Releases, Statements, Speeches and Testimony



U.S. House Prices Rise 1.5 Percent in Fourth Quarter222082/23/2017 5:00:00 AMNews Release<p><strong>Washington, D.C.</strong> – U.S. house prices rose <strong>1.5 percent </strong>in the fourth quarter of 2016 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 6.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for December was up <strong>0.4 percent </strong>from November.<br><br> The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA has produced a <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmhyu_hukHA&amp;t=1s">video of highlights</a> for this quarter.<br><br> “Although interest rates rose sharply during the fourth quarter, our data show no signs of a home price slowdown,” said FHFA Deputy Chief Economist Andrew Leventis. “Although it will certainly take more time for the full effects of the elevated interest rates to be felt, there is no evidence of a normalization in the unusually low inventories of homes available for sale, which has been the primary force behind the extraordinary price gains.”<br><br> <strong>Significant Findings</strong></p><ul><li> Home prices rose in 46 states and the District of Columbia between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2016. The top five states in annual appreciation were&#58; 1) <strong>Oregon </strong>11.0 percent; 2) <strong>Colorado </strong>10.6 percent; 3) <strong>Florida </strong>10.4 percent; 4) <strong>Washington </strong>10.2 percent; and 5) <strong>Nevada </strong>8.9 percent.</li></ul><ul><li>Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., annual price increases were greatest in the <strong>Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL,</strong> where prices increased by 13.2 percent. Prices were weakest in <strong>Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ (MSAD)</strong>, where they fell 1.8 percent.</li></ul><ul><li>Of the nine census divisions, the <strong>Mountain </strong>division experienced the strongest increase in the fourth quarter, posting a 2.1 percent quarterly increase and a 8.0 percent increase since the fourth quarter of last year. House price appreciation was weakest in the <strong>Middle Atlantic </strong>division, where prices rose 0.9 percent from the last quarter.<br></li></ul><p>Tables and graphs showing home price statistics for metropolitan areas, states, census divisions, and the U.S. as a whole are included on the following pages.<br><br><strong>Other Price Indexes</strong><br><br> Most statistics in the quarterly house price index report reference price changes computed by FHFA’s basic “purchase-only” HPI. In some cases, however, the reported statistics reference alternative price measures. FHFA publishes – and makes <a href="/DataTools/Downloads/Pages/House-Price-Index.aspx">available for download</a> – three additional house price indexes beyond the basic “purchase-only” series. Although they use the same general methodology, the three alternatives rely on slightly different datasets as follows&#58;<br> </p><ul><li><strong>“Distress-Free”</strong> house price index. Sales of bank-owned properties and short sales are removed from the purchase-only dataset prior to estimation of the index. </li><li><strong>“Expanded-Data” </strong>house price index. Sales price information sourced from county recorder offices and from FHA-backed mortgages are added to the purchase-only data sample. This index is used annually to adjust the maximum conforming loan limits, which dictate the dollar amount of loans that can be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.</li><li><strong>“All-Transactions”</strong> house price index. Appraisal values from refinance mortgages are added to the purchase-only data sample.<br></li><li>Data constraints preclude the production of all types of indexes for every geographic area, but multiple index types are generally available. For individual states, for instance, three types of indexes are available. The various indexes tend to correlate closely over the long-term, but short-term differences can be significant.</li></ul><p><strong>Expansion and Update of Experimental Annual House Price Indexes</strong><br><br> Last year, FHFA published a set of experimental annual house price indexes for ZIP codes and counties across the country. The indexes are constructed using the typical “repeat-transactions” methodology FHFA already uses. With this release, FHFA is expanding the number of these experimental indexes. In addition to continuing coverage for ZIP codes and counties, FHFA is releasing annual indexes for the nation as a whole, states, Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs), and Census tracts. Index values are published for 1975-2016. More information about these measures is provided in a “Technical Note” in this report on page 23.<br><br> <strong>Background</strong><br><br> FHFA’s HPI tracks changes in average home prices by analyzing changes in home values for the individual properties. The underlying “repeat-transactions” methodology constructs index estimates by statistically evaluating price appreciation (or depreciation) for homes with multiple values over time. The purchase-only HPI uses sales price information from Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-purchased and Enterprise-guaranteed mortgages originated over the past 41 years. The purchase-only HPI is estimated with more than seven million repeat transactions. A <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_1o6VLsC84&amp;t=1s">video </a>shows the basic methodology behind the FHFA HPI.</p><p><strong>Note</strong></p><strong></strong><ul><li> The next monthly HPI report (including data through January 2017) will be released March 22, 2017 and the next quarterly HPI report (including data for the first quarter of 2016) will be released May 24, 2017.</li><li>HPI release dates for 2017 are available at <a href="/hpi">https&#58;//www.fhfa.gov/hpi</a>. </li><li>Follow @FHFA on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for more HPI news.</li></ul>2/23/2017 2:00:45 PM1159https://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Agencies Release Swap Margin Guidance222122/23/2017 5:00:00 AMNews Release<hr />​<strong>Joint Release</strong> <h4 style="text-align&#58;right;">Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System</h4><h4 style="text-align&#58;right;">Farm Credit Administration</h4><h4 style="text-align&#58;right;">Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation</h4><h4 style="text-align&#58;right;">Federal Housing Finance Agency </h4><h4 style="text-align&#58;right;">Office of Comptroller of the Currency</h4><hr />​ <p>The Federal Reserve Board (Board) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on Thursday issued guidance explaining how supervisors should examine for compliance with the swap margin rule, which established margin requirements for swaps not cleared through a clearinghouse. <br> <br>The guidance explains that the Board and the OCC expect swap entities covered by the rule to prioritize their compliance efforts surrounding the March 1, 2017, variation margin deadline according to the size and risk of their counterparties. <br> <br>Margin requirements help ensure the safety and soundness of swap trading and help reduce risk to the financial system associated with non-cleared swaps. The final rule incorporated a phase-in period for swap entities to begin exchanging variation margin with their swap counterparties. The phase-in period gave markets and firms time to adjust to the new requirements, which were adopted in October 2015.<br> <br>The guidance explains that swap entities’ compliance with counterparties that present significant credit and market risk exposures is expected to be in place on March 1, 2017, as laid out in the final rule. For other counterparties that do not present significant credit and market risks, the OCC and the Board expect swap entities to make good faith efforts to comply with the final rule in a timely manner, but no later than September 1, 2017. <br> <br>The Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency also administer the final rule for institutions under their jurisdiction, but currently have no swap entities affected by this guidance. However, they support the guidance issued by the Board and the OCC.<br> <br>The Board and the OCC will continue to monitor the implementation of the rule in accordance with the guidance issued today.</p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><p><a href="https&#58;//www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/srletters/sr1703.htm">Board Guidance</a>&#160;&#160; </p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><p><a href="https&#58;//www.occ.gov/news-issuances/bulletins/2017/bulletin-2017-12.html">OCC Guidance</a>&#160; </p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font>2/23/2017 3:16:45 PM418https://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Refinance Volume Continued to Slow in Fourth Quarter219222/15/2017 5:00:00 AMNews Release<p> <strong>Washington, D.C.</strong> – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today reported that 13,220 borrowers refinanced their mortgages through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) from October through December.&#160; FHFA's fourth quarter <em>Refinance Report</em> also shows that total refinance volume fell in December, as mortgage interest rates increased.&#160; Total HARP refinances now stand at 3,447,671 since inception of the program in 2009.&#160; </p><p>According to new data released today, 194,324 borrowers could still benefit financially from a HARP refinance as of the third quarter of 2016.&#160; These borrowers meet the basic HARP eligibility requirements, have a remaining balance of $50,000 or more on their mortgage, have a remaining term on their loan of greater than 10 years, and their mortgage interest rate is at least 1.5 percent higher than current market rates.&#160; These borrowers could save, on average, $2,400 per year by refinancing their mortgage through HARP.&#160; See the new, updated <a href="https&#58;//www.harp.gov/Default.aspx?Page=363">U.S. map </a>showing the number of HARP-eligible borrowers by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area, county and zip code.&#160; HARP expires Sept. 30, 2017.</p><p>Also in the <em>Refinance Report</em>&#58;</p><ul style="list-style-type&#58;disc;"><li>The number of total refinances in the fourth quarter of 2016 was 750,769.</li><li>Through the fourth quarter of 2016, 27 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity faster than traditional 30-year mortgages.</li><li>Nine states and one U.S. territory accounted for more than 60 percent of borrowers who remain eligible for HARP and have a financial incentive to refinance&#58; &#160;Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, New York and California.</li><li>More than 2.8 million HARP refinances were for primary residences.</li></ul><p> <a href="/AboutUs/Reports/ReportDocuments/Refi_4Q2016.pdf">Link to Refinance Report</a><br><a href="http&#58;//www.harp.gov/" target="_blank">Link to HARP.gov</a></p>2/15/2017 8:00:29 PM558https://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx