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Author Archives: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

U.S. Negative Equity Rate Drops to 16.9%

In a report released this week, property data company Zillow estimated that 8.7 million homeowners living in the nation's top housing markets were underwater on their mortgage as of the end of the third quarter, putting the country's negative equity rate at 16.9 percent. The U.S. underwater rate peaked at 31.4 percent in 2012's first quarter.

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Refinances Gain Market Share in November

Out of a sample of closed loans drawn from Ellie Mae's origination platform last month, 45 percent were refinances, the company reported Wednesday. November's refinance share marked a 5 percentage point increase from October and was the same as a year ago. "Winter is normally a slow time for housing sales, yet the increase in refinancing volume is protecting many lenders from the cold," said Jonathan Corr, president and COO of Ellie Mae.

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Home Prices Down Again in October

Home prices nationally fell slightly in October, marking the second consecutive month of declines after a long period of growth, according to the latest FNC Residential Price Index. Overall prices in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas were down 0.1 percent between September and October, and the annual rate of appreciation nationwide was down to 5.7 percent in October, the report stated.

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Lenders Sour on Outlook for Mortgage Demand

In a poll of senior mortgage officers conducted in November, Fannie Mae found consumer demand was down across all categories of home purchase loans, with only 42 percent of respondents reporting increases in demand for GSE-eligible loans, 43 percent for non-GSE loans, and 29 percent for government loans. Those shares compare to 53 percent, 65 percent, and 43 percent, respectively, in the third quarter.

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Federal Reserve to Exercise Restraint on Rate Hikes

In a policy statement released following the last 2014 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the central bank reaffirmed its view that the economy is expanding at a "moderate pace," pointing to continued improvements in the labor market tempered by still-high numbers of unemployed and underemployed Americans and slower growth in the housing sector.

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Mortgage Apps Fall Despite Declining Rates

The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) survey of mortgage activity shows application volumes fell 3.3 percent for the week ending December 12. Taking out adjustments for seasonal influences, application numbers were down 4 percent week-over-week.

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2015 Looks Bright for RMBS Market

In its predictions for 2015, Moody's says stronger underwriting standards, third-party reviews, and the implementation of risk retention rules will all bolster the credit quality of new private-label RMBS. "New regulations setting strict standards for origination of qualified mortgages along with ability-to-repay rules will drive the strong credit quality of new issuance," said Navneet Agarwhal, managing director at Moody's.

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Settlement Monitor Finds Problems in Ocwen Review

In an update on his continued oversight of the landmark agreement, Joseph Smith Jr. revealed doubts about the internal review group Ocwen is using to monitor the company's compliance with settlement terms. Smith said his team launched an investigation in May after hearing from an employee about "serious deficiencies in Ocwen's internal review group process."

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