Lunch & Learn: Are appraisals the next big opportunity in mortgage fulfillment?

This Lunch & Learn for mortgage lenders will explore the evolution of the appraisal process as well as opportunities for innovation.

HousingWire Annual Virtual Summit

Sessions from HousingWire Annual 2021 are going to be virtually streamed on October 25. Register now for FREE to tune into what housing industry leaders had to say this year!

How Freddie Mac is addressing affordable housing challenges

Freddie Mac is focused on addressing limited access to credit, housing inequalities, creation and preservation of affordable housing supply and advancement of homeownership education.

How to increase minority homeownership?

Today’s HousingWire Daily features a roundtable discussion from HousingWire’s Lunch & Learn series that looks at “Unpacking the lender’s vital role in increasing minority homeownership.”

CoronavirusPolitics & Money

Fed chairman tries to calm coronavirus jitters

Worst stock selloff since 2008 signals mortgage rates heading toward all-time lows

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday afternoon issued a rare inter-meeting statement hinting at rate cuts as he tried to calm jitters about the global spread of coronavirus.

“The fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong,” Powell said. “However, the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity. The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook. We will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.”

Powell issued the statement two hours before the close of trading on Wall Street. It was enough to erase a portion of the worst stock retreat since 2008. It’s rare for the Fed to comment on issues outside of their scheduled meetings or speeches.

As a result of the stock selloff, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield plunged to a record low on Friday, after falling 30 basis points during the week, as investors looked for safe havens.

The increase in competition for bonds is a signal that mortgage rates, which track Treasury yields, could be heading to record lows.

Mortgage rates would need to tumble 15 basis points to set an all-time low. The rate this week fell to 3.45%, matching a three-year low set earlier in February, according to Freddie Mac. The lowest rate ever recorded was 3.31% in November 2012.

Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase, told Bloomberg News that Powell’s statement indicates an interest-rate cut is “squarely on the table” at the Fed’s March 17-18 meeting.

“I think this is a step in the right direction to help calm some of the concerns,” he said. “This is important in that they’re saying they’re not going to be stubborn here.”

The Fed doesn’t have much gunpowder left after three quarter-point cuts last year. Rate cuts are intended to bolster bad economies, and the Fed has already used up some of its firepower to support a slowing expansion. The current Fed rate target range is 1.5% to 1.75%.

What the Fed didn’t do, however, was give in to repeated demands from President Donald Trump to slash rates to below zero. Fed governors withstood a torrent of presidential name-calling – the tweeted insults included “boneheads” and “clueless.”

If the Fed had slashed its rate to zero or below, there would be little Powell could offer now, in the face of a global crisis, to support the U.S. economy.

Most Popular Articles

FHFA to make desktop appraisals permanent

Desktop appraisals, a temporary flexibility implemented in March 2020 amid lockdowns and social distancing, will become permanent, the FHFA said today.

Oct 18, 2021 By

Latest Articles

Rocket Pro TPO redesigns pricing calculator for brokers

Rocket Pro TPO aims to help its broker partners grow their businesses. The new Pricing Calculator provides brokers with fast, reliable and accessible information that can help differentiate them from competitors. In the midst of this serious housing shortage, brokers need tools to help them provide top-notch service to homebuyers. 

Oct 22, 2021 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please