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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.


 

Short-term rental software company Guesty raises $25 million in Series C

 

Short-term rental management software developer Guesty announced it has raised $25 million in its latest funding round, bringing the company's total funding to $60 million. The company is using this latest capital injection to open new offices, to enhance its product capabilities and to introduce AI and machine learning into the platform and more.

Millennials, seniors are fleeing cities in search of affordable housing

 

While the housing market on the whole has experienced a slowdown, there are some unexpected markets that are heating up. They’re called the exurbs – or remote areas just beyond affluent suburbs – and Millennials and retirees are flocking to them. Why? Because rising home prices and high mortgage rates are driving some homebuyers out of urban centers toward remote locations where homes are more affordable.

Sneak peek: Here are 10 Tech100 winners

 

It’s almost here – the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the announcement of Tech100 winners! But some lucky winners won’t have to wait until April 1, 2019 to find out if they won. We decided to give you a sneak peek right here of 10 winners!

FHFA: American home price growth inches forward in January

 

Home prices inched forward in January, rising only 0.6% from the previous month but up 5.6% from the previous year, according to the latest monthly House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Case-Shiller: Home price gains are shrinking, further escalating a housing market slowdown

 

In January, annual home price gains slid nationwide, according to the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index from S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic. S&P Dow Jones Indices Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee David Blitzer said home price gains continue to shrink.

Housing market cools down as home building takes a dive

 

Housing starts fell 8.7% in the month of February, according to the latest report from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. The one bright spot seems to be an increase in multifamily permits, where the overwhelming majority of which will feed the rental market.

[Pulse] Hey real estate agents and mortgage LOs, here are 12 scripts that will get a lead's attention

 

Data now shows that texting your leads first and calling them only as a follow-up to the text, is the best way to respond to your real estate and mortgage leads. But what do you say to get their attention without being a pest? Below you’ll find 12 different text message scripts that work extremely well for real estate agents and loan officers looking to connect with a prospective client.

This new tool helps home sellers compare instant bids from iBuyers

 

A number of companies – like Offerpad, Opendoor, Zillow and Redfin – have launched iBuyer initiatives that present home sellers with an instant cash offer for their properties. Now, publishing platform zavvie is launching the Offer Optimizer, a tool to help home sellers navigate these instant online bids.

Real estate agents say housing market is favoring buyers

 

Real estate agents say many of their buyers are encouraged by an expected surge of supply this spring, and that a number of them are taking a wait-and-see approach rather than hustling to get a deal done. This market shift that puts the control in the hands of the buyer was revealed by a recent Credit Suisse survey of 500 real estate agents around the country. Here's what else they had to say.

[Pulse] What the housing industry needs to know about Facebook's latest moves

 

Last week, Facebook changed its ad policies to comply with anti-discrimination laws, and the move has broad implications for all of us in consumer finance and housing. But that's just one of three important strategy shifts the social media giant has made lately, and all are likely to impact those in the housing world. Here's what you need to know, and how you can adjust your processes to benefit.

Spring homebuyers likely to grapple with affordability

 

Spring home-buying season is officially here, and homebuyers across the country are now projected to dominate the market. But as homeownership demand heightens, new survey data from Realtor.com suggests many prospective buyers will grapple with housing affordability.

iBuyer Offerpad's latest funding round brings total capital raise to nearly $1 billion

 

Offerpad is on a mission to revolutionize the home-buying and selling process, and now the Arizona-based iBuyer has fistfuls of cash to realize that goal. The company recently announced that it closed a successful round of Series C financing, bringing the total amount of equity and debt capital it has raised since its launch 3.5 years ago to $975 million.

Declining mortgage rates champion home-buying power, but for how long?

 

In January 2019, home prices retreated 1.9%, but increased 7% year over year, according to First American's Real House Price Index. First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said moderating home prices, in conjunction with gains in household income and declining mortgage rates, boosted affordability for potential home buyers.

There are too many big houses on the market, and it's a problem

 

There are scores of huge homes across the Southern U.S. that are simply sitting on the market, and sellers are settling for massive price cuts in order to move on with their lives. What gives? Blame the Boomers. Hordes of retirees with easy access to credit built their late-in-life dream homes across the Sunbelt in the early 2000s, only to discover that these huge, high-maintenance abodes didn't exactly make for ideal living in their Golden Years.

[Pulse] 5 actionable tips on building a personal brand for real estate and mortgage professionals

 

I got into the mortgage business in 2008, possibly the worst year for the financial markets. I was armed with three people in my sphere of influence and $1,900 in capital. Fast-forward a couple of years, and my company posted an astronomic three-year growth of 987%. While most successes can't be attributed to just one factor, in my case, personal branding played a huge role. Here's how I did it, and some tips on how you can do it, too.

Study reveals generational divide in HELOC use

 

Most of the time, when a homeowner takes out a HELOC, the plan is to use the proceeds to fund home renovations. But a recent survey of 1,003 HELOC or future HELOC borrowers by Citizens Bank revealed that younger borrowers are much more open to using the loan for things other than home renovation, shedding light on a generational divide in the way homeowners utilize their home equity.

Freddie Mac: Housing market will regain momentum this spring

 

Lower than expected mortgage rates and moderating home prices are projected to heat up the spring home-buying season, according to Freddie Mac's March Forecast. Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said rising sales demand coupled with more inventory than previous spring seasons suggests that the housing market is in the early stages of regaining momentum.

NAR: Monthly existing home sales reach four-year high

 

In February, existing home sales experienced their largest monthly gain since December 2015, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said a powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound.

Realogy to roll out AI tools for real estate professionals

 

Residential real estate giant Realogy has debuted as suite of AI tools for agents and brokers that it hopes will reshape the future of real estate. At its RGX conference in Las Vegas this week, Realogy introduced a number of innovative tools that it’s planning to roll out this year, including some that leverage artificial intelligence to make the job easier.

PeerStreet expands product suite with Residential for Rent loans

 

PeerStreet, an online marketplace for real estate-backed loans, has launched Residential for Rent loans, enabling borrowers to secure long-term financing on residential properties for rent. PeerStreet Co-Founder and CEO Brew Johnson said the company was excited about expanding its marketplace beyond bridge loans, and that the move is a natural progression as the company increases its transaction volume with institutional investors.

First American: Dwindling inventory threatens potential home sales growth

 

Although potential existing-home sales rose marginally in February, a lack of inventory now threatens future growth, according to First American's Potential Home Sales Model. First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said the housing market continues to underperform its potential, but shows signs of promise leading into the spring home-buying season.

[WATCH] Mortgage lenders, this is what a recession could mean for the housing market

 

Watch HousingWire's Alcynna Lloyd speak with Lakeside Bank's Todd Probasco about the housing market's changing landscape. See what these two have to say about what an economic slowdown could mean for the mortgage industry.

Housing market trends are stifling the jumbo mortgage market

 

In the years following the financial crisis, mortgage lenders turned their attention to the jumbo mortgage market as high-end clients proved to be a safe and profitable bet. But now, recent trends taken a toll on the jumbo market, causing volume to fall 12% in the last year, a decline that outpaces the overall mortgage market by 5%. "Still, there are few signs banks are changing tack," The Wall Street Journal stated. "If anything, industry watchers say, they are becoming more competitive."

Dreamers denied: Evidence mounts FHA is not backing DACA mortgages

 

Despite HUD stating recently that its policies have not changed in regards to the FHA backing mortgages for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, it appears that the opposite is actually the case. Or at least that’s how the mortgage lending industry is reacting. A new HousingWire investigation has uncovered lender bulletins or guidelines from a dozen different lenders each stating that Dreamers are not eligible for FHA financing.

Zillow pilots app for self-guided house tours

 

Zillow is testing a mobile app that enables users to tour a house for sale without the need for agent or an appointment. The app puts the control in the hands of the consumer, and it's part of Zillow's continued effort to make headway in the iBuying space. Tour it Now provides users directions to the property, unlocks the doors when they arrive, and allows them the opportunity to tour the house on their own time.

 

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