Change in FHFA head should alter real estate market

A member of the House of Representatives may be closer to leading the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

A member of the House of Representatives may be closer to leading the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The vote swung in favor of President Obama's nominee, Rep. Mel Watt. a narrow 12-10 endorsement. Watt has more than 40 years in mortgage finance, and his expertise should help manage many financial regulators. The Congressman is a fan of many social initiatives that aid housing, a fact which may have created some debate between his supporters and detractors.

Some people disagree with his nomination, such as Sen. Mike Crapo, while other people and organizations - like Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition support the possible advancement, HousingWire stated. 

"Watt is highly qualified, holds an exemplary record as a public servant, and has the knowledge and expertise to be a strong leader for the agency," said NCRC president and CEO John Taylor. 

Can Watt help housing regulation?
The important topic in the recent nominations is whether or not the new choice, such as Watt, can benefit the housing market as a whole.

Mortgage rates are down again, thanks to recent real estate records from Freddie Mac, now at 4.37 percent for a 30-year FRM, a slight decrease from numbers posted earlier in the month. Ideally, the future head of the FHFA can keep the market trending in the right direction, and help housing transactions improve.

The change in rates has occurred right after a two-year high, according to Bloomberg, but the market appears to be heading in the right direction.

"We won't know the immediate impact on the pop in mortgage rates for another couple months," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist of Freddie Mac in a July 16 report. "We don't expect them to stall the housing recovery because demand is strong, supply is limited and housing affordability remains strong in most markets for most families."

Because of the good indications, all of Watt's supporters are optimistic he can keep it going. Sen. Tim Johnson believes that the possible leader of the FHFA has the experience, learned from 20-plus years of practicing law and how he has helped hundreds of families through the intricacies of real-estate closings, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Hopefully the new head of the FHFA can continue to help real estate return to its former strength, like many believe Watt can do.



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