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Volume 17 | Issue 36 | Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Lede


Low Inventories Stunt Existing Home Sales Again

Low existing home inventories put the slam on sales in January for the second consecutive month, the National Association of Realtors reported yesterday.


Residential Finance News

Customers Wary of Digital Identity

Proponents of a standardized digital identify--an electronically verified set of attributes that uniquely describe a person--say it can improve, simplify and accelerate identity-dependent transactions, including buying or renting a home. But, according to Fannie Mae in a new study, given the growing number and severity of personal data breaches, many Americans say the risks of having a digital identity outweigh the benefits.

Affordable Inland Metros Draw Migrants from High-Cost Coastal Markets

Redfin, Seattle, said migration patterns in the fourth quarter saw people in expensive, high-tax coastal markets such as San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles searched for homes in more affordable metros with lower taxes such as Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Nashville.

Commercial/Multifamily News

CMBS Supply-Demand Fundamentals Stable; Delinquency Rate Declines

Commercial property market supply and demand fundamentals remained relatively stable in the third quarter, reported Moody's Investors Service, New York.

Dealmaker: Quantum Capital Arranges $55M in Construction Financing

Quantum Capital Partners, Beverly Hills, Calif., arranged two construction loans totaling $54.5 million to develop a creative office building in Culver City, Calif. and a Walnut Creek, Calif. multifamily community.

MBA News

MBA State & Local Workshop Apr. 23-24

The Mortgage Bankers Association's annual State & Local Workshop takes place Apr. 23-24 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the MBA National Advocacy Conference (Apr. 24-25).

MISMO HMDA Implementation and Reporting Toolkit Overview Webinar Mar. 1

MISMO hosts a new webinar, HMDA Implementation and Reporting Toolkit Overview, on Thursday, Mar. 1 from noon-1:30 p.m. ET.

Attention Lenders: Upcoming 2018 MBA and STRATMOR Peer Group Roundtables

Is your company flying blind by not using reliable data to support key business decisions? Join an elite group of lenders this spring that participate in the MBA and STRATMOR Peer Group Roundtables.

MBA Education Ten(ish) Performance Ratios Every Mortgage Banker Must Know Webinar Feb. 27

MBA Education presents a webinar, Ten(ish) Performance Ratios Every Mortgage Banker Must Know, on Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.

Top National News

Mortgage Applications On the Decline

CNBC, Feb. 21, 2018 (video)
On CNBC's Squawk Box, MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni discusses why borrowing has slowed down because of interest rates that continue to rise.

Weekly Mortgage Applications Tank Even More, as Rising Rates Make Homes Less Affordable

CNBC, Feb. 21, 2018--Diana Olick
Mortgage interest rates jumped again last week, causing mortgage application volume to fall 6.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week. Volume was just 3.5 percent higher than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Tight Supply, Rising Prices Undercut On U.S. Home Sales

Reuters, Feb. 21, 2018--Lucia Mutikani
U.S. home sales unexpectedly fell in January, leading to the biggest year-on-year decline in more than three years, as a chronic shortage of houses lifted prices and kept first-time buyers out of the market.

Refi Market Share Starts the Year at 12-Month High

National Mortgage News, Feb. 21, 2018--Elina Tarkazikis (subscription)
Refinance mortgages accounted for 45% of mortgage volume, the highest share in a year, according to Ellie Mae's Origination Insights Report.

HUD Inspector General Investigating Carson Family Role at Agency

HousingWire, Feb. 21, 2018--Caroline Basile
CNN reported Tuesday there is an "open matter" according to HUD IG spokesman Darryl Madden, the news network reported. The investigation comes after HUD officials expressed ethics concerns about the extensive involvement that his family members--especially his son, Benjamin Jr.--played in official HUD business.

CFPB Seeks Input on How Best to Engage the Public

National Mortgage News, Feb. 21, 2018--Kate Berry (subscription)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking comment on how to engage the public in field hearings and town hall meetings as part of a broad review of all of the bureau's processes under acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

JPMorgan Chase to Build Giant New Midtown NYC Headquarters

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2018--Keiko Morris, Cara Lombardo (subscription)
JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to build a new 2.5 million square-foot headquarters at 270 Park Ave. in New York City, the first major project under a city rezoning plan designed to rejuvenate the building stock in one of its biggest job centers.

Homeownership is Still Financially Better than Renting

Urban Institute, Feb. 21, 2018--Laurie Goodman, Christopher Mayer
The authors state homeownership is not the universal panacea, but the financial returns on homeownership have been more beneficial than renting for most homeowners and will likely remain so if current patterns continue.

IRS Clarifies Home Equity Interest Deductibility

Mortgage Daily, Feb. 21, 2018
The Internal Revenue Service issued a clarification about the deductibility of interest that is paid on home-equity and junior-lien products.

Fed Minutes Show Confidence Improving on Growth, Price Outlook

Bloomberg, Feb. 21, 2018--Craig Torres
Federal Reserve officials grew more positive on the economic outlook, citing "substantial underlying economic momentum," and were increasingly optimistic about achieving their inflation target, according to minutes of last month's policy meeting.

Supreme Court Limits Protections for Corporate Whistleblowers

Los Angeles Times, Feb. 21, 2018--David G. Savage
The Supreme Court sharply limited the legal protections for corporate whistleblowers on Wednesday, ruling they are not shielded from being fired under the Dodd-Frank Act unless they have reported a potential fraud to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

U.S. Treasury Recommends Preserving Dodd-Frank Bank Resolution Regime

Reuters, Feb. 21, 2018--Pete Schroeder
The U.S. Treasury Department has recommended preserving powers created after the 2007-2009 financial crisis that allow regulators to step in and wind down a failing bank, in a win for big banks and overseas regulators who had lobbied for the United States to keep it.

Making Sure that the Senate's Access and Affordability Proposal Works

Urban Institute, Feb. 21, 2018--Jim Parrott, Laurie Goodman
A draft bill to overhaul the housing finance system being considered in the Senate Banking Committee could provide a meaningful improvement of the way in which Americans support affordable homeownership. But the authors say it needs to overcome several critical design challenges that could undermine its effectiveness if mishandled.

About MBA Newslink

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Publisher: Marcia Davies, Chief Operating Officer

Vice President of Public Affairs: John Mechem

Editor: Mike Sorohan 202/557-2855 

Editorial Director: Michael Tucker 202/557-2851 

Senior Editorial/Advertising Specialist: Lesley Hall 202/557-2856

Advertising Opportunities: Bill Farmakis 203/834-8832

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