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Tag Archives: Investors

Refinances Push Up Application Volume


According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, loan application volume rose 4.7 percent (seasonally adjusted) for the week ending January 17. The overall increase came entirely from a continued recovery in refinance numbers. The survey's Refinance Index was up 10 percent week-over-week, with refinance share accounting for 64 percent of total applications, the highest level in a month. Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dropped 4 percent compared to the prior week.

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Wells Fargo, Ocwen Announce Deal on $39B MSR Portfolio

Ocwen's servicing segment is set to acquire mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) on a $39 billion portfolio from Wells Fargo, the two companies announced Wednesday. According to the dual releases, the portfolio consists of approximately 184,000 loans and accounted for about 2 percent of Wells Fargo's total residential servicing portfolio as of the end of 2013. The companies expect the transaction to close by the end of this year. Financial details were not disclosed.

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Industry Experts Discuss QM Pitfalls

While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) touts its recently enacted mortgage regulations as a "back-to-basics approach" to lending, not everyone agrees. Speaking on "Mortgage Markets Today," Chris Whalen, EVP and managing director for Carrington Holding Company, discussed the pitfalls in the new regulations with Louis Amaya, host of the Five Star Internet radio show and CEO of iServe Companies. Among other things, Whalen predicts politicians and regulators will see pressure to review the rules, which he says have gone too far.

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Stats Indicate Strong Prices, Steady Demand Going into 2014

Despite the numerous challenges that sprang up throughout 2013, the housing market still managed to finish the year in a healthier position than in 2012, according to the latest figures from Realtor.com. The site's statistics for December indicate the median national list price ended 2013 at $194,500, up 8.1 percent compared to the end of 2012. Relative to November, however, prices were down 1.6 percent--marking the late arrival of the "usual seasonal winter slow down," Realtor.com says.

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New Index Reveals Market at Risk

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has launched a new initiative designed to mitigate the damage of housing's boom-and-bust cycles. Designed by AEI fellows Edward Pinto and Stephen Oliner, the newly unveiled Mortgage Risk Index measures the safety of lending the United States by gauging how mortgage loans would perform under stress (as defined by the experience of loans originated in 2007). According to the index, mortgage risk today is high compared to the "sound lending practices in place in 1990."

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Inventory Shortage Drives Unseasonable December Growth

Homebuyers hoping for more inventory and greater variety in December didn't get their wish, online brokerage Redfin reported in its latest Real-Time Price Tracker. According to the company's data, the total number of for-sale homes dropped to just below 200,000 in the final month of 2013--a monthly drop of 14.1 percent. While declines are normal for the season, December's decrease was the steepest since at least 2008, says Redfin analyst Tommy Unger.

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