Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news coming across HousingWire’s weekend desk, with more coverage to come on larger issues.
The Mortgage Bankers Association is speaking up against a report from The Center for Investigative Reporting which claims to show a high level of discrimination against people of color in mortgage lending approvals.
In a blog, David Stevens, MBA's president and CEO, responded by sharply criticizing the report, writing:
“Make no mistake, discrimination is unacceptable in any way, at any time. Period. End of Story. And yes, members of minority communities are being denied mortgage loans at a greater rate than white borrowers. But it is flat-out incorrect, defamatory and disgraceful to accuse the mortgage lending industry of denying loans to borrowers simply based on the color of their skin.
What this group is doing – not just relying on a study that fails to consider many of the key data-based variables that lenders rely on to make an individual loan decision, but also cherry-picking among loan types – is actually counterproductive to the important discussion we are having regarding access to credit challenges in our nation’s communities.”
CIR said in its reporting that it used 2016 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data for its report, but Stevens countered by saying it doesn’t tell the entire story, explaining that the organization only looked at conventional loans, which don’t paint a clear picture of who is borrowing.
“There is no rational reason for failing to include FHA loans. They are widely available, allow smaller down payments, and in some ways are more flexible with respect to credit history than conventional programs,” Stevens wrote in the blog.
A report from Reuters said surging bond yields will “pinch” homeowners and retirees following an uptick in bond yields and skidding stock prices that could impact those outside of Wall Street, especially, as Reuters touted, home ownership costs increase and retirement assets shrink.
From the article:
While investors felt the brunt of a slide of more than 1,000 points in the Dow in recent weeks, before it recovered most of the losses, consumers have started to feel the pinch of rises in interest rates that are closely linked to the bond market.
Banks and lenders, whose own borrowing costs have risen, are charging consumers more on mortgages, some of which are at their highest rates in four years, and other loans tied to the bond yields.
Higher yields also hurt the values of bonds, which many individual investors are exposed to through mutual funds, whether through direct investments or via assets in 401(k)s and other retirement accounts.
“We have had a significant rise in bond yields over the past few weeks. There is a risk (to consumers) if this continues,” said Gregory Daco, chief economist at Oxford Economics in New York.
Even so, economists and other experts say, consumers should remain encouraged by the economy’s underlying strength with signs that wages are rising.
A new note from Goldman Sachs economist Daan Struyven said it expects the rise in rates to be “well absorbed”:
“We expect the recent rise in rates to be well absorbed for two reasons. First, our analysis shows that the increase in rates over the last two quarters mostly reflects positive growth news. Second, the overall growth impulse from financial conditions remains positive, as equity prices have surged and the dollar has weakened over the last year,” the note explained.
Additionally, Struyven postulates that stocks could plunge as much as 25% if the 10-year yield hits 4.5%.
Struyven explained that a base-case scenario calls for a 10-year yield of 3.25% by the end of 2018, but a stress test out to 4.5% showed that such a spike could cause stocks to tumble. The report also said the economy wouldn’t go into a recession but most likely experience a noticeable slowdown.
So, who bought the most expensive home in NYC?
It turns out that Dell Technologies’ founder and namesake, Michael Dell, was the mystery buyer of Manhattan’s one57 penthouse, according to a Friday report in the Wall Street Journal.
Dell paid a record $100.47 million for the property. The transaction, which closed in 2014, holds the record for the most expensive home ever sold in New York City, for now.
From the article:
Property records show that the contract to buy the unit was first inked in 2012, when the building was still under construction, and Mr. Dell had purchased the unit via limited liability company P89-90, LLC. It is the first and only property in the city to break the $100 million barrier, public records show, but that record is widely expected to be broken by the sale of a penthouse at a nearby project at 220 Central Park South, which has not yet closed.
Have a good week, everyone!