Legacy insurers are headed toward solid ground, with some experiencing their first full year of profitability since the housing crash. New entrants, meanwhile, are raising capital, entering the fray and gaining market share.
In the tech world a “stack” refers to all the elements of something. For the mortgage industry, the idea of the single stack is that one platform (digital, automated and based in the cloud) can either meet all of the functional requirements involved in assembling a mortgage, or can serve as an efficient moderator for the process via open APIs (application programming interface), which are now taking off within the mortgage industry.
Earning the acceptance of male peers is only one of the many obstacles women face in the workplace. Globally, women outnumber men in universities and that disparity is growing, yet the average number of women in management positions remains flat. In short, there are more women than ever entering the workforce. So, why aren’t more making it to the top?
Bill Cosgrove, CEO of Ohio’s Union Home Mortgage Corp., has made the trek to MBA Annual for some 20 years. Memories still stand out from his first one, held in Orlando. "I saw that the mortgage industry was vast," he said, recalling that first conference, "much bigger than you expected it to be."
A surge of illegal immigration over the summer by unaccompanied minors has brought immigration reform and border security into the news in a big way. Still, the dramatic headlines — some claiming a humanitarian crisis — are unlikely to get immigration reform back on track in Congress. For housing leaders — who recognize immigration as a key driver of household formation — lack of immigration reform comes as a big disappointment.
When Arthur Nelson, a professor at the University of Arizona, went shopping for a home in Tucson recently, he found plenty of senior citizens trying to sell their homes — but at prices far more than what they were worth. "I was amazed at the number of homes that were overpriced by about 25% where the owners were seniors," he said. These seniors would barely counteroffer, taking so little off the asking price that it wasn’t worth negotiating, Nelson said.
Each weekday morning, Kendra Taylor settles into her cubicle at Nationstar Mortgage and fires up a computer and two monitors. With a few keystrokes, she sends out a morning greeting: "Happy Monday! We hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. We’re back to work and ready to help out if you need us!"
David Stevens calls it a watershed year for the nation’s mortgage originators. Stevens, the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association, calls it a “systemic change” in the market. It’s one that is keeping lenders up at night, worrying about declining loan volumes, costly regulation and rising interest rates.
More and more Americans are choosing to rent instead of buy. With two single-family rental securitizations on the market at press time and more likely in the works, this new asset class has the financial market energized.
With the recent turnover in leadership at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, we may be standing at the precipice of great change in the government’s role in supporting the mortgage market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.