real estate: Inflation Remains Low - 04/18/14 07:41 AM
While there was a great deal of intra-day volatility over the past week, mortgage rates ended the week with little change, remaining near the lowest levels of the year. Most of the volatility in mortgage rates was caused by big moves in the stock market and by news from Ukraine. Since these events had little impact on the long-term outlook for economic growth or inflation, their effect on mortgage rates was short-lived.
Inflation expectations play a fundamental role in determining mortgage rates and influencing Fed policy. The low levels of inflation seen in recent months have been a major reason … (0 comments)

real estate: Where are interest rates going anyways? - 03/27/14 01:39 AM
The Fed met last Wednesday however there has been little move in the market in reaction to that meeting.  Recent economic data has shown few surprises also.   However, one thing that seems to have influenced the U.S. mortgage rates seems to have been the shift in expectation for European Central Bank (ECB) policy, which seems to have helped mortgage rates move a little lower this week.   The central banks in Europe and Japan seem to be moving in the opposite direction of the Fed, who is cutting its bond purchases and providing guidance for raising the Fed funds rate.  However, … (0 comments)

real estate: Seasonal slowness or serious market concerns? - 03/19/14 09:11 AM
Wells Fargo’s economics group broke down the season challenges in the housing market.  We wanted to know what impact the current weather has had on the housing market – has the impending drought and warm weather in the west or the winter storms in the east had more of an impact than normal seasonal swings?  November through February are typically some of the least important months of the year for home sales and new builds.  While this represents 1/3 of the calendar year – historically, it is only ¼ of new home sales.  This lets us assume that much will be … (0 comments)

real estate: So how is Fannie and Freddie doing anyway? - 03/14/14 03:59 AM
Fannie and Freddie are doing quite well for themselves, however, it seems to be at the expense of their borrowers.  These borrowers are the product of the cleanest, most heavily documented, and thoroughly underwritten and appraised loans in history.   Many in the industry are paying close attention to how credit is impacted by rates, fees, guidelines, compliance costs and consolidation in the industry - it will be a real estate case study.  Last year showed an increase of 10 base points (on average), greater LLPA's on higher LTVs, and lower FICO loans.  In 2013, roughly 40% of net interest income was … (2 comments)

real estate: What does the changing situation in Ukraine mean for interest rates? - 03/06/14 11:13 AM
The ever changing situation in the Ukraine was the cause of most of the movement in mortgage rates over the past week, however, there was little net change to be seen.
During periods of uncertainty, there is a tendency  in financial markets to move to safer assets – shifting to a defensive positions – this is known as “flight to safety”.   When there is a political divide on major issues, where the outcome is unknown (think debt ceiling), investors tend to scale back on risk.  Due to the troubles in the weaker euro zone countries, ones that might threaten global banking, … (0 comments)

real estate: Can you believe this real estate market? - 01/29/14 07:56 AM
Many feel that counterparty considerations will rise in 2014, as the Dodd-Frank mandated legislation is about 50% complete.  In a recent survey, conducted January 13-17, Secure Settlements, Inc looked at lawyers, notaries, escrow agents and title agents to examine the status of closing professionals in the increasing regulatory environment.  SSI is seeking support for its mortgage industry pre-funding quality assurance risk management tools, this data helps provide that support.  In the new realm of Qualified Mortgage, data pertaining to personal experiences in the closing process is an essential element to understanding risk, both from a consumer and enterprise standpoint.  Major points … (1 comments)

real estate: Early 2014 Economic Forecast - 01/23/14 05:08 AM
The last few weeks of December 2013 proved to be quite ones – with little newsworthy economic news and a light trading volume.   Even though the economic data (on average) exceeded expectations – this proved to have little impact on mortgage rates.
After months of speculation by investors, on Dec. 18th the Fed announced that it would begin to scale back its bond purchases.    Mortgage rates have been kept low , thanks in part to added demand for mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from the fed – so this reduction is not good news for mortgage markets as we continue to expect rising … (0 comments)

real estate: Consumers must plan to pay more for a mortgage in coming years - 12/27/13 03:59 AM
In an effort to minimize the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in the market – consumers can plan to pay more to get a mortgage next year.  Freddie and Fannie will be charging higher fees in the future on loans to customers who don’t make large down payments or don’t have nigh credit scores.  This group encompasses a large group of home buyers. 
Fannie and Freddie currently back about 2/3 of new mortgages – however, they don’t originate mortages, instead they buy them from other lenders.  It has long been felt in the market that the field needs … (4 comments)

real estate: Lot's of confusion on QM in regards to BPMI - 12/19/13 03:09 AM
With less than 13 business days left in 2013, an MI executive stated “The industry is keenly aware of the different approaches/decisions the large Correspondent lenders are taking with regards to BPMI Singles and how to count the fees towards the 3% limit”.  Some banks are allowing the lender to exempt the first 1.75% as long as the BPMI single is refundable over at least 5 years, some are making lenders count all points toward the 3%.  This could cause confusion in the marketplace, especially when dealing with smaller lenders. We expect continued changes and clarification on this in January as … (0 comments)

real estate: Financial market update - 12/18/13 07:35 AM
This last week was a volatile one, with major events impacting economic data, monetary policy and political action – in spite of this – there was little change in mortgage rates.
The Fed is expected to sale bake its bond purchases as soon as next week as its primary conditions appear to have been met.  This past week produced a stronger than expected Employment Report.  The unemployment rate declined to 7.0% and 193K new jobs have been added per month for the past three months.  Congress is also close to reaching a 2 year budget deal – reducing the level of … (0 comments)

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