Rates Down Again, Purchase Demand “Thawing”

The 30-year fixed rate slipped slightly again last week, prompting some pent-up buyers to lock in a purchase, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.13%, down from 6.15% the week prior. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.55%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 5.28% to 5.17%. A year ago, it averaged 2.80%. “Mortgage rates continue to tick down and, as a result, home purchase demand is thawing from the months-long freeze that gripped the housing market,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Potential homebuyers remain sensitive to changes in mortgage rates, but ample demand remains, fueled by first-time homebuyers.” Pending home sales have been…

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The Mortgage Note’s Editor Kimberley Haas has been interviewing some of the leaders in the country over the past year. This podcast highlights the successes and innovations taking place in the mortgage industry. If you would like to participate in future episodes, please email us at [email protected]   Read Articles Featuring The Guests: Meet The Woman Behind “Wall Street South” You Can Get A Mortgage At Walmart Learn About Financing Manufactured Homes With Rocket’s EVP Of Capital Markets Guild Leaders Hope To Help Hispanic Homebuyers Through New Partnership The Future Landscape Of Cities: Live-Work-Play, Science Centers, Medical Offices Follow Us On Twitter: The Biden-Harris administration announced new actions to protect renters this week and leaders at the U.S. Department of…

Guild Offers New Rate Buydown Program

Guild Mortgage is rolling out a new rate buydown program, the company announced in a press release. The program, Payment Advantage, applies to any borrower locking in a conventional mortgage. Guild will then pay 1% of the borrower’s interest rate for one year. The borrower’s monthly payment will increase after that period, but they may then be eligible to refinance. The program is available until March 31, 2023. “Freddie Mac reported that the average commitment interest rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.90% in October, more than double the rate of 2.96% across all of 2021,” said Guild CEO Mary Ann McGarry. “With the rising costs of loans in today’s increasingly competitive housing market, we want to continue…

Learn About Financing Manufactured Homes With Rocket’s EVP Of Capital Markets

Leaders at Rocket Mortgage announced a conventional loan option this month for people who are interested in purchasing or refinancing a manufactured home. Manufactured homes are built at indoor homebuilding facilities in accordance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Home Standards. They are then delivered to the land where the owner will live. A recent report from the Manufactured Housing Institute shows manufactured homes are about a third of the cost, on average, of site-built homes. The Institute also stated that 22 million Americans currently live in manufactured homes and this building type accounts for 9 percent of new home construction. Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets at Rocket Mortgage, sat down for an interview with The Mortgage Note…

Lenders Struggling To Overcome Borrower Rate-Fixation Need To Focus On Communication

As the market corrects and mortgage demand sinks, lenders are struggling to market themselves to a shrinking pool of rate-focused borrowers, according to J.D. Power’s latest U.S. Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. The study found that as demand hits a 22-year low, mortgage brokers are finding it difficult to stand out from the crowd. Borrowers are choosing lenders based solely on who is offering the lowest rate that day. “The average mortgage customer experience has become increasingly commoditized, with few lenders finding the right formula to build long-term trust and loyalty that truly stands out from the competition,” the report reads. Rocket Mortgage ranked highest for origination satisfaction, followed by Chase, Citi, and Fairway Independent. Overall, lenders were on equal footing…

Rocket Rolls Out Rewards Program That Can Be Put Towards Closing Costs

Rocket Companies has rolled out a rewards program that allows consumers to get points towards various transactions across Rocket’s platforms, the company announced. In its first phase, consumers will be able to use Rocket Rewards on closing costs when financing a home through Rocket Mortgage. “Rocket Companies is known for delivering exceptional client service and the introduction of Rocket Rewards continues that trend – showing our appreciation for clients by offering incentives at various points throughout their financial journey,” said Jay Farner, Vice Chairman and CEO of Rocket Companies.  Home shoppers need to create an account and visit the rewards page. New clients will get a 7,500-point welcome bonus, or $75, which can be used on closing costs. More points…

CRA Note Exchange Helps Provide Vital Capital To Florida, South Carolina Habitat For Humanity Affiliates

Habitat for Humanity Affiliates in Florida and South Carolina will be able to build more affordable homes after the recent sale of mortgage notes on their behalf. Leaders at CBC Mortgage Agency, a nationally chartered housing finance agency and a source of down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, announced its CRA Note Exchange platform had completed the sale on Sept. 12.   CRA Note Exchange enables the sale of Community Reinvestment Act-eligible loans through an online portal to free up capital for additional affordable home construction. Banks and other financial institutions can review, select and purchase loans in specific areas that support their CRA or other lending objectives. The exchange was launched in 2018. Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization…

EVP: Rocket’s “Inflation Buster” Result Of Listening To Clients’ Needs

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As interest rates climb towards seven percent and loan applications fall to their slowest pace since 1997, leaders at Rocket Mortgage say they have a solution and it has a name: Inflation Buster. Rocket’s new Inflation Buster program was announced on Sept. 16. It gives homebuyers a reprieve by reducing their monthly mortgage payment by one percentage point for the first year of their loan, according to a press release. Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets at Rocket Mortgage, sat down for an interview with The Mortgage Note to explain how the program is the result of leaders at the company listening to the needs of their clients. “You, me, everybody is talking about inflation. You can’t…

Rocket Announces Exec Leadership Changes

Rocket’s CFO and General Counsel are both retiring, resulting in changes to its executive leadership, the company announced in a press release. Julie Booth, CFO and Treasurer, will be retiring effective November 15. She has been with Rocket Mortgage for nearly 20 years and has served as CFO since 2005. She will be replaced by Brian Brown, currently Chief Accounting Officer. Prior to Rocket, he consulted with financial services companies at EY. “During her time as CFO, Julie has been a tremendous leader in our organization, helping guide our company through significant growth and expansion, culminating with our IPO in 2020,” said Jay Farner, Rocket Companies Vice Chairman and CEO.  “Even more impressive is the tremendous team Julie has built…

Business Development: Rocket Mortgage Seeking Partners

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The senior vice president of business development at Rocket Mortgage says their partnership with Boston-based Santander Bank is an example of the kind of relationship they hope to cultivate. Tom Dempsey recently sat down for an interview with The Mortgage Note. He said partnering with Rocket Mortgage gives companies access to their technology. “We’re offering partnership models that externalize our models and systems,” Dempsey said. “The key thing is that at Rocket we’ve created a number of partnership models for banks and credit unions.” Dempsey called this a holistic approach to offering customers what they are looking for as lenders pull into and out of markets. On Aug. 5, leaders at Santander Bank and Rocket Mortgage announced…