May 25, 2017

Latest from Inside Mortgage Finance

Total conventional conforming mortgage originations fell by 36.6 percent from the previous quarter according to estimates from Inside Mortgage Finance

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Third-Party Originators Fared Slightly Better Than Retail in Declining First-Quarter Market

Correspondent lenders and mortgage brokers took slightly less severe declines in origination volume in early 2017 than was seen in the retail channel, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. All three production channels were down sharply as total first-lien mortgage originations tumbled 33.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016. The retail segment saw the biggest decline, dropping 34.6 percent to an estimated $221.0 billion. Retail production typically features...[Includes four data tables]

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Warehouse Commitment Levels Declined Slightly In 1Q17; Is Profitability of Nonbanks a Concern?

Warehouse lenders ended the first quarter of 2017 with an estimated $59.0 billion of commitments on their books, a 4.8 percent sequential decline, according to exclusive survey figures compiled by Inside Mortgage Finance. Compared to a year ago, commitments were up 13.5 percent. However, many nonbanks sign commitment deals but don’t always draw on the lines very heavily. A case in point was the first quarter: the drop in commitments was benign compared to the overall decline in originations. Industrywide, residential lending fell by 33.6 percent from the fourth quarter. The good news for the warehouse sector is...[Includes one data table]

Trump Budget Preserves FHA, Ginnie Mae Funding Levels, Eliminates Key HUD Programs, Calls for CFPB Restructuring

The Trump administration has revived a controversial proposal to tap FHA lenders to help pay for technology upgrades at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD is among nine federal agencies facing significant cuts in their discretionary budgets, al-though guarantee commitments for FHA’s single-family mortgage insurance program and Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities programs were kept at their previous fiscal levels, $400 billion and $500 billion, respectively. The White House budget plan incorporates...

Feature Stories

Inside FHA/VA Lending

MBA, NAR Identify HUD Rules for Clarification, Revision, Repeal

FHA liability standards, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) lien guidance, downpayment assistance and revised condominium rules are among the regulations industry groups would like the Department of Housing and Urban Development to change or clarify. HUD is putting together an internal task force to identify regulations for review and to assess their compliance costs and regulatory burden. The department also has published a notice of the undertaking in the Federal Register with a request for comment. The comment period ends on June 14, 2017. President Trump issued an executive order in January directing federal agencies to identify at least two prior regulations for elimination for every new regulation they issue. The Mortgage Bankers Association is seeking clarification of FHA liability standards to entice banks to resume their FHA lending. The group thinks HUD’s new defect taxonomy ...

Inside Nonconforming Markets

Wells Fargo Plans to Issue Non-Agency MBS, Likely Backed by New Jumbos

Wells Fargo is planning to issue non-agency mortgage-backed securities backed by new originations this year, according to an official at the bank. The company was one of the top issuers of non-agency MBS before the financial crisis, but like most big banks, Wells has opted to retain its jumbo production in portfolio. “This year, one of our aspirations is to come back to the market with a couple of deals,” said Franklin Codel, senior executive vice president of consumer lending ...

Inside MBS & ABS

Banking Industry Upped Its MBS Holdings In 1Q17, With a Boost From Large Thrifts

The banking industry again boosted its holdings of single-family MBS during the first quarter of 2017, although results varied significantly among various major players in the market. Banks and thrifts reported $1.762 trillion in held-to-maturity and available-for-sale MBS as of the end of March, a 1.5 percent increase from the previous quarter, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS ranking and analysis of bank call reports. With Federal Reserve MBS purchases in a holding pattern, banks and other investors are in a better position to increase their holdings as the supply of agency MBS slowly grows. The industry held...[Includes two data tables]

Inside the CFPB

Hensarling Slams Cordray for Appearing at Democrat Event

CFPB Director Richard Cordray, in an unusual move, attended the weekly caucus meeting of the Democrats in the House of Representatives last week. That prompted his chief GOP antagonist, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, to say Cordray’s appearance shows that Democrats use the CFPB as a political war machine. “Everyone knows Mr. Cordray will likely leave the CFPB soon and pursue political office in Ohio again, but his attendance at what amounts to nothing more than a Democrat pep rally shows just how partisan and politicized he and his supposed ‘independent’ agency truly are,” the Republican said. According to Hensarling, liberal elites in Washington, DC, want to keep the bureau unaccountable to the American people so ...

Inside Mortgage Trends

Legacy Buyback Issues Fade Further Into the Rearview Mirror in Early 2017

Mortgage originators and the government-sponsored enterprises in the first quarter of 2017 continued to distance themselves from the contentious sparring over repurchase demands related to loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prior to the housing market collapse. An exclusive Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of GSE repurchase disclosures shows a spike upward in total repurchases during the first quarter, but the move was linked to ... [Includes two data charts]

Inside The GSEs

FHFA’s Capital Buffer Plan Draws Praise, Criticism and Questions

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt’s comments last week that he’s prepared to allow the GSEs to build a capital buffer to avoid a Treasury draw was met with both applause and concern. But this week, Bob Ryan, special director to Watt, clarified the comments stating that the plan would entail delaying the dividend payments to the U.S. Treasury Department and not suspending them. Ryan, speaking during a credit-risk transfer symposium in New York City, kicked off the first five minutes of a panel discussion about GSE reform by talking about the potential capital buffer plan. He said that it would be done strictly for the purpose of avoiding draws on the “limited resources of the preferred stock purchase agreement.”

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