Rocket Drops Refi Fee; Will Others Follow Suit?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it is dropping the COVID-era Adverse Market Refinance Fee beginning August 1. But what does that mean for borrowers who were already in the process of refinancing loans? That depends on the lender. Rocket Mortgage notified brokers last week that it is dropping the fee immediately for loans in progress. Others haven’t publicly committed to removing the fee – or did not respond to Mortgage Note requests for comment. “As you know, we already repriced earlier today, instantly passing the savings along to your borrowers on all new registrations and your entire floating pipeline,” Rocket said in an email to brokers. “We’re also in the process of applying the 50 bps credit to your…

Mortgage Roundup (7/19/21) – Supporting Veterans, New Rules for Refi Relief

Good morning! Today is Monday, July 19. Concerns about the Delta variant of the Coronavirus are putting downward pressure on stock and commodity futures. At least one U.S. gymnast has tested positive for COVID-19. Europe is reeling from a series of landslides. The Biden administration is blaming China for a hack of Microsoft Exchange email server software that compromised tens of thousands of computers around the world earlier this year. And in mortgage and housing news… Mortgage refinances spike: Low interest rates drove a 20% spike in mortgage refinance rates last week, with a declining 30-year fixed rate spurring heavy refi activity. Supply prices down: Wood futures are declining from their dizzying highs earlier this year, signalling potential relief for homebuilders, though…

Mortgage Denials Higher For Black, Hispanic Borrowers

Black and Hispanic borrowers were denied approval for mortgages at a considerably higher rate than non-Hispanic White and Asian borrowers in 2019, according to a report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The report found that 16 percent of would-be Black and 10.8 percent of Hispanic borrowers were denied for conventional home-purchase loans last year, compared to 8.6 percent of Asian and 6.1 percent of white borrowers. “When people of color are stuck in this cycle of renting, their children often meet the same fate, missing out on thousands of dollars worth of home equity,” said Brittani Walker, a Redfin agent in Chicago. “If your parents never owned a home, where do you learn the value of homeownership?” A…

Number Of Houses Being Listed Tumbles

The number of new houses going on the market is plummeting as the coronavirus pandemic wears on, according to an analysis released Monday by Redfin. The analysis found that there were fewer homes for sale in March than at any time since January 2012, when Redfin started tracking the data. New listings in March dropped 10.8 percent compared to March 2019. “Real estate activities nearly ground to a halt in some parts of the country by the end of March, disrupted by shelter in place laws,” Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr said. “Right now, sellers need to decide if they’ll list their home for sale among all the economic uncertainty.”  Redfin also found: By the last week of March, new…

The Calabria Files: Very, Very Wrong

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said on April 1 he expected 300,000 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans – or 1 percent of their mortgages – to go into forbearance in April. Less than three weeks later, he’s way, way off. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 4.64 percent of Fannie and Freddie loans were in forbearance as of April 12. And an analysis by 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. Calabria made his original prediction of 300,000 on CNBC on April 1, prefacing them by saying they were very preliminary and may change: …