Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FRB.

March 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Home-Equity Market Continued to Fizzle in Late 2016, HEL Debt Sinks to 13-Year Low

New originations of home-equity loans were up 8.0 percent in 2016 from the previous year, but the market peaked early and ended with consecutive quarterly declines in production, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. Lenders originated an estimated $197.6 billion of home-equity lines of credit and closed-end second mortgages last year. It was the strongest output since 2008, but it was not enough to offset the years-long erosion of second-mortgage debt. At the end of 2016, the supply of outstanding home-equity loans fell...[Includes three data tables]

March 17, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Federal Reserve Chooses to Raise Fed Funds Rate, Defers Talk About Its Huge Agency Portfolio

For the third time in as many years, the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to raise the federal funds rate by 25 basis points this week, as widely expected – only this time, the Fed didn’t wait until the very end of the year. The FOMC’s revised projections are for two additional quarter-point rate hikes later this year, three next year and three or four the year after. World stock indexes rallied...

March 17, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Banks Help Pick Up Some of the Slack as Overseas Investors, GSEs Shed MBS Holdings in Late 2016

Thanks to strong growth in the agency market, the supply of single-family MBS outstanding continued to grow over the final three months of 2016, a new Inside MBS & ABS analysis reveals. Agency MBS outstanding pushed to a new record, $6.034 trillion, as of the end of last year. The biggest gainer continued to be Ginnie Mae, which reported a 2.2 percent increase in the fourth quarter and a 7.7 percent gain for the year. Freddie Mac matched Ginnie’s fourth-quarter increase, but its year-to-date gain was smaller, 4.2 percent. Fannie Mae had...[Includes two data tables]

March 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Commercial Banks Continue Servicing Pullback, Thrifts and Credit Unions Pick Up Some Slack

The volume of home mortgages outstanding continued to grow during the final three months of 2016, no thanks to the commercial banking industry. Recently released data from the Federal Reserve show $10.266 trillion of mortgage debt outstanding at the end of last year. That was up 0.7 percent for the quarter and reflected a 2.3 percent gain for the full year. The market still has a long way to go to catch up to the $11.240 trillion of mortgage debt outstanding at the end of 2007, but growth has been steady since bottoming out in mid-2014. The agency market continued...[Includes two data tables]

March 10, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Credit Card Loan Balances Reach Post-Crisis High; Analysts Expect ‘Healthy’ Consumer Balance Sheets

Contrarians may suspect a bubble, but analysts at DBRS said in a new report this week that credit card loan balances in the U.S. reached a new post-financial-crisis high in December 2016, which they characterized as a reflection of consumers’ “gradual inclination to judiciously undertake incremental credit card debt.” According to their analysis, credit card debt accelerated last year. “After steadily increasing over the past five years, growth in credit card debt accelerated in 2016 at an average monthly, year-over-year growth rate of 6.1 percent, compared to 4.2 percent in 2015, and 2.9 percent in 2014,” DBRS said. Citing the Federal Reserve data for December 2016, the analysts found...

March 10, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Curtailment of Fed Reinvestments Could Hurt MBS As Agency Moves to Thin Balance Sheet, Analyst Says

MBS are likely to be hurt when the Federal Reserve stops its reinvestments to shrink its balance sheet over the next few years, according to an analysis by Desjardins, Canada’s largest cooperative financial group. Even though the agency plans to withdraw gradually, its $1.75 trillion in MBS holdings account for approximately 20 percent of all U.S. MBS outstanding, noted Mathieu D’Anjou, senior economist with the Desjardins Group. “An increase in rate spreads between MBS and U.S. bonds, [which is] currently low, could be required...

February 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Demographics, Tight Underwriting Limiting Home-Equity Loans and Cash-Out Refis

The aggregate dollar volume of homeowner equity in real estate has almost returned to pre-crisis levels, but borrowers are no longer using their homes as ATMs, according to industry analysts. Between 2003 and 2007, homeowners were extracting more than $350.0 billion in home equity per year via home-equity loans and cash-out refinances, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While home prices and equity have largely recovered, equity extraction remains below $50.0 billion per year. William Dudley, president and CEO of the NY Fed, said...

February 17, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fed’s Bullard: Shrinking Balance Sheet Could Begin, Yellen: Fed Won’t Sell MBS, Will Use Runoff Instead

The chatter about the Federal Reserve shrinking its massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet and its huge $1.7 trillion portfolio of agency MBS has continued in recent days, with one Fed official talking up the idea and another describing how the U.S. central bank plans to do it. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said in a speech last week that the Fed could begin normalizing its balance sheet. “The Fed’s balance sheet has been an important monetary policy tool during the period of near-zero policy rates,” Bullard said. Thus far, the Fed’s Open Market Committee has not set...

February 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

UI Report says Credit Access Tight, Harder to Obtain Mortgage Loan Today than Pre-Crisis

Despite some reports of credit access loosening, it’s harder to get a mortgage today than it was during the housing bubble, according to the Urban Institute. With borrowers being denied at a much higher rate than in the past, lower-credit mortgage applicants are dropping out of the housing market. As access to credit tightened after the financial crisis, many lower-credit applicants were discouraged from applying, the UI study noted. That led to a higher-credit applicant pool, which in turn led to a lower rejection rate. This caused...


With the spring homebuying season in full swing, what percentage of your March 2017 application volume has been for “purchase” loans?

75% or higher
50% to 74%
30% to 49%
Under 30%

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