Are Manufactured Homes the Unlikely Answer to Housing Shortage?

Posted To: MND NewsWire

While housing starts have picked up in recent months, the lack of new construction has been called a crisis by Freddie Mac , state and federal policymakers, and consumer groups, adding as it has to an overall shortage of housing for both sale and rent. Urban Institute (UI) analyst John Walsh recently wrote in UI’s Urban Wire blog that one problem with 21 st Century homebuilding is that it still employs 20 th Century processes. These methods, that entail building largely on-site, make construction less efficient, exacerbate labor and weather issues, and are costlier than building off-site. Walsh quotes information gathered at a recent UI symposium “Reimagining Housing; Closing the Equity and Supply Gaps” which examined the benefits of and challenges to an increased use of off-site construction…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily

MBS Day Ahead: Balancing Data and Events Against Geopolitics

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Heading into the end of 2019, the easiest way to look at the bond market was through the lense of "consolidation." In other words, the trading range had been growing progressively narrower since September–so much so that a breakout seemed like it would be one of the first items on 2020's agenda. Why do we care about a consolidation and a breakout? Simply put, while bonds have been able to stay even flatter than this for even longer on a few occasions in the past, it's not normal and arguably not preferable. An absence of healthy movement can create just as many complications as too much movement. So when we shift from a static, confused, uncertain, narrow trading range, what follows is often a higher energy move in one direction or the other. It's hard to say if January…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily

Marketing, Pricing, Strategy Tools; Upcoming Events and Training

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Money attracts criminal activity. I know that isn’t late-breaking news, but here’s a scam I hadn’t heard of involving, once again, real estate and appraisers. The good news is that when a landowner permanently protects pristine land from development, they’re eligible for a charitable deduction for the “conservation easement.” The bad news is that someone thought up syndicating the deal: A promoter buys the land, find an appraiser who’s willing to say it’s got enormous value if developed, and then sell stakes to wealthy investors. When that “incredibly valuable” land is then protected, all the rich investors get a juicy tax write-off on the hypothetical value of the land they were never going to develop as high as $4 for every $1 invested…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily

MBS RECAP: Bonds Backpedal But Mostly Hold Recent Gains

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The Treasury market was on the back foot today as investors lightened holdings ahead of a busy week of bond market supply. A renewed risk-tolerance was also in play as the weekend failed to generate any headlines that pointed to major escalation in US/Iran tensions (something that hit stocks and helped bonds at the end of last week). There were no significant economic reports and no major market movers in the news. Bonds nonetheless managed to have some ups and downs (in yield)–mostly ups after 10am ET. It's safe to assume that traders are still slowly flooding the market with new-for-2020 trading positions and that this process carries a fair amount of market movement potential regardless of the news cycle or economic data. Today, it left bonds just slightly weaker, although that was…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily

Mortgage Rates Continue Deeper Into Recent Lows

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved lower again today, bringing them deeper into the lowest levels in more than a month. There were no specific motivations for the improvement apart from the typical day-to-day changes seen in the underlying bond market. More simply put, mortgage rates move when bonds move, and the latter can frequently be seen reacting to some development in the news or in response to a specific economic report. Today, however, bonds showed no clear predisposition to move higher or lower. That’s a good thing considering Friday’s movement was largely friendly for rates and that lenders were being somewhat cautious about dropping rates as quickly as the bond market suggested. Starting tomorrow morning, there will be more data for bonds to digest. If it’s generally weaker than expected or if…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily

Online Homebuyer Course Could Help Borrowers Qualify

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Freddie Mac is announcing it has put a critical homebuyer education course online. The new tutorial, called CreditSmart® Homebuyer U is free and its successful completion satisfies the HomeOne SM or Home Possible ® mortgage homeownership education requirement. CreditSmart Homebuyer U offers six educational modules, each focused on a key learning principle relating to money management, credit, getting a mortgage, the homebuying process and preserving homeownership . It is the latest addition to the CreditSmart “suite” of financial and homeownership education curricula that have been in place for the last 18 years. “Becoming a homeowner is an important responsibility and Freddie Mac is committed to providing the tools and resources to ensure a successful path toward sustainable homeownership…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily

New Home Sales are Stronger in Growing Cities

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Depending on how you look at it, either Texas and Florida or Nevada and Idaho were the fastest growing states in 2019. Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist says that in terms of sheer numbers the first two grew dramatically, with Texas adding 367,000 more residents and Florida’s population increasing by 233,000. Percentage wise, the two smaller states each grew by more than 1.7 percent. In terms of new home sales, it is clearly the big numbers that count and the two states that have seen the largest population gains have also seen the most robust sales. The two metro areas with the largest number of new home sales were Dallas and Houston and Texas and Florida together claimed six of the top ten spots. Growth in new home sales was not limited to big population centers, however. Nothaft…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily

MBS Week Ahead: 2019's Questions Quickly Being Answered in 2020

Posted To: MBS Commentary

For the bond market, almost the entirety of the 2nd half of 2019 was dominated by a consolidation pattern (a narrowing trend where periodic highs and lows in rates move closer and closer together). As recently as the beginning of last week, that consolidation trend was still very much intact, but it began to come into question after the gains inspired by US/Iran geopolitical tensions. With bonds holding those gains over the weekend, we suddenly find ourselves in a situation where the boundaries of that consolidation are arguably being broken. Granted, there are a few different ways to place the lower line. For instance, we could opt to use a line that connects the greatest number of lows, or simply the lowest lows. But in either case, those lines are now broken. The only one that remains is…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily

Non-QM, Subservicer Review Products; Wholesale and Correspondent Changes

Posted To: Pipeline Press

“Rob, I know that it costs less to retain an existing employee than to train a new one. Last year companies were reportedly paying big signing bonuses, but are you hearing about outlandish retention bonuses for production staff?” Yes, I am hearing about those. And anyone offered anything unusual will often ask management, “Why aren’t you putting this money into my daily pricing, improved technology, Ops staff salaries, or the company’s marketing budget?” Speaking of personnel, this commentary has plenty of job opportunities. Every employer has a decision to make regarding having each position work remotely or be in the office. There are pros and cons to each. Every HR person should read this article about making remote employees more productive . After all…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily

Lowest Mortgage Rates in a Month

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates have been on a solid run over the past few weeks–a time that tends to see the chips fall where they may in terms of market movement (especially for rates). Yesterday and today were really the first two days since December 18th that have seen any semblance of business as usual for rates traders. Even then, much of the participation was drawn out by geopolitical risks surrounding the flare-up in US/Iran relations after a drone strike killed Iran’s top general. Mortgage rates have been edging lower for nearly 2 weeks and are now at their lowest levels in exactly 1 month. The gap between the highs and lows during that time isn’t huge. Worst case, rates were 1/8th of a percent higher on December 20th. Either way, rates are historically low with the average lender under 4% for top…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News Daily