Dr. Cliff Rossi is senior vice president, chief economist, at Radian Group Inc. In this position, Rossi is responsible for research, forecasts and quantitative analysis and [financial] modeling of Radian’s mortgage insurance portfolio and the housing and mortgage markets.
Armed with an overall measure of housing market performance relative to long-term trend; an accompanying metric explaining whether that market is overheated or not; and importantly a way to attribute deviations in home prices precisely to selected market variables, market participants would be in a better position to take precautionary actions to limit their exposure in highly volatile markets.
The FHA finds itself in a delicate position of balancing public policy interests against actuarial soundness of its $1 trillion plus Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. These twin policy goals at times run counter to each other, occasionally spilling over into the conventional-conforming market via FHA premium changes that create market distortions and adverse selection problems for the FHA.
Factors that affect the yield on 10-year Treasuries will over time be reflected in mortgage rates. Two of these are inflation and economic conditions. We have enjoyed a low inflation environment for a number of years but if we had a bout of higher inflation it would lead to higher rates as investors in bonds require additional compensation for a loss in buying power.
That lenders may be holding back a bit is not surprising as lessons from behavioral finance studies suggest that individuals tend to weight recent experience more than the past. Applied to the mortgage business and compounded by rising compliance costs, recent experience with heavy credit losses of the crisis could be dampening management enthusiasm for credit expansion in an otherwise expanding, albeit tepid economy.
This year’s HW Tech100 features a much more expansive landscape than ever before. Winners included heavy hitters and innovative disruptors. Even new tech players in the blockchain space are joining the party now. Other exciting developments can be seen on the identity-protection and fraud-prevention sides. But make no mistake, the name of the game in tech, these days, is lending, lending, lending.
The evolution from a paper-based process to this era of big data is astounding. Consider that according to IBM, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. The Internet of Things — your thermostat, refrigerator, even your kid’s Barbie doll — is increasing that data exponentially. For mortgage companies, that data represents a treasure trove more valuable than the gold bars stacked in the vault at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, but only if they can figure out how to harness it for their specific business. Fortunately, scores of fintech companies are ready to help.
Accurate, trustworthy valuations require taking a deeper look. That’s why it’s important to have a valuation expert independently review every valuation report and determine whether it makes sense. The most trustworthy valuation providers have a team of highly trained reviewers on staff who diligently analyze every comparable on a valuation report and ask: “Will a potential buyer consider this property similar to the subject property?”