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Volume 18 | Issue 78 | Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Lede


March Existing Home Sales Down 5%

Existing home sales fell back in March following February's surge, the National Association of Realtors reported yesterday.


Top National News

Trump-Appointed Official Promises Full Push to Overhaul Plumbing of Mortgage Market

Wall Street Journal, Apr. 22, 2019--Andrew Ackerman, Ben Eisen (subscription)
Mark Calabria, in his first interview since taking the helm of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said he wants to put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--bailed out during the crisis, but now profitable--on the road toward returning to private hands, something Washington policy makers have tried and failed to do for the past decade.

Herman Cain Withdraws Bid to Join Federal Reserve

Washington Post, Apr. 22, 2019--Heather Long
Herman Cain, President Trump's planned nominee for the Federal Reserve, withdrew from consideration on Monday, after a lack of Republican support in the Senate doomed his prospects for confirmation.

On the Precipice of Change: In Support of GSE Reform

Mortgage Media, April 22, 2019--David Stevens, CMB
Former MBA President & CEO says to protect generational impact of GSE reform process, policymakers must ensure the permanence of some of the most critical issues before any consideration to recapitalization and release.

How Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Dodged a Cap on CEO Pay

Washington Post, Apr. 22, 2019--Renae Merle
The housing companies may have found a way around a congressionally mandated pay cap. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac created a new job--president--transferring some of the work traditionally done by the CEOs to the new positions, according to government investigators. The presidents will be paid more than $3 million each.

Trump's Housing Agency Cracks Down on Zero-Down Home Loans

Bloomberg, Apr. 22, 2019--Prashant Gopal
The Trump Administration is cracking down on national affordable housing programs because of concern over growing risk to the government's almost $1.3 trillion portfolio of federally insured mortgages.

Mortgage Before Marriage for Many Young Buyers

WTOP (Washington, D.C.), Apr. 22, 2019--Jeff Clabaugh
Nearly 25% of millennial homebuyers want to buy a home before they get married.

Recently Hot Housing Markets Now See Biggest Sales Declines

Bloomberg, Apr. 22, 2019--Prashant Gopal
Buyers in the tightest U.S. housing markets finally got what they've been looking for: inventory. But instead of sales surging as a result, they're sinking.

More Online Mortgage Shopping Equates Lower Servicer Retention Rates

National Mortgage News, Apr. 22, 2019--Bonnie Sinnock (subscription)
Consumers increasing their online shopping for homes and loans is a reason why mortgage servicers' retention rates haven't improved much since the downturn, according to Mike Eshelman of Jamaya.

Urban Institute: It Hasn't Been This Easy to Get a Government-Backed Mortgage in 10 Years

HousingWire, Apr. 22, 2019--Ben Lane
According to the new analysis from the Urban Institute, the level of mortgage credit available for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Agriculture was higher during the fourth quarter than it was during any quarter since 2009.

Residential Finance News

Black Knight: Prepayments Surge on Lower Interest Rates; Seasonal Delinquency Rate Improvement Remains Muted

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said mortgage prepayment activity increased by 28% month-over-month in March, the largest single-month increase since 2016, in response to declining interest rates and the start of the spring home buying season.

Redfin: Home Sales Surge in Florida as California Markets See Double-Digit Annual Declines

Redfin, Seattle, reported U.S. home sale prices as essentially flat in March, ticking down by just 0.1 percent annually to a median of $295,100, the first year-over-year price decrease on record since February 2012.

Commercial/Multifamily News

CMBS Supply-Demand Fundamentals Steady; Special Servicing Falls

Commercial property market supply and demand fundamentals remained stable in late 2018, Moody's Investors Service reported.

Dealmaker: Vornado Sells 45% of New York Portfolio for $5.5B

Vornado Realty Trust, New York, transferred a 45.4 percent interest in a portfolio of New York retail assets on Upper Fifth Avenue and Times Square in a $5.5 billion transaction.

MBA News

MBA Document Custody Workshop June 20

The Mortgage Bankers Association's popular Document Custody Workshop takes place Thursday, June 20 at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner in McLean, Va.

MBA Education Advanced Risk Management for Pros June 3-5 in D.C.

MBA Education presents its popular Advanced Risk Management for Mortgage Pros Workshop, in conjunction with the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, in Washington, D.C. June 3-5.

Make Your Voice Heard through MBA Mortgage Action Alliance

The Mortgage Action Alliance is a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association.

About MBA Newslink

President and CEO: Robert Broeksmit, CMB

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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