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Fannie Mae Releases Good News/Bad News GDP Estimate

by The Jamey Kramer Group

In July, the Federal National Mortgage Association, better known by its pseudonym Fannie Mae, scaled back its formerly optimistic prediction for the United States gross national product (GDP) in 2012. In its official announcement, Fannie Mae cited the unstable employment market and the seemingly interrelated factor of relatively anemic consumer spending for its abrupt backpedaling away from its original prognostication of a 2.2 percent growth in the GDP. The revised estimate was scaled down to a modest 2 percent increase.

The economists employed by Fannie Mae to calculate and subsequently disseminate this kind of data describe their findings over the recent months as a good indication of a downward skewing or decelerating growth in the United States economy as a whole.

The news coming out of Fannie Mae was not all negative, however. The association's Chief Economist, Doug Duncan, provided a silver lining by pointing out that the housing market has managed to sustain its upwardly mobile direction, even in the nation's currently impossible-to-predict economy, referring to it as a bright spot that is providing a “rare upside boost.”

During the same time frame in 2011, the mortgage and finance company reported that home sales jumped up by 9 percent, with “single-family housing starts” showing a 20 percent increase. Once again, Fannie Mae was careful to place this data into its proper perspective by providing the caveat that levels remain consistently below what it considers a healthy norm.

Fannie Mae also offered mixed reviews concerning the overall state of residential investment, saying that this area will very likely show positive growth by the end of the year, even though it is starting from a comparatively low base. Additionally, it expects this market to deliver a positive contribution to the nation's economy, which it has not been able to do since 2005.

Consumers who took part in Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey in June provided an indication that their overall confidence in the housing market is improving for two reasons: low interest rates and the belief that home prices had likely dropped about as low as they are going.

Short Sale Bill Would Make Process Even Shorter

by The Jamey Kramer Group

A recently proposed bill entitled the “Fast Help For Homeowners Act” is designed to make the humbling, painstaking and nerve-wracking process involved in attaining the approval for a short sale a bit less of an ordeal.

The framework that makes up this proposal, which was introduced by U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, contains provisions that are intended to speed up short sale transaction approval.

One method by which it proposes to accomplish this task is by way of a clause written into the bill explicitly stating that 45 days is the maximum amount of time allotted for subordinate lien holders to respond to both the consumer and primary lender with their answer to a short sale request.

If the bill passes, it would essentially mean that if the primary, secondary or subordinate, and other possible lien holders fail to make and subsequently communicate their decision on a short sale within the established time period guideline of 45 days, the transaction is automatically, so to speak, given the stamp of approval on the 46th day.

The Fast Help for Homeowners Act (sometimes referred to as simply the short sale bill or FHHA) has garnered enthusiastic support from a large number of state and national real estate trade organizations and associations, including the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The proposed short sale bill carries with it the same sense of urgency that tends to accompany most of the transactions it seeks to improve. Real estate agents and the field's trade publications have continued to report on the frustrating, even bewildering, length of time it takes some lien holders to respond to a short sale request, if they respond at all.

In addition to McNerney, the short sale bill has a number of other Congressional co-sponsors.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2