Skip to content

Rates Still Flat at 8-Month Lows

June 26,2017
by admin

Mortgage rates were steady to slightly lower today, depending on the lender. Underlying financial markets continue moving in a narrow range–something that’s not uncommon for the first few weeks of the summer. It’s that market movement that can result in mortgage lenders issuing mid-day reprices. The more volatile and the bigger the moves, the more likely lenders are to reprice. Today saw zero reprices.

Rates may have risen this morning were it not for weaker economic data. In general, weaker data tends to drive demand for the safe-haven of the bond market (which results in lower rates). This morning’s Durable Goods data was noticeably weaker, and bonds improved immediately following its release at 8:30am. Though the improvement in markets was modest, it meant that most lenders were looking at bond prices that were at least as good as last Friday’s.

Despite today’s relative lack of change, the potential for movement is generally higher heading into the rest of the week. Risk-averse borrowers should consider that we’re effectively at the lowest rates in more than 8 months. Risk-tolerant borrowers should simply make sure they have a stop-loss in place (in terms of how much rates could rise before locking at a loss) and a game plan established with their loan originator.



Loan Originator Perspectives

It must be summer, as bond markets continued slumbering, with rates virtually unchanged today. The rest of the week MAY bring some minor pricing improvements due to month end demand, but hard to hope for much more than that. If you’re floating, have realistic goals for your pricing; it’s unlikely we’ll see rates move substantially before the end of next week (if then). I’m not in a big hurry to lock new loans, particularly those closing in August. –Ted Rood, Senior Originator


Today’s Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 3.875-4.00
  • FHA/VA – 3.5-3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.125-3.25%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS – 2.75 – 3.25% depending on the lender



Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Investors were relatively convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates had been permanently reversed after Trump became president, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm

  • Instead of continuing higher in 2017, rates instead formed a narrow, sideways range, and held inside until April. Investor perceptions are shifting such that fiscal reforms and other policy developments will need to live up to expectations in order to push rates higher. Geopolitical risks would also need to avoid flaring up (more than they already have)
  • For the first time since the election, we’re in a rate environment where you wouldn’t be crazy not to lock at every little opportunity/improvement. Until/unless it’s broken, the highest rates of early-2017 mark the ceiling, and we’re now waiting to see how much lower we can go from here.
  • Rates discussed refer to the most frequently-quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers among average to well-priced lenders. The rates generally assume little-to-no origination or discount except as noted when applicable. Rates appearing on this page are “effective rates” that take day-to-day changes in upfront costs into consideration.

MBS RECAP: Weak Durable Goods Helps Bonds Hold Gains

June 26,2017
by admin

Despite a super narrow range throughout the day, last Friday saw 10yr yields close at the 2nd best levels of the year. With that in mind, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see some push back into the center of the recently flat range today. In fact, that may well have been the case were it not for this morning’s weak Durable Goods data.

The Durables headline came in at -1.1 vs -0.6 forecast. The important “nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft” (or “Cap-Ex“) component was -0.2 vs a +0.3 median forecast. Bonds picked up just enough to put them in slightly stronger territory on the day, and there they remained–for the most part. Despite marginal weakness in the afternoon, 10yr yields hit their 2nd lowest closing levels of the year.

All that having been said, the movement was still muted. There wasn’t even enough intraday volatility for any lender reprices. Things could pick up tomorrow, especially in the afternoon if Yellen has anything interesting to say in her 1pm Q&A with the British Academy in London. This isn’t a venue or event that we normally look to for guidance. The only important part is that the Fed chair may chime in on the recent shift in tone among other Fed members regarding adjusting the policy path due to persistently low inflation.

Donate Today!

June 25,2017
by admin

A long-time REALTOR® is in need. MD Anderson Cancer Center is running low on vital white blood cells and platelets that are needed by some patients prior to bone marrow transplants. This REALTOR® is trying to fight an infection, so he may receive the transplant. If you are able, please consider donating white blood cells and platelets today. You may find out more about donation at https://www.mdanderson.org/donors-volunteers/other-ways-to-help/give-blood.html. Use group code number 2154470.

Source: Houston Association of REALTORS®

Freddie Singing a Different Tune on Housing/Mortgage Outlook

June 25,2017
by admin

On November 30, 2016 Freddie Mac’s economists issued their monthly Outlook which, in light of the sudden surge in interest rates earlier that month, was decidedly gloomy. MND’s coverage of the forecast elicited a lot of concern from readers, especially when we quoted Freddie Mac that, under their new rate and housing expectations, “Mortgage originations (will) get crushed.” They predicted a decline in originations of 53 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Other predictions at the time included a leveling off of home sales, although “2016 will still end up being the best year for home sales in a decade, but 2017 will be hard pressed to match those levels” with a predicted decrease of 220,000 units Home price gains will moderate, finishing 2016 with an average gain of 5.9 percent, falling to 4.7 percent in 2017.

Fast forward seven months. In the June Outlook, Freddie’s economists are singing a different tune. The earlier paper revisited a previous period when rates jumped quickly and unexpectedly, the so-called Taper Tantrum of 2013, to forecast the reaction of various housing measures to both the November surge and expectations for changes in Fed monetary policy. The current report is written in the context of “Weak growth, moderate inflation and a labor market at full employment,” conditions Freddie Mac says are likely to persist.

The company calls housing a bright spot with home sales and construction thus far in 2017 the highest in years. Data did weaken in the past mouth; housing starts fell 2.6 percent in April and permitting was also down. Although strong in March, both new and existing home sales fell in April as well. These declines are likely to reverse, Freddie says, as low mortgage rates and solid employment figures boost the housing market. “We expect housing starts and home sales to firm in the coming months and for 2017 to exceed 2016’s best-in-a-decade levels,” they say. The year-end prediction is for total sales of 6.02 million, a 100,000 increase.

Recent declines in mortgages rates, which are down 30 basis points from the start of the year, have helped support refinance activity. Still, they are still almost 50 points higher than the 2016 low. Rates fell below 3.5 percent in 2016 and remained there for 16 weeks, and were below 3.7 percent for 37 weeks. Unless those rates reappear and hang around, which Freddie Mac does not expect will happen, refinance volumes will not match those in 2016. The company predicts mortgage origination volume will be down this year by about $370 billion, although midway through 2017, originations are running about even with 2016.

Falling Demand, Competition, Push Lenders Toward Easing Standards

June 25,2017
by admin

As home buying affordability has declined, it has indirectly moved lenders’ apparent willingness to loosen credit standards in the opposite direction. Fannie Mae says its second quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey shows the net share of lenders reporting they have eased credit standards over the prior three months has ticked up gradually since the fourth quarter of 2016.

Looking forward over the next three months, the net share saying they plan to ease credit standards has also been growing. The net share of those expecting easing for GSE eligible and government loans reached new survey highs in the second quarter and net responses for non-GSE eligible loans tied a previous survey high reached in the second quarter of 2014.

The survey found concerns about economic conditions to be the principal driver of changes in lending standards. The net share of lenders reporting that demand for home purchase loans grew over the previous three months fell to the lowest reading for any second quarter since 2014. Lenders appear optimistic that this is temporary; the net share of lenders expecting increased demand over the upcoming three months was relatively stable on an annual basis.

Concern over demand was also apparent for refinance loans. The net share of lenders reporting rising demand over the prior three months fell to a three year low across all loan types. Again, however, the net share of lenders expecting growing demand for refinancing changed little from the first quarter of the year.

The diminished demand reflects consumer sentiment as revealed in the latest National Housing Survey where the net number of respondents who said it was a good time to buy a home fell to a survey low. Fannie Mae explains that tight inventory that has pushed up home prices and, along with interest rates that have been trending upward, constrained affordability.

“Expectations to ease credit standards climbed to survey highpoints in the second quarter as more lenders reported slowing mortgage demand and increasing concerns about competition from other lenders,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Lenders cited additional contributing factors such as diminishing compliance concerns and more support from the GSEs, including clarification on representations and warranties and tools that provide greater certainty during the loan underwriting process.

When questioned on plans for mortgage execution, lenders reported expectations to grow Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae shares over the next 12 months and reduce portfolio loans and whole loan sales shares.

Slightly more lenders reported they expect to decrease rather than increase the share of MSR sold and the share of MSR retained and serviced in-house (as opposed to by a sub-servicer). The majority expect to maintain their MSR execution strategy.

Fewer lenders, on net, reported a negative profit margin outlook in the last two quarters after responses reached the surveys worst reading in the fourth quarter of 2016, but more lenders still reported a negative than a positive outlook. The most pessimistic responses came from respondents at mid-sized institutions, while those in larger institutions were most likely to expect profit margins to rise.

Competition from other lenders was the most common reason cited by lenders for their decreased profit outlook, setting a new survey high. The perceived impact of compliance with government regulations declined sharply in the fourth quarter of last year and has remained relatively low.

Duncan added, “Easing credit standards might also be due in part to increased pressure to compete for declining mortgage volume. For the third consecutive quarter, the share of lenders expecting a decrease in profit margin over the next three months exceeded the share with a positive profit margin outlook. For the former, the percentage citing competition from other lenders as a reason for their negative outlook reached a survey high.”

The Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey polls senior executives of its lending institution customers on a quarterly basis to assess their views and outlook across varied dimensions of the mortgage market. The Fannie Mae second quarter 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey was conducted between May 3, 2017 and May 14, 2017.

Perceived Sellers’ Market Could Lead to Inventory Gains

June 25,2017
by admin

Is there relief in sight for those oft cited, much maligned tight housing inventories? The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) sees a glimmer of hope in the responses it received to a recent survey.

The Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey for the second quarter found 71 percent of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, which is up from last quarter (69 percent) and considerably more than a year ago (61 percent). Respondents in the Midwest (76 percent) surpassed the West (72 percent) for the first time this quarter to be the most likely to think now is a good time to sell. NAR says if homeowners act on this sentiment, there might eventually be an increase in real estate listings which have declined year-over-year each month for two straight years.

However, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says it’s apparent there’s a mismatch between homeowners’ confidence in selling and actually following through and listing their home for sale. “There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy,” he said. “As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth.”

Added Yun, “Perhaps this notable uptick in seller confidence will translate to more added inventory later this year. Low housing turnover is one of the roots of the ongoing supply and affordability problems plaguing many markets.”

On the other side of the equation, while most homeowners continue to believe it is a good time to buy a home, renters’ attitudes in this regard continues to retreat. Fifty-two percent of renters think now is a good time to buy, which is down both from last quarter (56 percent) and a year ago (62 percent). Conversely, 80 percent of those who already own think it is a good time to buy, unchanged from both last quarter and a year ago. Younger households, and those living in urban areas and in the costlier West region are the least optimistic.

The share of households that believed the economy is improving surged to 62 percent in the first quarter, a survey high. That optimism was short lived however, falling to 54 percent in the second quarter. Homeowners, and those living in the Midwest and in rural and suburban areas are the most optimistic about the economy. Only 42 percent of urban respondents believe the economy is improving, which is a drastic decrease from the 58 percent a year ago.

This fading confidence is mirrored in consumer feelings about their household’s financial situation. The HOME survey’s monthly Personal Financial Outlook Index showing respondents’ confidence that their financial situation will be better in six months fell to 57.2 in June after jumping in March to its highest reading in the survey. A year ago, the index was 57.7.

“It should come as little surprise that the confidence reading among renters has fallen every month since January (64.8) and currently sits at its lowest level (53.8) since tracking began in March 2015 (65.7),” said Yun. “Paying more in rent each year and seeing home prices outpace their incomes is discouraging, and it’s unfortunately pushing home ownership further away – especially for those living in expensive metro areas on the East and West Coast.”

Forty-two percent of survey respondents think homes in their communities are affordable for most buyers. Those living in the Midwest are most likely (55 percent) to believe this, while only 29 percent of those in the West think homes are affordable.

Twenty percent of respondents said they would consider moving to another more affordable community. Those earning under $50,000 annually (27 percent) and those age 34 and under (29 percent) were the most likely to indicate they would consider moving.

“Areas with strong job markets but high home prices risk a migration of middle-class households to other parts of the country if rising housing costs in those areas are not contained through a significant ramp-up in new home construction,” said Yun.

NAR’s HOME survey was conducted by phone from April through early June. A sample of 2,711 people responded to the survey, conducted by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.

MBS Week Ahead: Bonds Look to Data and Month-End For Breakout Potential

June 25,2017
by admin

Whereas the previous week was generally devoid of significant economic data or market moving events, the current week is more of a contender. On the data front, there are relatively important reports throughout the week including a key inflation report on Friday (PCE). Given the extent to which Fed speakers have increased their focus on inflation specifically (as opposed to “inflation + _____, where the other considerations include job growth, financial conditions, and geopolitical risks), traders will be increasingly focused on inflation data. Friday’s PCE is one of the Fed’s favorites.

Speaking of Fed speakers, there are several on tap again this week, with Yellen herself taking questions at a conference in London tomorrow afternoon just after 1pm ET. Markets are hoping she’ll shed some light on how the committee might reconcile an apparently growing debate between hiking rates and reducing the Fed’s bond market reinvestments (not to mention what sort of inflation data might be required to slow/stop one of both of those components).

Beyond the aforementioned scheduled events, there’s also the general phenomenon of “month-end” (which also included “quarter-end” this time around). This refers to traders needing to buy/sell a certain combination of securities in order to meet one of several potential requirements for the end of period.

When it comes to bond markets, the biggest month-end consideration is typically money managers who have to match the “duration” (average maturity) of all of their bond holdings to a published index (here’s the primer on month-end bond buying). There’s no consistent implication for positive vs negative momentum–simply for increased motivation to trade. This can create seemingly random tradeflows that can mysteriously augment or counteract the effects of any organic reaction we’re seeing to the data and scheduled events.

In terms of technical levels, the hope is that some combination of the above will be enough to motivate a break of one of the trends seen in the chart below. The past several trading sessions have been quite noncommittal in terms of approaching either trend (the horizontal lines are simply set by June 14th’s range and the yellow lines are the core downtrend that’s connected most of the intraday highs/lows).

2017-6-26 open

Bank News: Stress Tests, M&A, Values, Underwriting Changes, New Products

June 25,2017
by admin

“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive but what they conceal is vital.” We’re always watching home sales & construction – but it is debatable whether tearing down a house and building another adds to housing stock. About 10.2% of single-family homes rose from tear-down starts in 2016, up from 7.7% in 2015.


Bank news

Last week the Fed released the results of its stress tests, and for the third straight year all large banks passed. The tests are designed to measure whether the 34 largest banks will be able to maintain a minimum 3% capital level, even in periods of severe economic downturns. This Wednesday the Fed will announce the results of their qualitative review, which determines whether the banks will be able to move forward with their capital plans and pay dividends to their shareholders. The results of the tests may also help bolster republican backed plans to ease up on financial regulation.

As an example, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced that it has released the results of its company-run 2017 Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and certain subsidiaries that are subject to the DFAST rules. The information is available on the Chase website at www.jpmorganchase.com under Investor Relations, Events & Presentations, 2017 Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test Results.

So 34 systemically important banks passed their stress tests. The banks are getting better at passing these exams, and the sense is that the Trump Administration will nominate someone to the Fed who will dial back these exams a bit. This week’s Fed release of its comprehensive capital review will determine whether the big banks can increase their dividends or buy back stock.

But the Financial Times reports bank stock prices have dropped dramatically as hopes of a Trump tax cut fade, trading revenues decline, and the yield curve flattens. Since hitting peak levels in early March, Goldman is down almost 17%, Wells is down 14% and Bank of America and JPMorgan are each down about 12%. (Citigroup is trading at about 85% of book value, making it the lowest of the largest US banks.)

Certainly, bank M&A continues for various reasons, not the least of which is the age of the bank owners and the cost of regulation. Just this morning word broke that National Bank Holdings Corporation and privately-owned Peoples, Inc., the bank holding company of Colorado-based Peoples National Bank and Kansas-based Peoples Bank, have entered into a definitive agreement for NBH to acquire Peoples. The transaction adds approximately $865 million of assets, $483 million of loans held for investment and $719 million of deposits, as well as a complementary franchise-centric retail mortgage business, which originates over $1.0 billion of mortgage loans per year. Peoples shareholders will receive approximately $36.3 million of cash consideration and approximately 3.4 million shares of NBH common stock, subject to certain potential adjustments. In addition, as part of the agreement, Peoples will divest or wind down its national mortgage business, operated out of its Kansas-based Peoples Bank, by the end of 2017.

In the last week or so it was announced that in California First Foundation Bank ($3.7B) will acquire Community 1st Bank ($373mm) for about $50.4mm in stock (100%) or about 2.04x tangible book. Fiserv will acquire mobile banking and payments software company Montise for $90mm in cash. State Bank and Trust Co ($4.2B, GA) will acquire AloStar Bank of Commerce ($944mm, AL) for about $196mm in cash (100%) or about 1.0x tangible book. Analysts say AloStar’s price was negatively impacted by the fact that much of its deposits come from internet and correspondent banking channels.

As announced in CB17-22 Product Updates, Chase Correspondent removed the following overlays: Requirement for escrow holdback funds to be held by title company and allowing funds to be held by Correspondent (applies to Agency and Non-Agency transactions), requirement for Solar Panel Questionnaire Form has been removed (applies to Agency and Non-Agency transactions), comparable sales for Agency transactions, and employment contract overlay for Agency transactions.

Chase also announced that the overlay for corporate relocations on Agency loans was removed. The guides were also updated to indicate loans meeting the applicable Agency requirements are eligible for delivery to Chase. For complete details, review CB17-22 Product Updates.

Alaska, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming previously identified by U.S. Bank Home Mortgage as high-risk states, has added the state of Oklahoma to this list, effective June 19, for any new registrations or locks, the maximum LTV/CLTV/HTLTV will be 80% for any portfolio loan (purchase or refinance) regardless of lien position in the above states. If the loan is an Agency first mortgage, with a USBHM HELOC, fixed rate second or ARM second on the transaction, the 80% LTV/CLTV/HTLTV maximum applies. A CLTV/HTLTV greater than 80% can only be exceeded when the second is from another source other than USBHM.

Flagstar Bank posted information for its customers: During the weekend of Saturday, June 24, Desktop Underwriter (DU) will undergo the following updates for both new casefiles and resubmissions: Several messages, including undisclosed debt messages and error messages, will be updated to better align with HUD Handbook 4000.1. Due to program expiration, Streamline with an Appraisal and Hope for Homeowners will be removed as eligible programs. Because FHA requires a secondary financing amount to be sent to TOTAL Scorecard, DU will send a default value of $0. Lenders are reminded to enter the amount of secondary financing when applicable. Based on discussions with FHA, asset calculations in place prior to last year’s August update will be restored.

Loans exercising Freddie Mac’s ACE appraisal wavier are eligible for purchase by Wells Fargo Funding. Wells Fargo Funding will treat ACE like a property inspection waiver (PIA) and charge a fee at funding; however, we will apply post-fund adjustments to refund PIA/ACE fees. We will review Loans daily to identify those requiring post-fund adjustments until system support is available in 2018. Post-fund adjustments will be applied to Loans purchased on and after June 19, to refund the PIA/ACE fee.

Wells Fargo Funding has updated its Validation List which is effective as of June 14th.

Effective as of June 13th, U.S. Bank Home Mortgage will again offer a VA jumbo 30-year fixed rate product. VA jumbo product code #2009 can be found on its VA 30 and 15-year program guidelines. A change request will no longer be required as UniteUS will now display applicable VA jumbo pricing and adjustments.

Fifth Third Correspondent provided a link to view the Missouri counties declared federal disaster areas. Also, its updated Ineligible Condo list is available in the Correspondent Connect Online Guides and Forms.



Capital markets

Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced the winning bidders for its seventh and eighth Community Impact Pools of non-performing loans. The transaction is expected to close on August 15, 2017, and includes approximately 123 loans totaling $31.9 million in unpaid principal balance (UPB), divided between two pools focused in the New York and New Jersey areas. The winning bidders for the transaction were Matawin Ventures XX, LLC (Tourmalet Advisors) for Pool 1 and Community Development Fund IV, LLC (HMC) for Pool 2. In collaboration with Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and The Williams Capital Group, L.P., Fannie Mae began marketing these loans to potential bidders on May 10, 2017. Read the full news release plus Interested bidders can register for future announcements.

Franklin American Mortgage is making improvements to its Correspondent best efforts pricing. The changes will be effective with Best-Effort locks on June 30th, and will only apply to Conventional 30/25-year fixed rate pricing. the new specified grids initially will not apply to TX cash-out transactions or any 97% LTV transactions. Also, an updated SRP schedule will be effective on June 30th. The new SRP schedule will have the same format as our current schedule, and we will provide the new SRP values to you within the next few business days. These new Best-Efforts specified premium pay-ups may change daily, and will be an additional value added to the standard pricing calculation.

Looking at the bond market from Friday, we ended the week on a high note after a nice little rally. In fact, the 30-yr T-bond locked in its fourth consecutive weekly advance while the 10-yr note posted its third consecutive weekly gain (up a couple ticks and closed yielding 2.14%). As you’d expect, given that the Fed has raised short term rates, the yield curve flattened during the week, as the 2s10s spread narrowed to 81 basis points from last Friday’s 84.

It’s a new week, and folks are wondering about staffing next Monday July 3. Ahead of the holiday we have a lot of potentially market moving scheduled news – and who knows what will come out of Washington DC or overseas. This morning, at 2:30AM Hawaiian Standard Time, we’ve had Durable Goods for May (-1.1%, worse than forecast, ex-transportation +.1%) and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (dropping from +.57 to -.26). The Dallas Fed Texas Manufacturing Index (steers and…) for June will be released, and we have a $26 billion 2-year note auction.

Tomorrow, June 27th, we’ll see Consumer Confidence and the S&P Corelogic house price figures from April, Wednesday are the trade balance figures, MBA’s application data from last week, as well as May Pending Home Sales. Thursday is the third Estimate of Q1 GDP, the GDP Deflator (a measure of inflation), and Initial Jobless Claims. Friday, the last business day of June, is May Personal Income & Spending/Consumption, core PCE Prices, June Chicago PMI, and Final June Michigan Sentiment. We start the week with rates not much different than Friday afternoon: the 10-year is currently yielding 2.14% and agency MBS prices are nearly unchanged.


Jobs and Announcements

A nationally recognized mortgage banker headquartered in Orange County, CA is expanding and looking for experienced Government and Conventional loan processors and underwriters to support its Consumer Direct, Retail and Wholesale operations. “Offering competitive compensation plans with remote positions available, this lender is a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac seller/servicer and offers all Ginnie Mae and reverse mortgage products. The company fosters a spirit of team work and believes that developing talent creates exceptional teams.” Interested parties can send confidential resumes to me.

“With 25+ years of mortgage industry experience, Spiegel Accountancy Corp. is the choice of over 35 mortgage bankers for two reasons: accessibility and expertise. Spiegel’s seasoned CPAs actively participate in client accounts to ensure productive partnerships. They’re fully credentialed, have decades of experience, and receive ongoing training in specialty areas and new tax law changes. Their deep understanding of the industry makes them uniquely qualified to share best practices and exceed expectations. Spiegel’s comprehensive array of services can improve a lender’s bottom line and reduce tax liabilities – while maintaining compliance with counterparties and regulators. Learn more about Spiegel Accountancy Corp. here.

SocialSurvey welcomes Matt Curtis to the team as Regional VP of Business Development for the South-Central Region (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM). Matt comes to SocialSurvey with over 15 years of sales experience in the Financial Services industry, as well as 5 years of regional and national sales in the mortgage CRM vertical. “It’s more than protecting and strengthening your online reputation. SocialSurvey creates a digital marketing explosion for your LOs, branches, and enterprise.” Find out why Matt is so excited about working for SocialSurvey by contacting Ayesha Faiz. SocialSurvey still has openings for RVPs in SoCal, Midwest, and Plains/Rockies regions. Submit your confidential resume to Ayesha. SocialSurvey is offering an exceptional compensation plan that includes base salary, commission, and equity in a rapidly growing tech startup.

In National MI Credit Union news, the company has announced new Credit Union Monthly Rates effective June 26, 2017, and will be a Silver sponsor at the ACUMA Conference in Las Vegas this September. These Credit Union rates will be available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and complement National MI’s expansive guidelines, particularly in the areas of investment properties and 3-4 unit properties. See http://cu.nationalmi.com/cu-rates/.

Freddie Signing a Different Tune on Housing/Mortgage Outlook

June 25,2017
by admin

On November 30, 2016 Freddie Mac’s economists issued their monthly Outlook which, in light of the sudden surge in interest rates earlier that month, was decidedly gloomy. MND’s coverage of the forecast elicited a lot of concern from readers, especially when we quoted Freddie Mac that, under their new rate and housing expectations, “Mortgage originations (will) get crushed.” They predicted a decline in originations of 53 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Other predictions at the time included a leveling off of home sales, although “2016 will still end up being the best year for home sales in a decade, but 2017 will be hard pressed to match those levels” with a predicted decrease of 220,000 units Home price gains will moderate, finishing 2016 with an average gain of 5.9 percent, falling to 4.7 percent in 2017.

Fast forward seven months. In the June Outlook, Freddie’s economists are singing a different tune. The earlier paper revisited a previous period when rates jumped quickly and unexpectedly, the so-called Taper Tantrum of 2013, to forecast the reaction of various housing measures to both the November surge and expectations for changes in Fed monetary policy. The current report is written in the context of “Weak growth, moderate inflation and a labor market at full employment,” conditions Freddie Mac says are likely to persist.

The company calls housing a bright spot with home sales and construction thus far in 2017 the highest in years. Data did weaken in the past mouth; housing starts fell 2.6 percent in April and permitting was also down. Although strong in March, both new and existing home sales fell in April as well. These declines are likely to reverse, Freddie says, as low mortgage rates and solid employment figures boost the housing market. “We expect housing starts and home sales to firm in the coming months and for 2017 to exceed 2016’s best-in-a-decade levels,” they say. The year-end prediction is for total sales of 6.02 million, a 100,000 increase.

Recent declines in mortgages rates, which are down 30 basis points from the start of the year, have helped support refinance activity. Still, they are still almost 50 points higher than the 2016 low. Rates fell below 3.5 percent in 2016 and remained there for 16 weeks, and were below 3.7 percent for 37 weeks. Unless those rates reappear and hang around, which Freddie Mac does not expect will happen, refinance volumes will not match those in 2016. The company predicts mortgage origination volume will be down this year by about $370 billion, although midway through 2017, originations are running about even with 2016.

Black Knight Home Price Index Hits All-Time High

June 25,2017
by admin

The third major home price indicator of the month was released on Monday and again there was no indication that the rate of appreciation is slowing. Black Knight Financial Services said prices, as measured by its National Home Price Index (HPI) increased from March to April by 1.2 percent. The index reading of $275,000, was the highest in the HPI’s history. The month-over-month increase in the index has brought prices up 3.6 percent since the first of the year, with the bulk of that growth, an aggregate of 2.5 percent, coming in March and April.

On an annual basis, the index gained 6.0 percent in April, compared to of 5.8 percent in March. The average year-over-year increase was 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017 and 5.4 percent for all of 2016.

Washington State continues to outperform other states; its 2.1 increase from March led the nation for the third straight month. Oregon followed with appreciation of 1.9 percent followed by four states with 1.8 percent gains; Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan, and Montana. Even the worst performing states managed to eke out an increase; West Virginia was up 1.0 percent, Mississippi and Wyoming 0.2 percent, and Maine, South Dakota and Kansas each were up 0.4 percent

The strongest gains among metro areas were Seattle and Bellingham, Washington and Carson City, Nevada, all with 2.3 percent monthly gains. Washington state accounted for five of the nation’s top 10 best performing metros

Tuscaloosa, AL was the only metro area to see a decline. Prices fell another 5.1 percent for its fifth consecutive month as the country’s worst-performing metropolitan area

Among the 20 largest states tracked by Black Knight, nine hit new peaks in April – Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Since the market his bottom in January 2012, prices nationally have recovered by 38 percent.

April marks 60 consecutive months of annual national home price appreciation