President-elect Donald Trump recently nominated Dr. Ben Carson for the position of secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. While the media is still speculating on what this pick might mean, given Dr. Carson’s background as a neurosurgeon, there are a few key issues he’s sure to tackle head on once he embraces (assuming he’s confirmed by Congress) his role.
These include the affordability crisis – including the lack of affordable housing near public transportation hubs and in some of the nation’s largest urban metros – too many regulations surrounding housing development, more walkable communities and a lack of accessible, easy to understand data that analyzes HUD’s many programs.
It’s also interesting to note that shares of both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae rose more than 60 percent in the three days following the recent presidential election. This activity is very likely due to Trump’s real estate background, as many predict he will overhaul the housing finance efforts set forth by the current administration. If there is an overhaul and what this overhaul will mean is anybody’s guess, however. There are even House Representatives calling for Fannie and Freddie to be eliminated.
Mortgage applications are also up 12 percent over last month as borrowers try to beat the rising interest rate. That 30-year fixed rate now sits at 4.27 percent, up from 3.77 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts this rate will finish 2017 at 4.4 percent, making this an ideal time for borrowers to potentially lock in the lowest rate possible.