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Tag Archives: Investors

Feature: Changing the Game

Technology and the housing finance sector work together in a cyclical manner: As the industry evolves, tech companies transform to match that change. In turn, with more tools available to them, today's leading enterprises are creating innovative strategies to take advantage. Writer Phil Britt contributed to _MReport's_ August edition with this piece, which explores the various ways mortgage companies can leverage technology to enhance their operations--and how the tech providers themselves are blazing a trail.

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Refinance Challenges Expected for CRE Segments

In the years leading up to the economic downturn, lenders became more aggressive and eased requirements in order to increase volume and satisfy investor demand for securitized commercial real estate products. Loans originated in 2004 and 2005 generally had a lower loan-to-value (LTV) ratio than those originated in 2006 and 2007. Since the majority of these loans have ten year terms, the 2004 through 2007 loans will come due in the next three years.

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U.S. Economic Improvement to Outpace Global Growth in 2014

Global economic growth will increase from 2.5 percent this year to 3.3 percent in the new year, with the U.S. economy growing 2.6 percent, up from 1.7 percent this year, according to IHS Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh and IHS Chief U.S. Economist Doug Handler. Europe's recovery "will proceed, but at a very sluggish pace," with growth reaching 0.8 percent, up from -0.4 percent this year. Meanwhile, the dollar will gain strength as the Fed tapers its stimulus while other central banks continue theirs, according to IHS.

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Uncertainty to Permeate New Year Despite Some Regulatory Clarity

The new year will bring some clarity to the housing market and likely some loosening of credit, though an air of mystery does still surround some aspects of the industry, according to FBR's outlook for 2014. With Mel Watt, a former Democratic senator from North Carolina, taking the helm at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and three openings at the Federal Reserve, some uncertainty persists despite some clarity surrounding Qualified Mortgages (QM) and other regulations in the housing industry.

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Survey Explores Shopping Patterns Among Homebuyers

The National Association of Realtors sent out a national survey in July, 2013 to buyers and sellers who made a transaction at some point in the last year. Among other findings, the survey showed increased use of online resources throughout the process. The first step in the process for 42 percent of buyers was searching online for properties. Use of the Internet to search for homes rose slightly to 92 percent. Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through an agent or broker--a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.

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U.S. Commercial Real Estate to Bloom as More Jobs Return

Research experts at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) expect a "clear path to stronger performance" for commercial real estate (CRE) in 2014. Reviewing what they call "surprising upsides" in investment sales volume over the last year, JLL's top researchers say they expect the factors driving 2013's growth--an improving lender environment, heightened risk appetite, and the arrival of investors in secondary markets--are expected to continue to move the sector forward. As far as U.S.-specific growth is concerned: "It all comes down to jobs."

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Feature: A Peek Inside Successful Lending Shops

What does it take to be a successful originator in the new age? While some firms bend over backwards to keep their strategies under wraps, a few are willing to open up a little bit on the subject. In MReport's September cover story, contributor Sandra Lane talked to the leading minds at Mortgage Master, Equity Loans, and Guardian Mortgage, among others--all of whom agreed to let readers take a peek into their shops and glean the secrets of their success.

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2014 Forecast: New Year to Bring Mixed Trends

The forecast for 2014 includes a few bright spots, a couple of looming clouds, and some normalcy expected to precipitate the market, Realtor.com says in its outlook for the new year. Among the bright spots are the rising tide of positive equity and abating foreclosures. While 2.5 million homeowners rose from underwater during the year's second half, 7.1 million homeowners remain below water. However, "[t]he good news is that prices are expected to continue rising in 2014, which will lift more homeowners into positive territory."

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NAR Chief Economist Recounts a Year of Surprises

The housing recovery continued as expected in 2013, but that's not to say there weren't a few surprises. "[T]he recovery accelerated a lot faster than we anticipated, which was great for sellers and for the 75 million homeowners who saw their home values appreciate," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in a post titled "7 Housing Trends for 2013." Another surprise for Yun was the large portion of cash purchases.

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