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UWM now offering ultra-low mortgage rates on FHA loans

Wholesale lender said rates between 1.99% and 2.5% are available on FHA purchase loans, rate and term refis and streamline refis

Ahead of its initial public offering slated for mid-December, United Wholesale Mortgage is offering mortgage rates below 2% on FHA loans through its Conquest Program.

UWM, the second-largest lender in the country, is offering rates between 1.99% and 2.5% on FHA loans, the company announced in a statement on Wednesday. The rates will be available on FHA purchase mortgages, FHA rate and term refinances, and FHA streamline refinances.

On Wednesday, the FHA announced new loan limits for 2021, increasing those amounts to $356,362 for much of the U.S. and to $822,375 in high-cost areas.

The Conquest FHA announcement is the latest in a series of UWM product launches in 2020. The lender, led by CEO Mat Ishbia, has offered ultra-low mortgage rates on VA purchase and IRRRL loans, as well as purchase and refinances on both 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate products.

Not all borrowers have qualified for the products, and to obtain the lowest rates borrowers have had to buy points upfront.

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Like many other mortgage companies, UWM has ridden a wave of record-low mortgage rates and rising home prices en route to its best-ever year in 2020.

As of the end of the third quarter, Pontiac, Michigan-based UWM closed nearly $128 billion in production, eclipsing the $108 billion it originated throughout all of 2019, the firm said. UWM originated $54.2 billion in closed loans during the third quarter, an 81% increase from the $29.9 billion it originated in Q3 2019 (loan volume was up 31.8% from Q2 2020).

According to company statements, net income totaled $1.45 billion in the third quarter, up from $198 million during the same period in 2019. The gain-on-sale margin also inched up to a record 3.18%; a year ago it was 1.29%.

In the summer, UWM announced it was merging with a blank-check company led by businessman Alec Gores. Ishbia, who will control 94% of the company, is seeking a valuation of about $16.1 billion. He’s described the impetus to go public as achieving greater scale, promoting the broker channel, and avoiding having to sell mortgage servicing rights.

The mortgage brokers that UWM bet its future on and championed have also reaped the rewards from low mortgage rates and a boom in mortgage originations over the last few quarters.

According to Inside Mortgage Finance, the wholesale and correspondent channels in the third quarter rose 34.1% from the second to the third quarter. By contrast, there was only a 9.2% increase in retail production and 16.9% growth in total first-lien originations, the publication reported. The third-party-origination share of third-quarter production rose 4.5 percentage points to 35.5% in the third quarter.

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