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Volume 2017 - Number 15

April 20, 2017

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Agency Servicing Market Continued Growing In 1Q17 as Nonbank Appetite Remained Robust

The outstanding supply of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae servicing continued to grow during the first quarter of 2017 despite a downturn in new mortgage-backed securities issuance by the three agencies, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside Mortgage Finance. A total of $6.225 trillion of agency single-family MBS was outstanding at the end of March, up 1.4 percent from December 2016. That number does not include agency servicing of whole loans held on the books of Fannie and Freddie, or a smattering of adjustable-rate mortgages in seasoned Freddie securities. Freddie posted...[Includes two data tables]

The Early Read: Bank Mortgage Lending Down in 1Q17, Nonbanks Fare a Little Better

Based on mortgage results reported thus far, the first quarter was a nasty time for new originations for both the megabanks and some of the regionals, with non-depositories reporting slightly more benign production figures. Market leader Wells Fargo posted a hefty 38.9 percent one-quarter drop in mortgage originations. Second-ranked JPMorgan Chase reported a slightly less severe 23.0 percent drop in home loan funding. Citigroup, which a few months back made a strategic decision to deemphasize its role in home lending, suffered a 32.1 percent drop. Then there’s...

CFPB Proposes Clarifications to HMDA Rule, But Industry Says Problems Remain, Delay Needed

Most of the provisions of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act final rule the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau promulgated back in 2015 won’t take effect until January 2018, and already the agency is proposing a host of clarifications, technical corrections and minor changes with the stated goal of fostering lender compliance. Among the suggested alterations to the CFPB’s proposed rule, issued last week, is the clarification of certain key terms, such as “temporary financing” and “automated underwriting system.” The proposal also would establish...

VA Says Appraiser Shortage Only in Rural Areas, But NAR Says Problem is Worse than It Seems

The problem with the perceived appraiser shortage is not whether VA has enough appraisers but whether there are enough of them in areas where appraisal demands are greater, according to a ranking member of the VA Fee Panel of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As of April 8, 2017, the Fee Panel had 5,006 licensed and certified appraisers working in the eight regional loan centers (RLC) that administer the VA Home Loan Guaranty program, said Kevin Eason, valuation officer with the Denver RLC. Last year, 553 new appraisers were appointed to the panel, whose members accept VA appraisal assignments on a rotating basis. Speaking last week at the annual VA Lenders Conference in Kansas City, MO, Eason noted...

CFPB Suggests Lenders are Making Billions Because Borrowers Don’t Shop Effectively for Mortgages

Many borrowers could have seen significant savings on the interest rate on a mortgage if they shopped around, according to a working paper published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Research. The bureau economists noted that close to half of consumers didn’t shop before taking out a mortgage, based on the National Survey of Mortgage Originations, a representative survey conducted by the CFPB and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. And only 16.0 percent of borrowers considered three or more lenders before obtaining a mortgage. The economists said...

As the Home ‘Flipping’ Market Continues to Gather Steam, Lenders Plow New Ground by Using Third-Party Brokers

Two of the most active lenders in the “fix & flip” market – Finance of America Commercial and CALCAP – are coming off record years and are expanding their efforts by launching brokerage initiatives that could increase their volumes even more. “Why now?” asked Mark Filler, CEO of Finance of America Commercial. “We’re at the point where we have better pricing, better products and the market is strong.” In 2016, FOAC – known as Jordan Capital when it was acquired by nonbank mortgage giant Finance of America a few months ago – originated...

Industry Calls for Extensive Changes to CFPB Mortgage Rules as Senate Eyeballs Dodd-Frank

Most of the discussion about lender relief from the compliance burdens under the Dodd-Frank Act has revolved around the Financial CHOICE Act sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX. But the wheels are starting to move in the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, where Chairman Mike Crapo, R-ID, has begun receiving input from industry trade groups about the kind of changes they would like to see. The lion’s share of the industry’s concerns have to do with the mortgage rules promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, whether it’s the integrated disclosure rule, the ability-to-repay rule or the penchant the bureau seems to have for bypassing the public rulemaking process through the use of consent orders. The Mortgage Bankers Association urged...

Industry Fears Doubling Standard Tax Deduction Would Diminish Mortgage Interest Deduction, Crimp Housing

Industry experts are concerned that significantly raising the standard federal income-tax deduction could make the mortgage-interest deduction less valuable and hurt the housing market. The Republican “blueprint” for a massive overhaul of federal income taxes proposes boosting the standard deduction from $12,600 to $24,000 for joint filers. This could mean fewer taxpayers would itemize their deductions and claim the MID. The Community Home Lenders Association opposes...

Fewer Renters Looking for a Purchase Mortgage, Saving for Downpayment a Significant Hurdle

The share of renters who expect to purchase a home is declining, according to a survey conducted for Freddie Mac. Even though many renters reported optimism about their financial situations, saving for a downpayment and other factors present hurdles to financing a home purchase. Some 41 percent of renters surveyed said they expect to purchase a home, down from 45 percent in September. Freddie also found that the number of renters who say they are working toward homeownership fell from 21 percent in September to 15 percent in March. Most renters said...

Mortgage Market at a Glance

Weekly mortgage rates and application survey data as well as indexes for ARMs.

Poll

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

75% or higher

48%

50% to 74%

24%

30% to 49%

14%

Under 30%

14%