Mortgage Application Volume Bounces Back

Mortgage loan application volume bounced back from last week’s low, rising 0.3%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey. Purchase mortgage activity grew 8%, driving the increase. Last week’s numbers hit their lowest point since Mid-July, largely due to a 3% drop in refinancing. Refi dropped another 3% this week, but purchase mortgage applications made up for it, reaching their highest level since April. “Compared to the same week last September, which was right in the middle of a significant upswing in home purchases, applications were down 11%– the smallest year-over-year decline in 14 weeks,” said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. The average loan size for a purchase application also rose, to $396,800.…

MBA: Good News As Share Of Loans In Forbearance Nosedives

The total number of loans in forbearance took a nosedive this week, with numbers down in every category, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest survey. Forbearances made up 3.08% of servicers’ portfolio volume, down from 3.23%. That puts the estimated number of homeowners in forbearance plans at 1.5 million. For Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, the number fell 11 basis points to 1.52%. Ginnie Mae loans fell from 3.63% to 3.39%. Portfolio loans and private-label securities shares fell 25 basis points, from 7.52% to 7.27%. Independent mortgage bank servicers saw a drop of 16 basis points to 3.33%, and depository servicers saw a drop of 18 basis points to 3.15%. “The share of loans in forbearance decreased…

Black Knight: Forbearances Improved First Week Of September

More than two million forbearance plans were set to expire this month, but Black Knight reports after the first week that number has dropped to 1.7 million. The total number of mortgages in forbearance fell 66,000 this week, on top of a 150,000 drop last week. The change is the result of forbearances being assessed for extension or removal. Taken together, that means the total number of homes in forbearance has dropped 6% in the last 30 days. And the number continues to trend down: 3.7 million homeowners are in Covid-19 related forbearance plans as of September 8, compared to 4.7 million in May, a 22% difference. Most of the decline came from GSE loans, which fell 36,000 in the…

Homeowner Equity Grew a Record $1T in Q2

American homeowners gained a record $1 trillion in tappable equity in the second quarter of 2021, a single-quarter record according to mortgage data company Black Knight, Inc. That brings the total equity available to $9.15 trillion, up 37 percent in a single year. “Such strong equity positions should help limit the volume of distressed inflow into the real estate market as well as provide strong incentive for homeowners to return to making mortgage payments – even if needing to be reduced through modification,” said Ben Graboske, Black Knight president of data and analytics. According to their latest Mortgage Monitor report, this available equity comes even as loans against home equity surged. “The 1.1M cash-outs originated in Q2 were the largest quarterly volume…

Feminists, Former Employees Cry Foul Over Ishbia’s Big-Dollar MSU Player Stipends

United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia makes no secret of his Michigan State mania, reportedly dropping more than $30 million on the school’s athletic program this year alone. But the one-time basketball walk-on’s latest MSU payout has current and former employees crying foul. Ishbia announced his company will be paying a generous stipend to all 133 MSU men’s basketball and football players starting this upcoming school year, the Detroit Free Press reports. The news comes as UWM faces a lawsuit over its treatment of employees and ongoing complaints about working conditions at the Pontiac, Michigan-based company. NCAA athletes had long been banned from receiving such payments while playing college sports. But the conference recently changed its player compensation rules to…

Down Payments on Homes Across Top 50 U.S. Metros Now Average $46,000

A new study by LendingTree found that the average down payment on homes across 50 major U.S. metros has reached $46,283. As interest rates fell to historic lows and the housing market sizzled, high home prices led to larger down payments. Analysts at LendingTree calculated median down payments in the largest 50 U.S. metros and compared how expensive they were relative to their median annual household incomes. “An average down payment on a home costs at least $28,000 in each of the nation’s 50 largest metros,” they reported. In some markets it was almost four times that number. The most expensive cities peaked at over $100,000. San Jose had an average of $115,138 down, which amounts to 88% of the…

Mortgage Applications Down Again

Mortgage application volume fell again in the past week, dropping to its lowest point since Mid-July, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey found. Mortgage application volume fell by 1.9%. On an unadjusted basis, the index dropped 3% from last week. The data is driven largely by a 3% decline in refinancing. The refinance index was 4% lower year-over-year for the same week. The survey also showed a small 0.2% decline in the seasonally adjusted purchase index. “Mortgage application volume fell last week to its lowest level since mid-July, as mortgage rates have stayed just above 3% for several weeks. Refinance volume has been moderating, while purchase volume continues to be lower than expected given the lack of homes on…

HPSI Stays Flat, But Buyers Are Optimistic About The Future

As the housing market cools slightly and prices trend downward, consumers feel more positive about their homebuying prospects, according to Fannie Mae’s August Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). The HPSI is a national telephone survey that polls 1,000 consumers a month about owning or renting a home, price changes, the economy, and overall consumer confidence. The results can help predict future housing outcomes. The HPSI was essentially unchanged in August, falling 0.1 points to 75.7, but the survey revealed that buyers are starting to feel more optimistic about the housing market. For the first time since March, more respondents said they believe it’s a good time to buy a home, rising from 28% to 32%. The percentage of those who…

NAR, Zillow Antitrust Lawsuit Moves Forward

A U.S. District Court judge denied motions by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Zillow to dismiss an antitrust challenge from the real-estate tech company Real Estate Exchange (REX), saying that REX provided sufficient evidence that NAR and Zillow conspired to restrain trade and to harm consumers. REX sued on the grounds that a NAR segregation rule— a rule followed by Zillow that separates new technology listings on its site from traditional broker listings in a different tab, titled “Other Listings”– violates antitrust and consumer protection laws. They argued the policy privileges traditional broker models that include 5-6% commission fees for buyers. REX said the “Other Listings” tab was a “recessed, obscured, and deceptive tab that consumers do not…

Is Housing Market Heading Back to ‘Normal?’

Signs of softening housing markets and a leveling of mortgage interest rates have some industry observers asking if America is heading back to a ‘normal’ home-buying market. “For first-time buyers, more options and favorable financing offer the promise that after a year of frustrating bidding wars, finding the right home may finally be within reach,” George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com said this week. “More listings are coming to the market these days, which is alleviating some of the supply crunch that prompted record increases in home prices.” Marco Santarelli, founder of Norada Real Estate Investments, says “new sellers are entering the market at near-normal levels,” in part thanks to cooling home prices. “Median listing prices in several…