Refinance activity ends year on a low note

Newsletter - December 2022 There were no surprises when real estate data agency ATTOM released its Q3 Residential Property Mortgage Origination Report last month. Mortgage originations were down 47% from Q3 of last year-the sixth quarterly decrease in a row and the steepest annual drop since 2001. Mortgage rates that…

Read More
Housing market cooling, Realtors feeling the heat

Newsletter - November 2022 There's a chill in the air, and not because it's autumn. The housing market is cooling off fast, and some experts say winter is coming. Mortgage rates topped 7% last month while originations plummeted, and things aren't expected to turn around this year-or next. The Mortgage…

Read More
Mortgage rates rising, house prices dropping — eventually (probably)

Newsletter - October 2022 Mortgage rates have been flirting with 7% since late September - more than double the all-time low of 2.65% in January - pushed up primarily by the highest inflation we've seen in 40 years. Rates changing this quickly can have a "chilling effect" on homebuyers since…

Read More
From Housing Recession to Recession-Recession?

Newsletter - September 2022 After two quarters of economic contraction, economists are divided as to whether the U.S. is headed for a recession. But the housing industry is already there, some experts say. "Tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve and persistently elevated construction costs have brought on a housing…

Read More
Experts Say We’re on the Verge of a Housing Market “Meltdown”

Newsletter - August 2022 If the state of the housing market — and economy in general — has you feeling a bit queasy, you’re not alone. We’re facing a “perfect storm” for a 2008-type housing crisis, said Jose Torres, a senior economist for Interactive Brokers. “At this point, housing is…

Read More
Are a Housing Crash and Recession Imminent?

Newsletter - July 2022 After two years of a red-hot housing market fueled by low inventory and even lower interest rates, things seem to finally be cooling down. As the 30-year fixed rate hovers near 6%, "fewer people are getting mortgages, homes are sitting on the market for longer, and…

Read More
Are Increasing Adjustable-Rate Mortgages a Red Flag for Today’s Housing Market?

Newsletter - June 2022 With interest rates climbing and home prices still sky high, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are on the rise. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit 5.30% last month - compared to 3% a year ago - significantly increasing the cost of financing a home. In May 2021, the…

Read More
FHA Adds 40-year Loan Modification to COVID-19 Recovery Options

Newsletter - May 2022 Mortgage servicers can now offer a 40-year loan modification as part of the COVID-19 Recovery waterfall. For now, only borrowers with FHA Title II forward mortgages who were financially affected by the pandemic are eligible, and the option must be used in conjunction with a partial…

Read More
Housing Market 2022: No Relief in Sight for Buyers

Newsletter - April 2022 Virtually every real estate firm predicted that home price growth would slow down this year, but just a few months in, that consensus has fallen apart. Home prices surged an unsustainable 18.8% last year, fueled by a depleted inventory and record-low mortgage rates. But with interest…

Read More
2022 Forecast: Rising Mortgage Rates Ahead

Newsletter - March 2022 The 30-year mortgage rate topped 4% last month for the first time since 2019, and is expected to go higher before the year's over. Experts point to three factors behind rising mortgage rates: a recovering economy, the Fed winding down the buying of mortgage-backed securities, and…

Read More
Investment in Mortgage Tech Critical for 2022 and Beyond

Newsletter - February 2022 By now, most lenders have adopted mortgage tech that enables homebuyers to apply for loans online, but a shifting market demands even more investment in automation. The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts the 30-year fixed-rate could reach 4% before this year is over, which will reduce the…

Read More
Home Prices in 2022: Going Up, Says Zillow

Newsletter - January 2022 The hot housing market we saw in 2021 doesn't appear to be cooling off anytime soon. According to the Zillow Economic Research team, home prices in 2022 will continue to rise, keeping homeownership out of reach for some would-be homebuyers. Zillow predicts the price of homes…

Read More
Still No Spike in Foreclosure Rates as 2021 Winds Down

Newsletter - December 2021 Despite the federal moratorium ending months ago, foreclosure rates increased by just 2.6% in October, according to Black Knight's First Look report. Meanwhile, fewer homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments, with around 2 million loans at least 30 days past due in October - 1.45…

Read More
Will the New CFPB Director Bring Back the Bad Old Days?

Newsletter - November 2021 That sound you heard on Sept. 30 was the collective groan of the mortgage industry upon learning the Senate confirmed Rohit Chopra as CFPB director for the next five years. Experts in consumer finance expect Chopra to step up the agency's enforcement activities after Kathy Kraninger's…

Read More
Want to Pay Your Mortgage in Bitcoin? You Could Soon

Newsletter - October 2021 If you're one of the 13% of Americans who invests in cryptocurrency and you'd like to use it to make your mortgage payments, you're in luck. United Wholesale Mortgage, the second-largest mortgage lender in the country behind Rocket Mortgage, are aiming to let borrowers pay their…

Read More
Supreme Court Ends Federal Eviction Moratorium

Newsletter - September 2021 It's finally over. The federal eviction moratorium - initially set to expire more than a year ago - was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last month after a challenge from a coalition of landlords and real estate groups. The ban, which was passed as…

Read More
Foreclosure Ban Ends With Millions Still Behind on Mortgage Payments

Newsletter - August 2021 The federal eviction and foreclosure bans officially expired July 31, but protections are still in place to prevent people from losing their homes - or at least delay it for a bit longer. At the end of July, the Biden administration announced new loan modification and…

Read More
CFPB’s New Foreclosure Rule a “Bridge” for Borrowers

Newsletter - July 2021 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a new foreclosure rule last month that throws delinquent borrowers with federally backed loans a lifeline when federal forbearance programs end July 31. Effective Aug. 31 through Dec. 31, 2021, the new rule will give the 2 million homeowners who are…

Read More
Federal Forbearance Period Ending Will Test Mortgage Companies

Newsletter - June 2021 When June comes to an end, so will the federal foreclosure ban - and soon after, the forbearance programs set in place last year by the CARES Act. More than 2 million homeowners are still in those forbearance plans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, while another 1.8…

Read More
Here Comes the CFPB (Again)

Newsletter - May 2021 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued policy guidance and proposed new rules in April, signaling that it plans to prioritize mortgage-servicing oversight in the coming year. According to Reuters, the CFPB has been requesting data from servicers as to how they are handling forbearance programs…

Read More
What Will Happen to Mortgage Rates in 2021? Experts Weigh In

Newsletter - April 2021 On the heels of the best year in history for the mortgage industry, mortgage rates inched up by about 50 basis points in the first quarter of this year. The rise has prompted industry professionals, homeowners, and aspiring homeowners alike to wonder: What will happen to…

Read More
Mortgage Delinquency Rate Dips, But Record Highs Persist

Newsletter - March 2021 The mortgage delinquency rate dropped to 5.9% in January, dipping below 6% for the first time since March 2020, a -3.82% change month-over-month. An improvement, to be sure - but the bigger picture is more complicated. According to Black Knight's First Look at January 2021 Mortgage Data,…

Read More
What Can We Expect from Biden’s New CFPB Director?

Newsletter - February 2021 The day before his inauguration, President Joe Biden nominated veteran financial regulator Rohit Chopra to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. An ally of Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Chopra served as assistant director at the agency, where he was a fierce critic of how student-loan servicers handled struggling borrowers.…

Read More
Despite Another Foreclosure Moratorium Extension, Experts Predict Spike in 2021

Newsletter - January 2021 Foreclosures saw a significant drop last year. In fact, 80% fewer homes were foreclosed on in September 2020 compared to November of 2019. Under normal circumstances, that would be considered good news - but nothing about 2020 was normal. Unfortunately, the dip was not because fewer homeowners were…

Read More
5 Housing Market Predictions for 2021

Newsletter - December 2020 Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic challenges, 2020 was a banner year for housing, with price growth and home sales reaching new heights. Quick action by lawmakers helped people stay in their homes this year, but many of the protections laid out have either…

Read More