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Volume 18 | Issue 57 | Monday, March 25, 2019

The Lede


MBA Advocacy Update

This week, MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, will testify before the Senate Banking Committee in a hearing on GSE reform.


Top National News

Lenders are Quietly Lowering FICO Credit Score Requirements for Mortgages, Mar. 22, 2019--Natalie Campisi
These increases in LTVs and DTIs are not surprising given that we're in a home-buying environment, especially since home prices are rising much faster than wage growth, says Michael Fratantoni, Mortgage Bankers Association chief economist.

Mortgage Rates are Now Breaking New Lower Territory, And They Could Stay There for Months

CNBC, Mar. 22, 2019--Diana Olick
"The combination of lower rates - especially compared to last spring - and moderating home-price growth improves buyers' purchasing power and will hopefully translate to a somewhat faster pace of home sales than previously expected," said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Future of Affordable Housing

Media Planet, Mar. 22, 2019--Ben Carson
HUD Secretary pens op-ed calling on industry and policymakers to improve affordable housing opportunities and spur economic growth.

World's Biggest Banks Accused of Price-Fixing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Bonds

HousingWire, Mar. 22, 2019--Ben Lane
The lawsuit was filed this week by the state of Pennsylvania, which claims that Bank of America; Barclays Capital; BNP Paribas; Citigroup; Credit Suisse; Deutsche Bank; Deutsche Bank Securities; First Tennessee Bank; FTN Financial Securities; Goldman Sachs; JPMorgan Chase; J.P. Morgan Securities; Merrill Lynch; and UBS Securities conspired to both overcharge and underpay investors on debt bonds issued by Fannie and Freddie between 2009 and 2014.

Mortgage Sector Performance May Lag as Fed Pivots to Treasuries

Bloomberg, Mar. 22, 2019--Christopher Maloney
Mortgage securities may perform worse than government bonds in the coming months after the Federal Reserve said it plans to move more of its debt holdings into U.S. Treasuries.

Trump Offers Fed Board Position to Economic Commentator Stephen Moore

Wall Street Journal, Mar. 22, 2019--Nick Timiraos (subscription)
President Trump said Friday he intends to nominate former campaign adviser Stephen Moore to serve on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors.

Rural America Faces a Housing Cost Crunch

Pew Charitable Trusts, Mar. 25, 2019--Tim Henderson
Nearly one-fourth of the nation's most rural counties have seen a sizeable increase this decade in the number of households spending at least half their income on housing.

Residential Finance News

Existing Home Sales Rise 4th Straight Month

Existing home sales posted the largest month-over-month gain since 2015, rising for the fourth straight month in February, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Friday.

Freddie Mac: Lower Mortgage Rates, Home Price Moderation to Help Spring Home Buying

Freddie Mac, McLean, Va., said the mortgage market is expected to see modest growth in 2019, buoyed by lower mortgage interest rates.

The Week Ahead

DALLAS--MBA NewsLink comes to you this week from the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual Technology Solutions Conference & Expo, running through Wednesday, Mar. 27 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

Commercial/Multifamily News

MBA Chart of the Week: MBA Commercial/Multifamily Market Uncertainty Bingo

At this year's MBA Commercial/Multifamily Real Estate Finance (CREF) Convention & Expo in San Diego, more than 3,000 commercial and multifamily real estate finance professionals came together for the industry's largest gathering of the year to hear from expert speakers, network with peers and gauge the state of the CREF industry.

Incentives Drive Multifamily Investments in Opportunity Zones

A tax advantage included in 2017's tax reform law should lead to a "significant" capital influx to multifamily investments located in Opportunity Zones, said Freddie Mac, McLean, Va.

Dealmaker: HFF Arranges $104M

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, Houston, arranged $104.3 million for office, hotel and retail properties in three states.

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 School of Mortgage Banking II May 14-17 in Chicago

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

MBA Disaster Recovery Guide Now Available in Spanish

The Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals have developed a Spanish-language version of Disaster Recovery: A Resource for Homeowners, a consumer-facing informational guide.

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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