Mortgage interest rates on the 15-year and 30-year mortgages are down from last week, Freddie Mac reported.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased again this week, with declines totaling almost a quarter of a percent in two weeks’ time,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said.

For 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, the average interest rate was 6.74% this week, a decent drop from last week when rates averaged 6.88%. Rates aren’t down quite as much as last year when they were 6.6%, on average.

Additionally, 15-year mortgages averaged 6.16%, down slightly from last week when they averaged 6.22%. These mortgages also aren’t as low as last year when they averaged 5.9%.

“Despite the recent dip, mortgage rates remain high as the market contends with the pressure of sticky inflation,” Khater said. “In this environment, there is a good possibility that rates will stay higher for a longer period of time.”

If you want to take advantage of lowering interest rates, consider using Credible to help you easily compare interest rates from multiple lenders in minutes.


Spring likely to bring higher home prices

Warmer weather tends to bring a booming housing market as more homebuyers start looking for homes and inventory grows.

Sellers who list their homes in the spring and summer months often make more money when their home sells because the market is more competitive. A Zillow study found that June was the most profitable month for sellers. Homes listed in the first half of June sold for 2.3% more, on average, putting about $7,700 more in the pocket of sellers.

Location matters when it comes to selling power. In San Francisco, the best time to list is the second half of February, but the first half of July is the best time to sell in New York and Philadelphia.

Certain locations also boast even higher profits during warmer months. During the hottest time of the year, homes in San Jose sold for 5.5% more, boosting profits by $88,000 on an average home, according to Zillow. However, homes in San Antonio sold for just 1.9% more during the same time frame.

“Most sellers don’t have the luxury of timing the market,” Zillow Chief Economist Skylar Olsen said. “The best time to list is when it makes the most sense for their lives.” 

“Regardless of the month, sellers who list their home for sale this spring can expect plenty of interest if their home is marketed and priced right.,” she contined. “That’s why it’s more important than ever to hire a real estate agent with the experience to localize your strategy when comparable sales might be further afield.”

If you’re looking to compete with other buyers this spring, you can explore your mortgage options by visiting Credible to compare rates and lenders and get a mortgage preapproval letter in minutes.


To afford homes, buyers need higher incomes than they did a few years ago

Buyers are facing a tougher market than they did a few years ago. To comfortably afford a home, buyers need to make more than $106,000 annually, another Zillow study showed. This income requirement is 80% higher than in 2020.

Monthly mortgage payments are higher than ever and have doubled since 2020. Payments average $2,188, assuming the buyer puts 10% down. With such high prices, affordability has become a major issue. In 2020, households earning $59,000 annually could afford the median-priced home without spending more than 30% of their income.

The $106,000 income needed today is well above the average household income in the U.S. The average household earns about $81,000.

Some areas are more affordable than others and require a much lower income to afford the average-priced home. Pittsburgh buyers need to earn just $58,232 to afford the average home. Memphis residents need $69,976 and Cleveland residents need $70,810.

Costlier cities like San Jose and San Francisco require much more in annual income to afford a home. San Jose requires an average annual income of $454,296 while San Francisco requires $339,864, according to Zillow.

To see if you qualify for a mortgage based on your current credit score and salary, consider using Credible, where you can compare multiple mortgage lenders at once.


Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at [email protected] and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.


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Tennessee unfolds where the harmonious blend of tradition and innovation creates an inviting atmosphere for renters. From the lively streets of Memphis, known for its influential strains of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, to the scenic landscapes that define Knoxville, there is plenty to explore within the state’s cities. This ApartmentGuide article will we uncover the pros and cons of living in Tennessee to give you valuable insight on what life is like in the “The Volunteer State.”

Renting in Tennessee snapshot

Population 7,126,489
Avg. studio rent $1,110 per month
Avg. one-bedroom rent $1,106 per month
Avg. two-bedroom rent $1,261 per month
Most affordable cities to rent in Tennessee Seymour, Union City, Clinton
Most walkable cities in Tennessee Memphis, Cookeville, Knoxville

1. Pro: Rich musical heritage

Tennessee’s musical heritage is deeply rooted in genres such as country, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll, shaping the cultural identity of the state and attracting music aficionados from around the globe. Cities like Memphis and Nashville are meccas for music lovers, boasting iconic attractions like the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Beale Street, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, where visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history and sounds of Tennessee’s music scene.

2. Con: Weather extremes

Tennessee is susceptible to various natural disasters, including severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding, which can occur throughout the year. For example, the state’s location in the southeastern United States exposes it to the Atlantic hurricane season, leading to potential impacts from tropical storms and hurricanes. Additionally, Tennessee’s proximity to the New Madrid Seismic Zone presents risks of earthquakes, highlighting the diverse range of natural hazards.

3. Pro: Scenic beauty and outdoor activities

The state’s diverse landscape, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Mississippi River, provides a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of recreational activities year-round. In addition to hiking, fishing, and boating, Tennessee’s outdoor attractions include opportunities for camping, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing, attracting nature lovers from across the country. Whether exploring the lush forests of the Cumberland Plateau or rafting down the whitewater rapids of the Ocoee River, Tennessee’s natural beauty offers endless adventures for those seeking outdoor thrills.

4. Con: Allergen levels

Due to its diverse flora and changing seasons, Tennessee experiences high allergen levels especially in the western part of the state. This poses challenges for individuals with allergies, during the spring and fall seasons. The abundance of pollen from various trees, grasses, and weeds can exacerbate allergy symptoms, leading to discomfort and reduced quality of life for allergy sufferers across the state.

5. Pro: Low cost of living

Compared to many other states, Tennessee offers a lower cost of living, making it an attractive option for many people seeking affordability. This affordability is evident in housing, utilities, and groceries, allowing residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. For example, The median sale price in Memphis is $187,500 where as a one-bedroom apartment averages $1,062.

6. Con: Rural isolations

Rural isolation in Tennessee can pose challenges for residents living in remote areas, where access to amenities and services may be limited. For example, individuals in rural counties may have to travel long distances to access healthcare facilities or grocery stores, leading to inconvenience and potential delays in receiving essential services. Additionally, the lack of infrastructure and public transportation options in rural areas can exacerbate feelings of isolation.

7. Pro: Friendly communities

One of the pros of living in Tennessee is the presence of friendly communities, exemplified by tight-knit neighborhoods where neighbors regularly gather for block parties, potlucks, and community events. Additionally, these close-knit communities often organize volunteer initiatives and neighborhood improvement projects, enhancing the overall quality of life and sense of belonging for residents.

8. Con: Limited public transportation

In many parts of Tennessee, public transportation options are limited, making it difficult for those without personal vehicles to get around efficiently. This lack of accessible transportation can present significant challenges, particularly for individuals who rely on public transit to commute to work, attend appointments, or access essential services such as healthcare and grocery stores. Chattanooga, which has a transit score of 18 is a great example of a city with very limited public transportation.

9. Pro: No state income tax

One notable advantage of living in Tennessee is the absence of a state income tax, allowing residents to keep more of their earnings. This tax-friendly policy attracts individuals and businesses seeking to maximize their financial resources and improve their bottom line. As a result, Tennessee stands out as an appealing destination for individuals looking to minimize their tax burden and enhance their overall financial well-being.

10. Con: Humid summers

Tennessee experiences humid summers, characterized by high levels of moisture in the air, which can be uncomfortable for residents. The combination of heat and humidity often leads to sweltering conditions, making outdoor activities challenging and contributing to feelings of fatigue and discomfort. Additionally, the humidity can exacerbate respiratory issues and allergies, further detracting from the enjoyment of summer in the state.

11. Pro: Sports culture

Tennessee boasts a rich sports culture, with passionate fans rallying around teams in various disciplines such as football, basketball, and NASCAR racing. For instance, the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team enjoys unwavering support from fans, packing Neyland Stadium to capacity on game days. Moreover, Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena hosts exciting NHL hockey matches featuring the Nashville Predators, further adding to the vibrant sports scene in the state.

12. Con: Water contamination

Water contamination issues in Tennessee, such as pollution from industrial sites and agricultural runoff, pose significant concerns for residents’ health and environmental quality. For instance, the contamination of drinking water sources like the Tennessee River and groundwater aquifers can lead to elevated levels of toxins and pollutants, endangering public health and necessitating costly cleanup efforts.

Methodology : The population data is from the United States Census Bureau, walkable cities are from Walk Score, and rental data is from ApartmentGuide


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Recruiting, Loan Trading, TPO, Compliance Tools; FHA and USDA News; Fed Cuts Wanted, but Not Needed?

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Tue, Apr 2 2024, 11:53 AM

“I think it’s disgraceful that after 55 years, people don’t know who Neil Armstrong was… or even the type of trumpet he played.” Time flies. Did you know that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have their driver’s permits? I am kidding about the permit, but it has been 16 years since they were placed under conservatorship, under the FHFA. Of course, no regulator ever wants their job to go away, so it is doubtful that the FHFA will be an active proponent of “releasing them into the wild.” Besides, their focus has, in recent years, shifted to first-time home buyers and previously underserved markets. While we’re on the passing of the years, at a recent TMC session on leadership, First Community’s Keith Canter reminded everyone that it was four years ago that managers and companies sent everyone home due to the pandemic. Companies couldn’t hire fast enough. Two years later rates moved higher, and managers were dealing with layoffs. Since, management teams have been focused on what is working, what is not working, and what employees need from their supervisors. It is a good exercise to partake in several times a year. (Found here, this week’s podcasts are sponsored by Loan Vision. With Loan Vision, the mortgage banking industry’s premier mortgage accounting solution, you can take your accounting department from “cost center” to “revenue generator,” operating more efficiently and profitably. Hear an interview with Loan Vision’s Paul Loftus on the competitive landscape of the mortgage market and strategic direction of the mortgage accounting space.)

Lender and Broker Services, Products, and Software

Stay “in the know” with the MGIC’s Mortgage Connects knowledge hub, your single-source destination for 100s of resources and insights to build your referral network and educate homebuyers.

Your Legacy LOS May Be Costing You More Than You Realize! Let’s be honest: legacy mortgage solutions no longer cut it if you want to grow, and nurture, lasting relationships and key revenue opportunities. Today’s borrowers demand a fast, frictionless digital journey without sacrificing the personalized touch from their loan officer. 100 percent browser-based and cloud-native mortgage lending technology, such as MeridianLink® Mortgage LOS, is crucial to helping you attract and retain more business by prioritizing the borrower experience while reducing costs and enhancing ROI. Looking to make the switch but unsure where to start? Here are 5 questions to ask when beginning the search for a new mortgage LOS.

Free eBook: How to Lower Costs, Boost Profitability, and Surge Ahead of the Competition in 2024. Looking to improve your strategy as Q2 begins? By upleveling your plan, you can reduce fixed costs, improve your bottom line, and set the groundwork to win market share as volume begins to improve. Want to learn how? We spoke to senior members of the Maxwell team, each with decades of industry experience, and the result is our new eBook: an actionable guide that will teach you the likely path for rates and volume in 2024, strategies to bulk up your pipeline, why reevaluating your cost structure is vital to achieving profitability, and more. Get your free copy today to inform your 2024 planning: Click here to download Make More Out of ‘24: How to Win Market Share as Your Competition Lags.

“What do you need to know about fair lending compliance in 2024? That’s the question we answered in our recent webinar. With the HMDA submission window open, what better time to look at fair lending? In this new article, our team reviews the top 7 takeaways critical for your institution, including: Adverse Action Notices (AANs) are a cornerstone of your Fair Lending Compliance Program; Denying loans based on immigration status may violate ECOA protections; Don’t try to outsmart your borrowers; Marketing is critical to your fair lending lifecycle; Monitor pricing exceptions; Make sure you’re collecting HMDA/1071 data and reporting it correctly; and You must manage third-party and indirect fair lending compliance. Read the full article for more.”

“First Colony Mortgage Corporation (FCM TPO): Introducing our revolutionary mobile app and most robust TPO portal! Say goodbye to time-consuming tasks and hello to efficiency. With our app, manage your pipeline seamlessly, access pricing and loan information, and get the resources you need, all while on-the-go or in meetings with clients. We understand your needs and are committed to delivering the solutions you deserve. Here is what our brokers are saying, ‘I just registered a new purchase with you, and it was probably the easiest portal to lock a loan I’ve ever experienced,’ Danielle O.” FCM TPO is up and running with some of the most experienced Account Executives in the industry including Robb Fordham, Mike Meyers, Matt McGuinn, Marcus Korth, Velvet Cordes, Rex Hagood, Kurt McLaughlin, Tom Carroll, Angela Lewis, Brennan Baim, Roger Quandt, Cassie Quinn Mead, Ralph Mesa, Mike Antrim, and Chris Agin. If you are not approved with FCM TPO, please reach out.”

“Headed to Memphis April 16-18 for the Great River MBA Conference (GRC24)? The Optimal Blue team would love to connect and discuss your Q2 goals! This year, our capital markets solution specialist, Brad Eskridge, will join in the 7-in-7 presentation on April 17. In this seven-minute presentation, he will showcase how Trade Assistant, available in Optimal Blue’s CompassEdge hedging and loan trading platform, can add next-level precision, enhanced accuracy, and increased speed to your hedging process, making it all but foolproof! After the session, visit Brad and the Optimal Blue team at Booth 20 in the Peabody Grand Ballroom to learn how our capital markets solutions can help you operate more profitably and efficiently. Better yet, schedule a personalized meeting with our experts to discuss your business goals and current challenges!”

Loan officers are the lifeblood of any successful lender. Lenders who can recruit and retain talented producers will be able to ensure an active pipeline and exceed their revenue goals. Competition and compliance challenges in the current market demand that you set up a scalable recruiting function to target the right talent that aligns with your business. Join Total Expert on Wednesday, April 17 as we sit down with InGenius CEO Jeff Walton to discuss strategies for identifying, engaging, and converting loan officers who are the right fit for your business. Save your digital seat.

FHA and USDA Updates

FHA published in the Federal Register (FR), Mortgagee Review Board: Administrative Actions [Docket No. FR-6455-N-01]. The FR Notice provides a description of, and the cause for, the Mortgagee Review Board’s administrative actions against HUD-approved mortgagees in 54 fact-based cases; five cases where mortgagees failed to timely obtain a required Unique Entity Identifier; and 15 mortgagees that had annual recertification violations and were withdrawn from the program for one year. Read the entire FR Notice by viewing the Mortgagee Review Board: Administrative Actions.

Pennymac is aligning with the recent USDA changes to technical Handbook 1-3555 Chapter 8. Effective 4/1/2024. For details, view Pennymac Announcement 24-29.

Pennymac will update Government LLPAs effective for all Best-Efforts Commitments taken on or after Friday, March 29th. Details shown in Pennymac Announcement 24-32.

DPA Direct by Unified Reliance Wholesale (URW) is a 100 percent financing option pairs a primary FHA loan with down payment assistance in the form of a second lien. This means more homebuyers can take advantage of the benefits of an FHA loan without having to come up with a 3.5 percent down payment. And better yet, this program is available in most states*, unlike some location-specific assistance programs. *Not available in MA, NJ, or NY.

Capital Markets

Market reaction to the inflation numbers from Friday, which showed core prices in February cooled relative to the spike observed in January while personal spending rose more than anticipated on the heels of the largest gain in wages in the past year, was a little sour to open this trading week. Bonds and MBS prices were down, and thus rates moved up toward their highest levels of 2024.

Both that report and yesterday’s data releases from the manufacturing sector supported ongoing hawkishness among Federal Open Market Committee officials. The S&P Global U.S. Manufacturing PMI dipped slightly in the final reading for March while the ISM Manufacturing Index unexpectedly returned into expansion. U.S. manufacturing expanded in March for the first time since 2022 on a sharp rebound in production and stronger demand, while input costs climbed.

Keep in mind that March nonfarm payroll employment data will be the headline this week. Growth likely decelerated in March, holding the unemployment rate unchanged and indicating the modest margin of slack in the economy is slowing wage growth to a pace more typical of a balanced job market. We learned yesterday that total construction spending, which was expected to have risen, declined 0.3 percent during February, the second consecutive monthly drop. Construction spending was expected to be buoyed by single-family construction and non-residential building subsidized by government incentives for renewables and semiconductor reshoring.

Fed Chair Powell reminded market participants at the end of last week that the Fed is in no hurry to begin cutting rates. He mentioned that there might be some seasonal noise in Q1 data as it encompasses more than just inflation and perhaps Q4 was understated which makes January and February overstated. Bond traders are now pricing in fewer Fed rate cuts this year, and the solid U.S. factory data reinforced speculation the central bank will be in no rush.

The odds of a first cut in June are moving down toward 50 percent, while three 25 basis point cuts for 2024 (at the June, September, and December FOMC meetings) are currently pricing in as the highest probability. Fed Governor Waller echoed Chair Powell’s comments yesterday, saying there is no rush to lower interest rates and emphasizing that recent economic data warrants delaying or reducing the number of cuts this year.

Today’s economic calendar gets under way shortly with Redbook same store sales for the week ending March 30, and will be followed by February factory orders, JOLTS job openings, several short-duration Treasury auctions, and a litany of Fed speakers (all current FOMC voters). After the bearish mood yesterday sent the 10-year yield climbing 12 basis points to 4.33 percent, we begin Tuesday with Agency MBS prices worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 4.35; the 2-year is up to 4.72.

Jobs and Transitions

Are you an experienced mortgage banking professional with a passion for building and leading high-performing teams? An ongoing mortgage banker is seeking a talented individual to join its Northern California team as the Vice President of Mortgage Banking, ideally in, or within driving distance of, the Greater Sacramento area. In this role, you will have the opportunity to shape the future of the company’s mortgage banking division and drive growth through strategic recruitment and operational excellence. The company is looking for a leader with the ability to drive production, to work closely with operation management to build a streamlined process and provide overall management. If you are a dynamic leader with a strategic mindset and a passion for excellence, you’re invited to apply for the VP of Mortgage Banking position. Take the next step in your career and join in shaping the future of mortgage banking. Apply now to be considered for this exciting opportunity: send me your confidential resume for forwarding.

“It’s 1999: Californication and Slim Shady dominate the charts, the iconic films Fight Club and The Matrix are released, Serena Williams wins her first Grand Slam to kick off an outrageous career and with inspiring greatness being born all around Seth Fass founds East Coast Capital. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, East Coast Capital has scored incredible victories for clients to achieve their homeownership goals. Once a small broker, NY-Based East Coast Capital is now a licensed bank across the nation, approved with Fannie, Freddie, and FHA and also specializes in underwriting Non-QM loans. Committed to providing homeowners access to capital and supporting loan officers with a diverse range of products and common-sense approach to underwriting, the movies and songs may have fallen off the playlist and Serena has retired from the courts, but born among the best, East Coast Capital still remains! Ready to Join? Email us.”

Homecomings Mortgage & Equity, a division of AnnieMac Home Mortgage, is thrilled to announce Rocky Bergante’s appointment as the new Regional Manager based in Chicago. Rocky brings an impressive track record of over 25 years in the mortgage industry. His strategic planning, sales, and growth expertise have led to remarkable achievements. His recent roles include SVP of National Business Development at Amres Corporation and VP of Sales for Interfirst Mortgage. “Rocky’s past success in growing teams is evidence of what Rocky will do at Homecomings,” said Fobby Naghmi, SVP at Homecomings Mortgage & Equity. “We are eagerly anticipating the innovative strategies and exceptional leadership he will bring to our company. “Rocky’s appointment marks a significant step in Homecomings Mortgage & Equity’s journey toward excellence and innovation in the mortgage sector. Mortgage professionals interested in exploring opportunities with Homecomings Mortgage & Equity are encouraged to Fobby.

“AFR Wholesale® is on an exhilarating growth trajectory, and on the lookout for forward thinking Sales and Operations Leaders. Are you a modern mortgage leader with a knack for crafting strategies that turn customers into raving fans and elevate the experience beyond expectations? Then you’re exactly who we need to steer our expanding team towards unparalleled success. At AFR, we value leaders who are leveraging technology to battle the complexities of the industry but are also passionate about making homeownership dreams a reality. As an equal opportunity employer, we’re dedicated to fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment. Joining AFR means being part of a dynamic team that’s dedicated to helping families achieve their dream of homeownership. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to be part of AFR’s growth journey and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Want to have a confidential discussion about your career? Email us.”

 Download our mobile app to get alerts for Rob Chrisman’s Commentary.


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HELOC, 2nd Mortgage, Pre-Qual, LOS, QC Tools, Dept. of Labor, PrimeLending, and Whistleblowing

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Thu, Mar 28 2024, 11:50 AM

Here’s a tip of the day for anyone manning a conference booth: instead of a pen, or mouse pad, how about a locally made treat? Hats off to Aimee, Bobby, and Mark from Byte Software who earlier this week at the TMC event had chocolate-covered Oreos from a local bakery. Technology was a big topic at TMC… Technology thoughts from 50 years ago? Here you go. (There’s definitely a school of thought which believes that the iPhone changed tech overnight. Almost 20 years later, nothing else has come close.) Vendor news seems to be at every conference, and capital markets staff are certainly big users of tech. At the TMC enclave secondary marketing folks often gravitate toward each other, “shooting the breeze” about odds and ends. For the most part, no one thinks they earn a living by making predictions, instead providing accurate information to other managers and owners, and acting as an advisor about loan profitability, leakage, concessions, and margins. Capital markets staff are also involved in LO and executive recruiting efforts, and in developing strong product offerings to help the company be successful. (Found here, this week’s podcasts are sponsored by Stavvy. Stavvy offers a flexible and fully customizable loss mitigation solution. Servicers can easily adapt to regulatory updates and market conditions, providing a seamless, customer-centric digital experience. Today’s has an interview with AmeriCatalyst’s Toni Moss about the Extreme Climate, Housing and Finance Leadership Summit on April 18-19, in Washington, DC.)

Lender and Broker Services, Products, and Software

“Real estate valuations continue to be complex and ever-evolving, especially today with proposed regulatory changes and unpredictable market dynamics. Creating an effective valuation strategy is vital for lenders to manage risk and streamline operations. Attend our complimentary webinar to learn all about the world of automated valuation models (AVMs). You’ll find out why AVMs are considered a credible, objective option for collateral risk management, how they can help your business (from lead generation and portfolio management to cost reduction and more), and when to use an AVM to address challenges in the current valuation landscape. The webinar hosted by ICE is “When, Why and How AVMs Drive Business Performance” and will be on Wednesday, April 10, at 2 p.m. ET. Save your seat now: register today.

“Step by Step Quality Control Plan Checklist: Comprehensive Guide for Financial Institutions. By following this guide, financial institutions can not only enhance their operational excellence but also strategically minimize their risk exposure. Throughout this comprehensive guide, we dissect each facet of the QC plan, providing valuable insights, practical recommendations, and actionable steps. Our checklist aligns with industry requirements and best practices, ensuring lenders remain steadfast in their commitment to quality within the ever-evolving landscape of financial services. Access Guide.

Many industry vendors talk a good game when it comes to partnering with lenders, but there is a difference between treating a client like a partner and making them feel like a prisoner. Restrictive long-term contracts and financial penalties for not going live or for trying to exit failed implementations are hurting lenders and servicers. These developers make it difficult or impossible for the lender to move to a new, modern system. Lenders deserve better. You won’t get treated that way by MortgageFlex, the creators of the industry’s first cloud-native, unified system for origination and servicing. A re-engineered LOS built by developers that lenders have trusted for 40 years and the industry’s best new software platform operating on the same database makes this the must-see software. See it today.

Why do those in the mortgage space watch the 10-year U.S. Treasury note? Historically, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield has been considered a key benchmark for mortgage rates. Mortgage rates, however, are not actually based on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note (as is commonly believed). MCT released a blog, “How the 10-Year U.S. Treasury Note Impacts Mortgage Rates” that serves as an excellent primer for how mortgage interest rates respond to moves of the benchmark U.S. Treasury note. The piece discusses why mortgage rates and Treasury yields move together and how bonds are influenced by Treasury yields. With a trusted capital markets partner like MCT, you can rest assured that you will be notified of how economic trends could have the potential to impact your business. Sign up for MCT’s newsletter to receive educational articles like this one and learn more about variables that impact mortgage rates.

Sending your borrowers off on their home search hoping they reach out when they need you is one way to do things. Sending them with a QuickQual that lets them run payment scenarios and generate a letter when they’re ready to submit an offer is another. Check out a sample QuickQual if you’re interested in the latter.

Correspondent and Broker Products

“With spring in the air, Newrez Correspondent is springing into action by adding many exciting enhancements to our product line. We now offer a Closed End Second Mortgage program, Delegated Non-QM for our Smart Series products, and Fannie Mae HomeReady® and Freddie Mac Home Possible® affordable lending mortgage programs including the recent $2500 credits added for qualifying homebuyers. Take advantage of our expansive menu and become a valued customer at Newrez Correspondent by signing up here. You can also reach out to Sarah Johanns to set up a meeting at the Iowa Mortgage Association Conference in Coralville, IA, on April 1 and 2, and Beverly Jordan, Patty Devita, Rebecca Yonaka or John Dubisky at the Great River Conference in Memphis, TN, April 16 through 18. Don’t forget, we would love to meet at the MBA Secondary in New York in May. Set up a meeting here.”

“At Button Finance, we say YES. That is why more and more brokers and correspondent lenders are choosing to fund their HELOANs and HELOCs with Button Finance. Is it the lighting quick turn-times and aggressive pricing, or the limited UW overlays? Can you make up to 5% compensation as a broker or 8% as a correspondent on HELOCs or even originate to our bank statement and investment property programs? The answer is YES, YES, YES, YES, and YES. Available equity is at historical levels, so now is a great time to offer your past and prospective borrowers Button Finance HELOAN or HELOC to pay off high-interest revolving debt. Button Finance programs allow FICO scores as low as 660, CLTVs to 90%, and debt ratios to 50%. We have excellent correspondent offerings as well. Correspondents typically make $18,500 on a $250k HELOC closed in 10 calendar days without an appraisal. Contact us today.”

Department of Labor and Whistleblowers

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a former senior vice president and two managers employed by PrimeLending to pay $35,000 in emotional damages and the legal fees of two California employees who the company fired illegally after they reported a branch manager pressured them to pass on fees to loan applicants caused by the company’s internal processing delays.

“Investigators with the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found the nationwide lender violated whistleblower provisions in the Consumer Financial Protection Act by terminating the employees who raised their concerns with a regional manager and senior vice president of Human Resources.

“’Employees who report potential consumer fraud are protected by federal law against retaliation of any kind. Under the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s whistleblower provisions, managers can be fined personally for retaliation,’ explained OSHA Regional Administrator James D. Wulff in San Francisco. ‘In this case, OSHA fined three PrimeLending managers for trying to prevent workers’ concerns from coming to light. The U.S. Department of Labor will not tolerate retaliatory actions against workers exercising their rights and those responsible for such actions will be held accountable.’”

“In addition to payment of personal damages, OSHA ordered PrimeLending to pay an undisclosed amount in lost back wages and interest to the employees. The company must also expunge the employment records of both employees, post an anti-retaliation notice at all its branches and train its employees about their rights under the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

“The company and the managers sanctioned may appeal OSHA’s order to the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.

“OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act and 24 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various motor vehicle safety, commercial motor carrier, airline, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities, tax, antitrust, and anti-money laundering laws and for engaging in other related protected activities. For more information on whistleblower protections, visit OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage.”

Capital Markets

Not a whole lot to report from yesterday. Consumer confidence was little changed in March with consumers remaining concerned about elevated price levels, according to the Conference Board. Consumers expressed more concern about the U.S. political environment compared to prior months. The market saw a bit more buying than in previous days in reaction to a strong $43 billion 7-year note offering.

Since we can’t go a day without talking about the Fed, you’ve probably noted that some Federal Open Market Committee voters ratcheted back their estimates to two rate cuts in 2024 from the group consensus of three 25 basis point rate cuts. However, of potentially more interest to the mortgage industry is the central bank’s massive balance sheet of Treasuries and Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that remains from the past 15-ish years of aggressive experimental monetary policy.

The Fed has been open about wanting to eventually get back to an all-Treasury balance sheet, so it is expected that the central bank will not halt the run-off of Agency MBS that has averaged about $16 billion per month over the last six months. The central bank is expected to reinvest those proceeds into Treasuries, so where will demand for Agency MBS come from? Hopefully, domestic banks. U.S. domestically chartered commercial banks’ total holdings of securities as a percentage of their balance sheet, and Agency MBS in particular, has ticked up over the last six months. This trend should continue as long as the relative value of Agency MBS remains favorable compared to investment-grade corporates and Treasuries.

Tomorrow the markets are closed, and today brings a busy schedule in terms of data ahead of a SIFMA recommended early close, which also happens to be month and quarter-end, ahead of Good Friday. There will be a commentary tomorrow that includes the PCE reading, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. This morning we’ve had the final look at Q4 GDP (3.4 percent, higher than previously but viewed as old news) and weekly jobless claims (210k, 1.819 million continuing claims). The core PCE deflator was (3.3) versus an expectation of unchanged at 2.1 percent. Later today brings Chicago PMI for March, Michigan sentiment, pending home sales for February, KC Fed manufacturing, several Treasury auctions of short duration bills, and Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

We begin the day with Agency MBS prices little changed from Wednesday, and little changed all week! The 10-year is yielding 4.23 after closing yesterday at 4.20 percent and the 2-year is at 4.62… little movement after a salvo of news.


Canopy Mortgage in National spotlight: Massive sales growth, onboarding an average of 1 producing loan officer every other day! What’s attracting LO’s to move in droves? Canopy is “Giving Loan Officers the Power to Grow” – read full article on Canopy’s magnetic growth is coming from relationships, referrals and jaw-dropping tech demos. If you haven’t heard about Canopy yet …ask a friend! Canopy is building the future of mortgage lending through relationships and innovative mortgage tech, and is hiring producing LOs nationwide (except NY). Don’t miss out! Schedule a Tech Demo, or simply look at your numbers with Josh Neumarker today 888-696-9076.

Planet Home Lending, a national mortgage lender, servicer, and asset manager, has hired Andy Insua as Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast. Congratulations!

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Hailed as the birthplace of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis carries a unique rhythm in its streets and the hearts of its residents. It’s a city where history whispers from every corner, food brings comfort, and music is the universal language. 

Here, legends walked the same sidewalks as locals, leaving behind a legacy that draws visitors from all corners of the globe and encourages people to find the perfect house in Memphis

Whether you’re exploring the sites, indulging in culinary delights, or listening to live music in a local watering hole, Memphis promises an unforgettable journey for all those who choose to make the trek. Below we’ll break down ten of the top things Memphis is known for and provide you with everything you need to experience the best the city has to offer.

1. Graceland

As the iconic home of Elvis Presley, Graceland is a pilgrimage site for fans of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll from all around the world. This mansion, more than just a home, is a museum dedicated to Presley’s life and career, filled with memorabilia, costumes, and personal artifacts. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the lush grounds and opulently decorated rooms. The tour wraps up with a visit to Elvis’s final resting place in the Meditation Garden. Graceland is not just an homage to the star’s life but a beautifully preserved snapshot of American pop culture.

2. Beale Street

Beale Street is the heart of Memphis’s music scene, a lively district echoing with blues, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a place where music history has been made, hosting legends like B.B. King and Louis Armstrong. Today, the street is lined with clubs, bars, and restaurants where live music fills the air every night. Beale Street also hosts the Memphis in May International Festival, drawing crowds eager to celebrate the city’s music.

3. National Civil Rights Museum

Located in the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, The National Civil Rights Museum is a profound spot to stop and learn a thing or two. It offers an immersive journey through the American civil rights movement, from the early days of slavery to the present struggles for equality. Exhibits feature interactive displays, historic artifacts, and personal stories that connect deeply with visitors, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to understand America’s ongoing journey toward justice.

4. Memphis Barbecue

Memphis is synonymous with barbecue with a style all its own. This culinary tradition is characterized by slow-cooked pork, either pulled or ribs, and a distinctively tangy sauce. The city is dotted with barbecue joints, from hole-in-the-wall eateries to award-winning restaurants, each claiming to have the best in town. The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest highlights this obsession, bringing together the best pitmasters from around the globe to pit their pork against each other.

5. Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo, one of the oldest in the United States, is home to over 3,500 animals representing more than 500 species. It’s celebrated for its efforts in conservation and education, providing a fun and informative experience for visitors of all ages. Notable exhibits include the Giant Panda Habitat and the Teton Trek, which simulates the Yellowstone National Park ecosystem. The zoo’s commitment to animal care and visitor engagement makes it a beloved destination.

6. Stax Museum of American Soul Music

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music pays tribute to the soulful sounds that defined a generation, located at the original site of Stax Records. This comprehensive museum showcases the story of soul music through more than 2,000 exhibits. These exhibits include Isaac Hayes’ gold-trimmed Cadillac and an authentic 1906 Mississippi Delta church. The museum celebrates the legacy of artists like Otis Redding and Booker T. & the M.G.’s, whose music continues to influence artists today.

7. Shelby Farms Park

Shelby Farms Park is one of the largest urban parks in America with over 4,500 acres of green space. It features trails for walking under the Memphis sun, lakes for fishing and paddling, and playgrounds for children. The park showcases Memphis’s commitment to outdoor recreation and environmental preservation.

8. Sun Studio

Sun Studio is hallowed ground in the music world, known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. This recording studio was where legends like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis cut their first tracks. Guided tours of the studio offer a glimpse into the early days of these music icons, with original instruments and equipment still on display. Sun Studio remains an active recording studio by night, continuing its legacy of producing the music that shapes the world.

9. Mud Island River Park

Situated on the Mississippi River, Mud Island River Park is a great place to spend a nice day in Memphis. Its most notable feature is a scale model of the Lower Mississippi River. This allows visitors to walk along the river from its confluence with the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico. The park also features pedal boats, a museum dedicated to the river’s history, and outdoor concerts during the summer months, making it a favorite among tourists and Memphis locals lucky enough to find an apartment nearby.

10. Peabody Ducks

The Peabody Ducks are a charming and quirky Memphis tradition. Every day, a group of specially trained ducks marches from their rooftop penthouse, down the elevator, and into the fountain in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel. Much to the delight of guests and onlookers. This unique spectacle has been a daily occurrence since the 1930s and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

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Housing demand reached a new level of enthusiasm during the pandemic, with homebuyers benefitting from extremely low mortgage rates. From the summer of 2020 until much of 2021, average 30-year mortgage rates stayed under 3%. However, as more and more buyers jumped into the real estate market, months of inventory began to plummet and home prices surged. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the national average sales price in the US grew from $383,000 in Q1 2020 to a peak of $552,600 in Q4 2022 – a 44.3% increase in less than two years. 

So if you purchased a home during the pandemic, how much is it worth now? To find out, Zoocasa analyzed median home prices in 30 major US cities from January 2020, 2021, and 2022, and compared them with the 2024 median price to see how much they’ve changed over the last 4, 3, and 2 years. 

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Median single-family home prices were sourced from each city’s respective real estate board and are from January of each year. Average 30-year fixed rates were sourced from Freddie Mac and are from the first week of each month. The national average sales price in the US for each quarter was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Average Sales Price of Houses Sold for the United States [ASPUS], retrieved from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

In 14 of the 30 real estate markets we analyzed, the median home price increased by more than $100,000 from 2020 to 2024. In those four years, Californian homes increased the most in value. San Diego and San Francisco homes bought in 2020 appreciated by $265,000 and $247,000 respectively. Los Angeles homebuyers also built a significant amount of equity, with the median home price rising by $211,500 to $750,000 in 2024. 

Outside of California, 2020 home purchases in Boston and Miami experienced significant price growth, both increasing by more than $200,000 in four years. For homebuyers in Miami in 2021, the value of their homes experienced the second-highest increase over three years, at $170,000, just below San Diego’s increase of $195,000. But Miami isn’t the only city in Florida where home prices have grown substantially from 2020. In Tampa and Jacksonville, home values have increased by $151,500 and $129,900 since 2020, and since 2021 they have risen by $115,000 and $95,919 respectively. 

Other cities where home values increased by more than $100,000 in four years include Denver, Nashville, Dallas, and Salt Lake City. Buyers who bought a home in one of these cities in 2021 also benefited from sizable price appreciation – with home values rising by $100,000 or more in three years. 

Though 2020 and 2021 pandemic buyers experienced a significant increase in their home values, some homebuyers who purchased a home in 2022 – when interest rates started climbing – have yet to see equity build. From January 2022 to January 2024, home values dropped in San Francisco by $71,000 and in Brooklyn, they dropped by $51,000. 2022 homebuyers are currently down in six other cities: Washington DC, San Antonio, Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Salt Lake City. But this doesn’t mean homebuyers in those cities won’t build equity. According to the National Association of Realtors®, in 2023 the median time buyers expected to stay in their home was 15 years. This gives the average homeowner plenty of time for their home to appreciate, and with interest rates coming down, competition will rise and push home prices up once again. 

The vast majority of pandemic buyers are in the green, even if they bought their home in 2022. With some of the highest median home prices in the country, it comes as no surprise that Boston, Miami, San Diego and Los Angeles lead the way for 2-year price increases – all up by $50,000 or more. Not every city experienced home price increases of those heights, however. 2022 homebuyers in Philadelphia and Tucson built home equity, but values increased by just $1,250 and $2,500 respectively in two years.

If you’re looking to find an affordable home this spring, give us a call! We can answer any questions you have about your local market and help you navigate the home-buying process.

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Memphis, TN, is a city buzzing with music, history, and some of the best barbecue you’ll ever taste. Living here means you’re never far from a live blues show or an interesting museum, making it a great place for those who love culture and entertainment. The question, “should I move to Memphis?” crosses many minds, especially when considering the city’s unique blend of urban life and southern charm. Memphis stands out for its strong sense of community and the famous Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, which attracts visitors from all over the world. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of living in Memphis to help you decide if it’s the right place for you. Let’s dive in.

Memphis at a Glance

Walk Score: 35 | Bike Score: 41 | Transit Score: 22
Median Sale Price: $187,500 | Average Rent for 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,065
Memphis neighborhoods | houses for rent in Memphis | apartments for rent in Memphis | homes for sale in Memphis

Pro: Music lover’s paradise

Memphis, is synonymous with the soulful strains of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and soul music. The city is home to the legendary Sun Studio, where icons like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash recorded their first tracks. Beale Street, with its vibrant nightlife and live music venues, offers an immersive experience into the city’s musical legacy. This cultural richness provides residents with a unique sense of pride and a plethora of entertainment options.

Con: Hot and humid summers

The climate in Memphis can be challenging, especially during the summer months. The city currently ranks #4 in the list of U.S. cities most at risk of extreme heat. The area experiences extremely hot and humid conditions, making outdoor activities and even daily commutes uncomfortable. This weather can also contribute to higher energy bills as residents crank up their air conditioning to find relief.

Pro: Affordable cost of living

The cost of living in Memphis is 10% lower than the national average. Housing is notably affordable, with average prices about $200,000 below the national average. This affordability extends to grocery and utility costs, making it easier for residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. This economic advantage attracts individuals looking to live in an urban area at a reasonable cost.

Con: Underdeveloped public transportation system

Memphis’ public transportation system can be a point of frustration for its residents. With a Transit Score of 22, the coverage is limited, and the efficiency of service often leaves much to be desired. This situation forces many to rely on personal vehicles, contributing to traffic congestion and parking challenges in the city. For those without cars, navigating the city can be difficult, impacting their ability to access employment and recreational activities easily.

Pro: Vibrant culinary scene

The culinary scene in Memphis is a delightful exploration of flavors, with barbecue taking center stage. The city is famed for its unique style of barbecue, characterized by its slow-cooked ribs and pulled pork. The city’s barbecue culture is celebrated at events like the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, where pitmasters showcase their skills. Beyond barbecue, Memphis boasts a diverse array of dining options, from soul food to international cuisines, catering to all palates. Throughout the year, food festivals like the Memphis Food & Wine Festival and the World Championship Hot Wing Contest highlight the city’s diverse culinary landscape.

Con: High Allergen levels

For those with allergies, Memphis can pose significant challenges. The city is known for its high levels of pollen and other allergens, particularly during the spring and fall. This can lead to discomfort and health issues for sensitive individuals, affecting their quality of life. Residents often have to take extra precautions, such as installing air purifiers in their homes and monitoring air quality reports.

One of the standout advantages of living in this city is the strong sense of community. This advantage is showcased in events such as the Cooper-Young Festival, where locals gather to celebrate art, music, and food, fostering connections and camaraderie. Similarly, the monthly Trolley Night in the South Main Arts District brings people together for an evening of shopping, dining, and live entertainment. Moreover, Memphis is home to numerous grassroots initiatives and neighborhood associations dedicated to improving the lives of its residents.

Con: Limited job market in certain sectors

Memphis boasts a thriving logistics and transportation industry, thanks to its strategic location along the Mississippi River. However, the job market in other sectors can be limited. This can pose a challenge for people in fields such as technology, science, and the arts, who may find fewer opportunities within the city. As a result, some residents may need to look for employment in nearby cities or consider a broader range of job options.

Pro: Access to outdoor activities

Memphis offers a variety of outdoor activities that cater to nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts alike. The city is home to numerous parks, such as Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in America, offering hiking trails, biking paths, and water activities. The Mississippi River itself provides a scenic backdrop for jogging, picnicking, and sunset watching, encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle among residents.

Con: Infrastructure needs

Like many cities, Memphis faces challenges with aging infrastructure. Roads, bridges, and public buildings often require maintenance and upgrades to meet the needs of the growing population. These infrastructure needs can lead to traffic delays, impact public services, and necessitate increased public spending. Addressing these issues is crucial for improving the quality of life and ensuring the city’s future prosperity.

Pro: Diverse cultural events

Memphis is a melting pot of cultural events that celebrate the city’s diverse heritage and artistic talent. From the Beale Street Music Festival to the Memphis in May International Festival, the city’s calendar is packed with events that cater to a wide range of interests. These events not only provide entertainment but also foster a sense of pride among residents, showcasing the city’s vibrant cultural scene.