Mortgage rates slipped back last week, good news for the housing market. It was not the only potentially good news. For one thing, there will be new leadership at FHFA. MarketWatch reports:
Meanwhile, the rate reprieve isn’t the only tailwind for the housing market. Anecdotal evidence from home builders and real estate agents suggest that some of this autumn’s slump may have been buyers holding their breath before the midterm elections. The question now is whether the market will thaw with the spring selling season.
In Washington, an equally weighty question moved a few steps closer to being answered this week. The White House on Tuesday announced it was nominating Mark Calabria, currently the chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence, as the next head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Freddie and its counterpart Fannie Mae. Mel Watt, who currently runs FHFA, is due to step down January 6.
Mark Calabria, currently chief economist to Vice President Pence, has been nominated to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Calabria has been publicly quite critical of many deep-rooted aspects of the current housing finance system, not just the immediate limbo that Fannie and Freddie are in. “Our politicians have long been more interested in expanding ever cheaper credit than in promoting economic and financial stability,” he said in a 2016 essay that argued against securitization, the process of pooling many fixed-income streams together and selling portions of that new asset to investors.