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  • Millennials Differ in Housing Preferences, But Not by Much

    With the huge Millennial generation finally buying houses, the National Association of Home Builders has taken a deep dive into their various preferences for where and how they are going to live.  Last year it conducted the fourth in a series of buyer preference surveys, adding to data collected in 2007, 2012, and 2015.  A report by Paul Emrath analyzes those choices, how they differ across age groups and changed as those groups have aged. Some of the survey's findings specific to Millennials, which they define as those currently 23 to 39 years of age, is that they prefer to buy new homes built for sale rather than those that are custom built and, while most prefer to buy in the suburbs there is an increasing desire to live in central cities.

  • AVM or Appraisal – Who Wins?

    AVM or Appraisal – Who Wins?

    The post AVM or Appraisal – Who Wins? appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • Treasury Report Sparks Rumors of Fannie/Freddie Liberation

    Sources are telling Bloomberg that a report on the White House's plan to release Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) from their 11-year long conservatorship has landed on the desks of several agencies and is also in the hands of Lawrence Kudlow, head of the National Economic Council.  Bloomberg staff say this is a sign the report is getting closer to being released publicly.

    The two mortgage giants were placed in conservatorship with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in August 2008 after they incurred large losses through mortgage defaults during the housing crisis. Over the next four years they each drew substantial operating funds from the Treasury, but both returned to profitability in 2013 and have earned billions of dollars since.  All of their profits except for a relatively small buffer has been swept into the Treasury as dividends.  The companies have not been allowed to rebuild capital nor have the payments to Treasury reduced any of their massive debt.

  • Junes New Home Sales Revision Was a Post-Crisis Record

    The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said sales of newly constructed homes fell 12.8 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000 units.  Forecasts pinned that number at 645k.  While missing the mark by 10,000 units and a 12.8 percent drop sound fairly significant, context is hugely important in this case. 

    The 635k number constitutes a 4.3 percent improvement from the same month last year.   But this data is prone to heavy revisions, and that's where the story gets better for the housing market this month.  July's 635k may or may not be revised.  What we do know is that June's number was revised in rather grand fashion--nearly 14 percent higher than the initial reading.  With that, June was 20.9%higher than May, and logged an annual pace of 728,000 units--the highest level since 2007. 

  • CFPB Says No Appraisal Needed on Homes $400k and Under

    CFPB Says No Appraisal Needed on Homes $400k and Under

    The post CFPB Says No Appraisal Needed on Homes $400k and Under appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • Low Rates "Nudged" Existing Home Buyers NAR says

    Existing home sales returned to an upward track in July after dipping 1.7 percent in June.  The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said pre-owned single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and cooperative apartments sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.42 million units during the month, a 2.5 percent increase from the 5.270-million-unit rate in June.  The July sales were 0.6 percent higher than the 5.39 million pace set in July 2018, the first time this year that 2019 sales exceeded those a year earlier. Sales were toward the high end of the range of estimates from analysts polled by Econoday, 5.25 million to 5.50 million and beat the consensus estimate of 5.39 million units.

     

  • July Delinquency Rate Lowest in Almost 20 Years

    Black Knight said on Thursday that the national delinquency rate fell back by 7.27 percent in July, erasing last month's increase that was caused in party by the calendar.  The new rate, 3.46 percent of all active mortgages, is the lowest of any July in the company's records that date back to 2000. That information was included in Black Knight's "first look" at July's loan performance metrics most of which show continuing improvement in mortgage loan delinquencies.  The number of mortgages that were 30 or more days past due during the month, excluding those in foreclosure, was 1.8 million, a decrease of 143,000 since June.  

  • Loan Closing Rates Hit Record High

    There was a dramatic drop in the average note rate for loans originated in July and the refi share of those originations rose significantly.  The July Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae shows a seventh consecutive monthly drop in the 30-year note rate on closed loans from 4.40 percent in June to 4.18 percent in July.  Refinancing responded, the share of those loans jumped to 38 percent of all loans from 31 percent the previous month, driving the purchase share to 62 percent from 69 percent. The higher refinance share applied to all product types

  • Zillow Lays it ALL on the Line

    Zillow Lays it ALL on the Line

    The post Zillow Lays it ALL on the Line appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • Fannie Says More Rate Cuts on the Way

    Fannie Says More Rate Cuts on the Way CLICK HERE to ATTEND BRIAN’S WEBINAR

    The post Fannie Says More Rate Cuts on the Way appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • New Fair Housing Rule Eases Defense of Disparate Impact Claims

    Monday's edition of the Federal Register featured a proposed rule that, depending on your viewpoint, would amend the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) interpretation of the Fair Housing Act's disparate impact standard, (HUD) or "make a major change to a well-settled standard on how the agency and the courts review claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act of 1968" (Urban Institute.) The announcement from HUD says its proposed rule would provide more appropriate guidance on what constitutes unlawful disparate impact to better reflect the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

     

  • Refinancing Wave Continues; Lenders May Have Capacity Restraints

    The volume of mortgage applications continued to be shored up by refinancing during the week ended August 16, but overall activity was down. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index slipped 0.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, perhaps not surprising after it soared 21.7 percent the previous week.  On an unadjusted basis the Index fell by 2.0 percent following a 27 percent gain during the week ended August 9. The Refinance Index managed a slight 0.4 percent gain from the previous week and was 180 percent higher than the same week one year ago

  • Share of Custom Home Construction Remains Flat

    Residential construction has been famously slow for several years and some new analysis of Census data by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that the lack of robustness is shared in the custom home sector.  In an Eye-on-Housing blog article, Robert Dietz, NAHB Senior Vice President and Chief Economist says custom home building has been effectively flat over recent quarters. In the second quarter of this year the Census Bureau recorded a total of 49,000 custom home starts, a tiny decline from 50,000 in the second quarter of 2018.  Dietz says the last four quarters, custom housing starts totaled 169,000, down 1.7 percent compared to the prior four quarters (172,000). 

  • Fannie Mae Predicts Two Additional 2019 Rate Cuts, Here's Why

    Fannie Mae used a fair number of trade-offs in while coming up with its revised outlook for the real gross domestic product (GDP) this year.  The company's economists, headed by Chief Economist Doug Duncan, upgraded its full year forecast from 2.1 percent to 2.2 percent while at the same time painting a darker picture for the second half of the year.  Second quarter growth beat expectations, according to Fannie's August Economic Developments report, largely because of strong consumer spending which is expected to have continued into this quarter.  Nonresidential fixed investment and government spending are expected to weaken however, so the third quarter GDP has been downgraded from 1.9 percent to 1.8 percent. 

  • Realtors vs Builders

    Realtors vs Builders

    The post Realtors vs Builders appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • New Home Sales Expected to Reflect Interest Rate Trend

    New home purchases are expected to be significantly higher in July according to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).  Its monthly Builder Application Survey (BAS), indicates that applications for new home purchase mortgages increased by 11 percent month-over-month and were up 3.2 percent from July 2018. These estimates do not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

    "July's strong new home sales increase on a monthly and annual basis was driven by the ongoing decline in mortgage rates, combined with steady housing demand and a still-healthy job market," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "The average loan size decreased last month, likely influenced by the increase in the first-time homebuyer share, as these buyers are likely to choose lower-priced, entry-level homes."

  • Builder Confidence is Good, But it Could be Better

    The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) moved one point higher this month. However, at 66, NAHB's measure of builder confidence in the new home market stayed within the 64 to 66 range where it has been now for four months.

     "While 30-year mortgage rates have dropped from 4.1 percent down to 3.6 percent during the past four months, we have not seen an equivalent higher pace of building activity because the rate declines occurred due to economic uncertainty stemming largely from growing trade concerns," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "Although affordability headwinds remain a challenge, demand is good and growing at lower price points and for smaller homes."

  • Barry Habib on Recent Bond Market Activity

    Barry Habib on Recent Bond Market Activity

    The post Barry Habib on Recent Bond Market Activity appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • More on the Non-QM Patch

    More on the Non-QM Patch

    The post More on the Non-QM Patch appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • New FHA Rule Will Ease Condo Approval Process

    The long-waited Federal Housing Administration (FHA) rule regulating condominium lending was finalized Wednesday afternoon.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the parent agency of FHA, published the final regulation and the policy implementation guidance establishing a new condominium approval process. As a way of background, under existing rules, to obtain an FHA mortgage a borrower must not only satisfy the lender and the FHA that he or she is a qualified buyer but must purchase a unit that is itself qualified for financing. 

     

  • Do Not Let Low Hanging Fruit Hang YOU

    Do Not Let Low Hanging Fruit Hang YOU

    The post Do Not Let Low Hanging Fruit Hang YOU appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • Loan Performance Responds to Slowing Economy, Natural Disasters

    Both the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and CoreLogic issued data on recent loan performance on Tuesday. For CoreLogic the Monthly Loan Performance Report covered May, MBA's National Delinquency Survey is for the second quarter of this year. MBA notes an increase in the overall seasonally adjusted delinquency rate to 4.53 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the quarter.  This is an increase of 11 basis points (bps) from the first quarter of this year and 17 bps from the second quarter of 2018. The share of loans that were 30 days or more past due increased by 4 bps to 2.62 percent, the 60-day rate was unchanged at 0.81 percent and the 90-day rate was up 7 bps to 1.10 percent.  Those numbers do not include loans in the process of foreclosure.

  • Refinance Spree Continues with Rates at Near 3-Year Lows

    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, rose 21.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended August 9.  MBA attributed the substantial decline in interest rates at the beginning of the week for the surge of applications which were concentrated on mortgage refinancing. The Composite Index rose 20 percent before seasonal adjustment.  Purchase mortgage applications were only slightly affected by the tsunami; that index rose only 1.9 percent from the previous week on an unadjusted basis and 1 percent before adjustment.  The unadjusted index was 12 percent higher than during the same week in 2018. The Refinance Index however was up 37 percent from the previous week to its highest level since July 2016 and was 196 percent higher than the same week one year ago. 

  • QM Loans Going Away?

    QM Loans Going Away?

    The post QM Loans Going Away? appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • Fannie/Freddie Universal MBS Launch Has Been Seamless So Far

    After years of planning, the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac launched their uniform mortgage-backed security (UMBS) in early June. So far, the Urban Institute (UI) likes what it sees.  UI analysts Karan Kaul and Laurie Goodman say the early reaction of investors to the new instrument is encouraging.

    The UMBS is actually issued by the common securitization platform (CSP) which was developed jointly by the GSEs under the direction of their conservator and regulator the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).  The security is backed by mortgages guaranteed by one or the other of the GSEs.  Prior to the advent of the new security, each of the GSEs issued their own securities, each with its own securitization practices, terms, and prices. This was a situation that tended to disadvantage Freddie Mac.

  • Zillow Model Slammed by Steve Eisman

    Zillow Model Slammed by Steve Eisman

    The post Zillow Model Slammed by Steve Eisman appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • Zillow Continues Market Dominance

    Zillow Continues Market Dominance

    The post Zillow Continues Market Dominance appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • Jumbo Credit Access Increased in July

    The availability of jumbo mortgage loans increased in July, but not enough to offset tightening in credit access for other types of loans.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) dipped 0.4 percent compared to June to a reading of 189.0.  A decline in the MCAI, which was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012, indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. Two major component indices and two sub-indices make up the MCAI. The Government Index declined 1.0 percent month over month and the Conventional Index eked out a 0.1 percent gain. 

  • Recent Rate Cuts Bolster Refinance Pool

    Ever since mortgage rates began to move lower, Black Knight has devoted a big portion of its Mortgage Monitor, a monthly report on loan performance and other mortgage issues, to tracking the ebb and flow of the refinanceable loan population.  The company defines refinanceable as a loan where the borrower can qualify for a new loan with a credit score of 720 or higher and a maximum of an 80 percent loan to value (LTV) ratio AND could shave at least 75 basis points off of their current loan through refinancing.  

     

  • All We Can Say About Yelp Right Now I YIKES!

    All We Can Say About Yelp Right Now I YIKES!

    The post All We Can Say About Yelp Right Now I YIKES! appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • Home Price Picture Grows More Complex

    Anyone trying to make sense out of current data on the direction of home prices needs more than a calculator.  Every new report seems to dump more mud in the water, show price growth slowing, stabilized or driven higher by falling interest rates. This is understandable given the two-month lag-time of most price indices, but Wednesday's slightly more timely report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) doesn't add any clarity. The report on second quarter metropolitan home prices shows that most of those areas saw price gains during the reporting period with single-family median prices increasing in 91 percent or 162 of the 178 markets tracked.  That is up from 86 percent that saw increases in the first quarter.  

  • Home Purchase Sentiment Hits Record High

    There was an unusually large bump in Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) in July.  The company said strong positive responses to questions on the National Housing Survey (NHS) about job security and interest rate declines sent the index up 2.2 points compared to June. The HPSI, at a 93.7 reading, is up 7.2 points compared to the same time last year. Five of the six components of the NHS rose on a month over month basis and four were higher year-over-year.  The increase in the Index was primarily driven by an 8-percentage point increase in net positive responses to the question regarding confidence in job security.  Net positive responses were at 81 percent, 16 points higher than in July 2018.

     

  • Another Fast and Easy Brian Strategy That Works

    Another Fast and Easy Brian Strategy That Works

    The post Another Fast and Easy Brian Strategy That Works appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

  • Trade War Sparks Another Refinance Boom

    A sharp drop in mortgage rates helped the Market Composite Index break a 5-time losing streak during the week ended August 2.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, rose 5.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the previous week and was up 5.0 percent unadjusted. The increased volume was totally on the side of refinancing.  The Refinance Index was up 12 percent from the previous week and was a staggering 116 percent higher than during the same week in 2018.  Refinancing applications constituted 53.9 percent of the total, up from 50.5 percent during the week ended July 26.

     

  • Prices are Still Rising, Especially for Low-Cost Homes

    CoreLogic said on Tuesday that its Home Price Index (HPI) for June increased by 3.4 percent on an annual basis.  Rather than the steady decline in appreciation that has been evident for about a year, percentage gains are beginning to bounce around. The annual gain in April was 3.5 percent and in May the Index was up 3.6 percent.  There was a marked slowdown month-over-month basis, with prices up 0.4 percent compared to 0.9 percent in May. CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft commented, "Tepid home sales have caused home prices to rise at the slowest pace for the first half of a year since 2011. Price growth continues to be faster for lower-priced homes, as first-time buyers and investors are both actively seeking entry-level homes. 

  • Patch Expiration Will Hit Low Income and