MReport August 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 58 of 66

58 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST GOVERNMENT 500 Days: A Housing Industry Snapshot Take a quick review of the Trump administration's impact on the housing industry thus far. T he Trump administra- tion recently celebrated 500 days in office. How has the landscape of the housing industry changed during that time? In this piece, MRe- port walks you through the key legislation and nominations that have impacted the industry since January 2017. The Big Picture The tax reform bill, perhaps the administration's key piece of leg- islation passed in these 500 days, was signed into law in December 2017. While the bill had major implications for many industries, several key provisions impacted the housing industry. From a downsized mortgage interest-rate reduction and limits on property tax deductions to tax-break stays for homesellers, the $1.4 trillion ta- cut bill impacted homeowners, buyers, and sellers. While the fall in unemploy- ment is part of a larger revival in jobs predating the current administration, the latest num- bers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated the unemploy- ment rate had fallen to 3.8 percent by the end of April. For the housing industry, which contin- ues its struggle on the supply side, the latest job numbers also meant an increase in construc- tion labor. The latest jobs report indicated jobs in construction had risen by 286,000 over the past 12 months. When looking at the quality of life and housing across the country, OECD's Better Life Index indicated the United States ranked among the top countries in housing, income, and wealth, roughly at the same rank as when President Donald Trump was sworn into office. A Look at Legislation In May, the Dodd-Frank reform bill—known officially as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act—was signed into law by Trump. The bill seeks to evolve and streamline regulations put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and was passed by the House on May 22 by a vote of 258-159. "This is a moment years in the mak- ing, and I thank my colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives for their partner- ship and contributions to this effort over the years," said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. "This step toward right-sizing regulation will allow local banks and credit unions to focus more on lending, in turn propelling economic growth and creating jobs on Main Street and in our communities. This is an impor- tant moment for small financial institutions, small businesses, and families across America." While the Dodd-Frank reform bill was still being discussed, the House of Representatives passed a new bill in April that would streamline the Volcker Rule. Implemented as part of the larger Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Volcker Rule limits the types of speculative investments banks can participate in as a way to try and prevent some of the fac- tors that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. This new House bill, passed with a vote of 300-104, would make the Federal Reserve the sole regulator for Volcker Rule compliance. At the time, some proponents of the Volcker Rule called for the bill to be rolled into the larger Dodd-Frank reform bill. However, the bill remains a separate piece of legislation and moved forward recently after the SEC voted on the overhaul. The SEC was the last of the five financial agencies required to sign off on the changes. According to Bloomberg, the changes are being viewed as a significant win for banks that have "long argued the original rule was overly complex and costly to comply with." The Names in the Game In the 500 days since the administration took office, many of Trump's nominees have been appointed to key positions. From the Fed Chairman to the most recent appointment of the head of the FHA (a position that had been vacant for the past four years), the nominations and appointments made by this administration are set to have a far-reaching effect on the housing industry. Most recently, in May, Brian Montgomery, whom the President nominated for the position of Assistant Secretary for Housing- Federal Housing Commissioner, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in November, was approved by the Senate by a vote of 74-33. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve with Secretary Carson and the team at HUD to further equal access to affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities and seek solutions to restore vitality to the housing market," Montgomery said in a statement. Montgomery, an industry veteran, served in the Executive Office of the President during the administration of former President George W. Bush before transitioning to his role as Assistant Secretary at HUD and

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of TheMReport - MReport August 2018