November 7, 2017

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

Federal Tax Bill Summaries

The following two articles briefly summarize the initial provisions of the House tax reform legislation that directly impact housing and the initial housing industry reaction to them.

GOP Tax Plan Met With Caution and Concern

A brief overview of industry reaction to provisions curtailing the mortgage interest deduction and related changes impacting the homeownership market.

House Tax Reform Bill Eliminates Private Activity Bonds and Historic and New Market Tax Credits

A brief summary of provisions impacting affordable housing programs, especially those supporting affordable rental development.

MBA President Stevens:  Only Congress Can Provide Legitimacy, Public Confidence to Housing Reform

This article summarizes testimony by MBA President David Stevens outlining MBA’s position on GSE reform that recommends recasting the GSE’s current charters and allowing a multiple-Guarantor model that features at least two entities and preferably more.

A Broke, and Broken, Flood Insurance Program

In October, the National Flood Insurance Program, which has been in the red since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, exhausted its $30 billion borrowing capacity and had to get a bailout just to keep paying current claims. Congress must decide by December 8 whether to keep the National Flood Insurance Program going.

Trump Team Targets Special 'QM' Status for GSEs

The 2013 CFPB mortgage underwriting rule exempted GSE and other governmental loans from the “Qualified Mortgage” (QM) requirements including the debt-to-income (DTI) limitations set on QM loans.  As the GSE and FHA share of mortgages has grown, and as DTI ratios for governmental loans have steadily increased above the QM limits, pressure has grown on the CFPB to align QM DTI standards with current GSE underwriting practices.

Homeownership Stuck in Neutral as Rents Rise

Third quarter homeownership rate estimates show homeownership trending up from its recent low in 2016, but at an anemic rate of increase.  This articles summarizes current trends in homeownership along with trends in rents and home prices.

Black Knight: Housing Remains Affordable Despite Price Acceleration

Black Knight’s look at trends in “payment-to-income” ratio for home purchase concludes that while home prices continue to rise, U.S. housing remains more affordable than long-term benchmarks.

NAR forecasts existing home sales to rise to post-crisis high in 2018

NAR forecasts home sales to continue rising in 2018, but acknowledges the headwinds the market faces, especially for first-time buyers, and the challenges to market growth posed by current tax reform proposals.

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