In the Money

Trump: "Many geniuses" are working to end government control of Fannie and Freddie

Tells NAR audience administration will work closely with Congress to pass critical reforms
President Donald Trump spoke about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for two minutes near the end of a one-hour speech at the National Association of Realtors convention in Washington on Friday. In addition to HousingWire’s story on Trump’s speech, here are the president’s complete and unedited comments on housing-finance reform.
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U.S. economic growth may be casualty in trade war with China, Fannie Mae says in new forecast

Mortgage rates will probably average 4.2%, higher than the 4.1% forecasted last month
Fannie Mae, the largest mortgage financier, boosted its forecast for mortgage rates and lowered its prediction for GDP growth for the remaining quarters this year, citing the tariff war with China as a primary reason. GDP growth in the U.S. will probably be 1.7% for the current quarter, down from the 2.1% growth the mortgage giant predicted last month before negotiations over a trade pact with China veered off-course.
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U.S. mortgage delinquency rate rises from 18-year low, MBA reports

Foreclosure inventory drops to lowest since 1995
The share of U.S. homeowners who paid mortgages late in the first quarter rose from an 18-year low at the end of 2018, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Tuesday. Even with the increase, the rate was the fourth-lowest on record. The so-called foreclosure inventory, meaning the share of all loans in foreclosure, was 0.92%, the lowest level since 1995.
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Equifax sets aside nearly $700 million for expected data breach payouts

Books $690 million for settlements, fines
It’s been nearly two years since Equifax first revealed that it had suffered a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of 148 million U.S. consumers to hackers, but the fallout from the breach is nowhere near over. In fact, Equifax just revealed how much it's expecting to pay out to deal with all of those issues – and it's a lot.
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The biggest earners in finance don't work at banks

This is who's really raking in the big bucks
In the world of finance, you might think it's the bankers who are making money hand over fist, but apparently, that's no longer the case. Now, professionals working in real estate are the ones who are raking in the big bucks, as REITs posted some of the highest median pay figures for employees. Here's how much employees make at companies in the mortgage sector.
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Real estate startup Reali acquires online lender Lenda, expands into mortgages

Launches Reali Loans
Reali, a flat-fee real estate startup that operates in California, is following the path laid out by other tech-focused real estate companies like Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor and getting into the mortgage business. Reali announced Wednesday that it acquired Lenda, an online mortgage lender that launched in 2013 and currently operates in 12 states.
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LRES names new chief technology officer

Spencer will enhance LRES’ technological capabilities
LRES, a residential and commercial mortgage services company, recently announced Scott Spencer joined the team as its new chief technology officer. LRES President Mark Johnson said Spencer's role is pivotal in rounding out the company's executive team as well as leading the deployment of its technology initiatives.
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These two catalysts could spark a surge in home equity use

Here's how low interest rates and a wave of tech IPOs could affect the housing market
This year, two geysers of pent-up wealth are set to erupt, and the ripple effect just might inspire more homeowners to utilize their home equity. That's the theory proposed by Bloomberg columnist Conor Sen in a recent op-ed, in which he examines the possibility that U.S. homeowners might once again embrace debt and leverage now that memories of the financial crisis are beginning to fade. Will 2019 be the year of equity access?
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Fed minutes show "patience" may wear thin by end of year

Views "could shift" in either direction
While members of the Federal Open Market Committee voice a unanimous call for "patience" at the end of their March 20 meeting, details about the meeting released Wednesday showed some dissenting opinions. "Several participants noted that their views of the appropriate target range for the federal funds rate could shift in either direction," the minutes said.
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Low mortgage rates may drive home purchase lending to 14-year high

Economic hangover helping to keep rates low
The recent drop in mortgage interest rates is already having an impact on overall mortgage demand as well as the demand for refinances, but just how much could the return of low interest rates impact the market? Quite a bit, according to new data from iEmergent. In fact, iEmergent is projecting a 14-year high in purchase lending.
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