Editor’s Note: The Mortgage Mix is RISMedia’s weekly highlight reel of need-to-know mortgage-industry happenings. Watch for it each Friday afternoon.
- All aboard the mortgage roller-coaster! Rates snapped back again this week after briefly falling below 5%, jumping almost 25 basis points in the last seven days. Freddie chief economist Sam Khater suggested that the market is “stabilizing” even as “recent volatility remains persistent.”
- Housing continues to be a big part of the (occasionally productive) policy debates in Washington even when the focus is on other issues. Case in point—the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” which passed on a party line vote. HUD secretary Marcia Fudge highlighted $1 billion in the bill for retrofitting multifamily apartments.
- It seems like consumers are expecting—or maybe hoping—for further mortgage relief, with more choosing not to lock in rates this month, according to Black Knight. The purchase lock count, a metric which measures rate locks while excluding the impact of rising home values, fell below pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
- Good news on the foreclosure front as mortgage delinquencies on residential properties fell to an all-time low this week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). An uptick in foreclosures had some observers worried in recent months, but a strong job market is keeping mortgage holders afloat, MBA experts claim.
- Even the heavyweights are having to hang tough in this market, with the country’s second largest mortgage lender by volume, United Wholesale Mortgage, reporting Q2 earnings with precipitous drops in originations from a year ago—down almost 50%, even as it has stayed profitable. Like many other lenders, United had previously reduced staff this year—though not as significantly or dramatically as some.
- As consumer demand continues to get squeezed by higher rates, lenders are morphing into your least-favorite teacher—strict, with no extra credit. The MBA reports that mortgage credit availability fell to its lowest level since 2013 as lenders reduce their offerings and tighten standards.
- Nearly every lender is making “strategic decisions” to confront the rapidly shifting mortgage market. For California-based LoanDepot, those decisions include fully exiting the wholesale business by Q4 of this year and redirecting resources to “other origination channels.” LoanDepot has already reduced staff by about 2,800 with more cuts ahead.
- The MBA is planning to really get into the Xs and Os in its upcoming fall conference, announcing legendary Duke University and Olympic basketball coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski as a keynote speaker. UNC Tar Heel fans could not be reached for comment at press time.
- Mortgage servicers working with loans backed by the government-sponsored enterprises will soon be mandated to report and maintain fair lending data, according to an announcement from the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Wednesday. The requirement, which will go into effect in March of 2023, is a sign of FHFA’s ongoing effort to utilize GSE data to establish a more equitable housing finance system.
Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s senior editor. Email him your story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.