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National Mortgage News


Fannie Mae Eases M.I. Termination Requirements


The Federal National Mortgage Association is making it easier for borrower to cancel mortgage insurance through valuation alternatives and looser loan-to-value ratios.

Fannie Mae has updated its requirements for the process of evaluating borrower-initiated requests for mortgage insurance termination.

According to the Washington-based firm, the new requirements will lead to a better customer experience for both servicers and borrowers.

Solid Business Growth at MGIC as Earnings Improve


The book of business, insurance written and earnings all increased from the prior quarter and a year prior at MGIC Investment Corp. Meanwhile, delinquency decreased..

The mortgage insurer's second-quarter 2018 earnings report revealed that income before taxes during the three months ended June 30 came to $238 million.

Earnings improved from the same quarter last year, when income came in at $181 million. An increase was also reported from the first-three months of this year, when pre-tax income was $180 million.

Freddie Refinances Drive Down Overall GSE Refis


Although monthly refinances of Federal National Mortgage Association loans moved higher, a decline in refinances of Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. loans left volume at the lowest level in a least seven years.

Refinances of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac residential loans by primary home lenders during May came to 103,748, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported.

Transaction volume dipped from a downwardly revised 104,862 the preceding month to the slowest month on record since at least May 2011 based on the oldest data reported

LOs Continue to Migrate from Banks to Nonbanks


As the number of mortgage loan officers expanded, the quarterly trend of originators fleeing financial institutions for non-bank home lenders continued.

As of March 31, there were 558,552 bank and non-bank mortgage loan originators who were registered in the NMLS database.

The total count increased from 553,104 in the first quarter of last year -- marking the first drop in NMLS count from the first quarter to the first quarter since the tracking of the data began in 2011.

Originations Up at US Bank, Further Gain Likely


Quarterly home-lending volume moved up at U.S. Bancorp and appears to be headed even higher. As corporate income rose, mortgage earnings were lower. The mortgage servicing portfolio contracted.

The Minneapolis-based financial institution's second-quarter earnings report reflected $2.2 billion in income before taxes.

Earnings were up from $2.1 billion in the second quarter of last year. Results also showed an improvement from the $2.1 billion earned during the first quarter of this year.


Ryan Serhant to headline event


HousingWire created the event because we recognize that for mortgage and real estate companies, the difference between success and failure is razor thin. The current environment makes it crucial for businesses to really connect with customers, but exactly what that looks like is often unclear. That's why we're excited to announce that Ryan Serhant, the wildly successful real estate broker featured on Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing New York" will headline the event in September. 

HUD dedicates $144 million to revitalize 5 neighborhoods


HUD announced it is awarding $144 million to be divided into five communities for revitalization efforts. The money will be awarded to redevelop severely distressed public or assisted housing, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods.

Flat-fee real estate startup Reali raises $20 million to expand beyond California


Reali, a flat-fee real estate startup that boasts it can sell a house in the San Francisco area for as little as $950, is planning to expand into Southern California and beyond, thanks to a $20 million injection of funding.

Zillow expanding direct homebuyer program to Atlanta


Homeowners in Atlanta will soon have a new outlet when it comes time to sell their house – Zillow. Beginning in the fall of this year, Atlanta homeowners will be able to sell their home directly to Zillow, if they so choose. The move into Atlanta is an expansion of Zillow’s direct buying program, Zillow Offers, which the company launched earlier this year.

Powell: Housing not the economic driver it once was


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for this second appearance of the week. During his hearing before the House Committee on Financial Services, Powell explained that the housing industry simply isn’t the economic driver that it once was and actually doesn’t have much pull in monetary policy decision making.

WhyHotel adds Cathy Ross to board, expands in D.C.


Symbiotic alternative lodging service WhyHotel added Exclusive Resorts CEO Cathy Ross to its board and is launching a new, 95-unit pilot site in the NoMa area of Washington, D.C. Recently, the young company received $3.94 million in seed funding which has allowed the company to set up new locations and build out its leadership team.

Opportunity zone tax breaks tantalize real estate investors


The federal tax overhaul brought to life a new tax break for investments in low-income areas dubbed, "opportunity zones." Real estate investors appear excited to deploy capital in these areas and are positioning themselves to develop various kinds of real estate in these areas.

RealPage launching platform to help turn empty apartments into short-term rentals


RealPage subsidiary Kigo, a vacation rental booking and management platform, is a launching a new program targeted at managing short-term rentals in multifamily properties. The launch of this product comes at a time when short-term rentals are a hot-button topic for the industry, and while some multifamily entities are against short-term rentals, RealPage is leaning into the issue.

Housing starts drop 12.3% in June


Housing starts fell 12.3% in June, indicating tariffs and taxes are a deterrence to continual growth, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau. LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze said although 3-month average building permits are close to the highest level since 2007, labor shortages are weighing on building activity.

American Financial Resources offers new manufactured housing finance option


American Financial Resources is now offering conventional financing for manufactured homes via the new Fannie Mae initiative, MH Advantage. The new program is designed to promote financing for manufactured homes comparable in quality and features to traditional single-family homes.

Zillow: Blacks and Latinos have to spend more than 30% of income to pay rent


As rental prices continue to rise to record levels, new research from Zillow indicates that a disproportionate percentage of blacks and Latinos cannot afford to rent. This is because black and Latino income remains below their counterparts, hindering affordability in the majority of the 50 largest metros nationwide.

Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital hires Ilya Weinstein as vice president


Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, the commercial and multifamily mortgage banking subsidiary of Enterprise Community Investment, hired Ilya Weinstein as vice president of the company's office in New York. Weinstein will focus on affordable housing as part of the Bellwether’s Affordable Group, working to increase loan production for affordable housing properties in the northeastern U.S. region.

The most expensive towns in the U.S. – and what it costs to live there


Everyone knows that living in Beverly Hills, California, or Greenwich, Connecticut, doesn’t come cheap. But how much, exactly, does it take to live there? A recent report by GOBankingRates spells it out, naming the most expensive ZIP codes in each state and determining what it costs to comfortably live there – and the results are staggering.

Four states sue federal government over GOP property tax law changes


Following through on a threat made in January, the states of New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey are suing the federal government over the Republican tax reform bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law late last year. At issue is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s elimination of certain state and local tax deductions, which the states claim are disproportionately harmful to their residents.

Homebuilder confidence remains steady in July


Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes remained unchanged at 68 points in July, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Homebuilders are encouraged by the growing housing demand, but construction material costs still hinder optimism, according to NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

Family affair: Wife, husband, and daughter all jailed for $20M mortgage fraud


Three members of a California family who ran a foreclosure company will spend more than 45 years in jail, collectively, after each was found guilty of participating in a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme that preyed on financially distressed homeowners. According to the Department of Justice, Dorothy Matsuba, her husband, Thomas Matsuba, and her daughter, Jamie Matsuba, each received a sentence of more than 10 years in jail for taking part in the nearly decade-long scheme.

More young families opt to rent instead of buy


More young families chose to rent instead of buy in the 10-year span from 2006-2016, according to a study by RENTCafé. Likely influenced by rising home prices, tough lending rules and a lack of entry-level homes, the number of families with minor children that owned a home decreased by 3.6 million.

These are the best and worst markets for first-time homebuyers


WalletHub, a personal finance website, assessed factors like housing affordability, tax rates and crime rates to determine the most favorable housing markets for first-time homebuyers. As more Millennials become potential homebuyers, some of these markets might best suit their housing needs and some of them they may want to avoid.

Want to save up for a home? Say goodbye to 54% of your income for 6 years


According to research from Zillow affiliate Hot Pads, it will take the average U.S. renter more than six years to save up for a 20% down payment on a home. With rent now taking up an average of 34% of a renter's income and home prices on the rise, the dream of homeownership is becoming more and more distant for U.S. renters.

New York City proposes sweeping new rules for security deposits


New York City is in the middle of an affordability crisis, and now, the city is proposing sweeping new rules to address one piece of the affordability crunch that often stands in the way of renters finding a quality apartment or moving to a new one – the security deposit. Over the weekend, the city released a new proposal that would put limits on how much landlords can charge renters upfront.

Roostify adds three members to its leadership team


Roostify is expanding its leadership team to support its growth, adding Syed Ijaz as chief customer officer, Kevin Levitt as vice president of sales and Eric Drattell as general counsel.

Top housing trade groups urge Congress to extend National Flood Insurance Program


This week, more than 20 of the top housing trade groups urged Congress to extend the National Flood Insurance Program. In a letter sent to Congressional leadership on both sides of the aisle, the organizations warn Congress that failure to reauthorize the program by July 31 will jeopardize an estimated total of 40,000 American homes.

HUD grants $43 million in effort to end youth homelessness


In an effort to end youth homelessness, HUD announced it is awarding $43 million to 11 local communities. These communities include five rural areas, and the funds will be dispersed through HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program. Here’s where the funds will be awarded, and what each community will do with its share.

Growing number of Americans say now is a bad time to buy a home


There’s been a distinct uptick over the past year in the number of Americans who say now is a bad time to buy a home, and a sizable number point to high home prices as the primary reason. But caution might be a good thing, according to one think tank, as it could serve as a necessary weight tempering housing demand.

Which city is Texas' hottest multifamily market?


The multifamily real estate market in Texas is hot right now. But which city shines the brightest of all? It's probably not the one you think. Want to know which one tops the charts? Click through and find out.


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