In the Money

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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iBuyer startup Perch lands $220 million capital investment

Aims to disrupt residential real estate with its full-service offering
Perch, an online platform for home buying and selling, announced this week that it raised $220 million in funding to fuel its plans for continued expansion. The company, which launched in Texas early last year, is part of a rising category of companies called iBuyers, which seek to simplify the home buying and selling process by creating a completely digital transaction that puts consumers in control. But with a full-service offering that promises more than its competitors, Perch is looking to stand out.
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Jobs Report: Private sector hiring slows as construction, manufacturing shed jobs

Companies add fewest jobs in 18 months
The pace of hiring slowed in March as employers fretted about a slowing economy. Companies hired 129,000 employees, the slowest pace in 18 months, according to a report today from ADP and Moody's Analytics. Goods-producing jobs, such as construction and manufacturing, contracted for the first time since December 2016.
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HUD inspector general investigating whether Trump administration slowed disaster aid to Puerto Rico

Watchdog said it plans to report findings to Congress
The Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General is looking into whether the White House interfered with aid approved for Puerto Rico as the island struggled to recover from 2017's Hurricane Maria. HUD-OIG attorney Jeremy Kirkland told members of the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that it will be meeting with congressional lawmakers to request a probe.
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NAMB blasts MBA-backed push for changes to LO compensation rules

Mortgage broker group tells CFPB that proposal is “completely unacceptable”
Last year, nearly 250 senior executives at some of the nation’s largest mortgage companies asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to change the Loan Originator Compensation rule, which governs how much loan originators are paid. The lenders asked the CFPB to allow LOs to voluntarily reduce their compensation to allow them to compete in the market. Now, that group has a rather vocal opponent stating that those proposed changes are a “completely unacceptable” idea.
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Opendoor lands $300 million capital infusion

The iBuyer is now valued at $3.8 billion
Digital real estate disrupter Opendoor has landed yet another massive cash infusion, raising $300 million in a recent investment round and bringing its total equity capital to $1.3 billion. Now, the company – which aims to change the way Americans buy and sell homes by whittling the process down to a few simple online transactions – is valued at $3.8 billion.
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Homeownership investment company Point raises $122 million

Plans to work with investors to tackle housing affordability issues
Homeownership investment company Point just landed a major cash infusion that will fund its plans to help more Americans access their home equity, raising $100 million in platform capital and securing $22 million in a Series B funding round. "We are witnessing the emergence of a whole new class of financial solution that is aligned with homeowners, and investors are taking notice," said Point Co-Founder and CEO Eddie Lim.
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Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan lands $2 million bonus day after congressional beatdown

Some members of Congress called for his firing, instead he got a raise
Looks like Tim Sloan's week is looking up. On Tuesday, the Wells Fargo CEO received a brutal lashing from Congress during a four-hour hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, during which he was raked over the coals for the bank's numerous misdeeds. But just a day later, the board of directors gave Sloan a 5% raise, increasing his total pay to a whopping $18.4 million, which includes a $2 million bonus.
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