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Volume 18 | Issue 7 | Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Lede


December Mortgage Credit Availability Down 7%

Mortgage credit availability fell to its lowest level in nearly two years in December as lending standards tightened, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning.


Top National News

Plunge in Rates Sparks 23.5% Spike in Mortgage Applications after Unusually Weak Holidays

CNBC, Jan. 9, 2019--Diana Olick
Overall volume jumped 23.5 percent last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index. An adjustment was also made for the New Year's Day holiday. Volume was still 9 percent lower than a year ago.

Partial Government Shutdown is Hurting Some Borrowers Seeking a Mortgage

Washington Post, Jan. 9, 2019--Kenneth R. Harney
If you'd been hoping to buy or refinance a house during the past couple of weeks with a conventional loan, your application or closing probably sailed through with few if any hitches, said Pete Mills, a senior vice president for the Mortgage Bankers Association. But federal workers could be experiencing problems.

Prospective Homebuyers Derailed by the Government Shutdown

CNBC, Jan. 9, 2019--Annie Nova
"Buying a home is a statement of optimism about your financial picture and your employment position," said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association. "It's going to be tougher to be optimistic given the amount of uncertainty in the environment right now."

The Right Way to Tap Your Home Equity for Cash

Consumer Reports, Jan. 9, 2019--Daniel Bartz
"This money should be used for purposes that really add value," says Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association. That means spending the cash on a home repair or paying off high-cost debt, rather than taking a vacation.

Fed Policymakers Say Can Wait on Further U.S. Rate Hikes

Reuters, Jan. 9, 2019--Jonathan Spicer, Howard Schneider
Federal Reserve policymakers can wait on any further interest rate hikes until they have a better handle on whether growing risks will undercut an otherwise solid U.S. economic outlook.

Median Household Income Not Cutting It for First-Time Home Buyers

National Mortgage News, Jan. 9, 2019--Elina Tarkazikis (subscription)
The average first-time homebuyer earns about $72,500, which is higher than the country's overall median household income of $60,700, according to Zillow. The drop is even greater for peers of new homeowners that didn't buy a house, as their median income sits at just $42,500.

Movement Mortgage Buying Big Piece of Lennar Home Mortgage

HousingWire, Jan. 9, 2019--Ben Lane
Movement Mortgage is set to acquire the retail operations of Eagle Home Mortgage, adding 35 branches and 230 mortgage professionals to Movement's operations.

Fintechs May Finally Win Charter Chase in 2019

American Banker, Jan. 9, 2019--Rachel Witkowski (subscription)
The headwinds blowing at fintech firms seeking a national chartering option are still fierce. But observers believe 2019 is the year that a multistate licensing regime will officially arrive.

Chrysler Building, a Famed Slice of Manhattan Skyline, Is on the Block

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 9, 2019--Keiko Morris (subscription)
The owners of the 1930 art deco office tower--an Abu Dhabi government fund and New York developer Tishman Speyer--have hired CBRE Group Inc. to market the property, according to Darcy Stacom, chairman of the firm's New York City capital markets group.

Residential Finance News

Bright Withdraws Ginnie Mae Nomination

Michael Bright, whose nomination as President of Ginnie Mae has been in congressional limbo for months, requested yesterday that his nomination be withdrawn.

As Shutdown Pressures Intensify, FHA Calls on Lenders to Assist Federal Workers

Three weeks into the partial government shutdown, pressures are mounting.

Midweek Housing Update

Here is a summary of housing and real estate finance-related reports out in the past week.

Commercial/Multifamily News

Commercial Prices Up 7% in November

U.S. commercial property prices rose 7.0 percent in November from a year earlier, continuing "steady" growth, said Real Capital Analytics, New York.

Commercial/Multifamily Briefs

Hudson Pacific Properties and Macerich announced Google Inc. pre-leased the joint venture's One Westside redevelopment, a planned 584,000-square-foot Class A creative office campus formerly part of the Westside Pavilion shopping mall in Los Angeles.

Dealmaker: 850 Third Avenue Trades for $422M

Midtown Manhattan office property 850 Third Avenue sold for $422 million--down $41 million from its last sale in 2016.

MBA News

MBA Education Ten Things Your Mortgage Company Must Do in 2019 Webinar Jan. 17

MBA Education presents a webinar, Ten Things Your Mortgage Company Must Do in 2019, on Wednesday, Jan. 17 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.

Call for Nominations for MBA Insights 2019 Tech All-Star Awards; Deadline Tomorrow

The Mortgage Bankers Association and MBA Insights are accepting nominations for the MBA Insights 2019 Tech All-Star Awards. Nominations will be accepted through this Friday, Jan. 11.

Register for MBA Servicing Operations Study and Forum for Prime and Specialty Servicers; Deadline Jan. 15

The Mortgage Bankers Association has begun enrollment for its 2019 Servicing Operations Study and Forum (covering 2018 data). Sign-up deadline is Jan. 15, 2019.

MBA Education School of Mortgage Banking I in D.C. Feb. 12-15

MBA Education presents its popular School of Mortgage Banking Course I Feb. 12-15 at MBA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

About MBA Newslink

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