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Volume 20 - Number 13

June 24, 2016

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GSE Repurchase Activity Fell to Record Low in Early 2016, Focus on New Loans

Mortgage lenders continue to face persistent repurchase demands from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but a growing share of them end up being withdrawn, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of disclosures made by the two government-sponsored enterprises. During the first quarter of 2016, lenders repurchased or replaced $315.0 million of mortgage loans for breaches of representations and warranties. That was a record low for ... [Includes two data charts]

Banks Report Uptick in Mortgage Repurchases

Commercial banks and savings institutions reported a small increase in the volume of repurchases and indemnifications regarding single-family mortgages during the first quarter of 2016, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. Banks reported $764.1 million of repurchases during the first quarter, a 3.9 percent increase from the previous period. That was down 23.3 percent from the first quarter of 2015, however, and sets a pace ... [Includes one data chart]

Mortgage Companies to Increase Tech Spending

A majority of mortgage companies plan to increase their spending on technology as part of their efforts to boost profit margins, according to the latest results from Fannie Mae’s quarterly survey of lenders. Some 56 percent of the 169 lenders surveyed by Fannie in the second quarter of 2016 listed technology investment as one of their top two strategies to increase profit margins, marking the first time a majority of respondents plan to increase tech spending to help profits since ...

Exchange Operator to Take Major Stake in MERS

Intercontinental Exchange will acquire a majority equity position in the owner of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems and “modernize” MERS, according to the companies. Terms of the investment weren’t disclosed, though ICE said the price and terms of the transaction are “immaterial” to the company. The transaction is expected to be completed at the end of this month. MERS is owned by MERSCorp Holdings, a private corporation and member-based organization ...

Big Trade Groups: ‘All or Nothing’ on GSE Reform

The chance of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac reform legislation passing Congress this year is virtually nil. But that hasn’t stopped industry trade groups from talking about the topic, or dispensing a barrage of advice for the Federal Housing Finance Agency about the withering capital cushions at Fannie and Freddie. The way things stand today, the largest industry trade organizations – and arguably the most powerful politically – are taking the position of “all or nothing” mortgage-finance ...

FHA Should Set Criteria for Pricing, MGIC Says

A top mortgage-industry executive called for the establishment of criteria for adjusting FHA mortgage-insurance premiums to limit taxpayer exposure and allow private capital to play a larger role in the mortgage market. In a recent blog, Patrick Sinks, president/CEO of Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., noted growing talk in the mortgage industry of another possible FHA premium reduction following last year’s 50 basis point cut. However, before that happens ...

Pessimism About Housing Affordability on the Rise

In a finding with ominous implications for the mortgage lending industry, a significant majority, 81 percent, of respondents in a recent opinion survey continues to believe that housing affordability is a problem in the U.S. The concern for lenders is that the more Americans believe the cost of buying a home is out of their reach, the greater the odds are they won’t even bother to shop for a house or a mortgage or save for a downpayment. “Stable, affordable housing is viewed as ...


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