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Measuring Mortgage Market Strength

Urban Institute recently released its “Housing Finance a Glance” Monthly Chartbook, a measure of housing market indicators including prices and interest, as well as affordability and delinquency.

According to the Chartbook, total debt and mortgages was stable at $10.7 trillion, while household equity reached a new high of $16.0 trillion bringing the total value of the housing market to $26.7 trillion.

As a measure of market size, Urban Institute looked at debt in private-label securities. The private-label securitization market totaled $451 billion. When split between loan times, it translated to prime (17.4 percent), Alt-A (36.7 percent), and subprime (45.8 percent) loans. Outstanding securities agency market totaled $6.5 trillion and were 43.4 percent Fannie Mae, 27.3 percent Freddie Mac, and 29.2 percent Ginnie Mae.

According to the report, 30-year fixed rate mortgages were the most popular mortgage origination product, making up 87.7 percent of originations in July 2018, followed by 15-year fixed rate mortgages at 4.5 percent, and adjustable rate mortgages at 6.1 percent. ARMs have been on a decline since December 2013, when they hit a high of 12 percent.

The Ginnie Mae nonbank originations have outpaced the GSE share. The Ginnie Mae nonbank origination share stands at 78 percent as of August 2018, while the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac nonbank shares each stood at 54 percent.

Overall, the GSEs and the MBA all predict originations in 2018 to be lower than the 1.7-1.8 billion in 2017. Hoever, housing starts are expected to go up, with 2018 housing starts expected to be around 1.3 million units, up from a 1.2 million units in 2017.

Urban Institute found a sharp rise in serious delinquency and foreclosures following the hurricanes in 2017, but have since declined. Ninety day delinquencies declined by 1.45 to 1.25 percent as of 2018, while the percent of loans in foreclosure continued to edge down to 1.05 percent. The combined delinquencies totaled 2.30 percent in Q2 2018, down from 2.61 percent in Q1 2018 and 2.49 percent in the same quarter a year ago.

Negative equity has slipped down as well, down to 4.28 percent as of Q2 2018. Residential properties near negative equity (LTV between 95 and 100) comprise another 1.05 percent.

Find the full report here.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.

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