Brena Swanson is the Digital Reporter for HousingWire.com, providing expert coverage on Millennials, lending and housing. Brena joined the HousingWire news team in February 2013, also serving in the roles of Reporter and Content Specialist. Brena graduated Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri.
Affordability, while the number one homebuyer concern, might soon be unseated by worrying about buyer competition. The rising concern isn’t too much of a surprise given this rough stat for potential homebuyers. On the positive side, the industry is stepping up to address affordability problems.
The year started out better than originally estimated, according to the "second" GDP estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. National Association of Federal Credit Unions Chief Economist Curt Long noted that this is another in a string of positive data releases which will provide plenty of ammunition for the Fed to raise rates no later than July.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action against a former Wells Fargo employee for an illegal mortgage fee-shifting scheme that allowed him to ultimately increase his commissions. The former employee now faces an $85,000 penalty and can’t work in the mortgage industry for one year.
Wells Fargo is answering calls in the industry to expand the credit box. Not only did the bank announce it now offers a down payment of as little as 3% for fixed-rate mortgages, but it is accepting mortgages with a FICO score as low as 620. Here's how Greg Gwizdz, executive vice president of national retail sales with Wells Fargo, said the bank is making this program work.
Despite tight inventory and affordability concerns, Pending home sales still increased for the third consecutive month in April, surging to the highest level in over a decade. Here's why Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors' chief economist, said sales are beating the odds.
Joseph Smith, monitor of the Chase RMBS Settlement, officially credited Chase with providing $3,887,777,119 of consumer relief to 165,191 borrowers. This brings the bank extremely close to its required $4 billion in credited consumer relief by Dec. 31, 2017. Here's a quick snapshot of the bank's progress so far.
While home prices only increased a meager 1.3% in the first quarter of 2016, it’s added onto a long string of increases; 19 consecutive quarterly price increases to be exact. According to FHFA Supervisory Economist Andrew Leventis, there is at least one unique factor in this quarter.
The OCC announced on Wednesday that it lifted the mortgage serving requirements on Wells Fargo now that it is in compliance with the requirements of the Independent Foreclosure Review. Wells Fargo is the most recent bank in a group of six to have its requirements lifted. But Wells Fargo didn’t come out of this unscathed and must pay a $70 million civil money penalty for previous violations of the order.
Despite the current low-mortgage rate environment, mortgage applications once again recorded a slow weak. However, one notable data point in this week’s survey is that the average loan size for purchase applications reached a survey high.
Established in 1852, Wells Fargo is now the largest mortgage lender in the country and is one of the first pioneers to bring digital into the mortgage process. John Shrewsberry, Wells Fargo senior executive vice president, chief financial officer, presented the bank’s financial situation at its investor day on Tuesday, shedding light into how the bank plans to thrive moving forward. One major key to its success: Digital innovation.
Saddled with legacy systems and burdened with changing regulations, the mortgage industry has been slow to adopt digitization compared to many other industries. Now, however, the industry must provide more transparency to regulators and satisfy consumers while managing tighter margins. In this perfect storm, there’s only one lifeboat — a digital process.
Has the Great Recession launched a new era of renting versus buying that will eventually result in a nation where more people rent their homes than purchase them? Or is the increase in renters these days due to an “over-correction” in the market? According to the latest “State of the Nation’s Housing” report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the U.S., in less than a decade, lost all its homeownership gains of the last 20 years.
Armed with an overall measure of housing market performance relative to long-term trend; an accompanying metric explaining whether that market is overheated or not; and importantly a way to attribute deviations in home prices precisely to selected market variables, market participants would be in a better position to take precautionary actions to limit their exposure in highly volatile markets.