Editor’s Note: The Mortgage Mix is RISMedia’s weekly highlight reel of need-to-know mortgage-industry happenings. Watch for it each Friday.
-Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates topped 7% for the first time in more than two decades. Where the ceiling is remains unclear as the Fed continues hiking rates—though National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun recently suggested a lack of competition in the lending industry could be pushing rates even higher.
-Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Vice President Marina Walsh told attendees of the organization’s annual conference that originations won’t rebound until 2024, and the industry still needs to shed 30% of staff, with other MBA execs warning lenders to hunker down for a “shallow” recession next year.
-Though you might cringe looking at your electric bill every month, take a little comfort knowing it could help you qualify for a mortgage. This week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) approved two new credit scoring models for use by the GSEs that will factor in payment histories for things like rent, utility and phone bills.
-Dallas-based PrimeLending, which funded $23 billion in mortgage loans in 2021, reported a 46% year-over-year drop in loan production, having already cut about 23% of its staff since last year. Executives say they expect net losses through at least the end of this year.
-It’s not just a city in North Dakota, or a critically acclaimed 1990s film: Wells Fargo this week introduced a new AI-powered virtual assistant named “Fargo,” which the company claims will engage in “meaningful conversations” with customers and will soon add Spanish language capabilities.
-Just in time for Halloween, zombie foreclosures inched up this week, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. The chance of an apocalyptic outbreak scenario remains low, as these properties—as well as overall vacancies or abandoned homes—continue to fall across the country.