Mortgage Roundup (2/27/20) – Monthly Home Sales, Climate Change & iBuyers

The first person in the U.S. tests positive for coronavirus with no known link to foreign travel. Stocks fall sharply as fear around the coronavirus escalates. President Trump puts Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the nation’s coronavirus response. And in mortgage news … Mortgage applications to buy a home increased 1.5 percent last week. Mortgage rates are expected to get even more attractive as 10-year Treasury hits record low. Already lower mortgage rates could continue to slide giving the consumer an advantage 84 percent of Americans say buying a home is a priority for them this year.  January home sales make a jump to their highest level since 2007.  Climate change is seriously considered in one-third of housing decisions, according to a Redfin survey.  Reforms to FEMA’s…

Mortgage Roundup (2/26/20) – Virus Fears, Smaller Houses & Pet-Friendly Homes

Coronavirus fears continue to roil markets. CDC warns that spread in the U.S. is inevitable. South Carolina’s Democratic presidential debate was the most chaotic yet. Mortgage application data to be released today. And in other in mortgage news … New data shows that increased coronavirus cases caused mortgage rates to continue their downward slide. The Mortgage Report provides an analysis of how it will impact the housing market.  Joe Biden’s $640 billion housing plan relies heavily on taxes and fees on banks and other corporations. Lenders expect mortgage rates to hit a record low due to coronavirus fears.  Housing prices increased in all 50 states last quarter, led by the Mountain region. The National Association of Realtors reports that homeownership rates are significantly higher for white Americans. Ibuyer sales that bypass traditional realtors are…

Mortgage Roundup (2/25/20) – Markets Plunge, Biden Housing Plan & Single Buyers

Coronavirus cases top 80,000, while markets plunge. Moderna’s stocks surge, as the biotech company begins testing the first coronavirus vaccine. United Airlines gives $90,000 in travel vouchers after having to downgrade its best customers. Meanwhile in mortgage news … Coronavirus fears cause mortgage rates to plunge to 8-year lows.  Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden calls for a national “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights,” as part of a $640 billion housing plan aimed at improving affordability, ending discrimination, protecting consumers and improving energy efficiency Low mortgage rates are pushing housing market potential to a two-year high. The growth is attributed to Millennials taking advantage of low financing costs and a strong economy. Competition among potential homebuyers heated up in January and home values are expected to increase, according to a survey of Redfin…

Mortgage Roundup (2/24/20) – Coronavirus Spreads, Mortgage Rates & Home Sales

Europe confronts coronavirus with eruption of cases in Italy. The G-20 warns of the coronavirus risk to economic growth, as global stocks fall. Meanwhile in mortgage news … U.S. mortgage rates inched up for the second week as the market prepares for an increase in inventory. While economic data is strong, concerns over the coronavirus are keeping rates in check.  Wells Fargo will pay $3 billion to settle U.S. investigations into more than a decade of widespread consumer abuses and avoid criminal charges. One of the nation’s largest reverse mortgage lenders, One Reverse Mortgage, is “pausing” its operations,under the direction of its parent company Quicken Loans. Quicken is shifting all of the company’s employees over to Rocket Mortgage.  A Wall Street Journal editorial takes aim at a plan in…

Mortgage Roundup (2/21/20) – Housing Boss, Construction Numbers & Pocket Listings

Google is resisting demands from states to surrender documents for an investigation into possible anticompetitive practices. Justin Bieber and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are among 10.6 million affected by MGM Resorts cyber attack. Meanwhile in mortgage news … President Trump will nominate Dana Wade to Assistant Secretary for Housing, Federal Housing Commissioner. Wade was the Acting Federal Housing Administration Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing. The Federal Housing Administration has a $1.3 trillion portfolio. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have published a Joint Credit Score Solicitation, which outlines the process for third-party credit score model developers to submit applications to the GSEs. Freddie Mac announced that a transfer of $9.1 billion of credit risk on $231 billion of single-family mortgagesfrom U.S. taxpayers to the private sector…

Mortgage Roundup (2/20/20) – Coronavirus, Sweet Freedom & Credit Card Debt

Last night’s debate among Democratic presidential candidates was full of attacks and animosity. White House economists predict growth won’t hit Trump’s 3 percent target unless big changes occur. Two passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship who contracted the coronavirus have died in Japan. Meanwhile in mortgage news … Federal Reserve officials dubbed coronavirus a “new risk” to the economy and indicate no major changes to rates are likely, according to minutes released Wednesday. Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group suggest that low mortgage rates and strong demand will keep housing on a strong growth track.  The housing industry is calling for changes that would allow mortgage loan originators more freedom when it comes to changing their compensation. Mortgage loan originator compensation rules are strictly regulated by the…

Mortgage Roundup (2/19/20) – Bloomberg’s Plan, Mortgage Applications & Low Rates

The Democrats are set to debate in Las Vegas tonight ahead of the Nevada caucuses. Meanwhile, in mortgage news … Mike Bloomberg’s financial reform policy plan has sweeping implications for the housing industry. Mortgage Bankers Association CEO David Stern urges everyone to give the plan a close read.  As Bloomberg prepares to join in his first Democratic presidential debate tonight, his new financial industry reform plan gives him an answer to 2020 contenders who say he’s too close to Wall Street. Other sectors of the banking industry are also on alert after Bloomberg surprised many with a comprehensive financial policy plan to rein in Wall Street. American Banker rounds up reactions from financial industry observers.  Weekly mortgage applications take a hit as mortgage rates rise, according to the Mortgage…

Mortgage Roundup (2/18/20) – Millennials, Affordable Markets & Coronavirus

As coronavirus fears spread, the more common flu has already hit 22 million people in the United States, health officials said. Meanwhile in mortgage news … The New York Times details how a millennial generation of aggressive savers could leave central bankers with less room to cut interest rates, which they have long done to boost growth in times of economic trouble. Millennials don’t trust lenders or the housing industry, leaving realtors and lenders struggling to connect with a huge demographic. A Housing Wire columnist outlines an approach to building trust. Less than 12 percent of homes sold in the fourth quarter were affordable to households earning the area’s median income, according to the National Association of Home Builders and…

Mortgage Roundup (2/13/20) – Surging Prices, Values & Private Mortgage Insurers

As Corona virus cases increase, China shakes up leadership. Barclays CEO is under investigation for links to Jeffrey Epstein. President Trump sets the stage to pardon Roger Stone, while one member of Congress floats new impeachment proceedings. Meanwhile in mortgage news … As low mortgage rates attract buyers, U.S. home prices surge. The median price of an existing single-family home increased 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter, hitting $274,900, according to the National Association of Realtors. Housing Wire’s Q&A with former FHFA director Ed DeMarco shows he is still on a mission to reform the GSEs and create a level playing field for private capital. Low mortgage rates are offsetting home affordability issues, according to the National Association of Realtor’s…

Mortgage Roundup (2/12/20) – Big Q4, Low Delinquencies & Historic Low Rates

Bernie Sanders wins in New Hampshire. President Trump pulls former US attorney Jessie Liu’s nomination for Treasury role. Meanwhile in mortgage news … Mortgage lending just had its biggest quarter in 14 years with originations climbing to their highest level since 2005, according to fourth quarter lending data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The President’s budget for FY2021 calls for the elimination of block grant programs and a reduction of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by 15 percent. As employment remains strong, so does mortgage loan performance. Mortgage delinquencies dropped to a 40-year low in the fourth quarter as strong employment bolstered borrowers’ ability to make timely payments, the Mortgage Bankers Association said. With…