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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.


 

NAR slapped with second class-action lawsuit to end buyer broker compensation

 

A second class-action lawsuit has been filed in protest of the buyer broker compensation rules set forth by the National Association of Realtors. The suit alleges that NAR and MLS providers violated federal antitrust laws by requiring property sellers to pay the buyer's broker an inflated fee, a claim NAR called "completely without merit" as it vowed to defend its policies in court.

HUD seeks to end public housing aid for undocumented immigrants

 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a rule Wednesday that would end public housing aid for undocumented immigrants. An administration official told The New York Times that the rule would ensure that only American citizens receive housing assistance from HUD, putting an end to a loophole that did not require some aid recipients to prove citizenship.

Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates continue to rise, but remain below 2018 levels

 

Mortgage rates rose for the third consecutive week without regaining the level they were at before a late March plunge, but rates are still well below where they were a year ago.

Quicken Loans will now let Vrbo hosts use rental income to refinance their mortgage

 

A little over a year ago, Airbnb partnered with some of the nation’s largest mortgage players, including Fannie Mae and Quicken Loans, to allow hosts using the short-term rental platform to use income from their rentals to refinance their mortgage. Now, Quicken Loans is at it again; this time partnering with Vrbo to allow users of that platform to use rental income earned through that short-term rental platform to refinance their mortgage.

Want to sell your home for more? Go green

 

Going green pays, especially if you’re trying to sell your home, according to a recent Zillow analysis. The study found that homes with solar energy systems sold for 4.1% more on average than their counterparts in 2018.

Real estate startup Reali acquires online lender Lenda, expands into mortgages

 

Reali, a flat-fee real estate startup that operates in California, is following the path laid out by other tech-focused real estate companies like Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor and getting into the mortgage business. Reali announced Wednesday that it acquired Lenda, an online mortgage lender that launched in 2013 and currently operates in 12 states.

Freddie Mac invests $50 million in affordable housing in rural, underserved areas

 

Freddie Mac announced Wednesday it closed a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit fund with CAHEC and initiated several investments within the fund, totaling $50 million, for affordable rental housing in the Middle Appalachia area of the U.S.

Here’s how to win the HousingWire Women of Influence award

 

It’s that time of year again – the time when we celebrate how women have changed the housing industry, paved a path for those who came after them and continue to lead the industry. But before you nominate your candidate, click the headline to take a look at answers to frequently asked questions and a few tips on how to win the award.

This is how America's housing affordability is impacting credit quality

 

It's official: The era of unusually affordable housing has ended. Well, according to a recent Moody's Investors Services analysis. The organization claims that America's housing affordability has returned to average historical levels, therefore impacting credit quality across numerous housing-related sectors.

CBRE names Leah Stearns CFO

 

Commercial real estate giant CBRE announced that Leah Stearns will be joining the company as its next chief financial officer. Stearns is stepping into the role as the company's current CFO, James Groch, transitions his focus on responsibilities as the company's global group president and chief investment officer.

Redfin: West Coast homebuyers are winning the bidding wars

 

As lackluster home sales push inventory growth in the nation’s housing markets, new data from Redfin suggests purchasing competition has begun to ease in nearly every metro across the country. This is especially so for the West Coast, which saw the biggest year-over-year increases in first-offer success rates.

Republican tax bill likely curtailed 2018 home sales, Fed economists say

 

Republican tax reform that capped mortgage and property deductions has curtailed the housing market, according to a blog post from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While a 7.6% decline in the sales of new single-family homes from 2017’s fourth quarter through the end of 2018’s third quarter could be attributed to a 70 basis point rise in mortgage rates, the drop was larger than periods of similar rate gains in 2013 and 2016.

NAHB says homebuilders were more optimistic in April

 

Homebuilder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose in April as so-called buyer traffic increased to new developments. The index measuring current sales conditions rose to 69 points from 68, while buyer traffic jumped to 47 from 44. Expectations for the next six months fell to 71 from 72.

Zillow begins buying and selling homes in Dallas

 

Homeowners in the Dallas/Fort Worth area can now bypass the traditional real estate process and sell their house directly to Zillow, as the online real estate giant announced Monday that it is expanding its direct buying program to DFW.

Bloomberg: This is how the West Coast is benefiting from the housing market slowdown

 

This year’s spring homebuying season has shifted towards the favor of homebuyers, heating up the nation’s tightest housing markets. In fact, according to a recent article from Bloomberg, inventory in previously hot areas like California is piling up, giving potential buyers an extra edge.

David Stevens abruptly resigns from Radian's board of directors

 

Just last month Radian announced that David Stevens, the former head of the Federal Housing Administration and the Mortgage Bankers Association, would be joining its board of directors. But now, just three weeks later, Stevens is out for reasons unknown.

This is how public transportation is transforming California's housing market

 

It's spring home-buying season and thousands of prospective buyers have taken to California's housing market. Although many factors will influence their purchasing decisions, new data from Trulia indicates that the percentage of Los Angeles homebuyers searching for homes near public transportation is on the rise.

The HGTV effect: 60% of home shoppers are willing to renovate

 

About 60% of people looking to buy a home are willing to consider a property that needs renovating as rising prices make it harder to afford a turnkey listing, according to Realtor.com. Most of them were inspired to take on the projects by watching TV home renovation shows on networks like HGTV, according to the report.

Here's what you need to know about first-time homebuyers

 

Earlier this week, we established that first-time homebuyers are not, in fact, being shut out of the housing market as some had feared, thanks to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Now, a second part of that study aims to pinpoint characteristics of these first-time buyers and note how they have changed over time. Here's what they found.

Redfin: San Francisco’s IPO wealth likely to drive home price growth

 

Although home price appreciation has slowed across the country, new data from Redfin suggests San Francisco’s housing market is likely to reverse course. According to the company’s analysis, this rebound will be driven primarily by anticipated growth in the city’s IPO wealth.

Opportunity Zones have investors excited. So why aren't more buying in?

 

When it comes to Opportunity Zones, investors are excited about the potential for tremendous tax savings, but many are not buying in just yet. What's the problem? Lingering questions about how, exactly, Opportunity Zones work. While HUD estimates the program could spur as much as $100 billion a year in investments, evidence suggests this potential is far from being realized. As interested parties await clarification from the Treasury, HUD is seeking public input as to how it can leverage its authority to encourage uptake and maximize the impact for distressed communities.

Wells Fargo earnings top expectations weeks after CEO departs

 

Wells Fargo, the biggest U.S. bank originator of mortgages, had its best first quarter in five years without much help from its home-loan business. Look for that to change next quarter, based on the mortgage pipeline Wells Fargo reported. The San Francisco bank said it had $32 billion of unclosed first-lien mortgages that will go on its books in the current quarter, compared with $24 billion it reported for the same period a year earlier.

Boston Globe: A battle is brewing in Beantown to bring back rent control

 

A rent control battle is fermenting in Boston, 24 years after the practice was abolished in a statewide referendum. Althea Garrison, who became an at-large city councilor in January to replace a member elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the midterms, introduced a measure this week to cap the amount landlords can charge for apartments.

Forecast: These will be the housing market's strongest and weakest metros

 

A new analysis from Veros Real Estate Solutions suggests the housing market slowdown is likely to last until 2020. Find out which housing markets will succumb to the downturn here.

These two catalysts could spark a surge in home equity use

 

This year, two geysers of pent-up wealth are set to erupt, and the ripple effect just might inspire more homeowners to utilize their home equity. That's the theory proposed by Bloomberg columnist Conor Sen in a recent op-ed, in which he examines the possibility that U.S. homeowners might once again embrace debt and leverage now that memories of the financial crisis are beginning to fade. Will 2019 be the year of equity access?

 

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