Freddie Mac: ‘Little Change’ in Rates

Mortgage rates remained essentially unchanged over the past week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) reports the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.88 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.90 percent. “The slowdown in economic growth around the world has caused a flight to the quality of the U.S. financial markets,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “This has led to a rise in foreign investor purchases of U.S. Treasuries, causing mortgage rates to remain in place, despite the increasing dispersion of inflation across different consumer goods and services.” Khater continued, “On the housing front, homebuyers continue to snap up available inventory, which has improved modestly, and home price growth…

HUD, FHFA ‘Correct’ Stance on Freddie Purchasing Mortgages Secured by Group Homes

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a joint statement Wednesday addressing an “incorrect” policy regarding Freddie Mac’s ability to purchase mortgages secured by a property owned by an individual and rented to a group home for persons with disabilities. “The clarifications follow a HUD investigation of a mortgage lender who had refused to lend to a homeowner that was renting their property to a company that was operating a group home,” the joint statement reads. “The lender’s refusal was based on the incorrect belief that Freddie Mac would not agree to buy the mortgage. After HUD reported this misunderstanding to Freddie Mac and FHFA, Freddie Mac worked with both…

Morning Roundup (9/22/2021)– Loan Applications, Housing Starts Up

Good Morning! Today is Wednesday, September 22. The House passed a bill to keep the government open and prevent a debt default, but Senate Republicans will likely block it. The Taliban asked to participate in the U.N. General Assembly this week to gain international representation. The DOJ and six states are challenging American Airline’s partnership with JetBlue, alleging it violates anti-trust laws. And in mortgage and housing news… Mortgage Loan Apps Up: Mortgage loan application volume rose 4.9% last week, the MBA weekly survey found. Anthony Casa Abuse: The case of Anthony Casa, the AIME Chair who threatened and sexually harassed a competitor’s wife last year, perfectly demonstrates the difficulty of holding individuals accountable, Christine Lenzo writes. August Housing Starts: …

Morning Roundup (9/21/2021)– August New Home Purchases Down, Real-Estate Commissions Under Investigation

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, September 21. The U.S. is easing travel bans, but will require foreign nationals to show proof of vaccination before entering the country. The Biden administration is raising the cap on refugee admissions to 125,000. A doctor who publicly admitted to performing an abortion after six weeks is being sued, the first case filed under Texas’ controversial abortion law. And in mortgage and housing news… New Home Purchases Down: MBA’s Builder Application Survey data for August 2021 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased from July but fell year-over-year. Commissions Under Investigation: Home sale commissions are under investigation by the Biden administration, which has asked the Federal Trade Commission to adopt rules to address any…

Morning Roundup (9/20/2021)– Home Sales Down, Consumer Sentiment Steadies

Good Morning! Today is Monday, September 19. France recalled its ambassadors from Britain and the U.S. in protest of their secret negotiations with Australia. Natural gas prices are surging, prompting fears about winter shortages. The Biden administration began deporting thousands of Haitians awaiting immigration processing in Texas. And in mortgage and housing news… Will Fed Meeting Affect Interest Rates?: The FOMC is meeting September 21 and 22 to discuss next steps on monetary policy. It probably won’t affect interest rates. Home Sales Down: RE/MAX’s August Annual Housing Report suggests that while the market may still be hot, the busiest months of 2021 may be behind us. Consumer Sentiment Up: Consumer sentiment steadied in September after plunging to its lowest level…

Morning Roundup (9/17/2021)– Rent Growth Overtakes Home Prices, Home Sales Down

Good Morning! Today is Friday, September 17. Elizabeth Warren sent letters to 12 regional Fed presidents asking them to ban ownership of individual stocks among top officials at their banks. The World Bank canceled their “Doing Business” report after an investigation found that management tried to alter data. The Justice Department is fighting against a settlement that would prevent citizens from suing the Sackler family. And in mortgage and housing news… No Bias in Mortgage Biz?: Researchers from the American Enterprise Institute Housing Institute claim studies alleging racial bias in mortgage ignore outcomes that undermine their arguments. Rent Growth Tops Home Prices: Rent growth overtook home price growth in August, a Realtor.com report found. Sales Down In August: Redfin reported…

Morning Roundup (9/16/2021)- Interest Rates Flat, Warren Calls For Break-Up Of Wells Fargo

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, September 16. The FDA found that an additional shot of Pfizer boosts immune response, but the typical two-shot regimen is still effective. The U.S., Britain, and Australia are teaming up to launch nuclear-powered submarines to patrol the South China Sea. Olympic gymnasts abused by Larry Nasser blamed the F.BI., USA Gymnastics, and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee for not responding to accusations in 2015. And in mortgage and housing news… Interest Rates Flat Again: Freddie Mac’s PMMS showed interest rates barely moved for another week, with 30-year fixed-rates averaging 2.86%. “Middlemen”: Mat Ishbia says UWM’s in-house appraisal program will speed things up by removing AMCs, which needlessly hinder closing times. Non-banks Non-primes Down: Fitch…

Freddie Mac: Interest Rates Flat Again

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) showed rates stayed basically flat for yet another week, with 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 2.86%. It was 2.87% this week a year ago. Last week it inched up 0.1% to 2.88%. This week it dropped 0.2%. Overall, it’s been months since it moved significantly. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 2.12%, down from 2.19% last week. Fifteen-year rates averaged 2.35% a year earlier. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.51%, increasing from last week’s 2.42%. Last year it was 2.96%. “It’s Groundhog Day for mortgage rates, as they have remained virtually flat for over two months. The holding pattern in rates reflects the markets’ view that the prospects for the economy…

Morning Roundup (9/15/2021)- Purchase Applications Bounce Back, PSPA Provisions Suspended

Good Morning! Today is Wednesday, September 15. Californians voted not to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom. Senate Democrats proposed a compromise voting rights bill that includes voter ID requirements. Facebook documents reportedly show Instagram is harmful to teenage girls. North Korea violated U.N. resolutions by testing two ballistic missiles. And in mortgage and housing news… Purchase Applications Up: MBA’s weekly survey showed mortgage applications bouncing back from last week’s low, driven by purchase applications. Debt Burdens: More than half of non-homeowners say their student debt delayed them from buying a home, a NAR poll found. PSPA Provisions Suspended: FHFA and the Department of the Treasury suspended certain provisions from the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements, FHFA announced in a press release. Delinquencies…

FHFA Suspends “High Risk” Provision on Fannie, Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have suspended proposed rule changes for Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements (PSPAs), FHFA announced in a press release. The goal of these changes, put in place at the end of the Trump administration, was to limit Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s ability to back certain types of mortgages, including on second homes, multifamily homes and homes bought with higher risk loans. “This suspension will provide FHFA time to review the extent to which these requirements are redundant or inconsistent with existing FHFA standards, policies, and directives that mandate sustainable lending standards,” Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson said. FHFA will consult with Treasury on the scope of the review…