Housing Starts Reach Highest Levels Since 2006

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Residential construction recovered in March after a serious decline the prior month. The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said all three measures rose, with housing starts hitting a 15 year high . Some regional increases topped 100 percent. Permits for residential construction were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.766 million in March, a 2.7 percent increase from February’s rate of 1.720 million. The latter is an upward revision from the 1.682 million permits originally reported for February, erasing some of the near 11 percent loss originally reported. The permitting rate for the month was 30.2 percent higher than in March 2020. There was some disagreement among analysts polled by Econoday and Trading Economics in forecasting the month’s results…(read more)

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Housing Starts Reach Highest Levels Since 2006
Housing Starts Reach Highest Levels Since 2006

COVID-19 Forbearance Decline Hits Mid-Month Lull

Posted To: MND NewsWire

There was little change in the number of active forbearance plans over the past week, but Black Knight reminds, in its regular Friday report, that this it was simply another mid-month lull as servicers finished processing the prior month’s expired plans. Even so, the number of plans did decline for the seventh straight week , even if it was by a mere 1,000 loans or 0.04 percent. There are 380,000 plans set to expire at the end of April so Black Knight says the possibility remains of further improvement over the next two weeks. Even with the minimal decline of the past week, the number of outstanding plans is still down by 296,000 (11.4 percent) over the last month. As of April 13, there were 2.3M homeowners in COVID-19 related forbearance plans, representing 4.4 percent of all mortgage holders…(read more)

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COVID-19 Forbearance Decline Hits Mid-Month Lull
COVID-19 Forbearance Decline Hits Mid-Month Lull

New Home Purchase Applications Ramping up for Spring

Posted To: MND NewsWire

True to tradition, new home sales appear to have moved higher in March as the calendar closed in on the start of the spring market. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) estimates sales of newly constructed homes increased by 7 percent compared to February and are 12 percent higher than a year earlier. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns. Based on the application data, MBA forecasts that home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 714,000 units in March. This is a decline of 4.5 percent from the February rate of 748,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the forecast is for 72,000 new home sales in during the month, an increase of 10.8 percent from 65,000 sales in February. “New home purchase application activity is typically strong in March, and…(read more)

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New Home Purchase Applications Ramping up for Spring
New Home Purchase Applications Ramping up for Spring

Buyer Demand Provides Modest Boost to Builder Confidence

Posted To: MND NewsWire

New home builders seem to be slowly getting their mojo back. After recovering from the hit they took in the first days of the pandemic, they encountered labor shortages, supply chain issues, and rising material costs. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said that builder confidence in the new home market, driven by strong buyer demand, ticked up slightly this month with the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rising 1 point to 83. It is still down by 7 points from the all-time high it reached in November. Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist, said builders continue to face challenges in order to add much needed new homes to the market. While mortgage interest rates have trended higher since February and home prices continue to outstrip inflation, housing demand appears…(read more)

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Buyer Demand Provides Modest Boost to Builder Confidence
Buyer Demand Provides Modest Boost to Builder Confidence

Freddie Mac Sees Rates and Prices Leveling Off Through 2022

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Freddie Mac’s Economic and Housing Research Group finds a lot to like in the present economic environment. . The company’s quarterly forecast credits the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the easing of virus related restrictions, the passage of the American Rescue plan and its cash stimulus for households, as setting the stage for economic growth and sending consumer confidence to a post pandemic high in March. The labor market, while still needing to add 8.4 million jobs, put 916,000 on the books last month, the greatest gain since August. All in all, the report says conditions should remain generally favorable for the housing and mortgage market through 2022, although rising rates could provide headwinds that slow housing activity. The group predicts the 30-year fixed mortgage…(read more)

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Freddie Mac Sees Rates and Prices Leveling Off Through 2022
Freddie Mac Sees Rates and Prices Leveling Off Through 2022

Purchases Now Account For a Majority of New Mortgages

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Black Knight has launched a new monthly report covering mortgage origination activity as gathered through its Optimal Blue loan product and pricing engine. The company says its Originations Market Monitor will publish a series of key indicators drawn from Optimal Blue data as well as secondary market insight from Black Knight’s hedging platforms. The initial report covers activity for March and shows that at month’s end the average 30-year conforming rate had increased by nearly 60 basis points over the course of the month to 3.34 percent. Still, this was 20 basis points below the rate at the same point in 2020 . Average rates by loan product are shown below. “Recent – and sharp – upward movements in interest rates have shifted the mortgage originations landscape very quickly ,” said Black…(read more)

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Purchases Now Account For a Majority of New Mortgages
Purchases Now Account For a Majority of New Mortgages

Mortgage Applications Decline Further, High Costs Constraining Home Sales

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Higher interest rates drove the volume of mortgages applications lower again last week. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, decreased 3.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended April 9. On an unadjusted basis, the Index was down 3 percent compared with the previous week . The Refinance Index was 5 percent lower week-over-week and 31 percent below its level during the same week in 2020. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 59.2 percent of total applications from 60.3 percent the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dipped 1 percent on both an adjusted and unadjusted basis and was 51 percent higher than the same week one year ago. Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed Purchase Index vs 30yr…(read more)

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Mortgage Applications Decline Further, High Costs Constraining Home Sales
Mortgage Applications Decline Further, High Costs Constraining Home Sales

Mortgage Banks Report 2020 Financials Shattered Last Years Records

Posted To: MND NewsWire

While most of us couldn’t wait for 2020 to be over, it turns out to have been a superlative year for mortgage originators. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA’s) annual Mortgage Bankers Performance Report shows the profit independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made on each loan they originated was nearly three times their profit in 2019. Bankers made an average of $4,202 on each loan originated in 2020, up from $1,470 in 2019. While servicing profits were down, production profits more than compensated. Ninety-nine percent of the firms posted overall pre-tax net financial profits in 2020, compared to 92 percent in 2019 and only 69 percent in 2018. In basis points (bps), the average production profit (net production income) was 157 bps compared to 58 bps in…(read more)

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Mortgage Banks Report 2020 Financials Shattered Last Years Records
Mortgage Banks Report 2020 Financials Shattered Last Years Records

Delinquencies Post Fifth Month of Improvement

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The national delinquency rate posted its fifth consecutive decline in January, retreating to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. CoreLogic says 5.6 percent of all mortgages were at least 30 days past due during the month, including those loans in foreclosure. This was an increase of 2.1 points compared to the 3.5 percent rate in January 2021. The rate has been declining since August 2020. The early stage delinquency rate, the percentage of loans 30 to 59 days past due, is now lower than the pre-pandemic rate in January 2020, 1.3 percent versus 1.7 percent. The next most adverse bucket, loans 60 to 89 days past due, is down from 0.6 percent to 0.5 percent. The rate of serious delinquencies, those loans more than 90 days past due including loans in foreclosure, remains elevated…(read more)

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Delinquencies Post Fifth Month of Improvement
Delinquencies Post Fifth Month of Improvement

Fannie/Freddie Announce End Dates for QM Rules

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Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) have released information to their lenders confirming that any loans they purchase after July 1, 2021 must conform to the agreement made on their behalf in January by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) with the Department of Treasury, amending the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement (PSPA). Although there were several requirements in the amended PSPA designed to limit risk, last weeks letters were specifically concerned with the new qualified mortgage (QM) rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The revised PSPA specifically prohibits the GSEs from acquiring loans that do not meet this rule. This effectively ends the use of the temporary GSE qualified mortgage rule, better known at the “GSE Patch.” Under the patch, loans that…(read more)

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Fannie/Freddie Announce End Dates for QM Rules
Fannie/Freddie Announce End Dates for QM Rules