In its February MarketPulse report, residential property research and services firm CoreLogic Inc. (NYSE: CLGX) identifies the trends it sees in the U.S. economy and in the U.S. real estate market. One important factor going forward is the rising value of homes, which helps stimulate the economy as homeowners once again begin to feel a wealth effect.
What remains unknown are the impacts of the rise in the payroll tax that took effect in January, a continuing debate over the federal debt ceiling, and the new rules on Qualified Mortgages, which provide lenders with guidelines for making loans that qualify for safe-harbor status. CoreLogic estimates that only half on mortgage originations would attain Qualified Mortgage status if it were not for the exemption for loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority, Sallie Mae and Freddie Mac.
CoreLogic also believes that the number of new mortgage loans made in 2013 will rise, taking over for the drive for refinancing in the past year or so, when mortgage interest rates fell to record lows. The growth in loans for new homes will be slow, though, depending on consumer confidence and new household formation.
The full CoreLogic report is available here.