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Volume 18 | Issue 31 | Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Lede


January New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Jump 43%, But Flat from Year Ago

The Mortgage Bankers Association said this morning its Builder Applications Survey data for January showed mortgage applications for new home purchases jumped by 43 percent from December but was unchanged from a year ago.


Top National News

The Hot Trade in the Housing Market: Servicing Your Mortgage

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 13, 2019--Ben Eisen (subscription)
The mortgage market slowdown is stirring up interest in a humdrum segment of American home lending: the rights to the arcane task of handling monthly payments. Sales of mortgage-servicing rights jumped 14 percent in 2018 from a year earlier. (MBA mention)

Multifamily Sector, Energizer Bunny Share Common Trait, Says MBA's Woodwell

RE Business Online, Feb. 13, 2019--John Nelson
The multifamily sector is like the Energizer Bunny, says Jamie Woodwell, vice president of commercial and multifamily research for the Mortgage Bankers Association: "It just keeps going and going and going."

Top U.S. Commercial Mortgage Servicers of 2018 Revealed

World Property Journal, Feb. 13, 2019--Michael Gerrity
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's newly released its year-end ranking of commercial and multifamily mortgage servicers' volumes (as of December 31, 2018); Wells Fargo leads the national rankings, again.

Mortgage Applications Drop 3.7% as Homebuyers Pull Back

CNBC, Feb. 13, 2019--Diana Olick
The lowest interest rates in nearly a year were not enough incentive to juice mortgage demand. Total mortgage application volume fell 3.7 percent last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Trump Nominee to Face Questions on Future of 30-Year Mortgages

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 14, 2019--Andrew Ackerman (subscription)
The Trump administration's pick to help overhaul the way many Americans finance their home purchases, Mark Calabria, is expected to face questions about the future of the popular 30-year-mortgage at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday. (MBA mention)

One Investment Firm Found a Silver Lining in the Mortgage Industry: Software

New York Times, Feb. 13, 2019--Tom Buerkle
Investment firm Thoma Bravo is paying $3.7 billion to acquire the Pleasanton, Calif.-based Ellie Mae. That's more than 25 times the software company's projected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for this year, according to estimates collated by Refinitiv, and a nearly 50 percent premium to its stock's latest 30-day closing average. (MBA mention)

Senators Vor Urgent Reform to Correct 'Unacceptable' Military Housing Conditions

Reuters, Feb. 13, 2019--Joshua Schneyer, M.B. Pell
Senators scolded real estate executives and Pentagon leadership over "unacceptable" conditions in privatized military housing on Wednesday, vowing urgent reform to protect service families from widespread health and safety hazards in base homes.

Black Knight's Earnings Drop, But Software Unit Drives Revenue Growth

National Mortgage News, Feb. 13, 2019--Brad Finkelstein (subscription)
Net earnings for the quarter of $42.8 million were flat with $43 million in the third quarter, but down from $147.2 million one year prior, but the fourth-quarter 2017 results were boosted by a $110.9 million tax benefit resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Former LandCastle Title CEO Nat Hardwick Sentenced to 15 Years for Embezzling $26 Million

HousingWire, Feb. 13, 2019--Ben Lane
Hardwick was accused of conspiring with Asha Maurya, the law firm's former chief financial officer, to steal $26 million from the attorney escrow accounts and operating accounts of Morris Hardwick Schneider and LandCastle Title.

Sierra Pacific Mortgage Fined $3.67 Million for FHA Lending Violations

HousingWire, Feb. 13, 2019--Ben Lane
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Sierra Pacific was accused of violating the False Claims Act by falsely certifying that it complied with FHA mortgage insurance requirements in connection with certain loans made between 2007 and 2009.

Residential Finance News

Quicken Reports Widening Gap Between Owner, Appraiser Home Value Opinions

For the third consecutive month, Quicken Loans, Detroit reported an increase in the gap between appraised values of homes and homeowners' perception of their home's value, with Americans believing their home is appreciating faster than what appraisers say.

Redfin: Bidding Wars ‘Nearly Vanished'

Redfin, Seattle, reported just 13 percent of offers written by Redfin agents on behalf of their home-buying customers faced competition in January, down from 53 percent a year ago.

Commercial/Multifamily News

Transitional Lending in a Transitional Economy

SAN DIEGO--Short duration bridge loans on transitional assets are increasingly attractive to lenders due to their higher yields, but these loans come with their own challenges, analysts said here at the MBA CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo.

Dealmaker: Phillips Realty Capital Arranges $63M For Hawaii Hotel

Phillips Realty Capital, Bethesda, Md., structured a $63 million loan for the Ohana Waikiki Malia Hotel in Honolulu.

MBA News

MBA Commercial/Multifamily Servicing & Technology Conference in L.A. May 14-17

The Mortgage Bankers Association's annual Commercial/Multifamily Servicing & Technology Conference takes place May 14-17 at the J.W. Marriott L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

MBA Education Foundational Concepts in Residential Mortgage Servicing in Orlando Feb. 25

MBA Education presents a workshop, MBA Education Foundational Concepts in Residential Mortgage Servicing, in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 25 in conjunction with the MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo.

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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