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Tag Archives: Lenders & Servicers

Construction Spending Inches Up in December, Touches 5-Year High

The Department of Commerce reported Monday that spending in December ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $930.5 billion, 0.1 percent above November's revised estimate of $929.9 billion and 5.3 percent ahead of December 2012's $883.6 billion. December's figure was the highest since March 2009, when spending ran at a rate of $955.0 billion. Residential construction came in at a rate of $357.4 billion, its highest since June 2008.

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Wells Ranks Top Among Commercial Servicers in 2013

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released over the weekend its year-end ranking of commercial and multifamily servicers' volumes--and once again, Wells Fargo topped the list. According to MBA's numbers, Wells Fargo took the No. 1 spot with $434.4 billion in dollar volume and 33,354 in loan volume. Following it were PNC Real Estate ($369.6 billion, up from $337.6 billion the previous year) and Berkadia Commercial Mortgage ($235.4 billion, up from $197.3 billion).

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MountainView Announces $2.4B MSR Offering

MountainView Servicing Group announced the offering of another Fannie Mae mortgage servicing rights (MSR) portfolio, this one with an unpaid principal balance of $2.4 billion. According to MountainView, the portfolio features 100 percent first-lien and 99.7 percent fixed-rate products (with 86 percent 30-year fixed-rate loans) and a weighted average interest rate of 3.69 percent. Bids for the portfolio are due February 6 at 3 p.m. Eastern.

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Consumer Sentiment Index Dips in January

The Surveys of Consumers' Index of Consumer Sentiment, released jointly by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center, dropped to 81.2 this month from December's 82.5. The monthly decline stands in contrast to the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which rose for the second straight month in the group's most recent report. The measure of sentiment about current conditions fell slightly to 96.8, while the expectations index was down to 71.2.

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Underwriting Standards Ease as Banks Vie for Business

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's (OCC) latest underwriting survey shows lending standards have continued to relax as banks duke it out over a dwindling market. Despite the drop in standards, examiners indicated risk in residential mortgage portfolios remained unchanged or decreased at 87 percent of banks. Still, OCC cautions banks to ensure they're giving "appropriate attention" to underwriting, loan structures, and loan administration.

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GDP Advances 3.2% in Q4

The nation's economy continued to grow in the fourth quarter, helped along by improvements in consumer spending and business investment. In its "advance" estimate of real gross domestic product (GDP) last quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) put growth at an estimated annual rate of 3.2 percent. Last quarter's increase was driven mostly by positive contributions from personal consumer expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment, and exports.

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Report: Majority of Lenders Putting Financial Data at Risk

As companies like Target and Michaels Stores continue to take a drubbing over high-profile data breaches, a report from cybersecurity firm HALOCK Security Labs suggests mortgage lenders may not be doing enough to protect applicants' sensitive financial data. After investigating practices at 63 lenders of varying size, HALOCK found more than 45 companies (70 percent) permitted applicants to send personal and financial information through unencrypted email attachments.

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December Pending Home Sales Weakest Since 2011

The National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) fell in December to its lowest level in more than two years, with declines reported in all four of the country's major regions. The index, a forward-looking sales indicator based on contract signings, dropped 8.7 percent to 92.4 from a downwardly revised reading of 101.2 in November. December's index was at its lowest measure since October 2011, when it read 92.2.

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