May 21, 2015

Latest from Inside Mortgage Finance

Total primary mortgage insurance activity rose by 0.3 percentage points from the previous quarter according to estimates from Inside Mortgage Finance

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Refi Surge in Conventional-Conforming Market Helped Fuel Originations Uptick in Early 2015

The conventional-conforming sector led the mortgage market’s surge in production volume during the first quarter of 2015, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. Lenders originated an estimated $207 billion of conventional-conforming mortgages during the first three months of this year, an 18.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2014. The conventional-conforming sector accounted for 57.5 percent of the $360 billion in overall mortgage originations during the period. The $360 billion is a revision of our initial estimate and does not include home-equity lending. The government and jumbo markets were...[Includes two data tables]


Analysts See Stronger Market in 2015, But Little Change In Fundamental Problems Facing the Mortgage Industry

Housing is showing some traction, but heavy regulation and enforcement continue to weigh on the mortgage market, according to analysts at this week’s secondary-market conference sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association in New York. Charles Gabriel, president of Capital Alpha Advisors, said there are some green shoots in the mortgage market, including signs of more home sales. But he characterized it as “a mature market that is suboptimized.” Lenders have paid massive penalties in lawsuits, he added, and there is no sign that they will expand the credit box. “U.S. Bank was asked...

Nonbank Gains in Market Share Boost Warehouse Lending; a Strong Refinance Market Helps Too

Warehouse banks increased their commitment levels to $40 billion at the end of the first quarter, a 14.3 percent sequential gain and a sign that all is well in residential originations, at least for now. Not only did warehouse providers benefit from stronger originations in early 2015, their business was boosted by the fact that nonbanks continue to gain origination market share. Compared to the same quarter a year ago, commitments are up a mouth-watering 42.9 percent, according to exclusive survey figures compiled by Inside Mortgage Finance. Then again, at $360 billion, the first quarter of 2015 was...[Includes one data table]

Feature Stories

Inside Mortgage Trends

Banks Report Solid Increase in Mortgage Banking Income in First Quarter 2015

Commercial banks and thrifts earned $3.99 billion from their mortgage-banking operations during the first quarter of 2015, according to a new ranking and analysis by Inside Mortgage Trends. Mortgage-banking income was up 12.7 percent from the previous quarter and 19.0 percent ahead of the pace set in the first three months of 2014. Early 2015 was no record-setter, by any means, but profits were well below the levels reached in the middle of last year. The call-report data do not separate...[Includes one data table]

Inside The GSEs

GOP Reg Relief Bill Passes, GSE Provisions Include PSPA, More...

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee this week passed the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015 by a 12 to 10 margin along party lines. The measure, introduced by committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-AL, includes a number of GSE provisions. Title VII of the bill prohibits the use of increases in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranty fees to offset outlays or reductions in revenues for “any purpose other than enterprise business functions or housing finance reform as passed by the Congress in the future.” The bill was approved by the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Another provision would prohibit the U.S. Treasury from selling or...

Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Market Faces Liquidity, Demand Issues When the Fed Finally Decides on Exit Strategy

The mortgage market faces a big challenge when the Federal Reserve figures out how to unload its massive $1.7 trillion portfolio of agency MBS, but anticipated widening of spreads could at least improve market liquidity. The fixed-income market has seen a sharp decline in trading volume resulting in part from regulatory issues, said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, during the group’s annual secondary market conference in New York this week. “Banks have been hoarding liquidity instead of providing it to the market,” he said. Average daily trading volume of MBS has dropped...

Inside the CFPB

Bipartisan Pressure Mounts For TRID ‘Hold-Harmless’ Period

If one of the sponsors of the Dodd-Frank Act supports giving mortgage lenders an enforcement break when the CFPB’s integrated disclosure rule kicks in later this year, you know something serious is afoot. Such is indeed the case. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-CA, one of the original backers of Dodd-Frank, has crossed the partisan aisle in the House Financial Services Committee to join Rep. Steve Pearce, R-NM, in introducing H.R. 2213. Their bill would grant lenders a temporary safe harbor from enforcement of the rule integrating the required mortgage disclosures under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. More specifically, H.R. 2213 would protect lenders from private lawsuits and regulatory enforcement actions through Dec. 31, 2015, ...

Inside Nonconforming Markets

Nonbanks Face Jumbo Pricing Issues, But Remain Optimistic About MBS Issuance

Interest rate volatility and other issues caused a reduction in jumbo-related profitability at some nonbanks in the first quarter of 2015. However, many nonbank conduits remain optimistic that the jumbo business will pay off, particularly via issuance of mortgage-backed securities. Redwood Trust reported $2.0 million in income from residential mortgage banking activities in the first quarter of 2015, down 80 percent from the previous quarter. The decline was primarily due to lower margins on ...

Inside FHA/VA Lending

Premium Reduction Helped Fuel 1Q Jump in FHA Loan Production

Price reduction and improving economic factors helped push FHA volume up in the first quarter of 2015, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency data. Production of forward single-family mortgages insured by FHA increased by 12.3 percent in the first quarter to $39.5 billion from $35.2 billion in the prior quarter, powered by a sharp uptick in refinances. FHA’s total refi business jumped from $2.29 billion in endorsements in February, a month of record snowstorms in the Northeast, to $8.15 billion in March. Total FHA forward-mortgage business rose by 83.8 percent from February, data showed. FHA streamline refis rose a whopping 144.1 percent quarter-over-quarter while conventional-to-FHA refis jumped 29.2 percent over the same period. Falling purchase loan volume, which was the reason for the overall decline in FHA originations last year, spilled over into ... [2 charts]


Mortgage originators have been stepping up their hiring of late. Which category of mortgage workers are in highest demand at your shop? (Choose one.)

Loan officers
Processors and underwriters
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VP level and higher
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