Fannie Mae’s 2011 Housing Predictions. Six Banks Repay TARP To Taxpayers

Economist vs. Market Participant Outlook
Economists make their living off of forecasting the future or explaining why their earlier predictions were incorrect. But by then, many have forgotten the earlier prediction. Rarely do traders base decisions on what an economist will say but in the mortgage banking arena, predictions by the MBA, Freddie, and Fannie carry a little more weight. (For example, in October the MBA announced its prediction that mortgage originations could be 30% lower in 2011 than in 2010.) Per Fannie Mae, the fourth quarter will not wind up being a memorable time for housing sales. Fannie has projected that existing sales will increase slightly, but that new home sales will drop significantly. Fannie expects 2010 housing sales to be down 7% from last year, and with slightly lower median prices across the nation. But it expects things to pick up in 2011.

Six More Banks Repay TARP Funds To Taxpayers
Taxpayers will find $2.7 billion in their stockings after news broke that six regional banks have repaid TARP funds. Can you believe that it has been two years since our government invested $389 billion in the financial system? “Hats off” to companies who have already repaid the money, and to this latest batch: Huntington Bancshares, First Horizon National, Wintrust Financial, Susquehanna Bancshares and Heritage Financial. They each bought back all of the government’s outstanding preferred shares and paid out dividends. (Bank of Kentucky Financial, repurchased half of the Treasury’s preferred shares.)