Mortgage Rates Parked Below 3%

Mortgage rates are holding steady below 3 percent in Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday. The survey found: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.94 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week’s 2.96 percent and last year’s 3.28 percent.The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.26 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week’s 2.30 percent and last year’s 2.72 percent.The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.59 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week’s 2.70 percent and last year’s 3.18 percent. “Since the most recent peak in April, mortgage rates have declined nearly a quarter of a percent and have remained under three percent for the past month,” said Sam Khater,…

Mortgage Applications Climb Amid Low Rates

Mortgage applications increased 2.1 percent for the week amid low rates and high demand for homes, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. The Refinance Index increased 3 percent from the previous week and was 12 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from the previous week and was 13 percent higher than the same week one year ago.   The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 61.3 percent of total applications from 61.0 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 3.8 percent of total applications. “Mortgage rates fell last week to the lowest levels since February, tracking the dip…

Loan Origination Flexibilities Set To End

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Wednesday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend some temporary loan origination flexibilities through May 31, while allowing some to expire at the end of April. Originally enacted early in the Covid-19 pandemic, alternative appraisals on purchase and rate-term refinance loans are among the flexibilities that will now be extended through May 31, FHFA said. Flexibilities related to employment verification, condominium project reviews, and expanded power of attorney are being allowed to expire as scheduled on April 30. Additionally, FHFA expects to retire all temporary selling flexibilities on May 31, 2021. …

Eviction Bans Challenging Renters, Landlords

By Elise Daniel Last year was the year without evictions and 2021 may be shaping up similarly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently extended their eviction moratorium, which bans landlords from kicking out tenants who fail to make rent payments.  The ban is creating a situation that will present short term problems for landlords and have long-term impacts on the quality of the American housing supply. Already struggling to make ends meet, landlords should be prepared to face several months of additional eviction moratoriums and the prospect of tenants owing tens of thousands of dollars in back rent. Originally enacted in March 2020 as a public health measure to prevent overcrowding in shelters, the moratorium was successful in pushing evictions to historic lows. However,…

CDC Extends Eviction Ban As Feds Warn Landlords

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission on Monday issued a warning to landlords to “stop illegal evictions” during the Covid-19 pandemic. The statement was issued as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its eviction moratorium, banning landlords from kicking tenants out for being unable to make their rental payments. “Staff at both agencies will be monitoring and investigating eviction practices, particularly by major multistate landlords, eviction management services, and private equity firms, to ensure that they are complying with the law,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio and FTC Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter said. “Evicting tenants in violation of the CDC, state, or local moratoria, or evicting or threatening to evict them without apprising them of…

HUD Announces $455M In Housing Grants

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $450 million in housing block grants to support affordable housing, as well as another $5 million for Native Hawaiians. The Indian Housing Block Grants will be used to help Tribes carry out affordable housing activities to protect the safety and health of their Tribal members and communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. The list of tribes receiving the grants can be found here. Indian Housing Block Grants pay for housing development, operation and maintenance, modernization of existing housing, housing services to eligible families and individuals, housing management services, crime prevention and safety activities, and model activities that provide creative approaches to solving affordable housing problems in Indian Country. “With the enactment of the…

Report: Broker Wars Driving New Fairway Business

Like Rocket Mortgage, Fairway Independent Mortgage is reporting increased interest from brokers after United Wholesale Mortgage launched the Broker Wars. HousingWire reported today: Since UWM president and CEO Mat Ishbia appeared on Facebook Live on March 4 and announced that brokers could not work with Fairway and Rocket Mortgage and still do business with UWM, Fairway has seen a dramatic uptick in business, according to its CEO, Steve Jacobson. “We typically had one or two inquiries a week for the broker channel,” said Jacobson, who founded the lender in 1996. “We’re up over 100 inquiries since March 4.” Fairway, which did about $3.5 billion in the wholesale channel in 2020 (compared to about $62 billion in retail), lost roughly 5%…

Group Opposes UWM Edict In Broker Wars

A consumer group launched a campaign designed to raise awareness among policymakers about the Broker Wars in an effort to put pressure on United Wholesale Mortgage over their refusal to work with brokers who do business with two competitors. The Consumer Action for a Strong Economy created “Save Broker Choice,” which urges the public to contact state and federal representatives over the broker ban. “The move reduces the number of companies that mortgage brokers are allowed to work with and, in turn, impacts the homeowners, prospective homebuyers, and those looking to refinance who are looking to secure the best interest rates and financing terms,” CASE says on its website. “Simply put, limiting options for brokers will cause consumers to lose out.…

Fannie Mae Reports $11.8B In Net Income

Fannie Mae released its 2020 financial results Friday, reporting $11.8 billion in net income for the year and $4.6 billion in the fourth quarter. Fannie’s net worth climbed to $25.3 billion at the end of the year, up from $14.6 billion at the end of 2019. The company reported providing a record $1.4 trillion in liquidity to single-family and multifamily mortgage markets. That includes 3.4 million refinanced loans amid historically low interest rates. “2020 presented the nation with an historic test and Fannie Mae rose to the challenge, delivering a record $1.4 trillion in mortgage liquidity to meet home purchase, refinancing, and rental housing needs,” Chief Executive Officer Hugh R. Frater said.…

Freddie Mac Reports $7.3B In Net Income

Freddie Mac on Thursday announced net income of $7.3 billion for 2020, up $100 million from the year before as the housing market surged amid pandemic-induced record low interest rates. Freddie Mac also reported: Net worth increased to $16.4 billion, from $9.1 billion at the end of 2019. Net income of $2.9 billion and comprehensive income of $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter, up $400 million and $100 million, respectively, from the prior quarter, driven by a reserve release due primarily to realized house price growth during 4Q 2020. “In 2020, Freddie Mac continued to serve the important role for which it was founded: supporting the housing market in all economic conditions. In the face of extraordinary economic uncertainty caused…