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Tag Archives: Lenders & Servicers

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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Price Appreciation Projected for 90% of Nation’s Top Markets

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In its latest forecast, analytics firm Veros Real Estate Solutions predicts home prices will rise on average 5.1 percent for the nation's top 100 metro areas. The company's previous 2014 projections, released last quarter, called for 4.8 percent growth. "The future HPI [Home Price Index] forecast continues to show good appreciation, but the markets appear to be topping out for now," said Eric Fox, Veros' VP of statistical and economic modeling and author of the company's VeroFORECAST.

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CFPB Targets Missouri Lender over Alleged Kickbacks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last week ordered a Missouri-based mortgage lender and its president to pay more than $80,000 for funneling illegal kickbacks in exchange for real estate referrals. According to CFPB's complaint, filed in mid-January, Fidelity Financial Mortgage Corporation (FFMC) in 2010 entered into an agreement with a Missouri bank in which Fidelity would lease an office at the bank in exchange for business referrals.

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Economists Review Progress on Road to Recovery

The housing market has made great strides in recovering from the problems that ail it, but there are still major improvements that have to occur before it's back up to full health, Freddie Mac says in its latest Economic and Housing Market Outlook. The GSE's outlook focuses on four things the market needs to see before it can say the crisis is well and truly behind it: a healthy jobs market, mortgage delinquencies back down to historical averages, home prices consistent with payment-to-income ratios, and home sales more in line with historical norms.

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Study: Housing Hardships Greater for Black, Hispanic Communities

Despite efforts to bring greater equality to the housing market, research conducted by Zillow suggests black and Hispanic homebuyers still face greater difficulties related to homeownership than whites. The study found blacks and Hispanics were more likely to apply for a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) than a conventional loan, and out of those that did go for a conventional mortgage, black and Hispanic applicants were far more likely to be denied.

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