Builder Confidence Drops, Signaling Trouble For The Housing Market

Builder confidence dropped two points in June to its lowest level since June 2020, according to the National Association of Home Builders(NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The HMI asks builders for their opinions on current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months, as well as rate their traffic of prospective buyers. Any number under 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as worse than better. The HMI posted a reading of 67 for the month of June. It is the sixth consecutive month of decline for the index. NAHB’s press release called it a “troubling sign for the housing market.” “Six consecutive monthly declines for the HMI is a clear sign of a slowing housing…

Will Biden’s Housing Plan Make A Difference?

By CHUCK GREEN The President recently released a Housing Supply Action Plan designed to pull back the throttle on the challenges of housing costs over time by increasing the inventory of quality housing in every community. The plan bills itself as the most comprehensive effort to close the housing supply shortfall in history. It includes legislative and administrative actions that could help close America’s housing supply shortfall in five years. It will begin by creating and preserving scores of affordable housing units in the next three years. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there’s a national shortage of seven million homes. There’s fewer than four affordable and available rental homes for every 10 extremely low-income renter households and…

Protesters Rally At BlueHub Capital Headquarters

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Protesters who claim BlueHub Capital has a predatory program that has fleeced distressed homeowners rallied in Boston on Tuesday morning. The Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods program hit the spotlight in February of 2020, when a group of 14 homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit in Massachusetts Superior Court. WGBH reported at the time that the plaintiffs alleged they were the victims of predatory lending practices while facing foreclosure or hardship. BlueHub Capital leaders responded at the time by saying the SUN initiative had successfully helped more than 1,100 families facing foreclosure and eviction. “SUN has reduced borrowers’ collective outstanding mortgage principal by about $68 million and their monthly mortgage payments by nearly $42 million,” company leaders stated. “Almost all…

Manchester Tops Hottest Housing Markets As More Affordable Northeast Metros Attract Buyers

The city of Manchester in New Hampshire is May’s hottest housing market, ranking first for the 10th time in the past year, Realtor.com reported. Realtor.com’s monthly Hottness ranking looks at market demand, as measured by unique viewers per property on its website, and the pace of the market as measured by the number of days a listing remains active on Realtor.com. The Northeast dominated the top 20 hottest markets, with multiple cities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Wisconsin also made its way onto the list. Manchester took the top spot for the first time in 2020 and has been number one 15 times since then. The Northeast has had the least price hikes, which likely plays a role…

Applications Reverse Downward Spiral, Up 6.6%

Mortgage loan application volume reversed course after five straight weeks of decreases, rising 6.6% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey shows. The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased by 6.6%. The adjusted purchase index rose 8%, while the unadjusted purchase index was up by 18% and was 16% lower YOY. The refinance index rose 4% and was down 76% YOY and made up 31.7% of total applications. ARM activity fell to 8.1% of total applications.  Joel Kan, MBA Association Vice President of Economic and Industry, noted that applications rose despite an interest rate explosion last week. The 30-year fixed-rate hit 5.65% last week, up 25 basis points and the highest level…

Delinquencies Reach Another Record Low

Delinquencies dropped to another record low in March, with only 2.7% of all mortgages in the U.S. experiencing some stage of delinquency, according to CoreLogic’s monthly Loan Performance Insights Report. Delinquencies were down 2.2 percentage points from March 2021, when they were at 4.9%. The share of early-stage delinquencies, or loans 30 to 59 days past due, was 1%, unchanged YOY, while the share of adverse delinquencies (60 to 89 days past due) was down 0.1% YOY to 0.3%. Serious delinquencies accounted for only 1.4% of U.S. mortgages, down from 3.5% the year prior and a high of 4.3% in August 2020. The share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, known as the Foreclosure Inventory Rate, decreased…

Rate Locks Dropped Again In May As Refis Hit New Low

Rate lock volumes dropped again in May by 4.8% despite interest rate growth slowing, according to Black Knight’s latest Originations Market Report. While conforming 30-year rates rose at the beginning of the month to 5.5%, they cooled by month-end to 5.34%, 7 basis points down from April. Still, lock volumes fell for both rate/term and cash-out refis, down 23.6% and 11.9% respectively. Cash-outs are now down 42.2% from last year. “Ultimately, our OBMMI daily interest rate tracker showed 30-year conforming offerings finishing the month at 5.34%, down 7 basis points from last month. Still, despite this plateau in rates, rate lock volume continued to slide in May, with declines seen across all loan purposes,” said Scott Happ, president of Optimal…

Credit Availability Falls To Lowest Reading Since July 2021

Mortgage credit availability dropped in May to a reading of 120, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). It is the third straight month of decline, and this reading is the lowest level since July 2021. The MCAI analyzes data from ICE Mortgage Technology. A decline in the MCAI shows lending standards tightening, while an increase shows standards loosening. It was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. The Conventional MCAI fell 0.4%. The Government MCAI fell 1.3%. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo dropped 1.1% and the Conforming rose 1%. “The index remains more than 30% below pre-pandemic levels, as recent months’ credit tightening has occurred in refinance loan programs,” said Joel…

Mortgage Rates Break Downward Streak, Rising To 5.23%

Mortgage rates broke their downward streak this week, rising to an average of 5.23%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.23%, up from last week’s 5.09%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.96%. “After little movement the last few weeks, mortgage rates rose again on the back of increased economic activity and incoming inflation data,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “The housing market is incredibly rate-sensitive, so as mortgage rates increase suddenly, demand again is pulling back. The material decline in purchase activity, combined with the rising supply of homes for sale, will cause a deceleration in price growth to more normal…

Ishbia Beaten Out in Bronco’s Ownership Bid by Walmart Billionaire

Mat Ishbia’s bid to become part-owner of the Denver Broncos got sacked by the deep pockets of Rob Walton, an heir to the legendary Walmart fortune. But that doesn’t mean the hard-charging – and sometimes controversial – Chief Executive at United Wholesale Mortgage is out of the game. “I do love sports and … one day in the future would I want to own a sports team? I would say yes,” Ishbia told Crain’s Detroit Business last year.  Not a surprising stance for a CEO who’s built his brand around his status as a walk-on member of Michigan State University’s 2000 championship basketball team. But his big-dollar backing of men’s MSU athletics may actually hinder Ishbia’s hopes of entering the exclusive…