Millennials, Gen Zers See Inflation Rates Decline As Rents Cool

Members of Gen Z and Millenials are seeing their personal inflation rates cool as rent prices moderate. These demographics have lower personal inflation rates than the overall population for the first time in two years, according to a new CPI analysis from Redfin. Gen Zers and Millennials who signed a new lease in December saw the cost of their goods and services rise 5.6% and 6.1%, respectively, compared to a 6.5% increase for the average American. Gen Zers overall now have a lower personal inflation rate than the U.S. population for the first time since the beginning of 2021. Inflation was heavily impacted by shelter costs, which make up around a third of the value of goods and services included…

Rocket Pro TPO Takes Aim At UWM Ultimatum With “Bully Shield”

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The executive vice president of Rocket Pro TPO told brokers across the country on Monday that they are willing to indemnify those who choose to fight United Wholesale Mortgage’s anti-competition ultimatum. During a live-streamed Ignite Live event, Mike Fawaz said he believes the ultimatum was one of the worst things to happen to independent mortgage brokers in 50 years. “The ultimatum uses lawyers and contracts to limit choice – both for the broker and for the clients the broker services,” Fawaz said. “There’s no other way to put it – the ultimatum is immoral, reduces broker incomes, and increases the rates the clients of brokers will pay.” Fawaz said that they stand behind brokers who want to…

Average Mortgage Rate Moves Closer To 6%

As economists predicted, the 30-year fixed rate fell again this week, moving closer to 6%. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.09%, down from 6.13% the week prior. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.55%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 5.17% to 5.14%. A year ago, it averaged 2.77%. “Mortgage rates inched down again, with the 30-year fixed-rate down nearly a full point from November, when it peaked at just over seven percent,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “According to Freddie Mac research, this one percentage point reduction in rates can allow as many as three million more mortgage-ready consumers to qualify and afford a $400,000 loan,…

Opinion: For a Strong Mortgage Market, Strengthen the Ginnie Mae PTAP Program

By SCOTT OLSON Recently, Wells Fargo announced it was exiting the correspondent mortgage loan business, eliminating an important execution source for smaller independent mortgage banks that originate FHA, VA, and Fannie/Freddie loans but are not Ginnie Mae-approved issuers or Fannie/Freddie seller-servicers. This development is only the latest in a persistent 10-year trend, documented in our latest IMB Report issued last October by the Community Home Lenders of America. As large banks have exited the mortgage business, independent mortgage banks picked up the slack. IMBs now originate 90% of FHA and VA loans and issue 90% of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities. When an IMB acts as a Ginnie Mae issuer, it not only services the loans, but it is also legally…

Tenant Protections And Homelessness Addressed By Federal Officials

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The Biden-Harris administration announced new actions to protect renters this week and leaders at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development celebrated helping over 100,000 families through their homelessness initiative. On Wednesday, administration officials issued a fact sheet describing key actions officials are taking “to increase fairness in the rental market and further principles of fair housing.” They include: Identifying practices that unfairly prevent applicants and tenants from accessing or staying in housing. Ensuring accurate information in the credit reporting system and holding background check companies accountable for unreasonable procedures. Providing guidance updates around anti-competitive information sharing, including in rental markets. Requiring public housing authorities and owners of project-based rental assistance properties to provide at least…

Remote Office Inspection Helps Financial Companies Comply With Laws And Agency Guidelines

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders at ActiveComply say their new digital service helps companies in highly regulated industries stay compliant while employing remote workers. Banks, mortgage lenders, credit unions, and investment banking firms have to follow strict agency guidelines, as well as state and federal laws. Remote Office Inspection allows compliance teams at those institutions to document their efforts when employees are working outside of the office. Rob Nunziata, co-founder and CEO of ActiveComply, uses the example of FHA home loan files, which must be protected under rules established by officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Nunziata said the most important thing to regulators is that consumer data is protected. “We had a conversation with HUD early…

They Used To Be A Pizza Hut: Finding New Purposes For Commercial Spaces

By PATRICK LAVERY You’ve seen them. They masquerade as churches, funeral homes, radio stations, pharmacies, even –blasphemy! – other restaurants. But they all have one thing in common. They used to be a Pizza Hut. Now, it may be true that no one out-pizzas the Hut, but the huts themselves have slowly become outmoded relics over the past two to three decades when it comes to the chain’s business model. In that time, the take-out option that was always an alternative to sitting under the red, trapezoidal roof has brought Pizza Hut closer in spirit to its main competitors Domino’s, Little Caesars, and Papa John’s. It’s now common to see Pizza Hut paired in strip malls, airports, or rest stops…

Rates Slide To 6.15%

The 30-year fixed rate continued to slip last week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.15%, down from 6.33% the week prior. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.56 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 5.52% to 5.28%. A year ago, it averaged 2.79%. “As inflation continues to moderate, mortgage rates declined again this week,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Declining rates are providing a much-needed boost to the housing market, but the supply of homes remains a persistent concern.” Housing construction slid in December to a five-month low. Residential starts fell 1.4% from November to an annualized rate of 1.38 million, while…

Rocket Pro TPO EVP Slams UWM, Promotes Mortgage Broker Freedom

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The new executive vice president of Rocket Pro TPO took to social media on Tuesday to question the actions of United Wholesale Mortgage’s CEO. Mike Fawaz, who served as senior vice president of sales before recently being promoted to EVP, published a piece called “Mortgage Brokers – Still Truly Independent?” on LinkedIn where he said UWM’s President and CEO Mat Ishbia believes they have “pricing power” over brokers. “If he’s right, that presents a very clear danger to America’s mortgage brokers and their clients. One of the most powerful benefits of being a mortgage broker is independence. Independence of choice and real competition is the only effective tool a broker has to ensure someone else doesn’t dictate margin and…

Reaction To Wells Fargo Announcement Lukewarm

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders at Wells Fargo announced this week that they are reducing their home lending footprint and some people are saying it may be big news in the lending space, but will likely not make much of a difference to the average consumer. It was announced Tuesday that the company, formerly the nation’s largest mortgage lender, is exiting the correspondent lending channel and shrinking its mortgage servicing portfolio. Plans are to focus on serving bank customers and members of minority communities. Lawrence White, a professor of economics at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business, sat down with the Mortgage Note to talk about the news on Wednesday. White said he hopes the move by leaders at…