Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Higher rates, rents expected

A look at stories across HousingWire’s weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues:

A big question was answered for the mortgage servicing industry over the weekend. And, no, it had nothing to do with the Baltimore Ravens winning the Super Bowl.

But the Mortgage Bankers Association announced its own series of winners, so to speak, when it released its year-end rankings of commercial and multifamily mortgage servicers.

By the end of December, Wells Fargo (WFC) topped the list with $429.1 billion in master and primary servicing business, followed by PNC Real Estate/Midland Loan Services (PNC) with $337.6 billion; Berkadia Commercial Banking; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and KeyBank Real Estate Capital.

Apparently, Zillow’s CEO is not afraid of Google. Zillow has been fending off reports for a while that Google may try to use its search engine and Internet power to create a competing platform for real estate listings, according to an article and video posted by Motley Fool.  In the interview, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff seems unconcerned about competition from Google.

A new article from Bankrate’s ()says the mortgage market should expect two things in 2013: Rising mortgage rates and higher rents. The reason? Demand in parts of the country may soon rise, causing home prices to rise on even tighter inventory levels, according to the report. 

As for the call on mortgage rates; da Costa argues the cost of financing a home purchase is so low, the only way to go it up.

The Wall Street Journal this weekend also took a crack at predicting higher rates, sort of. In an article on drying refi activity at Bank of America, David Reilly states, “()

Bank closing activity has been slow since mid-January.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. last reported a bank closing on Jan. 18.

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