Mortgage Roundup (4/23/20) – GSEs, Home Prices & Debt

Good morning! Today is Thursday, April 23. The House is expected to approve an additional $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program targeted to small businesses hurt by the coronavirus. Harvard will return its $9 million federal stimulus check. President Trump announced that national parks will reopen.

And in mortgage and housing news …

GSE’S PURCHASE: The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it will allow Fannie and Freddie to purchase some single-family mortgages in forbearance in an attempt to support the liquidity of mortgage lenders during the coronavirus pandemic. 

HOME PRICES: 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.  

NIGHTMARE SCENARIO: MBS Highway President and CEO Barry Habib warned that lenders may be incentivized to hold on to new loans and potentially ruin borrowers’ credit.

MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS: Mortgage applications dipped slightly last week, falling 0.3 percent from a week earlier, according to the latest report released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

CRYSTAL BALL: Fannie Mae makes a bold prediction for borrowing costs in its latest housing forecast. Could 2.9 percent mortgage rates be coming?

PERSONAL DEBT: Many Americans will be forced to take on more debt given the depths of economic hardship caused by the coronavirus. Here are some things to consider in managing the consequences. 

UNLIKELY LEADER: A family-owned Nebraska bank became a leader on coronavirus loans. The local bank became second in the nation for number of loans approved in the last month, according to the Small Business Administration.

HIRING LENDERS: Orange County-based lender LoanDepot will hold a virtual job fair today to help fill a 3,000-worker expansion to meet a projected spike in borrower demand. 

HOMEOWNER LIQUIDITY: A startup that issues cash loans to homeowners in exchange for an ownership stake has raised $150 million to meet increased demand from cash-strapped owners. 

NYC LISTINGS: The coronavirus has created 80 percent fewer real estate listings than normal in New York City. 

OVERSIGHT CLASH: Will Congress’s coronavirus response watchdog have any teeth?