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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.


 

California to build tiny home community for homeless wildfire victims

 

When plans for the creation of a tiny home community for the homeless located in Chico, California, were unveiled, many city council members voiced their disdain and indifference. However, the devastation from 2018's Camp Fire has swayed these opinions, and this tiny home community is now set to house victims of Butte County's fire.

Experts: Home equity is key to solving the country's looming retirement crisis

 

As Baby Boomers continue to retire en masse without sufficient savings to support their later years, it's become glaringly apparent that the country is on the brink of a retirement crisis. But many older Americans do have one major source of wealth at their disposal: their house. And for some, utilizing their home equity through a reverse mortgage could be the answer to their late-in-life money problems, leading some experts to call the HECM program important public policy.

Report: Lackluster home sales push inventory growth in January

 

In January, home sales declined for the sixth consecutive month, leading to the largest inventory increase in 10 years, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report. RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos said the winter chill extended to the housing market in January, as home sales remained cool.

It costs more to own a home than to rent one in every U.S. state

 

While previous articles have declared that the number of markets where it's cheaper to buy than to rent is decreasing, this one says it's plain non-existent. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's most recent American Community Survey, a CNBC article says homeowners spend more money per month than renters in every single state across the U.S.

California, your new home prices are about to spike

 

In 2018, the California Energy Commission unanimously voted for the mandatory implementation of solar panels on virtually every newly built home in California. And although many have praised the landmark decision, some fear it will put a larger financial strain on homeowners statewide.

Are zero-energy homes the new wave in housing?

 

Americans are making an effort to be more environmentally cautious, especially in the wake of natural disasters that have ravished local communities across the country. This is especially so for De Young Properties, which has set a precedent that could be responsible for bringing 100,000 zero-energy homes a year to California.

Former Fannie Mae employee found guilty of making millions on shady foreclosure sales

 

A former Fannie Mae employee is now facing 40 years in prison after being found guilty of accepting millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for selling Fannie Mae-owned foreclosures for less than market value. Here are all the details.

As housing markets around the nation weaken, Atlanta thrives

 

While metros across the country weaken in the wake of a housing market slowdown, the city of Atlanta is thriving, according to new data from Redfin. Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said Atlanta is probably the nation’s hottest large housing market.

Only half of houses for sale are affordable for the average buyer

 

Housing affordability continues to hover near a 10-year low, and the National Association of Home Builders is urging policymakers to do something about it. Of the homes sold in Q4, just 56.6% were affordable for those earning the country's median income of $71,900. "Historically, housing has been the canary in the coal mine, and these ongoing affordability woes should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers to take immediate action," said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel.

Calabria to Senate: Don’t expect any changes to GSE multifamily business

 

While Mark Calabria could very well enact some significant changes at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if he’s approved to serve as the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Calabria told a Senate panel this week that there likely won’t be any changes to the way that Fannie and Freddie operate in the multifamily space.

These are the best places to work for in the housing space

 

Fortune Magazine and Great Place to Work have announced the winners of its 2019 Best Companies to Work For list, ranking the nation’s best workplace environments for large companies, and several industry leaders in the mortgage and housing space made the list. See which companies made the cut here.

MarketWatch: 3 reasons why the housing market is weaker than it seems

 

The economy is growing and our workforce is mostly employed, so why does the nation's housing market appear to be backsliding? Applications are falling, purchase volume is declining, and existing home sales are dwindling. Something isn't adding up, wrote Caliber Home Loans CEO Sanjiv Das in a recent article for MarketWatch. Here are three reasons why Das said the housing market is underperforming.

Freddie Mac just had a record year in multifamily but made less money than 2017

 

Freddie Mac made more money last year than it did in 2017, but that growth didn’t come from the multifamily side of the business, despite the government-sponsored enterprise having a record year for multifamily. So what happened? Click through to find out.

[Pulse] Gary Vaynerchuk says homeownership is BS, but I don't care

 

Industry interweb locales were on fire this past week when Gary Vaynerchuk – a sought-after motivational speaker, best-selling author and respected tech entrepreneur – slammed homeownership in a podcast interview that went viral. "I do not think the American dream should be buying a home anymore… It's a bad use of upfront capital, and it ties you up and it’s just not smart," he said. Are you enraged yet? If so, you're not alone.

Amazon pulls plug on New York HQ2

 

The rumors are true – Amazon has officially canceled plans to build a headquarters in Long Island City, New York, after facing significant opposition from local politicians who protested tax breaks for one of the world's more powerful companies. Amazon announced Thursday that is has opted to withdraw its plans for a Queens headquarters, saying it will not launch a search for a new location.

These were the most loved housing markets in 2018

 

Valentine's Day is a day that honors love, and at HousingWire what we really love are healthy housing markets. Luckily, Zillow has compiled a list of some of the most loved neighborhoods of 2018, which range from upscale enclaves, popular vacation and retirement communities and more. Find out which neighborhoods were the most loved.

These markets are hotbeds for luxury real estate

 

A new report by Coldwell Banker reveals where the country's wealthiest individuals are buying properties, listing the top 5 "power markets" for luxury real estate. Coldwell defines power markets as areas that offer the lifestyle amenities, education, and culture that the uber-rich seek out. Here are Coldwell's top five power markets for buyers and sellers, where you can find the greatest number of $1 million-plus homes sold.

Home renovation experts warily optimistic about 2019's market

 

A lack of affordability has prevented many Americans from re-entering the housing market, leading to a surge in the home renovation market. However, in its 2019 home renovation forecast, Houzz explains that although the remodeling industry is likely to have another successful year, many experts are proceeding with caution.

Community Preservation Corp. launches multifamily mortgage company

 

Community Preservation Corp., a nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company, is no stranger to multifamily lending, having originated nearly $500 million in agency loans in 2018 alone. But now, the company is spinning off its agency lending business and creating a standalone mortgage company.

Former LandCastle Title CEO Nat Hardwick sentenced to 15 years for embezzling $26 million

 

The saga of Nathan (Nat) Hardwick, the former CEO of LandCastle Title and former managing partner of Morris Hardwick Schneider, is finally nearing its end. Back in October, Hardwick was found guilty of embezzling more than $25 million from his former companies, a crime that destroyed a prominent real estate law firm and left hundreds of people jobless. And this week, a federal judge sentenced Hardwick to serve 15 years in prison for his crimes.

Real estate tech company Remine raises $30 million to grow MLS platform

 

Remine, a real estate tech company that was honored last year as one of HousingWire Magazine’s HW Tech100, announced this week that it raised $30 million to grow its data-focused MLS platform. Remine partners with MLSs to offer real estate agents and their consumers an MLS platform that utilizes data and analytics to offer “actionable intelligence.”

Multifamily mortgage originations jumped 32% in the fourth quarter

 

Recently, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicted that multifamily lending was on track to set another record in 2018. And now that 2018 is over, we’re starting to get a look at just how good of a year it was. And just as expected, it appears that multifamily mortgage lending finished the year off on a strong note.

These are the least affordable U.S. housing markets

 

Inventory for moderately priced starter homes is tight, and it's driving up home prices, making homes less affordable for America's middle class. A recent study by Realtor.com sought to pinpoint where homes were the least affordable, analyzing the monthly median cost of housing in 500 metros, and here's what it found.

California, your affordable housing woes are far from over

 

According to the Traditional Housing Affordability Index from the California Association of Realtors, the percentage of homebuyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home edged up to 28% in the fourth quarter of 2018. Although this is an increase from the third quarter, the percentage is still lower than the same period in 2017.

Investcorp continues growing multifamily portfolio with $330 million round of acquisitions

 

For the second time in just a few months, Investcorp is growing its multifamily portfolio by more than 2,000 units. The company announced Tuesday that it recently acquired eight more “garden style” Class B apartment communities for $330 million.

 

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