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Volume 18 | Issue 56 | Friday, March 22, 2019

The Lede


FHFA: GSEs Assist 4.3 Million Homeowners Since Conservatorships

The Federal Housing Finance Agency yesterday reported Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 41,062 foreclosure prevention actions in the fourth quarter, bringing the total number of foreclosure prevention actions to 4.283 million since September 2008.


Top National News

Jumbo Mortgage Slowdown Sparks Fear of New Housing Crisis

Fox Business, Mar. 21, 2019
Dolly Lenz, founder of Dolly Lenz Real Estate, and Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, on the report that jumbo mortgages dropped 12 percent in dollar volume in 2018.

MBA's Thomas Kim: Venture Capital, Startups and Commercial Real Estate: Innovation Potential in a Bespoke Industry

Corporate Real Estate Journal
Thomas Kim, MBA Senior Vice President, recently authored a paper for the UK-based Corporate Real Estate Journal on the role of venture capital, startups and technology-based investments in the commercial real estate industry. 

Homebuyers to Get Springtime Bost from Lower-than-Expected Mortgage Rates

USA Today, Mar. 22, 2019--Janna Herron
Buyers won't have to race against the clock like in 2018 when rates started at 4.25 percent in January and were a half-point higher by April, said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage Rates are in a Free Fall with No End in Sight

Washington Post, Mar. 21, 2019--Kathy Orton
According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average slipped to 4.28 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 4.31 percent a week ago and 4.45 percent a year ago. (MBA mention)

Real Estate, Bank Lobbies Get Tax Victory From White House Review

Bloomberg Tax, Mar. 21, 2019
The real estate and banking lobbies asked, the White House's regulatory review office listened-and then the administration helped those industries become eligible for a $414.5 billion perk in the 2017 tax law. Pete Mills, the Mortgage Bankers Association's senior vice president of residential policy, said in an emailed statement that the group was "pleased that the final rule reflected changes in the definition of ‘dealing in securities' that were consistent with the recommendations in our formal comments."

5 Questions for Freddie Mac's Next CEO

National Mortgage News, Mar. 21, 2019--Hannah Lang (subscription)
Freddie Mac made it official on Thursday that David Brickman, a 20-year veteran with the mortgage giant, will become CEO effective July 1.

Markets are Reeling after 'Bizarre' Fed Surprise

Business Insider, Mar. 21, 2019--Theron Mohamed
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said it could be "some time" before unemployment and inflation prompted a change in policy. The Fed also said that starting in September it would stop allowing $50 billion of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities to roll off its balance sheet each month.

Kroll Says Some Banks are Rethinking Viability of Mortgage Lending Business

HousingWire, Mar. 21, 2019--Jessica Guerin
The mortgage industry has witnessed very few mergers and acquisitions in the last year, despite what Kroll Bond Rating Agency calls a "fertile environment" for M&A activity.

Survey: Half of Buyers Looking for Homes Under $200K

National Mortgage Professional, Mar. 21, 2019--Phil Hall
Today's launch of the spring homebuying season is being greeted with a new survey that found nearly half of shoppers this season are looking for homes at or under $200,000.

Are Agents Getting Kickbacks for Mortgage, Escrow Referrals?

Orange County Register, Mar. 21, 2019--Jeff Lazerson
When it comes to real estate agents and brokerages, pay-to-play offers come in different forms. It could be solicitation of cash, sponsoring a golf weekend or a weekend sales seminar. It could be paying for the marketing materials or hosting lavish open house food spreads.

Residential Finance News

Florida, Las Vegas Best Markets for First-Time Home Buyers

Last week, we shared a report from, showing, showing six of the 10 worst metros for first-time home buyers are in California, with San Francisco topping--or rather, bottoming--the list. Now, Zillow Inc., Seattle, has weighed in with its own list, showing what it believes are the best markets for first-time home buyers. It found three of the best six markets are in Florida, with Tampa topping the list for the second consecutive year.

Ellie Mae: Closing Times Decrease as Purchases Tick Up

Ellie Mae, Pleasanton, Calif., said as mortgage rates continued to fall in February, time to close loans fell across all loan types by more than two days.

Commercial/Multifamily News

Wells Fargo Securities: Labor Costs Likely to Keep Increasing

There is no relief in sight for the serious shortage of skilled construction workers for commercial real estate projects, said Wells Fargo Securities, Charlotte, N.C.

Dealmaker: George Smith Partners Arranges $30M

George Smith Partners, Los Angeles, arranged $30.4 million in bridge financing for office and retail assets in two states.

MBA News

MBA Education School of Mortgage Banking I in Chicago May 14-17

MBA Education presents its popular School of Mortgage Banking Course I May 14-17 in Chicago.

Save on FedEx Shipping through MBA Member Advantage Program

Through the MBA Member Advantage Program, you can save up to 29 percent on small package shipping with FedEx.

Make the Most of Your MBA Membership: Special Focus on Loan Servicing Webinar Mar. 22

The Mortgage Bankers Association invites you to participate in a Mar. 22 webinar focused on loan servicing.

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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