During this holiday-oriented week I wanted to write a quick blog post regarding three things that are relevant at this time. First of all the NMLS licensing takes effect January 1, 2011 and loan officers who aren't working for a national bank and haven't passed the NMLS test and completed the licensing process can not originate loans or get paid on loans. Florida estimates that only 10,000 of their currently-licensed 40,000 loan officers will remain in the business. Nationally, the experts predict an attrition rate of 50 - 75%. There are rumors swirling that the test for the NMLS may be made even harder because too many people are passing it even though about 2/3rds of the people who take it fail it the first time. I am writing this because if you are a Realtor and your loan officer hasn't passed the NMLS test and won't be licensed to do business as of the first of the year, you may want to look for alternative options for your clients.
The second thing that is supposed to take place January 1, 2011 is the HERS report for every real estate transaction. Similar to the MPG ratings posted on cars, each home sold after January 1, 2011 will need a Home Energy Rating System report according to a Las Vegas source. Regardless of the outcome of the report, nothing will be required to be done but it will provide the buyer with information regarding the home's energy efficiency.
Finally, the mortgage bond market's benchmark FNMA 4.0 has been testing the resistence level at 98.91 for the last six days. Bond prices are down 45 BPS as I write this post heading away from the resistence (meaning rates are going up). If the price could break through this resistence leve the next resistence level is at 100.81 so we may see some nice movement in our favor. Conversely, the more times that resistence gets tested and doesn't get breached, the stronger it becomes and the more likely rates are to continue their upward trend. The easy money policy of the Fed does not bode well for rates in the near term nore does the plethora of reports which have said that the economy will be much better than expected in 2011. Of course that may be a bunch of hype; some people on the hill are saying that we are likely to see a much worse economy in 2011 for a number of reasons and where rates go will depend on what actually happens. Truth be told, we'd all be better off with higher rates which usually means a stronger economy and jobs - I'll take 6.XXX% or more any day if it means abundant jobs and a strong economy - which it usually does.
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