Saturday was George Thorogood’s 74th birthday, and fans know that he wrote the classic tale of rent collection, land ladies, and payment avoidance. Time flies, but that may change. We’re faced with an actual five-day workweek this week, with no Federal holidays until Memorial Day, May 27th, two months away! Yikes. Here in Houston at the TMBA’s Southern Secondary Conference, the attendees are already making use of what time they have, discussing best execution procedures, warehouse tactics, management strategies, economic trends, the market for servicing, and operational efficiencies. I’m a capital markets guy, so arguably learned math good. But I didn’t learn math like this! MBS versus cash sales pick-ups is always a favorite topic, although last year the market was deluged by excess servicing trades. Flow and bulk purchasers of HELOCs and 2nds is search being undertaken by some, as well as climate change and insurance cost increases. (Found here, this week’s podcast is brought to you by nCino, makers of the nCino Mortgage Suite for the modern mortgage lender. nCino Mortgage Suite’s three core products – nCino Mortgage, nCino Incentive Compensation, and nCino Mortgage Analytics – unite the people, systems, and stages of the mortgage process. Today’s has an interview with Yardsworth’s Matt Lucido on creative ways that homeowners can leverage their tappable equity, and how we can see more supply hit the market.)
Lender and Broker Services, Products, and Software
Promising Updated MBA Forecast: The MBA released their recent forecasted predictions on mortgage originations (1 to 4 family). A welcome sight is that they predict a 25+ percent increase in 2Q over 1Q 2024 and a 13 percent increase in 3Q over 2Q 2024. In addition, the 3Q 2024 prediction is nearly 22 percent higher than the same quarter in 2023’s actual originations. As volumes continue to rise quickly, having a solid quality control program is as important as ever in order to continue to produce quality loans while mitigating risk. Quest Advisors has nearly 30 years of experience in assisting mortgage lenders with their quality control needs. Examples of services Quest Advisors provides, are Post-Closing and Prefunding loan QC reviews, along with Servicing, HMDA, and MERS audits. To find out more information on how Quest Advisors can help, please reach out to Matthew Reich at (336) 404-1409.
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Get a Sweetheart Deal with Loan Stream’s February Specials on FHA/VA and Non-QM price improvements! Get 37.5 BPS Price Improvement on all FHA and VA, Low Balance, and High Balance >=680 FICO, excludes DPA and 25 BPS Price Improvement on FHA Streamlines/IRRRLS. Plus, a Non-QM Price Improvement of 50 BPS on all Non-QM, not including Closed End Seconds and Select Programs. Valid for loans locked 2/1/2024 through 2/29/2024. Terms/Conditions apply see our site and talk with your Account Executive.
“Everyone wants to make their borrowers sticky and we’ve got the Krazy Glue. I’m talking ‘gotta get to the emergency room to get your fingers unstuck’ kind of glue. It’s called QuickQual, it integrates with Encompass® by ICE Mortgage Technology™ and once you pre-approve your borrower, they’re coming back.
Just as Morpheus offered Neo the ultimate choice between reality and illusion in The Matrix, Dark Matter Technologies invites you to choose between the past and the future of mortgage lending in its “Choose Your LOS Experience” ad campaign. Take the blue pill and stay the course with old-school thinking and technology. Or take the red pill and join DMT to revolutionize your business with cutting-edge technology, unparalleled automation, and relentless innovation, as evidenced by the Empower® LOS and the AIVA® artificial intelligence solution. When it comes to your future, “choose wisely.” Schedule a demo with the Dark Matter team today to explore how the Empower LOS can transform your business.
Is More Paperwork Heading Our Way?
Do we need more rules and regulations and paperwork, or better rules and regulation and paperwork? The federal bank regulatory agencies announced their first of a series of requests for comment to reduce regulatory burden. The Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 requires the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and federal bank regulatory agencies to review their regulations every 10 years to identify any outdated or otherwise unnecessary regulatory requirements for their supervised institutions.
To facilitate this review, the agencies divided their regulations into 12 categories and are first soliciting comments on their regulations in three categories: Applications and Reporting, Powers and Activities, and International Operations. Comments on the relevant regulations will be accepted for 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.
But Ballard Spahr reports that on February 16, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Center (“FinCEN”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) regarding residential real estate. The final version of the NPRM published in the Federal Register is 47 pages long. We have created a separate document which more clearly sets forth the proposed regulations themselves, at 31 C.F.R. § 1031.320, here.
“FinCEN also has published a Fact Sheet regarding the NPRM, here. The Fact Sheet, slightly over four pages long, is helpful and walks through the basics of many of the proposed requirements. The NPRM proposes to impose a nation-wide reporting requirement for the details of residential real estate transactions, subject to some exceptions, in which the buyer is a covered entity or trust. Title agencies, escrow companies, settlement agents, and lawyers need to pay particular attention to the NPRM because, based on FinCEN’s “cascade” approach to who should be responsible for complying with the reporting requirements, these parties are the most likely to be responsible.
”Rent Versus Own” Economics
If you’re still paying off your mortgage, renting is likely cheaper than owning in each of the nation’s 50 largest metros. Median rent costs are lower than median homeowner costs for those with mortgages but higher than costs for homeowners without mortgages. LendingTree analyzed housing data to compare monthly rental and housing payments for homes with and without mortgages in the 50 largest metros in the U.S.
The difference between median housing costs for homes with a mortgage and median gross rent is $563 a month. The spread in costs between renting and owning a home with a mortgage is widest in the San Jose, Calif., San Francisco, and New York metros. The difference between the median monthly housing costs for homes with a mortgage and the median monthly gross rent in these metros is $1,341, $1,303, and $1,289, respectively. Phoenix, Orlando, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., and Atlanta have the narrowest gaps between renting and owning a home with a mortgage. In Phoenix and Orlando, median gross rent costs are $87 and $145 less than median monthly housing costs for homes with a mortgage. In both Jacksonville and Atlanta, the difference is $216.
That said, Barron’s reports that, “Prospective buyers spent the President’s Day holiday last week window shopping, early data suggest. ‘Showing activity was strong,’ says Orphe Divounguy, a senior economist at Zillow, citing data from home tour software company Showingtime. Home touring activity was up 19.4% from the start of the year, pointing to a strong seasonal ramp-up.”
Markets are known for “getting ahead of themselves,” and the latest example may be the “insatiable demand” for Nvidia’s artificial intelligence chips. The stock has shot up, resulting in the company briefly surpassing a $2 trillion valuation. But other equity prices have tagged along, boosting the general stock market.
That said, investors have been walking back expectations for Federal Reserve rate cuts. Goldman Sachs, for example, has pushed back expectations for a Fed rate cut to June. If you like rates where they are, fine. If you’re hoping for lower rates to jump start your business in the near future, well…
The dominating market narrative recently has been that while interest rate cuts may be appropriate at some point this year, it is not likely to be anytime soon. Resilient economic growth and optimism that inflation will continue to fall in the face of high interest rates has fostered household demand, bolstered expectations the U.S. will avoid a downturn in the near term and forced investors to ratchet back bets on early rate cuts. Philadelphia Fed President Harker warned against betting on early rate cuts late last week, saying “I will signal my belief that we’re ready for a rate decrease when all the data, both the hard and the soft, give me that signal.” Pricing in fed funds futures has all but erased the chance of a March rate cut, and the chance of a cut in June is currently a coin-toss. Economists now see a 40 percent chance of recession in the next year, the lowest reading since mid-2022.
Last week was fairly quiet in terms of economic releases and the few that came out did nothing to change the current narrative of U.S. economic conditions. The Leading Economic Index declined 0.4 percent versus a -0.3 percent forecast and is now just two points above its April 2020 low. Historically, the prolonged decline observed in this data set predates a recession, but at the moment, it appears this recession signal is out of step with current economic conditions. Elsewhere, existing home sales rose 3.1 percent in January thanks in part to declining mortgage rates in December.
Since then, rates have moved back up towards 7 percent. The FOMC has repeatedly indicated it is in no hurry to begin reducing the fed funds rate until they are fully confident inflation is sustainably moving towards their 2 percent goal.
This week opens with $169 billion in month-end supply over the first two days along with the usual $309 billion in Treasury bills. There are several important economic releases with the highlight being the Fed-favorite PCE price index for January is on Thursday. We will also receive durable goods for January, home price indexes for December, consumer confidence for February, the second reading on Q4 GDP, Chicago PMI for February, January construction spending, and final February consumer sentiment.
The deadline for Congress to avert a partial government shutdown is Friday. Today starts quietly with new home sales for January, expected to register 680k versus 664k in December, Dallas Fed manufacturing business index for February, and remarks from the new Kansas City Fed President Schmid. The Treasury will auction $63 billion 2-year notes, $70 billion 6-month bills, $63 billion 5-year notes, and $79 billion 3-month bills. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Friday’s close and the 10-year yielding 4.24 after closing last week at 4.26 percent. Helping ARM rates, the 2-year is down to 4.68 percent.
Jobs and Transitions
Logan Finance is hiring! Non-QM Account Executives are in high demand at Logan Finance, especially those of you in Florida. Contact us today to learn more. Speaking of hiring, Logan is happy to announce that Ryan Rathert and Sarah Gonzalez have joined the executive team as Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer, respectively. Ryan is a proven mortgage finance wizard and Sarah a renowned industry maven, so put your sunglasses on, because the future at Logan is bright! And the spotlight will be on Logan’s SVP Business Development, Paul Jones, as he presents “Discover the DSCR Difference with Logan Finance”, session #2 in the monthly series, “The Modern Non-QM Experience”. Join Paul on March 6 at 2pm ET. Register here. If you’re looking for a Non-QM career boost, send your resume or check out LoganWholesale.com and LoganCorrespondent.com for more information. Join Logan and become a #LoganLeader today.
“Don’t just close loans, close the gap on your potential. Kind Lending is seeking mortgage professionals with an entrepreneurial spirit and KIND mindset. We will provide a comprehensive catalog of loan products to serve your clients, along with advanced marketing and tech tools to grow your brand and exponentially expand your reach. You will be empowered to rewrite your success by leveraging the powerful tools available at your fingertips. It’s your business. We are here to fuel it. If you are ready to build win-win relationships with a company that values you and your growth, contact Traci Miller, National Talent Acquisition Manager.”
Click n’ Close, a multi-state mortgage lender serving consumers and mortgage originators through its wholesale and correspondent channels and formerly known as Mid America Mortgage, announced Polly Cracchiolo has joined the organization’s third-party originator (TPO) sales team as an account executive.