Mortgage Roundup (3/12/21) – Zillow, Rocket & Jersey

Good morning! Today is Friday, March 12.  Exactly one year after the Covid-19 pandemic began, 1 in 10 Americans is fully vaccinated. Booming electric vehicle demand is driving up the price of lithium batteries. Amazon says it won’t sell books framing LGBTQ+ issues as mental illnesses.  And in mortgage and housing news … BROKER WAR: Appearing on Fox Business News, Rocket Mortgage CEO Jay Farner said that United Wholesale Mortgage’s ultimatum to brokers doesn’t appear to be working. Farner said that Rocket’s broker business is up since UWM announced last week that it would no longer work with brokers who do business with Rocket. RATES CLIMB: Mortgage rates climbed higher for the fourth straight week as optimism around the economy improves. ZILLOW HIRES: Zillow announced that it…

Mortgage Roundup (3/11/21) – Fudge, Credit & Refis

Good morning! Today is Thursday, March 11. At least 10 different hacking groups are using a recently discovered flaw in Microsoft Corp’s mail server software to break in to targets around the world.  AMC is reopening many of its theaters shut down by Covid-19. ESPN struck a 7-year deal for the rights to carry NHL games.  And in mortgage and housing news … SECRETARY FUDGE: The Senate voted 66-34 to confirm former Rep. Marcia Fudge as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Later, she said she couldn’t wait to get started. MORTGAGE CREDIT: Mortgage credit availability didn’t budge last month – and remained tight amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report released by the Mortgage Bankers Association. REFINANCE DIP: Amid higher interest rates, mortgage applications dipped slightly last…

Mortgage Roundup (3/10/21) – Brokers, Policy & Fraud

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, March 10. A third round of stimulus payments is expected to be on the way to more than 90 percent of households later this month. President Biden’s German Shepherd was sent home to Delaware after an aggressive behavior in the White House. A blast of rain and snow is coming to Southern California ahead of spring break. And in mortgage and housing news … UWM/ROCKET FIGHT: Declaring “a true partner doesn’t tell you how to run your business,” Rocket Mortgage is firing back at United Wholesale Mortgage in the Great Broker War of 2021. POLICY ALARM BELLS: The booming housing market helped stave off economic collapse in 2020. But soaring prices are starting to worry policymakers, who fear the market…

Mortgage Roundup (3/9/21) – Rates, Sales & Gaps

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, March 9. New CDC guidance says fully vaccinated grandparents can visit safely with unvaccinated grandchildren. Netflix hit miniseries “Queen’s Gambit” may be headed to Broadway as a musical. Dubai’s airport is rolling out an iris-scanner that verifies one’s identity and eliminates the need for any human interaction when entering or leaving the country. And in mortgage and housing news … RATE FALLOUT: A new report released by Redfin found that homebuyers lose $23,250 in spending power with a mortgage rate of 3.25 percent versus a 2.75 percent rate, where they were sitting earlier this year.  FORBEARANCE REPORT: Nearly a year into the pandemic, 2.6 million homeowners remain in forbearance plans in the United States, according to a report released by…

Mortgage Roundup (3/8/21) – UWM, Rocket & Brokers

Good morning! Today is Monday, March 8. As the Biden administration races to find shelter for a fast-growing migration surge along the Mexico border, they are handling the influx primarily as a capacity challenge. Calls grow for New York Gov. Cuomo to resign, as he faces accusations of inappropriate workplace behavior and a federal probe into his administration’s handling of Covid-19 in nursing homes. Sixty-nine percent of American adults say they will get the Covid-19 vaccine.  And in mortgage and housing news … “BIZARRE,” “UNETHICAL”: United Wholesale Management CEO Mat Ishbia is facing significant blowback from industry leaders over his edict that his company will not do business with brokers who work with his competitors. MULTIFAMILY FORBEARANCE: The Federal Housing Finance Administration is extending mortgage…

Mortgage Roundup (3/5/21) – Brokers, Rates & QM

Good morning! Today is Friday, March 5. As supply expands, most states are now seeking to vaccinate people in their 50s. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reaffirmed his intention of keeping easy-money policies in place until the labor market improves much further. A new supersonic jet could fly from New York to London in 90 minutes.  And in mortgage and housing news … BROKER WAR: The United Wholesale Mortgage CEO announced that his company will no longer work with brokers who do business with Rocket Mortgage or Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. MORTGAGE RATES: Mortgage rates climbed to 3.02 percent this week, their highest level since the week ending July 23, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. QM DELAY: The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) officially proposed…

Mortgage Roundup (3/4/21) – Rates, CFPB & Covid

Good morning! Today is Thursday, March 4. Google will stop using browsing histories to sell ads. A Senate bill will narrow income eligibility for Covid $1,400 stimulus checks. Amazon is in talks to carry many NFL games exclusively on Amazon Prime.   And in mortgage and housing news … PREDICTED SURGE: Interest rates jumped to 2.97 percent last week, the highest they’ve been in six months. On its own, the increase is not significant—but it may actually be monumental if it is the beginning of a rate surge that has been long predicted. MORTGAGE APPS: Total mortgage application volume was essentially flat for the week, rising just 0.5 percent. CFPB NOMINEE: President Biden’s CFPB nominee puts loan servicers, and credit bureaus on notice.  COVID-DEFERRAL TRENDS: Who is taking advantage of…

Mortgage Roundup (3/3/21) – Jumbos, Rocket & Storms

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, March 3. Texas and Mississippi lift mask mandates and say all businesses can open at 100 percent capacity, as health officials warn not to ease restrictions to that degree. After more vaccines came online, President Biden said there will be enough vaccines to vaccinate every adult by the end of May. Six Dr. Suess books will no longer be published over “hurtful” imagery.  And in mortgage and housing news … FORBEARANCE REPORT: The number of mortgages in forbearance remained at 2.6 million for the week ending February 21. FORBEARANCE WORKED: New data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that forbearance did its job. Roughly 30,000 individuals had a new foreclosure notation added to their credit reports during…

Mortgage Roundup (3/2/21) – Crisis, Help & Tech

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, March 2. Moderna, Pfizer and now Johnson & Johnson say they will deliver enough doses to fully vaccinate 130 million people — more than one-third of the US population — by the end of March. The Los Angeles superintendent wants elementary schools open by mid-April, but he has yet to reach a deal with the teachers union. The U.S. Senate confirmed former teacher and principal Miguel Cardona to be the next Secretary of Education. And in mortgage and housing news … CRISIS LOOMING: Millions of Americans face foreclosure and eviction from their homes once housing pandemic protections come to an end, according to a report released Monday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. MONEY COMING: Fannie Mae…

Mortgage Roundup (3/1/21) – IPOs, Scams & Agents

Good morning! Today is Monday, March 1. New York Gov. Cuomo apologized over interactions with staff and agreed to the state attorney general’s plan to set up a sex-harassment probe. The CDC recommends Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, enabling inoculations to start this week. Toyota started building a “smart city” with self-driving cars, robots and Artificial Intelligence homes. And in mortgage and housing news … LENDER IPO’S: Between July and December, eight of the 30 largest U.S. mortgage lenders announced plans to go public. It hasn’t worked out quite the way all the companies were hoping.   RENTAL SCAM: New York’s rental market has been turned upside down by the pandemic, making it hard to tell a good deal from one that’s too good to be true.…