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Servicing

Sellers’ Biggest Hurdle? Finding Another Home

The flipside of the sellers-market economy of 2017 is that sellers looking to buy a new home are running into the same problems as all other buyers. A new study by Redfin shows that two-thirds of sellers are worried about finding a new property once they sell. And low inventories are reeling from the increasing speed of sales.

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The Fastest Moving Markets in the Country

The majority of the fastest moving market areas can be found in California. The number one hottest market for both March and February was Vallejo-Fairfield, California; followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California. The median age of inventory for these two areas were 33 days and 26 days, respectively, well below the nationwide median. Areas in California make up nine of the Realtor.com’s top 20 hottest markets. Javier Vivas, Manager of Economic Research at Realtor.com, noted the large drops om days on the market, and its indication of a strong spring buying season.

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The Week in Mortgage Rates

This week, Freddie Mac, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released reports on the state of the mortgage rates. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates are still in a decline. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell nine basis points this week, another week-over-week decline. But despite the fluctuations in rates, new home sales still managed to exceed expectations jumping 6.1 percent in February to 592,000.

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Seniors Are Worth Trillions in Equity

Seniors are sitting on trillions in untapped equity. A recent report noted that retirement-aged homeowners saw an increase of 2.8 percent in home equity, or $170.7 billion, in Q4 2016. This puts their total housing wealth at $6.2 trillion. However, many seniors are still unwilling to tap into this wealth.

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Serving a New Kind of Buyer

We sat down with industry veteran Joseph Melendez to learn how changing buyer demographics, technology, and the new administration are shaking things up. Melendez is the CEO of ValueInsured, a down payment protection provider based in Dallas. He has more than three decades in the insurance and financial services industry.

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FHFA, GSEs Make Progress on 2016 Goals

According to a Progress Report released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Wednesday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made significant movement on goals set forth by FHFA in the 2016 Scorecard. The report notes credit risk transfer programs that reduce taxpayer risk and improved access to credit as just a few of the developments in the last year.

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The FHA Can Increase Credit Access

According to Urban Institute, the FHA has more power to increase credit access. The GSEs do risk-based pricing through their loan-level pricing adjustments. However, the FHA does not do risk-based pricing, and so it has insured borrowers and so it has insured borrowers with less-than-pristine credit. Charging the same fee for those with good credit as those with bad credit has limited credit availability.

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Lender Optimism High, Profits Low

Fannie Mae’s survey respondents point to competition from other lenders and market trend changes, such as a shift from refinance to purchases, as top reasons for low profit margins. However, respondents point to government regulatory compliance, a historically top reason for lenders’ decreased profit outlooks, as a lesser reason.

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