Posturing for Progress

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month in review Last month saw extensions of key programs and drops in indicators showing growth in the housing market. MAY 24 Business Slows at Freddie Mac The GSE is still on a winning streak, but the gains were not as large in the past month. Freddie Mac's total mortgage portfolio expanded in April, but growth slowed as purchase and issuance activity declined from March, according to the GSE. Freddie Mac reported nearly $42.3 billion in purchases and issuances, down from $52 billion in February. MAY 30 Obama Administration Announces Extension of HAMP President Barack Obama announced at the end of May that the Home Affordable Modification Program would now expire December 31, 2015. The program, which was unveiled in 2009, was set to expire this year. Of the $29.9 billion of the TARP funds allocated for HAMP, the Treasury had spent only about $5.2 billion through March. JUNE 3 Down Payment Percentages Drop from 2011 As interest rates continue to improve, lenders are beginning to feel more comfortable loosening their lending guidelines and are 14 | The M Report approving more loans with lower down payments. While a borrower's total financial profile needs to be in order—especially good credit—lenders aren't as fearful to lend without a full down payment. JUNE 7 Economy Adds 175K Jobs in May, Unemployment Up to 7.6% Jobs grew more than analysts predicted they would, but unemployment rose as well. Americans spent less on "goods," but did use their buying power on "services" more. The retail sector continues to grow as more retail jobs are being added. The amount of people who lost their jobs dropped 263,000 in May to 6,147,000. JUNE 11 Americans' Financial Worries Fall to 4-Year Low The Consumer Reports Trouble Tracker Index found that Americans are experiencing significantly fewer financial troubles than they were in April. The greatest drop in financial difficulties over the past month was among those in households earning less than $50,000, while those living in households earning more than $100,000 also saw a decline.

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