COVID-19 pandemic slows mortgage industry’s LIBOR transition

In today’s Daily Download episode, HousingWire covers a report from Moody’s Investors Service that claims the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the mortgage industry’s efforts to transition away from LIBOR.

For some background on the story, here’s a summary of the article:

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the transition from the London Interbank Offer Rate, or LIBOR, an interest-rate benchmark once known as the world’s most influential number.

Some loans and other instruments are still being written using LIBOR as an index for the interest rate, adding to the legacy stock of financial products that will have to be dealt with when benchmark expires at the end of 2021, according to a Tuesday report from Moody’s Investors Service. The pandemic has slowed efforts to transition to another benchmark, the report said.

“The global coronavirus crisis is only delaying solutions to LIBOR’s end,” the report said. “For many market participants, addressing liquidity needs has been a higher near-term priority than addressing their existing LIBOR exposures or launching non-LIBOR initiatives.”

LIBOR is being phased out about a decade after regulators discovered traders were manipulating the rate set by Britan’s biggest banks. Before details of the scandal were unveiled by investigative journalists, LIBOR was the most popular index for U.S. adjustable-rate mortgages. 

Following the main story, HousingWire covers the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly applications survey that reveals mortgage applications fell 1.8% last week despite mortgage rates staying low, as well as a report from the National Association of Realtors that shows U.S. pending home sales surged a record 44% in May.

The Daily Download examines the most compelling articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming out of our newsroom that are helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd.

HousingWire articles covered in this episode:

The Daily Download

Hosted by the journalists behind the headlines, The Daily Download examines the most captivating articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom.

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