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Applications for both refinancing and purchase mortgages retreated last week, pulling the Mortgage Bankers Associations (MBA's) Market Composite Index lower for the second time in as many weeks. MBA said the index, a measure of application volume, declined by 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended June 26 and was down 2.0 percent on an unadjusted basis. While the Refinance Index ticked down 2 percent from the week ended June 19, low interest rates kept the refinancing volume 74 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 61.2 percent of total applications from 61.3 percent the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dipped 1 percent and the unadjusted version was down 2 percent compared with the previous week. Volume was still 15 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
Home prices continued to hold up on a national basis in April. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 4.7 percent annual gain in April, up from 4.6 percent in March. The National Index posted a 1.1 percent month-over-month increase before seasonal adjustment and an 0.5 percent gain after it. The 10-City Composite appreciated at an annual rate of 3.4 percent, unchanged from the March rate while the 20-City Composite's annual increase rose to 4.0 percent from 3.9 percent the previous month. The 10-City and 20-City measures had monthly increases of 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent respectively before seasonal adjustment and both posted 0.3 percent increases after adjustment. In April, all 19 cities (excluding Detroit for which sufficient data was not available due to a county recording office shutdown) reported increases before seasonal adjustment. Sixteen of the 19 cities reported them afterward.
The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision along partisan lines, took a chunk out of the intentions the Dodd-Frank Act had for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) when it created it. The court ruled that the single-director structure of the agency is unconstitutional as is its limits on the President's ability to replace its occupant.
When Congress established CFPB it set up its funding mechanism independent of the House appropriations process, ruling its budget should come from the Federal Reserve. It also established a single director to head the agency and protected the occupant from being fired except for "inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office" during a five-year term, Each stricture was a bid to insulate the agency from political interference....(read more)