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Tag Archives: Investors

Existing-Home Sales Continue to Spiral Down

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) calculated an adjusted annualized sales rate of 4.90 million for existing homes last month, representing a drop from 5.12 million in October and 4.96 million in November 2012. According to the group, it was the first time in 29 months that sales fell below year-ago levels. Singling out single-family home sales, transactions were at an adjusted pace of 4.32 million, down 3.8 percent month-over-month and 0.9 percent year-over-year.

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Mortgage Rates Little Changed in Wake of Taper Announcement

For all the Sturm und Drang surrounding discussions of the Federal Reserve slowing down its monthly asset purchases, mortgage rate movements were somewhat subdued this week leading up to Wednesday's announcement of cuts to the stimulus program. Freddie Mac reported small rate jumps for the week ending December 19, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) average inching up to 4.47 percent (0.7 point) from 4.42 percent previously. Last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent.

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Flagstar to Sell $40.7B in Servicing Rights to REIT

Flagstar Bancorp, Inc., announced a deal with Matrix Financial Services Corporation, a subsidiary of Two Harbors, an REIT. According to Flagstar's announcement, the agreement covers the sale of $40.7 billion in unpaid principal balance on residential MSRs, an amount making up about 55 percent of Flagstar's mortgage loans "serviced-for-others" portfolio. The pool of loans covered in the deal is made up of loans originated mostly after 2010 and serviced for Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae, the announcement says.

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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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