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Delinquencies Continue to Decline but Forbearances Still a Concern
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 18:19:51 GMT

The national delinquency rate has fallen below 4.0 percent for the first time since COVID-19 started messing up the world. Black Knight, in its "first look" at September's mortgage performance data, says the rate in September, 3.91 percent, represents a reduction of more than 41 percent from September of 2020 and is 2.25 percent below the August level. Delinquencies have moved lower in 14 of the last 17 months. There were 2.068 million loans that were 30 or more days past due in September, not including loans in foreclosure. This is down 54,000 from the prior month and 1.474 million fewer past due loans than the prior September.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Big Jump in Home Sales--Impressive Considering The Lack of Supply
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 20:27:43 GMT

Existing home sales resumed an upward trajectory in September after dipping 2.0 percent in August. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said sales of pre-owned single-family houses, townhouses, condominiums, and cooperative apartments rose 7.0 percent in September, although this still left them 2.3 percent behind the pace in September 2020. Sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual level of 6 .29 million units, compared to 5.88 million the previous month and 6.44 million a year earlier.   Analysts polled by both Econoday and Trading Economics had expected sales to rise but undershot with consensus estimates of 6.03 million and 6.09 million units, respectively. The rate of single-family home sales rose by 400,000 month-over-month, a 7.7 percent increase, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, but this was down 3.1 percent from sales the prior September. Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 700,000 units, up 1.4 percent from 690,000 in August and 4.5 percent growth from one year ago....(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

New Home Purchase Applications Fall as Construction Costs Rise
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 14:22:14 GMT

The volume of applications for mortgages to purchase newly constructed homes plunged in September, falling 16.2 percent from the September 2020 level according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA's) Builder Application Survey (BAS.) Compared to August the volume of applications was down 4.0 percent. These changes are not seasonally adjusted. Based on the volume of applications and on assumptions regarding market coverage and other data, MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 843,000 units in September, a 3.5 percent decline from the August pace of 874,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, an estimated 66,000 newly constructed homes were sold during the month, down 7.0 percent from the estimate of 71,000 sales in August....(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Mortgage Application Volume Declines For Fourth Consecutive Week
Wed, 20 Oct 2021 14:20:53 GMT

Mortgage application volume fell sharply last week, the second decline of more than 6 percent in the past three weeks. Refinancing was down for the fourth straight week and the volume of purchase applications fell as well. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, which measures volume, was down 6.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier and 6.0 percent before adjustment. Refinancing led the way down. That index retreated by 7 percent from the previous week's level and was 22 percent lower than the same week one year ago. Refinancing still dominated the market, although that share of applications decreased to 63.3 percent of total applications from 63.9 percent the previous week. The Purchase Index was 5 percent lower week-over-week on both an adjusted and an unadjusted basis. It was down 12 percent compared to the same week one year ago.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

FHFA Announces Changes to Low Income Refi Programs and Appraisal Requirements
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 18:08:00 GMT

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) will be expanding their low-income refinance programs to include those making at or below 100 percent of an area's median income (AMI). The threshold on the programs is currently at 80 percent of AMI. Sandra L. Thompson, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced the change in her keynote address to the Mortgage Bankers Associations annual conference on Monday. Her agency, in monitoring the effects of the pandemic on different borrowers, found that, while many borrowers have taken advantage of the record low interest rates to refinance their mortgage, some population groups are at risk of being left behind. "We know through our long experience, including the Great Recession, that for those struggling with a mortgage, a meaningful payment reduction is the single greatest predictor of successful performance," she said.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Construction Numbers Fall Back from August Levels
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 14:36:42 GMT

Both permits and housing starts fell in September following an unanticipated increase the previous month. Where the August gains were driven primarily by strong multifamily construction activity, a decline in that sector hurt the September metrics. Permitting was especially weak, with the lowest seasonally adjusted annual rate since September 2020's nearly identical number. Permits were issued at a rate of 1.589 million compared to a revised rate of 1.721 million in August, a decline of 7.7 percent. The August permits were originally reported at a rate of 1.728 million. As noted, there was no change from a year earlier. The forecasts for permits from analysts polled by Econoday all exceeded the reported number, ranging from 1.620 million to 1.725 million units. The consensus from both Econoday and Trading Economics was a 1.680 million permitting rate.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

MBA Expects 2022 Plunge in Refis to Offset Purchase Gains
Mon, 18 Oct 2021 16:21:00 GMT

Members of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) are holding their annual convention in San Diego this week and the opening day was accompanied by the usual flurry of press releases including forecasts from the association's economists for the coming year. The projections, from Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Research and Industry Technology; Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting; and Marina Walsh, CMB, Vice President of Industry Analysis, are rooted in expectations of robust homebuyer demand from millennial households and those seeking more space. These factors and still-low mortgage rates will provide favorable tailwinds for the housing market next year. Headlining the forecast is growth of 9.0 percent in purchase mortgage originations in 2022. This would bring those originations to a new record of $1.73 trillion.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Supply Issues Aren't Hurting Builder Sentiment - Yet
Mon, 18 Oct 2021 16:19:56 GMT

Home builders apparently pushed aside current concerns about supply chain disruptions to display increased confidence in the new home market in October. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) which gauges that confidence rose 4 points this month to 80. However, NAHB economist Robert Dietz says that, despite the increase, "builders are getting increasingly concerned about affordability hurdles ahead for most buyers. Building material price increases and bottlenecks persist and interest rates are expected to rise in coming months as the Fed begins to taper its purchase of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed debt." He urged policymakers to focus on fixing supply chain issues to spur more residential construction and help ease upward pressure on home prices.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Forbearances Declining Faster, Plans Drop by 10%
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 17:32:20 GMT

The number of homeowners in forbearance receded at a brisk clip last week as the first wave of final expirations continues. Black Knight reports the number of active plans dropped by about 10 percent during the week ended October 12, a reduction of 143,000. This comes on the heels of a 177,000 drop the prior week. The declines were seen across all investor classes with the largest, 88,000, in the number of loans serviced for bank portfolios and private label securities (PLS). This lowered the forborne share of those loans by 19 percent. Twenty-two thousand FHA and VA loans exited the program along with 33,000 loans serviced for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the GSEs. At the end of the reporting period 1.25 million loans remained in COVID-19 related plans, representing 2.4 percent of the nation's 53 million active mortgages. The breakdown is 376,000 GSE loans, 1.3 percent of those totals, 485,000 FHA and VA loans (4.0 percent) and 386,000 portfolio/PLS loans (3.0). The loans have a combined unpaid principal balance of $233 billion....(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Foreclosure Filings Reflect End of Moratorium
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:18:51 GMT

As was probably inevitable, foreclosure files rose significantly in the third quarter of 2021 and appeared to accelerate in the last month of that quarter. The moratorium on foreclosures which was put in place in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic expired on July 31.ATTOM, in its Q3 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report says there were 45,517 foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions - during the quarter, a 34 percent increase from Q2 and 68 percent more than in the third quarter of last year. Over 19,000 of those filings occurred in September, 24 percent more than in August and slightly more than double (102 percent) the volume in September 2020. "Despite the increased level of foreclosure activity in September, we're still far below historically normal numbers," said Rick Sharga, executive vice president at RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company. "September foreclosure actions were almost 70 percent lower than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in September of 2019, and Q3 foreclosure activity was 60 percent lower than the same quarter that year. Even with similar increases in foreclosures over the next few months, we'll end the year significantly below what we'd see in a normal housing market."  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

"Good Time to Buy" Sentiment Erodes Further
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 14:55:26 GMT

Consumers continue to have divergent opinions about the current environment for buying and selling a home. Fannie Mae says its September National Housing Survey (NHS) found a slightly higher number of respondents who think it is a good time to sell while opinions about buying have grown increasingly negative. The company's Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI), based on responses to six questions on the survey, declined 1.2 points from August to 74.5 in September. Three of the survey components were down from the previous month and the index is 6.5 points lower than in September 2020....(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Refinance Share of Originations Back Above 50%
Thu, 14 Oct 2021 14:47:23 GMT

Refinancing again dominated mortgage originations in August after falling below a 50 percent market share in both June and July. ICE Mortgage Technology's Origination Insight Report put the refinancing share of closed transactions at 52 percent, up from 49 percent in July and 48 percent in June. Purchase loans dipped three percentage points from July to 47 percent of closed loans. The distribution of loans by product type was essentially unchanged from the prior month. Eighty percent of originations were conventional loans, up 1 point, while the FHA and VA shares were unchanged at 12 percent and 5 percent, respectively. The average 30-year note rate was 3.17 percent, down from 3.25 percent in July.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Mortgage Application Volume Barely Budges
Wed, 13 Oct 2021 14:31:14 GMT

The volume of mortgage applications ticked up last week for the first time in three weeks, but an uptick was the extent of it. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, increased 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier and was 0.4 percent higher on an unadjusted basis. Over the previous two weeks the index had lost an aggregate of 8.0 percent. The Refinance Index decreased 1 percent from the prior week and was 16 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 63.9 percent of total applications from 64.5 percent. The Purchase Index gained 2 percent week over week on both an adjusted and an unadjusted basis. It was down 10 percent compared to the same week in 2020....(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Affordability Actually Improved in August Despite Surging Prices
Tue, 12 Oct 2021 20:14:58 GMT

A new report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says housing affordability in the U.S. improved in August for the second straight month. NAR's Housing Affordability Index rose from 150.6 in July to 151.3 but was down from 165.8 the prior August. The month-over-month increase was the result of a 1.1 percent dip in the monthly mortgage payment and a more modest decline of 0.7 percent in the median income. However, on an annual basis the monthly mortgage payment was up 13.9 percent while family income increased by 3.9 percent. The effective 30-year fixed mortgage rate was down 11 basis points from August 2020 to 2.89% and the median existing-home sales price rose 15.6 percent from one year ago.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Over Half of Delinquent Homeowners Have Missed Six Payments
Tue, 12 Oct 2021 15:04:05 GMT

While the company estimates that about one million homeowners have not made a monthly mortgage payment in more than a year, CoreLogic says conventional measures of delinquency continue to retreat from pandemic highs. The national delinquency rate, the percentage of home mortgages that were 30 or more days past due in July, including those in foreclosure, was 4.2 percent. The previous July the rate was 6.5 percent and in February 2020, the month before COVID-19 hit the U.S., the rate was 3.6 percent. Early stage delinquencies, those 30 to 59 days past due, were at a rate of 1.1 percent in July, an annual decline of 0.4 percentage point. The rate of adverse delinquency, loans 60 to 89 days in arrears, declined from 1.0 percent in July 2020 to 0.3 percent. Serious delinquencies, loans 90 or more days past due, including those in foreclosure, dropped from 4.1 percent to 2.8 percent. CoreLogic says the serious delinquency rate, while still elevated, is the lowest since May 2020....(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

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