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Tag Archives: Investors

Ginnie Mae Begins First Phase in Modernizing Securitization Platform

Ginnie Mae, a government corporation focused on ensuring liquidity to support mortgage lending, announced the start of the first phase in its initiative to modernize its securitization platform. The plan kicked off with the release of four new systems applications for issuers: Request for Pool Numbers, Request for Commitment Authority, Submission of Master Agreements for Certification and Recertification, and Request Transfer of Issuer Responsibility.

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Housing Starts Reach Highest Rate in Almost 6 Years

November saw new housing starts jump to a nearly six-year high, the Census Bureau and HUD revealed Wednesday in a joint release. According to initial estimates, starts ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million, a 22.7 percent spike from October and the highest rate since February 2008. Single-family housing starts contributed 727,000 (adjusted annual rate) to November's total, while the rate for multifamily buildings was about 354,000.

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Mortgage Applications Index Drops to 12-Year Low

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a 5.5 percent decline (seasonally adjusted) in loan applications for the week ending December 13. On an unadjusted basis, MBA's Market Composite Index was down 6 percent. According to Mike Fratantoni, MBA's VP of research and economics, the latest index is the lowest it's been in more than 12 years. "Both purchase and refinance applications fell as interest rates increased going into today's Federal Open Market Committee meeting," Fratantoni explained.

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FHFA Seeking Comment on Proposed Cut to Conforming Loan Limits

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) says it wants input on a plan to lower the ceiling for loans eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Under FHFA's proposed plan, the $417,000 maximum limit for single-family homes in most areas around the country would be lowered to $400,000, a reduction of about 4 percent. Areas with higher limits would see a similar cut, with the $625,500 maximum dropping to $600,000.

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December Sees Promising Jump in Builder Confidence

According to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), builder sentiment picked up in December to end the year at 58. The index first climbed to that level in August before falling to 57 in September and 54 in October and November. After struggling through most of the year's first half, the headline index climbed above the 50 mark in June for the first time since 2006; it has stayed in the 50-range ever since.

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Negative Equity Rate Drops to 13%, Millions Still at Risk

Nearly 800,000 homes returned to a state of positive equity during the third quarter--leaving about 6.4 million underwater, according to the latest data from CoreLogic. The numbers indicate a little more complexity in the market, however. Of the 42.6 million residential properties in positive equity, CoreLogic estimates 10 million have less than 20 percent equity, and more than 1.5 million are at less than 5 percent equity. These "under-equitied" borrowers are at risk of falling back under should prices fall.

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Survey: West Home to Healthiest Housing Markets

A recent Zillow survey of market conditions around the country shows the healthiest markets can be found in the West, with San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver outclassing the rest of the country. Zillow chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries explained that rapid home value appreciation has improved local conditions in those markets, though the hit they'll take in terms of affordability may soon create unhealthy environments in what were once the healthiest markets.

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