Here’s a roundup of housing-related links from the past week:

  • Joint Release by OCC, Federal Reserve, FDIC, OTS, NCUA [OCC] — “The federal financial regulatory agencies today issued for comment proposed guidance on residential mortgage products that allow borrowers to defer repayment of principal and sometimes interest.”

  • U.S. Nov. PPI down 0.7%, core PPI up 0.1% [MarketWatch] — “U.S. prices of raw materials and other producers’ inputs fell 0.7% in November, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. This is the largest monthly decline since April 2003. Excluding food and energy costs, the core PPI rose 0.1%.”

  • Housing Starts Rise, Core Inflation Tame [NYT] — “U.S. housing starts rose 5.3 percent in November, defying Wall Street expectations for a slowdown, while producer prices posted their biggest drop since July 2004 and showed well-contained inflation outside the volatile energy and food areas, the government said Tuesday.”

  • Has the Fed Finished Tightening? [BW] — “After tightening for the 13th time (appropriately on Dec. 13), the Federal Reserve appears to be signaling that it’s nearing the end of the rising-rate cycle. Standard & Poor’s expects another 25-basis point hike at the Jan. 31 meeting, and another 25 basis points in March, if economic growth remains strong. We then expect the Fed to close up shop for the rest of 2006.”

  • Builder Sentiment Cools Further In December [NAHB] — “Confidence of single-family home builders slid further this month from its summer peak, yet remained well within the positive range, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for December, released today. The overall HMI declined four points from a slightly revised November number to 57, while the component measuring builder expectations for future sales held firm at 65.”

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