Collingwood Group joins industry leaders to share forecasts for 2019
Collingwood Group joins industry leaders to share forecasts for 2019
“FHA and the GSEs are continuing to be important instruments of public policy,” said Tim Rood, chairman of The Collingwood Group, a Situs company, during a Mortgage Insights Speaker Series last week hosted by Altisource. Despite the central role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in today’s housing economy, “we need to reconcile the government’s motives and methods for achieving positive outcomes for renters and homeowners,” Rood said.
The event in Plano, Texas, featured a discussion among industry thought leaders on the topic of the “US housing market: Where do we go from here?” Rood was joined by Ed Delgado, The Five Star Institute President and CEO, and Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President of Carrington Mortgage Holdings. The panel discussed the conservatorship of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), macroeconomic conditions in the housing market, rising interest rates and predictions for 2019.
“We are honored to have three of the most respected voices in our space join us for this fun lunch. Ed, Rick, and Tim have all proven to be entertaining, thought-provoking panelists and we are confident our guests will walk away with good knowledge and a smile on their face,” said Kevin Cooke Jr., Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at Altisource.
To read the complete coverage of the event from DS News, click here.
Measuring delinquency and foreclosure recovery
Urban Institute recently released its “Housing Finance at a Glance” Monthly Chartbook, a measure of housing market indicators including prices and interest, as well as affordability and delinquency.
According to the Chartbook, total debt and mortgages was stable at $10.7 trillion, while household equity reached a new high of $16.0 trillion bringing the total value of the housing market to $26.7 trillion.
As a measure of market size, Urban Institute looked at debt in private-label securities. The private-label securitization market totaled $451 billion. When split between loan types, it translated to prime (17.4 percent), Alt-A (36.7 percent), and subprime (45.8 percent) loans. Outstanding securities agency market totaled $6.5 trillion and were 43.4 percent Fannie Mae, 27.3 percent Freddie Mac, and 29.2 percent Ginnie Mae.
According to the report, 30-year fixed rate mortgages were the most popular mortgage origination product, making up 87.7 percent of originations in July 2018, followed by 15-year fixed rate mortgages at 4.5 percent, and adjustable rate mortgages at 6.1 percent. ARMs have been on a decline since December 2013, when they hit a high of 12 percent.
Read more: DS News
New bill clarifies VA mortgage eligibility in Ginnie Mae securities
An effort to address an unexpected glitch in legislation designed to shield military service members from predatory lending passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, but its future in the Senate is unclear.
H.R. 6737, The Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2018, is designed to amend a sentence in the National Housing Act of 1934 to allow recently executed loans refinanced by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to maintain their eligibility for pooling in Ginnie Mae securities. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), passed the House in a voice vote with no objections.
“Ensuring certainty in the market and access to affordable mortgages for our nation’s veterans is the least we can do as they transition into civilian life,” said Zeldin.
Also offering praise was Robert D. Broeksmit, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, who noted the bill should “help to ensure the confidence in the VA home loan program that is necessary for it to remain a viable choice for the nation’s service members and veterans.”
Read more: National Mortgage Professional
U.S. housing market faces ‘5-percent’ test
The US housing market, already struggling with tight inventory and rising building costs, faces a fresh headwind as 30-year mortgage rates rise close to the 5 percent threshold for the first time in years.
Even as home prices have climbed steadily thanks largely to a lack of supply of homes for sale, housing affordability has remained relatively stable thanks to historically low borrowing costs.
But that is changing. Mortgage rates have surged to 4.97 percent from 4.23 percent in January, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Including fees, most 30-year mortgage costs have reached 5 percent or higher.
The rise in mortgage rates so far this year means a potential homebuyer would pay about $35,000 more interest on a $220,000 loan over 30 years.
US borrowing costs have risen broadly as the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark lending rate from near zero three years ago to between 2.00 percent and 2.25 percent after the central bank’s policy meeting last week. It signaled rates would rise further in the months ahead.
Read more: Reuters
As vote nears, coalitions war over proposed rules for short-term rentals in D.C.
Short-term rentals available online became more popular in the District of Columbia after 2009, when Airbnb launched here. Now, almost a decade later, D.C. lawmakers are poised to formally regulate the practice through legislation that would limit the number of units that can be legally rented on a short-term basis.
The legislation follows action taken by other cities, including New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, to establish rules for short-term rentals. It would ban property owners from renting out homes other than their primary residences and restrict vacation rentals — those in which the host is absent from the property — to a maximum 90 days a year. The new proposal, first reported by the Washington Post last week, updates a bill that was introduced in early 2017.
Since its inception, the legislation has been controversial. Dozens of witnesses testified at a public hearing on the bill, in April 2017, that lasted for hours. Both proponents and critics of the measure have waged significant advertising campaigns around it while building diverse coalitions. The supporters include faith leaders, affordable housing advocates, and much of the local hotel industry, including union members; the opponents include short-term rental booking platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, travel and realtor groups, and some homeowners.
Read more: Curbed
Amazon partners with builders to put Alexa in new homes
Amazon is partnering with homebuilders to bring its Alexa voice assistant to more new housing units as a standard smart-home feature. The online retailer recently announced it has partnered with Plant Prefab, a California-based company that uses sustainable materials to build prefabricated single-family and multifamily homes. The move comes after Amazon introduced more than a dozen Alexa-controlled smart-home devices, including a microwave oven and doorbell.
“Voice has emerged as a delightful technology in the home, and there are now more than 20,000 Alexa-compatible smart-home devices from 3,500 different brands,” Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to support [Plant Prefab] as they make sustainable, connected homes more accessible to customers and developers.” Amazon also has partnered with Lennar, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, to preinstall Alexa in all of the builder’s new homes.
Read more: REALTOR Magazine
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