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Initial Time Jobless Claims Up, Adding to Labor Concerns

Unemployment

First-time claims for unemployment insurance jumped 20,000 to 362,000 for the week ending February 16, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected 359,000 initial unemployment claims. The spike in filings--the largest in three weeks--marked a reversal of what had been a downward trend in layoffs.

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Mortgage Applications Fall as Rates Rise to 6-Month High

Mortgage application volume continued to decline last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 15. The survey's Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, fell 1.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, the index fell 1.0 percent. According to the MBA's measure, the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.78 percent last week, the highest rate since August 2012.

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Carrington, Equator Team Up to Provide Rental Asset Solution

Carrington Technology Solutions, LLC (Carrington) and Equator, a default servicing technology provider, teamed up to provide financial institutions, institutional investors, and large-scale property management companies with a single-family asset management suite created to maximize the performance of multiple-property portfolios.

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Tax Credit Veteran Returns to WNC as SVP of Private Label Funds

New

WNC, a national investor in real estate and community development initiatives, announced Anil Advani rejoined the firm as SVP of private label funds. Advani is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with private label investors, as well as managing the closing process of WNC's private label funds.

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Refinance Share Climbs to 73 Percent in January, Time to Close Falls

Refinance loan share jumped to its highest level in at least a year and a half, according to Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report for January 2013. According to the report, refinances made up 73 percent of loans closed in January--the highest level recorded since Ellie Mae began tracking the data in August 2011. January's refinance figure is 4 percentage points higher than December's. Despite the rise in refinance share, the time it took to close a refinance loan declined in January, falling to 54 days.

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