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Volume 21 - Number 14

July 14, 2017

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Retail Losing Steam in 2017 Agency Mortgage Business, Brokers Rising

With refinance activity tapering off, the retail production channel lost some of its edge during the second quarter of 2017, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of agency mortgage-backed securities. Retail production accounted for 50.6 percent of the $290.63 billion of single-family mortgages securitized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae in the second quarter. Including modified loans and those with no channel identification ... [Includes one data chart]

Mortgage Firms Looking for Tech Workers

Mortgage firms of all types continued to add to their payrolls late this spring, with many firms reporting they’re searching for technology workers. Overall, nonbank lender/servicers added 1,400 full-time positions in May, bringing total sector employment to 242,900 positions, the best reading since December 2007, according to figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Separately, loan brokerage companies also added 1,400 jobs during the month, bringing their employment ...

Consumers’ Average Credit Score Hits Record High

The national average credit score tracked by Fair Isaac (FICO) recently reached a record high in April: 700. And the share of consumers seeking new credit is actually declining, according to an analysis by FICO. Ethan Dornhelm, a senior principal scientist in the analytic development group at FICO, noted that the average FICO score as of April was 10 points higher than the reading in October 2006, before the financial crisis. Average scores fell to 686 in October 2009 and have ...

Fed Study: Refi Ads Work, Could be Improved

Direct-mail advertising campaigns touting refinances help prompt borrowers to refi, according to a study by economists at the Federal Reserve. They added that policymakers should consider making it easier for lenders to target borrowers for refis. Seran Grundl and You Suk Kim, economists at the Fed, authored a recent working paper that examined how borrowers react to receiving ads in the mail for refinances. They said the effect of advertising on consumer mistakes and ...

Bank Mortgage Repurchases Trend Lower

Commercial banks and thrifts reported a decline in the volume of home mortgages they repurchased in the first quarter of 2017, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. The industry repurchased, or provided other indemnification, related to $801.3 million of home mortgages during the first three months of the year. That was down 1.5 percent from the previous period. First-quarter repurchases were actually up 4.9 percent from ... [Includes one data chart]

Underwater Borrowers in Decline, Equity Rising

New research from Black Knight Financial Services finds that the underwater homeowner population has fallen to 1.8 million borrowers, dipping below 2.0 million for the first time since 2006. Researchers also expect “tappable equity” to hit a record high this summer, according to their new report on data from the first four months of 2017. “The steady upward trajectory of home prices continues to improve the equity positions of many homeowners,” said Ben Graboske, executive vice president ...

California Sees Shift in Purchase-Mortgage MI

California remains the biggest purchase-mortgage market for private mortgage insurers, and it looks to be shifting away from FHA, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of agency mortgage-backed securities data. In the second quarter of 2017, private MIs wrote coverage for $5.20 billion of California purchase mortgages – or 36.0 percent of insured loans in the state. A year ago, the private MI share was 33.1 percent. Over that period ... [Includes one data chart]

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