Looking Ahead: The Power Of Bank Branches With Loan Officers

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As consumers turn to mortgage professionals they can trust in their communities, it is predicted that more industry leaders will depend on a retail model to make the most out of the market. Joe Ludlow, vice president of sales at Advantage Systems, Accounting for Mortgage Bankers, and ApprovalSoft in California, made note of the potential trend during a recent interview with The Mortgage Note. Ludlow said since it is getting harder for potential homebuyers to get approved for a loan, they are seeking out a local professional to help with the process. As a result, bank branches and loan officers with a desk there are popular again. “Branches now are becoming more important. Loan officers are becoming…

Delinquencies Rise But Loss Mitigation Efforts Prevent Foreclosure

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Distressed homeowners who get behind on their mortgage bills are avoiding foreclosure. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey was released last week and it showed that delinquencies increased in the third quarter to a rate of 3.62%, up 25 basis points from the second quarter and 17 basis points from a year ago. Marina Walsh, MBA’s vice president of industry analysis, said that despite the increase, later-stage delinquencies – those 90 days or more past due – declined to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2020. “The decline in later-stage delinquencies, along with a foreclosure starts rate of 0.14% – which is well below the historical quarterly average of 0.40% – suggest that distressed…

Home For The Holidays: Will It Be Better To Buy At Thanksgiving Or Christmas?

By ERIN FLYNN JAY Holiday home shoppers who are sensitive to mortgage interest rates near 8% may resist the idea of buying before Thanksgiving, hoping that Santa Claus brings relief, but is waiting until Christmas the answer this season? On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve held its target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.5%, and mortgage rates slipped in anticipation of the news. But Orphe Divounguy, senior macroeconomist at Zillow Home Loans, warned that investors will likely recalculate their inflation forecasts based on employment and wage growth data, “causing large swings in mortgage rates.” That means uncertainty for homebuyers. Matt Ronne, senior loan officer with Motto Mortgage Preferred Brokers in Athens, TN, said that this year, with…

Guaranteed Rate Insurance Adds Flood Solution

Guaranteed Rate Insurance has developed a solution for homebuyers in high-flood risk areas, the company announced in a press release. Its new private flood insurance API connection allows agents to provide flood quotes in all zones from multiple providers, directly through its CRM platform. Agents need only confirm property details and coverages/deductibles, with the binding process taking just minutes, company leaders said. Flood quotes will be presented alongside homeowners quotes for properties in 48 states and Washington, D.C. “Any agent who does not provide a flood quote is doing a disservice to their customer. Our top priority is to equip our agents with the necessary tools to offer their customers a wide range of coverage options, empowering them to make…

Atlantans Adjusting To Post-Pandemic Work Environment

By SCOTT KIMBLER As the debate about returning to the office continues nationwide, people in the city of Atlanta and its surrounding communities are adapting to the reality that hybrid and remote work are likely here to stay. Over six million people live in the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has long been a hot market for housing for a variety of reasons, including job opportunities with companies such as Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, and UPS. When the pandemic hit in 2020, a lot of changes happened as the region was introduced to shelter-in-place, which morphed into a work-from-home model. Now in the post-pandemic period, many companies have adopted a hybrid work schedule, with employees driving into the city about three…

America’s Scariest Housing Markets Are In California

American home shoppers have plenty to fear this Halloween as the housing crunch continues. But where buyers live plays a role in how stressful their experience is. Though markets are tough across the nation, California is home to the scariest housing markets in the U.S., according to a new analysis by Point2. Of the 200 largest American metros, California markets bode worst for homebuyers based on price changes and for-sale inventory.  Nine of the ten worst markets are in California, and they aren’t stereotypically wealthy West Coast leaders like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Instead, these are emerging hubs like Escondido and Sunnyvale, which were once more affordable than their famous counterparts. Finding affordable housing in California has long been…

Building For Families: These Cities Are Leading The Way

By ERIN FLYNN JAY As the housing crunch continues throughout the country, some cities are planning for growth when it comes to building homes for average families. Mark Buskuhl, owner of Ninebird Properties, a Texas-based investment firm, said Dallas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation and has been a top destination for families looking to relocate. “With its booming job market and affordable cost of living, it’s no surprise that Dallas is planning for growth when it comes to building housing for the average American family,” he said. Buskuhl said the city has implemented initiatives to increase housing options, such as the “GrowSouth” program which focuses on revitalizing and developing housing in southern Dallas. Additionally, the city…

Impacts Of Office Space Changes Continues To Be Hot Topic In Commercial Real Estate

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As companies work to determine what their office demands will be post-pandemic, commercial real estate experts continue to debate the impacts on the industry and the banking system. With office vacancy rates hitting an all-time high in August, it is feared that if office buildings become obsolete, banks will be left to weather the losses. But during a webinar hosted last week by Marcus & Millichap, a California commercial real estate firm specializing in investment sales, financing, research, and advisory services, it was agreed that office commercial real estate loans make up a small percentage of total bank outstanding loans. Jeffrey DeBoer, founding president and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable, a nonprofit public policy think tank…

Dan Hanson Appointed To New Exec Position At loanDepot

Dan Hanson has been named executive director of enterprise partnerships and acquisitions at loanDepot, the lender announced in a press release. In this newly created position, Hanson will spearhead new revenue opportunities, such as national referral relationships and acquisitions, as well as collaborate with senior leadership to boost profitability. He will also work to expand loanDepot’s existing programs and partnerships, such as its employer benefits program and Lender Express offering, which provides mortgage products to credit unions and other financial institutions hoping to fill out their offerings. “Through the execution of our Vision 2025 plan, we’ve done the hard work to ensure we can continue to address the impacts of the current market downturn and still invest in our platform,”…

Guild Acquires Illinois-based First Centennial Mortgage

Guild Mortgage has acquired Illinois-based First Centennial Mortgage, the company announced in a press release. Founded in 1995 by brothers Steven and David McCormick, First Centennial operates predominantly in the Midwest. It recently ranked 64 of 75 in Scotsman Guide’s Top Mortgage Lenders of 2023 list and has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine from 2017 to 2022. San Diego-based Guild Mortgage is a nationally recognized independent mortgage lender providing residential mortgage products and local in-house origination and servicing. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. “We continue to effectively execute our strategy to grow and gain market share through acquisitions where there exists a strong cultural match and the potential…