Rates Hover At 5.09%

Mortgage rates stayed relatively flat last week, falling just slightly to an average of 5.09%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.09%, down from last week’s 5.10%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.99%. “Mortgage rates continued to inch downward this week but are still significantly higher than last year, affecting affordability and purchase demand,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “Heading into the summer, the potential homebuyer pool has shrunk, supply is on the rise and the housing market is normalizing. This is welcome news following unprecedented market tightness over the last couple of years.” Mortgage purchase applications are down 14% YOY…

UWM Pays $2.7M to Settle Overtime Lawsuit

United Wholesale Mortgage has ended one of its ongoing legal battles by paying $2.7 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the company unfairly treated its employees, including forcing them to work overtime without pay. In a letter to employees, UWM executive vice president Allen Beydoun claimed the company did nothing wrong and workers should not expect the culture inside the nation’s largest wholesale mortgage lender to change.  “While we are extremely confident that our account executives were and are fairly and accurately compensated for the work and time dedicated to their business, UWM chose to stop spending additional time and money with attorneys,” Beydoun wrote. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the arbitrator made no ruling on…

Zombie Foreclosures Tick Up As Overall Foreclosure Activity Accelerates

Zombie foreclosures rose 3% from Q1 to Q2 2022, the first increase in a year, as overall foreclosure activity jumped 13%, ATTOM reported. Zombie properties– homes that sit vacant– account for 1.3 million properties in the U.S. That is one in every 76 homes. Among pre-foreclosure properties, 7,569 sit vacant in Q2, meaning that the number of zombie-foreclosure properties rose quarterly by 2.8%. Foreclosures are up 12.7% from Q1 2022 and 15.9% YOY, with 259,166 properties in the process of foreclosure in Q2 2022. This is the third consecutive quarter of increases since the national foreclosure moratorium was lifted in July 2021. “The incidence of zombie-foreclosures tends to be higher in cases where the foreclosure process has dragged on for…

Applications Drop To Lowest Level Since December 2018

Mortgage loan application volume dropped another 2.3%, the fourth decrease in five weeks and the lowest level since December 2018, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey shows. The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell by 2.3%. The adjusted purchase index fell 1%, while the unadjusted purchase index fell by 2% and was 14% lower YOY. The refinance index fell 5% and was down 75% YOY. Refinances made up 31.5% of total applications. ARM activity fell to 8.7% of total applications.  “With the 30-year fixed rate at 5.33%, the refinance market continues to shrink, led by larger decreases last week for FHA and VA refinance applications. The refinance index was 75% below last year’s…

Women Leaders: Meet Three Of Amrock’s Movers And Shakers

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Three female leaders at Amrock are encouraging other women to ignore the noise and believe in themselves as they climb the corporate ladder. Amrock, headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, is a leading national provider of title insurance, property valuations, and settlement services. They are a part of Rocket Companies. Nicole Beattie, Chief Executive Officer of Amrock, has been with Rocket for nearly 18 years and began her career in mortgage banking at Rocket Mortgage – which was Quicken Loans – before transitioning to origination operations leadership. Since then, Beattie has held numerous roles, leading teams in underwriting, closing, and servicing. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t doubted herself on the way up the ladder. Beattie reported during a recent…

Home Prices Continue To Soar

Home price appreciation continues to soar, with both the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices and the Federal Finance Housing Agency’s House Price Index posting significant gains. The Case-Shiller Indices had the highest YOY price gains in its 35-year history. The National Index showed a 20.6% YOY increase in March. The 10-City Composite index rose 19.5%, while the 20-City Composite was up 21.1% YOY. Month-over-month, the seasonally adjusted National Index rose 2.1%, the 10-City rose 2.2%, and the 20-City rose 2.4%. All 20 cities saw price gains both before and after adjustment. Tampa (+34.8%), Phoenix (+32.4%), and Miami (+32%) led the surge. Seventeen of the 20 cities had higher price increases YOY in March 2022 than in February 2022. “The strength of…

Commercial/Multifamily Delinquencies Still Low

Commercial and multifamily delinquencies fell in Q1 2022, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report. MBA looked at commercial/multifamily delinquency rates for five of the largest investor groups: commercial banks and thrifts, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), life insurance companies, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These groups hold more than 80% of outstanding debt in these categories. The number of banks and thrifts overdue by 90 or more days fell to 0.56% from Q4 2021. The number of life company portfolios 60 or more days late rose slightly to 0.05%, while Fannie Mae fell to 0.38%. Freddie Mac remained unchanged at 0.08%. CMBS that were 30 or more days delinquent or in REO dropped to 3.36%. “Commercial…

Pending Home Sales Down For Sixth Straight Month

Pending home sales fell for the sixth straight month, down 3.9% in April from the month prior and 9.1% YOY, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). The PHSI looks at contract signings as an indicator of home sales, with a reading of 100 equal to contract signing activity in 2001. It registered a reading of 99.3 in April. Only the Midwest saw an increase in pending sales, while the three other regions saw declines. Pending home sales transactions in the South fell by 4.7% to an index of 119.0, down 10.3% YOY. The index in the West slipped 4.3% in April to 85.9, a 10.5% decrease YOY. “Pending contracts are telling, as they…

Mortgage Rates Drop For A Second Week

Mortgage rates dropped for yet another week to an average of 5.10%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.10%, down from last week’s 5.25%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.95%. “Mortgage rates decreased for the second week in a row due to multiple headwinds that the economy is facing,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “Despite the recent moderation in rates, the housing market has clearly slowed, and the deceleration is spreading to other segments of the economy, such as consumer spending on durable goods.” 5-year ARMs did rise, however, from 4.08% a week ago to 4.20%. ARMs have become appealing to…

Prices Are Up In Distressed Neighborhoods Due To Soaring HPI And Low Inventory Elsewhere

Home prices rose in Q1 2022 for the majority of Opportunity Zones, with the pace of gains in half of all zones besting quarterly and annual increases across the nation, ATTOM reported. Opportunity Zones are areas targeted for economic improvement, defined in the Tax Act legislation as census tracts in or alongside low-income neighborhoods that meet specific criteria for redevelopment. ATTOM analyzed 5,092 zones in the U.S. that had at least five home sales in Q1 2022. The report found that median single-family home and condo prices increased in 55% of zones between Q4 2021 and Q1 2022. In 50%, prices rose by at least 20%, despite the fact that the pace of increases slowed in Q1. “Home price trends…