarily impacted the homeowner's ability to make payments on their mortgage.

Mortgage servicers are also authorized by the corporation’s guidelines to delay foreclosure sales and other legal proceedings in these areas.

“We know that many people have had their lives disrupted by the flooding in Louisiana,” said Malloy Evans, Vice President of Servicing at Fannie Mae. “Our servicers are committed to helping homeowners affected by natural disasters and we are grateful for their efforts to offer the appropriate assistance to families in need. Our thoughts are with all of those who have been impacted.”
Mortgage originations set to rise to $2 trillion this year
Low interest rates and strong home sales are set to push mortgage originations up to $2 trillion for 2016 according to the latest outlook from Freddie Mac. The revised figure is $175 billion more than its July forecast.

“Unlike in 2012, when the market was driven largely by refinances, today's market is more balanced between home refinances and purchases; nearly 50-50. This is good news for home sales as we're likely to see the best year in home sales in a decade. This is a good sign for the housing market as it continues to be an even brighter spot in the economy,” commented Freddie’s chief economist Sean Becketti.

Home sales are expected to remain strong with total sales of 6.04 million, the highest level for a decade. Construction is expected to ease slightly to 1.2 million starts this year and 1.4 million for 2017; this is likely to continue to see prices increasing.
Builder confidence higher again
Confidence among America’s homebuilders is higher in August, although the rise is from a downwardly-revised July figure.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reached 60 this month, up from 58 in July. This means that sentiment in the market for newly-constructed single-family homes increased.

“Builder confidence remains solid in the aftermath of weak GDP reports that were offset by positive job growth in July,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.  “Historically low mortgage rates, increased household formations and a firming labor market will help keep housing on an upward path during the rest of the year.”

While there was an increase for the components of the index measuring current sales conditions and those for the next 6 months, expectation for homebuyer traffic eased slightly.


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