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Daily Dose

Average Down Payments Rise in Q4

According to the company's most recent data, the average down payment on conventional, 30-year fixed-rate loan offers made to LendingTree borrowers last quarter was 17.59 percent, up from 16.01 percent in the final months of 2013.

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Home Prices See Slower Growth as Jobs Become Driving Factor

Trulia reported Tuesday that asking prices for on-sale homes climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent month-over-month nationwide in January, marking the smallest monthly gain since August. Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko says the slowdown reflects a change in the factors influencing price growth.

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Appraisers, Homeowners Come Closer on Home Value Estimates

Quicken Loans said Tuesday that appraisers' home value estimates came in an average 0.18 percent higher than homeowners' estimates last month. The difference marks the narrowest gap between opinions since September 2013, when appraisers' estimates came in higher than homeowners' for the first time in seven years.

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Agency Bulk MSR Portfolio Now On Offer

The newest offering is a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae MSR portfolio with $736 million of unpaid principal balance, according to an announcement from MountainView Servicing Group, which is acting as adviser on the sale.

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HUD Secretary Prepares to Meet House Committee

This will be the first time Castro has testified before Congress since being named HUD Secretary in July 2014. In recent public appearances, such as a speech at the National Press Club and in a fireside chat-style meeting last month, Castro has touted 2015 as a "year of housing opportunity."

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Judge Throws Out Much of RMBS Suit Against BofA

U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler in Newark ruled that Prudential failed to show sufficient proof that Bank of America and its Merrill Lynch misrepresented the quality of its loans backing securities to ratings agencies, according to reports.

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Ocwen’s Rating Knocked Down Again

Morningstar's announcement came just one day after Ocwen CEO Ron Faris told his company's stakeholders that he expected Ocwen's earnings in Q4 to take a hit based on mounting regulatory pressures, expenses, and a ratings downgrade by Fitch Ratings in the week.

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Housing Recovery Still Struggling in Minority Communities

Based on Zillow's latest homeownership data, the company estimated in a report on Monday that 12.4 percent of applicants who applied for a conventional mortgage loan in 2013 were denied. While the denial rate for white applicants was slightly better than the national average at 10.4 percent and only a little worse for Asians at 13.3 percent, black and Hispanic applicants stood a much higher chance of being turned down.

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Americans’ Economic Optimism Spills Over into Housing

Sixty-seven percent of American adults responding to Fannie Mae's January National Housing Survey said now is a good time to buy a home, the company reported Monday, while 44 percent said now is a good time to sell. Both figures are up from December, when positive responses were at 64 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

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