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.
– Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), promised the audience at RISMedia’s CEO & Leadership Exchange last week that mortgage rates would “test” 6% this year. It didn’t take long for that prognostication to come true, with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reporting that the 30-year fixed hit that benchmark for the first time since 2008.
– Because of these higher interest rates—and other reasons—the number of mortgage applications continued to shrink through the end of summer, down 1.2%, with refis down 4% and purchase loans falling 12%.
– The latest report from mortgage data company Black Knight seems to cement some of the transitions that many in the industry have been tracking over recent months. With purchase prices for financed homes down 9.2% since March and a continued shift toward government-backed loans, it seems clear that affordability is pushing lenders and consumers to adapt.
– Tunnel to Towers, a nonprofit focused on those affected by the September 11 attacks, announced that it was paying off the mortgages of 21 families of first responders who were killed that day—putting some real action behind a promise to never forget.
– Reverse mortgages got a comedic shout out at the Emmys this week, with comedian Steve Martin facetiously asking audience members if “you or someone you love ever considered a reverse mortgage?”
– Morgan Stanley executive Anthony Moon was announced as Fannie Mae’s new EVP and chief risk officer this week. Moon previously held leadership positions at GE Capital, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and Bankers Trust.
– The credit crunch continues as the MBA reported another tightening of lending standards. MBA economist Joel Kan pointed to risk averse consumers, as well as an overall reduction in mortgage offerings from hard-hit lenders to explain why there is less overall credit availability.