What Slowdown? Homebuyer Demand Hits Three Year Peak

Home prices have fallen a bit in recent weeks thanks to increasing inventory and buyer sticker shock, but expectations of a cooling market may be premature. A new report from Redfin found that early homebuyer demand reached its highest point in at least three years during the four-week period ending September 19. The report showed other housing market measures slowing at a normal rate for the end of summer. Pending sales fell 12% from their 2021 peak, and the number of homes selling above their list price fell. Time on market rose to 20 days. Asking prices also rose 2.4%. While that’s typical for September, the number itself is not: the median asking price rose 11% year-over-year to $359,724, an…

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…

Lawsuit Says ‘Narcissistic’ Hsieh Pushed loanDepot to Accept Mortgage Apps Without Docs

Tammy Richards, loanDepot’s former chief operations officer, is accusing her former employer of pushing its workers to accept mortgage applications without documentation. The allegations are found in a civil lawsuit Richards filed against the company on Wednesday. News of the lawsuit was first reported by The New York Times. The lawsuit specifically targets Anthony Hsieh, founder and CEO of California-based mortgage lender, as well as the company’s general counsel Peter Macdonald and ten other unnamed “Does.” “Ms. Richards began to grow concerned about Hsieh, having recognized that his behavior had become more alarming than his usual over-the-top, narcissistic, grandiose personality traits,” the lawsuit alleges. “And that based upon her past experience with Hsieh’s willingness to cross ethical and fiduciary boundaries,…

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: …

He’s Back! Anthony Casa To Share AIME Stage With Katie Sweeney At UWM-Sponsored Event 

11 months, 16 days.  That’s how long it took former Association of Independent Mortgage Experts boss Anthony Casa to get back into AIME’s good graces after resigning in the wake of his lewd and misogynistic video texts about the wife of a rival.  Casa, who took a leave of absence in July and officially stepped down in October, will participate in a panel discussion Friday at AIME’s annual Fuse conference – billed as the “largest nationwide gathering of independent mortgage professionals” – at the swanky Bellagio in Las Vegas. The panel will be moderated by Casa’s successor, AIME CEO Katie Sweeney. United Wholesale Mortgage – a longtime backer of AIME and Casa – is the title sponsor of the conference. …

MBA: Mortgage Applications Up

Mortgage loan application volume rose 4.9% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey reports. Unadjusted, the purchase index increased 16% over last week. Mortgage application volume fell by 1.9%, with purchase applications rising 2%. On an unadjusted basis, purchase applications increased 12% over the week before, 13% lower than the year before. The share of refinance applications rose 7% and was 5% lower year-over-year. The numbers are in line with an upward trend that began last week when loan applications bounced back from a low point. “There was a resurgence in mortgage applications the week after Labor Day, with activity overall at its highest level in over a month, and purchase applications jumping to a high last seen…

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…

MBA: Forbearances Fall To 3%

Forbearances fell again this week, continuing to trend down as relief plans expire, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest survey. Forbearances made up 3.00% of servicers’ portfolio volume, down from 3.08%. That puts the estimated number of homeowners in forbearance plans at around 1.5 million. That’s a significant change from last year. In May 2020, the use of the forbearance provision peaked at about 3.4 million mortgages, representing about 7% of all single-family housing loans. For Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, the August 2021 number was down five basis points to 1.47%. Ginnie Mae loans held at 3.39%. Portfolio loans and private-label securities shares fell 32 basis points, from 7.27% to 6.95%. Independent mortgage bank servicers saw…

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…