MBA: 6.99% Of Mortgages In Forbearance

The number of mortgages in forbearance amid the coronavirus pandemic keeps climbing. The latest data released Monday by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows 6.99 percent of mortgage borrowers – or 3.5 million – were in forbearance as of April 19. That’s up from 5.95 percent a week earlier. On March 2, roughly 0.25 percent of loans were in forbearance. MBA’s numbers are even higher than those released Friday by Black Knight, which estimated that 6.4 percent of all mortgages were in forbearance as of April 23. “Forbearance requests fell relative to the prior week but remain roughly 100 times greater than the early March baseline,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.” While the pace of job…

6.4% Of All Mortgages Now In Forbearance

The number of loans in forbearance continues to outpace regulators’ expectations, with an estimated 3.4 million homeowners pushing pause on mortgage payments amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Friday by Black Knight. According to the firm’s forbearance tracker, 6.4 percent of all mortgages have entered into forbearance as of April 23 – up from 5.5 percent a week ago. On March 2, roughly 0.25 percent of loans were in forbearance. Black Knight reports that 1.57 million Fannie and Freddie loans are in forbearance, making up 5.6 percent of their share of the mortgage market. Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said early this month that he expected no more than 300,000 Fannie and Freddie loans to fall into forbearance…

US Home Prices Holding Steady So Far

A trio of housing reports released Thursday found that home prices aren’t dropping amid the ever-changing housing market brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, though sales are down. While price increases have slowed, Zillow found that the median list price of homes for sale in the United States was 0.4 percent higher than a year ago as of April 19. List prices were up about 7 percent year over year at this time in 2019. Additionally, the National Association of Realtors says 74 percent of members surveyed say their clients haven’t reduced listing prices to attract buyers. And he Census Bureau also announced Wednesday that new home sales tumbled 15.4 percent in March from February – and 9.5 percent below March…

Mortgage Rates Rise Just A Bit

Mortgage rates rose ever so slightly this week, reflecting nearly a month of stable rates after swings in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.33 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday. “Mortgage rates have stabilized over the last few weeks as the market searches for direction in the fog of economic data,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “While financial markets initially rallied on the news of Federal Reserve support and are improving due to the Senate’s passage of a new small business stimulus, we continue to see a deep economic contraction amidst uncertainty about the recovery formation.” The survey found: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average of 3.33…

CEO Outlines Nightmare Scenario For Borrowers, Lenders

MBS Highway President and CEO Barry Habib presented a bleak scenario resulting from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s announcement Tuesday that mortgage lenders will have to cover four months of missed payments from borrowers under forbearance during the coronavirus pandemic. In a Facebook Live with the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts, Habib warned that lenders may be incentivized to hold on to new loans and potentially ruin borrowers’ credit, unless more federal protection is enacted. He presented a scenario in which a servicer issues a loan and makes 50 basis points on the deal. “If a loan went bad on a first-payment default because they needed forbearance or they’re gaming the system … so on a $300,000 loan, you risk losing $21,000 to…

Home Prices Grow In February Ahead Of Pandemic

Home prices in the United States rose 0.7 percent in February over the previous month – and 5.7 percent over a year earlier, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Wednesday. “U.S. house prices posted a strong increase in February,” said Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA. “The growth in home prices coincides with other data showing robust housing market activity in early 2020 preceding the current crisis.  House prices had positive monthly gains in every census division. Transactions still do not reflect much, if any, influence from the COVID-19 outbreak as of February.”  Seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from January 2020 to February 2020 were up in all nine census divisions of…

Mortgage Applications Go Largely Unchanged

Mortgage applications dipped slightly last week, falling 0.3 percent from a week earlier, according to the latest report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Refinance Index decreased 1 percent last week, but was 225 percent higher than the same week one year ago – driven by historically low interest rates. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 31 percent lower than the same week one year ago. “Mortgage applications were essentially unchanged last week, as a slight drop in refinance activity was offset by a 2 percent increase in purchase applications,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of…

“Flying W”: Uneven Housing Market Recovery Expected

The housing market will be besieged by the twin forces of shrinking supply and shrinking demand during the coronavirus pandemic, causing an uneven recovery over the next 12 months, according to a forecast released Wednesday by real estate investor Haus. In an analysis by Haus’ chief economist, the organization expects a recovery that looks like a “flying W” – an initial sharp drop this spring, followed by a rebound in the summer, another downturn in the fall and finally a solid road to recovery by next spring. The analysis predicts that single-family home sales and purchase mortgage originations will see the most impact. “There is likely to be both a reduction in demand and supply,” Haus chief economist Ralph McLaughlin…

Existing Home Sales Fall In March

By Jim Perskie Existing home sales fell in March amid the coronavirus outbreak, though overall sales were up slightly from a year ago, the National Association of Realtors announced Tuesday. “Unfortunately, we knew home sales would wane in March due to the coronavirus outbreak,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “More temporary interruptions to home sales should be expected in the next couple of months, though home prices will still likely rise.” Total existing home sales dropped 8.5 percent from February, while climbing 0.8 percent from March 2019. Each of the four regions of the country suffered a decrease in sales from a month earlier, the report found. Northeast: Existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 7.1 percent for the month and…

Share Of Mortgages In Forbearance Jumps To 5.95%

By Jim Perskie The number of loans in forbearance continues to rise, with nearly 6 percent of all mortgages in pause as borrowers cope with economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The share of loans in forbearance climbed from 3.74 percent to 5.95 percent as of April 12, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Forbearance and Call Volume survey released Monday. That amounts to roughly 3 million mortgages. Before the pandemic took hold of the economy, about 0.25 percent of mortgages were in forbearance. “With over 22 million Americans filing for unemployment over the past month, homeowners are contacting their mortgage servicers seeking relief, leading to a sharp increase in the share of loans in forbearance across all loan…