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The Federal Open Market Committee announced in its December meeting that it is officially raising the federal funds rate for the first time since June 2006.

In a statement released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve, the FOMC said that it will gradually raise the federal funds rate to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%.

“Given the economic outlook, and recognizing the time it takes for policy actions to affect future economic outcomes, the committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 0.25% to 0.50%. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative after this increase, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2% inflation,” the FOMC said in a statement.

Moving forward, the FOMC said, “In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation.”

All FOMC members voted unanimously. 

According to the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Federal Reserve Bank presidents under their individual assessments of projected appropriate monetary policy, the federal funds rate is projected to grow from 0.4% in 2015 to 3.4% in 2018.

Click to enlarge

Dot Plot

(Source: Federal Reserve)

During the October meeting, the Federal Reserve said that it would not raise the federal funds rate at that time, citing the fact that the country’s...

Read more: It’s official: Fed raises interest rates for first time in nine years

Now that over two months have passed since the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclose rule went into effect, the initial impact is starting to show in the closing data, according to the latest Origination Insight Report by Ellie Mae.

In the last report, Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae, said “It is still too early to see if there will be impacts stemming from the Know Before You Owe changes that went into effect just last month.”

A month later and in the new report Corr said, “We are beginning to see the anticipated impacts of the Know Before You Owe changes that went into effect in October.”

The average time to close a loan increased by 3 days to 49 total days in November, the longest time to close since February of 2013.

Click to enlarge


(Source: Ellie Mae)

“The time to close loans has crept up to 49 days, a 3-day increase over October, while the closing rate on purchased loans increased to 72 percent. Additionally, we’ve seen the percentage of refinances increase to 46% of all closed loans, most likely driven by a recent dip in rates over the last three months since the 2015 high point in August,” said Corr.

This isn’t the first report to say that TRID is impacting the industry, though not everyone is saying TRID is completely bad.

In a recent speech, CFPB Director Richard Cordray compared the October implementation of the CFPB’s new TRID rules to Y2K, telling the Consumer Federation of America Financial Services Conference that the housing industry’s concerns...

Read more: Ellie Mae CEO: Impacts of TRID starting to show

Housing starts recovered from last month’s unexpected drastic drop, rising to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.173 million in November, which is 10.5% above the revised October estimate 1.062 million, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported.

This is 16.5% below the November 2014 rate of 1.007 million.

“The housing market continues to show signs of durability and resilience with November housing starts rebounding from a disappointing drop in the previous month,” Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield said.  

“The choppy monthly numbers have been on a gradual trend in a positive direction and the strong monthly permits bodes well as we enter the new wave of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve,” said Banfield.

Meanwhile, building permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.289 million, up 11.0% from the revised October rate of 1.161 million and up 19.5% from the November 2014 estimate of 1.079 million.

Privately owned housing completions in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 947,000, down is 3.2% from the revised October estimate of 978,000 but up 9.2% from the November 2014 rate of 867,000.

This is one of the last housing reports before the Federal Reserve announced whether or not it will raise interest rates.

According to the most recent speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen in a Congressional committee hearing on the U.S. economy, Yellen said the current outlook and the...

Read more: Housing starts bounce back in November

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, conservator to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, released the third-quarter “Foreclosure Prevention Report” showing that efforts to do just that reversed trend.

In other words, the first quarter and second quarter reports noted decreases in foreclosure starts.

The third quarter prevention report, on the other hand, shows an increase.

However, this may reverse again, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac placed a moratorium on evictions going into the last weeks of 2016.

“Third-party sales and foreclosure sales decreased 10% to 26,989 while foreclosure starts increased 6% to 66,192 in the third quarter,” the report notes.

Also, Fannie and Freddie can’t seem to get the vacant properties up to speed fast enough to keep pace with demand, the report notes.

“REO inventory declined 11% during the quarter to 77,204, as property dispositions continued to outpace property acquisitions.”

In the first quarter, third-party sales and foreclosure sales declined 4% to 34,873 while foreclosure starts decreased 5% to 70,267.

This compared to the second quarter where third-party sales and foreclosure sales declined 14% to 29,945 while foreclosure starts decreased 11% to 62,364.

Still, the FHFA reports gains in other levels of distressed mortgage servicing at Fannie and Freddie.

The total number of American families saved from foreclosure at the government-sponsored enterprises are staggering. From the FHFA report:

The Enterprises completed 54,744 foreclosure...

Read more: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac switch gears and increase foreclosures

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