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Volume 18 | Issue 32 | Friday, February 15, 2019

The Lede


Trend Toward Buyers' Market Looking Stronger

After nearly four years of year-over-year declines, for-sale inventory has grown on an annual basis four out of the past five months, said Zillow, Seattle, a trend that clearly favors home buyers going forward.


Top National News

Mortgage Rates Dip to their Lowest Levels in More than a Year

Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2019--Kathy Orton
According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average dropped to 4.37 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 3.41 percent a week ago and 3.38 percent a year ago. (MBA mention)

Susan Stewart on How to Thrive in the Industry

Mortgage Media, Feb. 14, 2019
MBA vice chair talks with Mortgage Media's S.A. Ibrahim about changes in process, demographics and representation in the industry--and notes that innovation must go hand in hand with experience.

Mortgage Applications for New Home Purchases Up 43 Percent

National Mortgage Professional, Feb. 14, 2019--Phil Hall
Mortgage applications for new home purchases began 2019 with a bang, soaring by 43 percent from December, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). However, the level was unchanged from one year ago.

Amazon Drops Plans to Build Headquarters in New York City

Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2019--Robert McCartney, Jonathan O'Connell
The company issued a statement saying it did not intend to reopen its search for a second headquarters at this time, but would continue with plans to put at least 25,000 jobs in Arlington in Northern Virginia and 5,000 in Nashville. New York was scheduled to get 25,000 jobs under the original announcement in November, which split the 50,000 jobs for a second headquarters between New York and Virginia.

Reform of Fannie, Freddie Should Fall to Congress: FHFA Nominee

National Mortgage News, Feb. 14, 2019--Hannah Long (subscription)
The nominee to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Mark Calabria, appeared to lean toward having Congress reform the government-sponsored enterprises, despite recent speculation that the Trump administration was readying a plan that could be carried out without legislation.

House Lawmaker Warns of CECL's Impact on Fannie, Freddie

National Mortgage News, Feb. 14, 2019--Neil Haggerty (subscription)
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., told acting Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Joseph Otting that he is concerned the Financial Accounting Standards Board's new model for estimating loan losses, which has long drawn industry criticism, could pose risk across the mortgage market.

Fannie Mae Reports Net Income of $16B in 2018

HousingWire, Feb. 14, 2019--Alcynna Lloyd
Fannie Mae reported Thursday it posted a comprehensive income of $3.2 billion in the fourth quarter, bringing full-year earnings to $15.6 billion in 2018.

Freddie Mac Reports Net Income of $8.6 Billion in 2018

HousingWire, Feb. 14, 2019--Kelsey Ramirez
After taking out market-related losses due to interest rate and spread volatility, Freddie Mac reported an income of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 and $8.6 billion for the full year.

New 'Opportunity Zones' Give Investors Big Tax Breaks

Orange County Register, Feb. 14, 2019--Jeff Lazerson
Taxpayers facing a capital gains tax payment can defer the tax by investing in one of more than 8,700 economically depressed "opportunity zones." Here are some of the rules.

Residential Finance News

MBA Offices Closed Monday

Offices of the Mortgage Bankers Association will be closed this Monday, Feb. 18 in observance of the Presidents Day holiday.

Remodeling Outlook Wavers as Challenges Mount

Growth in remodeling is fine, for now. But annual growth in the national market for home improvement and repair is expected to slow considerably by the end of the year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity from the Joint Center for housing Studies of Harvard University.

Residential Briefs

Blend, San Francisco, launched home equity loan and home equity line of credit products. The offerings, already in use by more than 20 Blend customers including U.S. Bank and Mountain America Credit Union, represent the first expansion of the company's core lending platform beyond digital mortgages.

Commercial/Multifamily News

As Markets Change, Execs Stress Strategic Thinking

SAN DIEGO--Commercial real estate debt markets are as competitive as ever, so industry executives need to think strategically, CRE leaders said here at the MBA CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo's second general session.

Dealmaker: Arbor Funds $25M in Small Balance Loans

Arbor Realty Trust, Uniondale, N.Y., funded $24.7 in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac small balance multifamily loans.

MBA News

MBA National Advocacy Conference in D.C. Apr. 2-3

The Mortgage Bankers Association's annual National Advocacy Conference takes place Apr. 2-3 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.

MBA Education Compliance Essentials State Mortgage Servicing Rules Deep Dive Workshop Feb. 25

MBA Education and the Compliance Essentials program present State Mortgage Servicing Rules Deep Dive Workshop on Feb 25 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando in conjunction with the MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo.

MBA Compliance Essentials Offers Certified Mortgage Compliance Professional Designation Level 1

Earn recognition for your mortgage compliance expertise: MBA Education and the MBA Compliance Essentials program offer the only certification and designation program geared exclusively towards compliance professionals in the mortgage finance industry, the Certified Mortgage Compliance Professional (CMCP).

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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