Are We Moving Toward A Buyer’s Market? Maybe

By CHUCK GREEN As the average mortgage rates decline and markets slow in parts of the country that were red-hot during the pandemic, we at The Mortgage Note decided to ask who is currently in favor during negotiations – the buyer or the seller? It seems that the current consensus on the ground is that there are benefits to being either. Aaron Kozikowski is a loan officer at Ross Mortgage Corporation. The company is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, and serves customers in Michigan, Kentucky, Florida, and Virginia. Kozikowski said “in this market, we’ve been seeing homes sit on the market longer, which allows buyers to take their time instead of having to put in an offer immediately. Sellers are also…

Sellers Feel The Pain Of Price Drops

By CHUCK GREEN Next time you run into someone in the local Starbucks who happens to have their home on the market, be a sport and plop an extra scone into their bag, huh? A little butter and jam, too? After all, sellers probably aren’t riding the wave of a sugar high induced by whatever they will pocket in their real estate transactions as experts say the price of an average home in the United States is decreasing. The cities expected to be the most heavily hit include: San Francisco: -10.36% Seattle: -9.55% San Diego: -7.24% Los Angeles: -5.61% Denver: -5.60% Dallas: -4.34% Portland: -4.25% Las Vegas: -3.69% What is contributing to the drop in housing prices? B. George Ratiu,…

Forget Student Loans, How About Forgiving Our Mortgage Loans?

By CHUCK GREEN and KIMBERLEY HAAS The U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing two cases challenging the legality of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on Feb. 28 and The Mortgage Note is asking the question, why not mortgage debt relief when that is a bigger burden to average Americans? Mortgage balances rose by $282 billion in the third quarter of 2022 and were at $11.67 trillion by the end of September. According to a press release issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan balances slightly declined to $1.57 trillion. Total household debt reached $16.51 trillion in Q3. That includes mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and student loans. Sarah Paulson, a certified financial planner at Valkyrie Financial…

Predictions: Chilly Market Ahead For Housing In 2023, Conditions Improve In 2024

By CHUCK GREEN According to experts, not only is the housing market expected to continue cooling this year, the forecast remains chilly entering 2023. Real house prices jumped 10.5% in September and logged a 60.6% YOY increase, according to First American’s Real House Price Index. But prices fell in 15 out of the top 50 markets they analyze. Mortgage originations saw their largest annual decline in 21 years this fall, further evidence that the housing boom is coming to an end. Originations fell 47% YOY in Q3, according to ATTOM Data’s Q3 2022 U.S. Residential Property Mortgage Origination Report. Quarter-over-quarter they were down 19%, the sixth consecutive drop. So, what in the name of the cranky barometer’s up? For one thing, surprise, surprise,…

Leaders: There Are Still Potential Buyers Despite The Odds

By CHUCK GREEN Despite a plethora of obstacles, there are prospective buyers chomping at the bit to purchase a home, according to experts. On Wednesday, Zillow Home Loans Senior Economist Matthew Speakman released a statement on mortgage rates dropping after a report on inflation showed that price pressures may finally be easing. “The arrival of weaker-than-expected October Consumer Price Index data was just the sign investors had been waiting for, and markets viewed it as a signal that the Federal Reserve may finally take its foot off the brakes as it determines the path forward for monetary policy,” Speakman said. “Bond yields tumbled as a result and mortgage rates – which had spent the last few weeks oscillating at or…

Sun Belt Deals Called Off As Housing Market Slumps

By CHUCK GREEN During the pandemic homebuyers fled to southern states for warmer weather but now would-be purchasers are bailing out of deals at a faster clip than anywhere in the country. According to analysts at Redfin, 60,000 deals were called off nationally in September. That’s 17% of the homes that went under contract that month. In Florida, Jacksonville had 745 home-purchase agreements fall through, equal to 30.3% of homes that went under contract. That was the highest percentage among the metros Redfin analyzed. They were followed by San Antonio, TX (25.3%), Atlanta, GA (25%), Orlando, FL (24.6%), and Tampa, FL (24.5%). In August, about 800 home purchase agreements were tabled in Jacksonville. That’s 26.1% of homes that went under contract…

Zero Down Payment, Zero Closing Cost Mortgages Advance Efforts To Broaden Access To Homeownership

By CHUCK GREEN Bank of America is launching the Community Affordable Loan Solution, a zero-down payment, zero-closing cost mortgage designed to expand sustainable homeownership opportunities in Black and Hispanic communities. The Community Affordable Loan Solution is a Special Purpose Credit Program that uses credit guidelines based on factors such rent payments, utility bills, phone, and auto insurance payments. It requires no mortgage insurance or minimum credit score. Individual eligibility is based on income and home location, according to a press release. This adds to the company’s existing $15 billion Community Homeownership Commitment. Through this commitment, Bank of America has helped more than 36,000 people and families become homeowners, providing more than $9.5 billion in low down payment loans, and over $350 million…

Look At The Numbers: Adjacent Cities Grew During Pandemic

By CHUCK GREEN There are those who downright groove to the tune of a lifestyle embedded squarely in the middle of the action. You know, the big city, the vibe of being at the nexus of it all. Downright intoxicating. Conversely, others are swayed by the tranquility of a smaller city or town, finding it as relaxing as, oh, say, a running tab on hot totties. Oh, yeah. Pure nirvana. Now, for those who prefer to be where life can be chill but also gyrate to the beat of maintaining relatively close proximity to where it can be a regular buzzsaw of activity as well, the concept of adjacent cities just might speak their language. Adjacent towns or cities share…

Wells Fargo Downsizing Mortgage Business As Pandemic High Wears Off

By TYRONE TOWNSEND and KIMBERLEY HAAS Wells Fargo leadership has laid off employees in a move that is being blamed on a dramatically smaller originations market. In a statement to The Mortgage Note, Spokesperson Jennifer Langan said the latest Mortgage Bankers Association forecast has total originations for 2022 at $2.4T, down 40% year-over-year, with refinances down over 70%. “The home lending displacements are the natural result of cyclical changes in the broader home lending environment, as has been acknowledged by most mortgage providers across the industry. Employees affected by these changes have each been an essential part of our success. We are carrying out displacements in a transparent and thoughtful manner and providing assistance, such as severance and career counseling,”…

Bad Behavior In Lending: Sham Job Interviews, “Rampant” Fraud

By CHUCK GREEN Alleged bad behavior and fraudulent activity in the mortgage industry have made news headlines in recent years and despite attempts to get lending leaders to shape up their ships, at least one person who reports on these issues says problems are common, even “rampant.” One of the most recent examples of these alleged incidents involved sham job interviews for Black and female candidates at Wells Fargo & Company. Wells Fargo in California has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets. They serve one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the United States. According to former executive Joe Bruno, company leaders at Wells Fargo allegedly put minority candidates through the interview process for positions…