A surge of illegal immigration over the summer by unaccompanied minors has brought immigration reform and border security into the news in a big way. Still, the dramatic headlines — some claiming a humanitarian crisis — are unlikely to get immigration reform back on track in Congress. For housing leaders — who recognize immigration as a key driver of household formation — lack of immigration reform comes as a big disappointment.
When Arthur Nelson, a professor at the University of Arizona, went shopping for a home in Tucson recently, he found plenty of senior citizens trying to sell their homes — but at prices far more than what they were worth. "I was amazed at the number of homes that were overpriced by about 25% where the owners were seniors," he said. These seniors would barely counteroffer, taking so little off the asking price that it wasn’t worth negotiating, Nelson said.
Each weekday morning, Kendra Taylor settles into her cubicle at Nationstar Mortgage and fires up a computer and two monitors. With a few keystrokes, she sends out a morning greeting: "Happy Monday! We hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. We’re back to work and ready to help out if you need us!"
David Stevens calls it a watershed year for the nation’s mortgage originators. Stevens, the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association, calls it a “systemic change” in the market. It’s one that is keeping lenders up at night, worrying about declining loan volumes, costly regulation and rising interest rates.
More and more Americans are choosing to rent instead of buy. With two single-family rental securitizations on the market at press time and more likely in the works, this new asset class has the financial market energized.
Home equity lines of credit initiated during the run-up of the housing market turn 10 this year. It’s
not a birthday anyone is particularly celebrating, but one in which lenders are still making a silent wish before blowing out the candles.
Distressed property sales, including short sales, accounted for 21.6% of national sales in the fall of 2013, according to a recent four-month rolling quarter report from Clear Capital — a far cry from the peak of 41% in 2011.
In early August, President Obama reminded lawmakers of their consensus to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
He was talking before a gathering in the apt surroundings of Phoenix. The choice of location — at a construction company no less — was clearly no accident. The Arizona desert city was a poster child for the housing crash that enveloped the U.S. in 2008. These days, the president said, the Phoenix metro area is experiencing one of the nation’s most rapid housing recoveries.
Melvin Luther Watt quietly slid into his office as the first appointed director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It was the end of last year, in mid-December. Christmas was coming and the markets were in the middle of the harshest winter in years. As he took over the office of Acting Director Ed DeMarco — himself the unassuming lightning rod for the nation’s housing policy — Watt gave no indication of what he intended to do with his new position; arguably the most powerful job in mortgage finance..
Crowdfunding has swept through large verticals of consumer finance, including student loans and credit card debt. And so, naturally, in a market of rising property values, the real estate market is the latest frontier for crowd-based financing. Read More
Like oxygen, warehouse lending is one of the mortgage industry’s essential life-supporting elements. And fortunately, the warehouse segment is in much better health today than it was six years ago, as we are back up to around 70 warehouse lenders at my last count. Read More