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National Mortgage News

 

Continued Deterioration in Origination Quality

 

As home lenders and investors have recently been a little more relaxed about credit qualifications compared to just after the crisis, mortgage quality has weakened. Still, quality is better than before the crisis.

During the past three years, the quality of residential loans originated has weakened, though credit quality remains far stronger than the early 2000s and the late 1990s.

Components of borrower character like credit scores are the strongest feature of current mortgage originations, and they have weakened little over the past few years.


Best Mortgage Lenders By Category

 

A report based on a recent survey of consumers who were shopping for a residential loan has identified the best home lenders in a variety of categories -- including government programs, jumbo loans and online services.

The 10-question survey of prospective mortgage borrowers found that before they applied for a home loan, 40 percent checked their credit report or credit score.

Saving for a down payment was cited by 36 percent. More than a quarter reported that they paid down debt, while nearly a quarter indicated they reduced spending.


Business Falls to 6-Month Low at Freddie

 

New business at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. retreated to its lowest level in six months. Delinquency, meanwhile, remained at its lowest level in a decade.

When September was over, Freddie Mac's total mortgage portfolio stood at $2.1513 trillion -- including a $0.2278 trillion in mortgage investments and $1.9235 trillion in outstanding mortgage-related securities and other guarantees.

The McLean, Virginia-based company revealed the metrics in its Monthly Volume Summary, which indicated that the book of business had expanded from $2.1472 trillion a month earlier and $2.0568 trillion a year earlier.


Large Agency MSR Offering Hits Market

 

Bids are being sought for servicing rights on a large portfolio of agency mortgages. The offering has a moderate concentration of Golden State and Sunshine State loans.

Mortgage servicing rights on 20,168 residential loans that had a collective unpaid principal balance of $5.232 billion as of Sept. 30 are being sold through the auction process.

Included in the offering are MSRs on $2.005 billion in Fannie Mae loans, $0.310 billion in Freddie Mac mortgages, and $2.917 billion in Ginnie Mae l loans.


Mortgage Rates Up 92 BPS From Year Ago

 

Over the past year, weekly fixed interest rates on single-family loans have soared 92 basis points. But little change was reported from last week, and more of the same is expected.

On conventional loans utilized to finance a home purchase with amounts up to the conforming mortgage limit of $453,100, thirty-year fixed rates averaged 4.77 percent during September.

Compared to the previous month, conforming interest rates slipped a single basis point. Mortgage rates have soared, however, 63 BPS from September 2017.


 

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Senate set to vote on Trump’s CFPB nominee

 

Last week, the biggest groups in housing called on the Senate to bring Kathy Kraninger's nomination to run the CFPB to a vote. And it looks like they're about to get their wish. Plus, did Amazon's HQ2 move kill more than 1,000 units of affordable housing? And, Monopoly for Millennials. Yes, it's real. And it's spectacular.

Yardi: Rent prices fall for second month in a row

 

Rent prices fell by just a dollar in October, marking a decrease in prices for the second month in a row, according to new data from Yardi Matrix. Is the colder weather to blame for the dip in prices? 

News Corp names new president of global digital real estate

 

News Corp, parent company of Move and operator for Realtor.com, recently announced that Tracey Fellows has been appointed as the president of global digital real estate. Beginning in January 2019, Fellows will be based at News Corp’s New York headquarters, dividing her time among the company’s digital real estate assets.

New York, Virginia taxpayers to cough up $3.4 billion for Amazon HQ2

 

Earlier this week, Amazon announced its second headquarters, HQ2, will be split between New York City and Arlington, Virginia, a move that will cost local taxpayers about $3.4 billion. But will the boost it brings to the economies be worth it? Here’s what the experts are saying.

Quicken Loans parent company Rock Holdings just bought Dictionary.com (really)

 

Rock Holdings, the parent company of Quicken Loans, is getting into the dictionary and thesaurus business. Literally. Rock Holdings announced this week that it acquired Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com, websites that boast approximately 540 million pageviews per month. But why, one might ask? Read on.

Redfin: Homes keep getting cheaper

 

In October, home-sale prices climbed 4.5%, however the percentage of listings that experienced a price drop of more than 1% reached an 8-year high, according to new data from Redfin. Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said home sellers are realizing buyer demand isn’t what it used to be and are lowering their prices.

Airbnb takes Boston to court over city’s “draconian” short-term rental rules

 

The city of Boston has new rules surrounding short-term rentals that are set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. According to Airbnb, Boston’s short-term rental rules violate the Constitution, multiple federal laws, and Massachusetts state law. Airbnb also claims the city's rules threaten short-term rental sites with “draconian” punishments should they violate the city’s rules.

Here’s what housing is going to do in the theme park capital of the world

 

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area lays claim to Theme Park Capital of the World and number one in job growth among the nation's large metros. So what's housing going to do there for the next year. Click through for your answer.

Commercial brokers made more money than ever last year

 

Agents, brokers and appraisers working in commercial real estate made more money last year than ever before, despite the fact that tight inventories have slowed transactions. According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, professionals working in the commercial real estate market last year raked in an average of $150,700 – about $30,000 more than they made the year before.

Prominent senators begin bipartisan push to expand Fair Housing Act

 

This week, Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced the "Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2018," which would prohibit housing discrimination based on source of income or veteran status.

HUD says Homebridge is the industry's top renovation mortgage lender, again

 

Amid inventory and affordability concerns, homeowners are increasingly turning to home renovations to meet their housing needs. While several lenders offer renovation mortgages, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has revealed that Homebridge Financial Services leads the pack for the second consecutive year.

Vacasa wants to help landlords turn empty apartments into short-term rentals

 

Vacasa, which bills itself as the “largest vacation rental company” in North America and recently raised $64 million, now has its sights set on the multifamily industry. Vacasa announced Wednesday that it is expanding into the multifamily business by launching Vacasa Multifamily, a new initiative wherein the company will seek to partner with landlords in urban city centers to turn empty apartments into short-term rentals.

Top multifamily operators band together, plan massive investment in real estate tech

 

Five major multifamily real estate investment trusts, Aimco, Boardwalk, Essex Property Trust, MAA, and UDR, are partnering with private owners Starwood Capital Group, Cortland, and GID to invest more than $100 million in a venture capital fund, which will be used to invest in “disruptive real estate technology companies” in the multifamily industry.

Smart apartment platform SmartRent raises $5 million from industry’s top companies

 

Thanks to an agreement between SmartRent, a smart home automation platform for property managers and renters, and some of the nation’s largest multifamily companies, smart apartments are about to go nationwide.

Redfin partners with Notarize to enable completely online mortgage experience

 

Redfin has taken the final step toward providing its clients with a fully digital home buying experience. The listings giant’s mortgage arm has announced a partnership with Notarize in a deal that offers Redfin Mortgage clients the ability to close on a home quickly, easily – and completely online.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issue relief policies in wake of devastating California wildfires

 

California’s wildfires have ravaged the state, claiming the lives of 44 people and destroying more than 100,000 acres. In response to this threat, Fannie and Freddie are reminding victims that mortgage assistance options are available for those affected by these deadly fires.

Housing industry pushes Senate to confirm Kathy Kraninger as next CFPB director

 

Under Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB (or BCFP, depending on who you ask) has taken a much gentler approach toward the financial services industry. That tactic is likely to continue if the Trump administration’s choice as a permanent director, Kathy Kraninger, is ever confirmed by the Senate. And that’s just what the housing industry is now loudly calling for.

Amazon breathes life into HQ2 housing markets

 

Amazon has selected Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia, as the split locations for its HQ2, and data suggest that even as early as last week, the real estate markets in these areas have boomed.

Amazon announces HQ2 locations in New York and Virginia

 

Amazon announced Tuesday the locations for its second headquarters, naming Long Island City, New York, and Arlington, Virginia, as the winners of its year-long search. HQ2 is expected to bring 50,000 jobs and more than $5 billion in investments, and while this will be a boost to the local economies, some are critical of the tech giant’s impact on property values and infrastructure.

Fintech Rundown: Factom, LoanLogics and more

 

Another week and more tech integrations! As the industry shifts ever-closer to a truly digital mortgage experience, we present some of the integrations and program selections companies in the mortgage lending space are making.

Alabama closing attorney gets 3 years for stealing money from HUD sales

 

A former practicing attorney in Alabama will spend more than the next three years in jail after pleading guilty to stealing more than a $1 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development on the sales of HUD-owned homes.

Americans are unprepared for home repair costs

 

As affordability concerns continue to haunt homeowners across the country, many are choosing to remain in their homes, prompting a surge in the home renovation market. However, NerdWallet’s latest Home Improvement Report discovered that more than 30% of Americans have not set aside funds for these renovations.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez struggles to afford rent, like most Millennials

 

Nationwide, renters are struggling to navigate affordability, especially Millennials who on average spend more than 45% of their income on rent before the age of 30. So, it shouldn’t be surprising when a Millennial voices concern about rental affordability, right? But what if that Millennial is a newly elected member of the House of Representatives?

Fannie Mae plans $145 million investment in LIHTC funds

 

After re-entering the Low Income Housing Tax Credit market just over a year ago, Fannie Mae is continuing its focus on affordable rental housing in underserved markets by committing $145 million in new investments in LIHTC funds. Here's a breakdown on where the money is going.

New York developer admits to bilking investors in long-running luxury real estate Ponzi scheme

 

A New York real estate developer admitted in court last week that he ran a luxury real estate Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of $58 million over several years. According to court documents, Michael D’Alessio took much of the money for his own benefit, using it to pay off debts and prior investors, and to fund significant gambling and other personal expenses.

 

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