Homebuyer Demand Hits Highest Level Since 2017

Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index hit an all-time high since at least 2017 as the number of listed homes remains seasonally elevated compared to past years. The report shows the market speeding up, with an increasing number of homes selling in two weeks or less and demand increasing even as listings trend down.  “The economy is recovering strongly and mortgage rates are still near all-time lows. Those two forces combined have caused homebuying demand to hit a record high,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.  For homes sold in the four-week period ending November 14, the median sale price rose 13% year-over-year (YOY) to $357,881, up 30% from 2019 and 2.1% from October. Asking prices were also up 13% YOY, and…

Investors Bought 90,000 Homes In Q3

Investors banking on growing home and rental prices for high returns bought 18.2% of all homes purchased in Q3 2021, up from 16.1% in Q2 and 11.2% year-over-year (YOY), according to a new Redfin report. Real-estate investors purchased a record 90,215 homes, totaling nearly $64 billion and up 80.2% YOY, the second-largest increase on record. Single-family homes made up nearly three-quarters of those purchases, an all-time high, while low-priced properties accounted for only 36%. The typical home purchased by investors cost $438,770. More than 75% of homes purchased by investors were paid for completely in cash. “Increasing home prices fueled by an intense housing shortage have created opportunities for investors to reap big profits,” said Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari.…

Mortgage Payments Least Affordable for Average Buyers Since 2008

Surging home prices have made mortgage payments more unaffordable than any time since 2008. The median American household would need to spend 32.1% of its income on mortgage payments on a median-priced home today, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In November 2008, that number was 34.2%. The Atlanta Fed estimated the amount a household would need to spend on mortgage payments rose 3.1% in the first six months of this year alone. Though low interest rates and slightly higher incomes improve affordability, the price of homes has negated any positive buying power they normally would have generated. Prices continue to climb despite some speculation that the market may soon cool. Years of underbuilding have resulted in a…

FHFA: No Lump Sum On Fannie, Freddie Loans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a reminder Monday that borrowers who go into forbearance will not have to repay missed payments all at once if their mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. FHFA said the statement was issued to “combat ongoing misinformation” and urged all mortgage lenders to adopt similar policies. “During this national health emergency, no one should be worried about losing their home,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. “No lump sum is required at the end of a borrower’s forbearance plan for Enterprise-backed mortgages.” The $2 trillion CARES Act includes a moratorium on foreclosures and the right to forbearance. Forbearance allows borrowers with a federally backed mortgage to put off payments for at least…

“Flying W”: Uneven Housing Market Recovery Expected

The housing market will be besieged by the twin forces of shrinking supply and shrinking demand during the coronavirus pandemic, causing an uneven recovery over the next 12 months, according to a forecast released Wednesday by real estate investor Haus. In an analysis by Haus’ chief economist, the organization expects a recovery that looks like a “flying W” – an initial sharp drop this spring, followed by a rebound in the summer, another downturn in the fall and finally a solid road to recovery by next spring. The analysis predicts that single-family home sales and purchase mortgage originations will see the most impact. “There is likely to be both a reduction in demand and supply,” Haus chief economist Ralph McLaughlin…

Mortgage Roundup (4/21/21) – New Listings, Predictions & Credit

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, April 21. President Trump says he will suspend immigration into the U.S. to protect jobs amid coronavirus fallout. Georgia will reopen gyms, hair salons, and bowling alleys this week. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is reportedly in grave danger after surgery.  And in mortgage and housing news … NEW LISTINGS: The number of new houses going on the market is plummeting as the coronavirus pandemic wears on, according to an analysis released by Redfin. FORBEARANCE SPIKE: The number of loans in forbearance continues to rise as borrowers cope with economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. CALABRIA WRONG: Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said on April 1 he expected 300,000 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans – or 1…

Mortgage Roundup (4/20/20) – Forbearance, IMBs & Recovery

Good morning! Today is Monday, April 20. Democrats and the White House are close to a deal to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus. Shake Shack plans to return its $10 million paycheck protection loan after getting needed capital on its own. Neiman Marcus is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection this week. And in mortgage and housing news … GSE FORBEARANCE: FHFA Director Mark Calabria appears to have misjudged the number of mortgages projected to be in forbearance. INDEPENDENT MORTGAGE BANKS: The lending business was significantly more profitable for independent mortgage banks in 2019, though 2020 is going to be another story.  LUMP SUM: Realtors are advising clients that they may owe missed monthly payments in a lump sum at the end of the forbearance period. HOUSING COUNSELORS: Coronavirus…

Analysis: 1.4 Million GSE Mortgages In Forbearance

Mark Calabria appears to have misjudged the burden the coronavirus pandemic is going to have on the mortgage industry. Calabria, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told HousingWire earlier this month that he expected about 1 million mortgages backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to go into forbearance. Financial technology firm Black Knight found that there were nearly 1.4 million Fannie and Freddie loans in forbearance as of Friday, April 19 – representing 4.9 percent of their mortgages. “In these times, it is essential to both our industry and for the benefit of the entire U.S. economy to have a clear understanding of the magnitude of the mortgage forbearance situation,” Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour said. Calabria has been…

IMB Profits Grew 300% In 2019

By Jim Perskie The lending business was significantly more profitable for independent mortgage banks (IMBs) in 2019. IMBs and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made an average profit of $1,470 on each loan they originated last year – up from $367 in 2018, according to a report released Friday by Mortgage Bankers Association. The report also found: Average production volume was $2.7 billion (10,411 loans) per company in 2019, up from $2 billion (8,171 loans) per company in 2018.On a repeater company basis, average production volume was $2.94 billion (11,227 loans) in 2019, up from $2.14 billion (8,805 loans) in 2018. For the mortgage industry as whole, MBA estimates production volume at $2.17 trillion in 2019, up from $1.68 trillion in 2018.The…