Tag Archives: mortgage

GSE Loan Purchases Continue To Trend Down

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are bankrolling significantly fewer loans this year, reflecting the general slowdown in the residential U.S. mortgage market.

In the nine months through the third quarter, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) purchased a combined 2.47 million home loans, down 9 percent for the same nine months in 2017, the companies reported last week in quarterly reports.

The GSEs bankroll around 45 percent of all residential mortgages, according to the Urban Institute, by purchasing loans from lenders, wrapping them with a government guarantee and securitizing most of them for sale in the secondary market.

fanncountsq3The combined balance of these loans through the third quarter was $577 billion, down 7 percent from the 2017 level for the same nine months.

freddvolq3GSE funding activity has dropped for the second consecutive year.

freddcountq3The 2018 year-to-date counts and volume balances were down 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively, compared to same nine months in 2016.

During a conference call last week, Fannie Mae Chief Financial Officer Celeste Brown alluded to tough conditions for lenders. 

“At a high level, what I see is that our customers are facing a lot of headwinds in the market,” she said. “Rates are up, volumes are down, and margins are tight, so lender profitability is challenged. New housing supply is up but not all the supply has been created where it’s needed. While we do see income growth nationally, in many markets home-price growth has outstripped income growth so affordability for home buyers remains a challenge,” Brown said. 

The numbers have waned as a result of the big drop in refinancing activity. The combined GSE refinance counts totaled 909,000, down 26 percent from the 1.23 million refinance loans acquired by the GSEs through the first nine months of 2017. The GSE reports indicate that cash-out refinancing levels have remained fairly stable, whereas rate-reduction and term refinances are falling steeply. 

Meanwhile, the home-purchase market hasn’t grown at anywhere near the pace that refinance activity has been falling.The combined GSE home-purchase loan counts through the third quarter totaled 1.56 million, up 5 percent over the 2017 level.

U.S. home sales are expected to be flat this year or even decline marginally due to rising prices; a lack of affordable, entry-level homes for sale; and rising rates.

“Our expectations for housing have become more pessimistic,” Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said in October. “Rising interest rates and declining housing sentiment from both consumers and lenders led us to lower our home sales forecast over the duration of 2018 and through 2019. Meanwhile, affordability, especially for first-time home buyers, remains atop the list of challenges facing the housing market.”

Fannie Mae’s most recent forecast calls for the origination volume for the entire market to fall 10.5 percent year over year in 2018, to $1.63 trillion. Refinance volume is predicted to decline by 30 percent over the 2017 level to $454 billion. Purchase volume in 2018 will remain essentially flat with the 2017 level at $1.18 trillion, Fannie forecasts. 

Source: by Victor Whitman | Scotsman Guide

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Mortgage Applications Plummet To 18-Year Lows As Rates Hit 2010 Highs

With purchase applications tumbling alongside the collapse in refinancings, the headline mortgage application data slumped to its lowest level since September 2000 last week.

This should not be a total surprise as Wells Fargo’s latest results shows the pipeline is collapsing – a forward-looking indicator on the state of the broader housing market and how it is impacted by rising rates, that was even more dire, slumping from $67BN in Q2 to $57BN in Q3, down 22% Y/Y and the the lowest since the financial crisis.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/wells%20originations%20q3%202018.jpg

But in the month since those results, mortgage rates have gone higher still… (this is now the biggest 2Y rise in mortgage rates since 2000)…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-11-07_6-09-14.jpg?itok=LzR03TeD

Sparking further weakness in the housing market…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-11-05_6-07-54_0.jpg?itok=8OzM0s81

And absent Christmas weeks in 2000 and 2014, this is the weakest level of mortgage applications since September 2000…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-11-07_5-14-48.jpg?itok=Te5Jq7L_

What these numbers reveal, is that the average US consumer can barely afford to take out a new mortgage at a time when rates continued to rise – if not that much higher from recent all time lows. It also means that if the Fed is truly intent in engineering a parallel shift in the curve of 2-3%, the US can kiss its domestic housing market goodbye. 

And, as famed housing-watcher Robert Shiller recently noted, the weakening housing market is similar to the last market high, just before the subprime housing bubble burst a decade ago.

The economist, who predicted the 2007-2008 crisis, told Yahoo Finance that current data shows “a sign of weakness.”

“This is a sign of weakness that we’re starting to see. And it reminds me of 2006 … Or 2005 maybe,”

Housing pivots take more time than those in the stock market, Shiller said, adding that:

“the housing market does have a momentum component and we’re seeing a clipping of momentum at this time.”

The Nobel Laureate explained:

 If the markets go down, it could bring on another recession. The housing market has been an important element of economic activity. If people start to get pessimistic about housing and pull back and don’t want to buy, there will be a drop in construction jobs and that could be a seed for another recession.” 

When reminded that 2006 predated the greatest financial crisis in a lifetime, RT notes that Shiller acknowledged that any correction would likely be far less severe.

“The drop in home prices in the financial crisis was the most severe drop in the US market since my data begin in 1890,” the Yale economist said.

“It could be that we’re primed to repeat it because it’s in our memory and we’re thinking about it but still I wouldn’t expect something as severe as the Great Financial Crisis coming on right now. There could be a significant correction or bear market, but I’m waiting and seeing now.”

Tick, tick, Mr Powell.

Source: ZeroHedge

Wells Fargo Just Reported Their Worst Mortgage Number Since The Financial Crisis

(ZeroHedge) When we reported Wells Fargo’s Q1 earnings back in April, we drew readers’ attention to one specific line of business, the one we dubbed the bank’s “bread and butter“, namely mortgage lending, and which as we then reported was “the biggest alarm” because “as a result of rising rates, Wells’ residential mortgage applications and pipelines both tumbled, sliding just shy of the post-crisis lows recorded in late 2013.”

Then, a quarter ago a glimmer of hope emerged for the America’s largest traditional mortgage lender (which has since lost the top spot to alternative mortgage originators), as both mortgage applications and the pipeline posted a surprising, if modest, rebound.

However, it was not meant to last, because buried deep in its presentation accompanying otherwise unremarkable Q3 results (modest EPS miss; revenues in line), Wells just reported that its ‘bread and butter’ is once again missing, and in Q3 2018 the amount in the all-important Wells Fargo Mortgage Application pipeline shrank again, dropping to $22 billion, the lowest level since the financial crisis.

Yet while the mortgage pipeline has not been worse in a decade despite the so-called recovery, at least it has bottomed. What was more troubling is that it was Wells’ actual mortgage applications, a forward-looking indicator on the state of the broader housing market and how it is impacted by rising rates, that was even more dire, slumping from $67BN in Q2 to $57BN in Q3, down 22% Y/Y and the the lowest since the financial crisis (incidentally, a topic we covered recently in “Mortgage Refis Tumble To Lowest Since The Financial Crisis, Leaving Banks Scrambling“).

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/wells%20originations%20q3%202018.jpg?itok=Dbsxmy32

Meanwhile, Wells’ mortgage originations number, which usually trails the pipeline by 3-4 quarters, was nearly as bad, dropping  $4BN sequentially from $50 billion to just $46 billion. And since this number lags the mortgage applications, we expect it to continue posting fresh post-crisis lows in the coming quarter especially if rates continue to rise.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/wells%20mrg%20originations%20q3%202018.jpg?itok=r_bBgJv5

That said, it wasn’t all bad news for Wells, whose Net Interest Margin managed to post a modest increase for the second consecutive quarter, rising to $12.572 billion. This is what Wells said: “NIM of 2.94% was up 1 bp LQ driven by a reduction in the proportion of lower yielding assets, and a modest benefit from hedge ineffectiveness accounting.” On the other hand, if one reads the fine print, one finds that the number was higher by $80 million thanks to “one additional day in the quarter” (and $54 million from hedge ineffectiveness accounting), in other words, Wells’ NIM posted another decline in the quarter.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/NIM%20wfc%20q3%202018.jpg?itok=gJVsqDb3

There was another problem facing Buffett’s favorite bank: while true NIM failed to increase, deposits costs are rising fast, and in Q3, the bank was charged an average deposit cost of 0.47% on $907MM in interest-bearing deposits, nearly double what its deposit costs were a year ago.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/wells%20deposit%20costs.jpg?itok=JO34-sed

Just as concerning was the ongoing slide in the scandal-plagued bank’s deposits, which declined 3% or $40.1BN in Q3 Y/Y (down $2.3BN Q/Q) to $1.27 trillion. This was driven by consumer and small business banking deposits of $740.6 billion, down $13.7 billion, or 2%.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/wells%20deposits%20q3.jpg?itok=xouQsmDd

But even more concerning was the ongoing shrinkage in the company’s balance sheet, as average loans declined from $944.3BN to $939.5BN, the lowest in years, and down $12.8 billion YoY driven by “driven by lower commercial real estate loans reflecting continued credit discipline” while period-end loans slipped by $9.6BN to $942.3BN, as a result of “declines in auto loans, legacy consumer real estate portfolios including Pick-a-Pay and junior lien mortgages, as well as lower commercial real estate loans.”  This is a problem as most other banks are growing their loan book, Wells Fargo’s keeps on shrinking.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/wells%20avg%20loans%20q3%202018.jpg?itok=2z7cvTpD

And finally, there was the chart showing the bank’s overall consumer loan trends: these reveal that the troubling broad decline in credit demand continues, as consumer loans were down a total of $11.3BN Y/Y across most product groups.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/wells%20consumer%20loans%20q3%202018.jpg?itok=SH0tD3LV

What these numbers reveal, is that the average US consumer can barely afford to take out a new mortgage at a time when rates continued to rise – if not that much higher from recent all time lows. It also means that if the Fed is truly intent in engineering a parallel shift in the curve of 2-3%, the US can kiss its domestic housing market goodbye.

Source: Wells Fargo Earnings Supplement |ZeroHedge

J.P. Morgan Chase Laying Off 400 Mortgage Staff In 3 States

Chase, one of the biggest home lenders, announces cutting employees in Florida, Ohio, Arizona.

https://ei.marketwatch.com/Multimedia/2017/03/01/Photos/ZH/MW-FG893_jpm_20170301100024_ZH.jpg?uuid=ccb2443e-fe8f-11e6-b1dc-001cc448aedeJ.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is laying off about 400 employees in its consumer mortgage banking division as parts of the market slow down, people familiar with the matter said.

The bank JPM, -0.56% one of the largest mortgage lenders with about 34,000 mortgage-banking employees, is in the midst of laying off employees in cities including Jacksonville, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; Phoenix and Cleveland particularly as mortgage servicing has fallen, the people said.

Home sales have slowed as the rise in mortgage rates has been compounded by a lack of homes for sale, increasing prices and a tax bill that reduced some incentives for home ownership. Rising interest rates have also discouraged homeowners from either refinancing their current mortgage or moving and having to get a new mortgage.

JPMorgan isn’t the only bank to lay off mortgage employees. Wells Fargo & Co. WFC, -0.60% the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said in August it is laying off about 650 mortgage employees who mainly work in retail fulfillment and mortgage servicing “to better align with current volumes.”

Source: Market Watch

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More layoffs at Movement Mortgage mean about 200 jobs have been cut since opening Norfolk headquarters in 2017

Movement Mortgage CEO Casey Crawford addresses employees at the weekly Friday Morning Meeting.

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Verizon Lays Off 44,000, Transfers 2,500 More IT Jobs To Indian Outsourcer Infosys

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Even Mortgage Lenders Are Repeating Their 2006 Mistakes

You’d think the previous decade’s housing bust would still be fresh in the minds of mortgage lenders, if no one else. But apparently not.

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One of the drivers of that bubble was the emergence of private label mortgage “originators” who, as the name implies, simply created mortgages and then sold them off to securitizers, who bundled them into the toxic bonds that nearly brought down the global financial system.

The originators weren’t banks in the commonly understood sense. That is, they didn’t build long-term relationships with customers and so didn’t need to care whether a borrower could actually pay back a loan. With zero skin in the game, they were willing to write mortgages for anyone with a paycheck and a heartbeat. And frequently the paycheck was optional.

In retrospect, that was both stupid and reckless. But here we are a scant decade later, and the industry is headed back towards those same practices. Today’s Wall Street Journal, for instance, profiles a formerly-miniscule private label mortgage originator that now has a bigger market share than Bank of America or Citigroup:

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/Mortgages-non-bank-Sept-18.jpg?itok=GSikgG3e

Its rise points to a bigger shift in the home-lending business to specialized mortgage lenders that fall outside the banking sector. Such non-banks, critically wounded in the housing crisis, have re-emerged to become the market’s dominant players, with 52% of U.S. mortgage originations, up from 9% in 2009. Six of the 10 biggest U.S. mortgage lenders today are non-banks, according to the research group.

They symbolize both the healthy reinvention of a mortgage market brought to its knees a decade ago—and how the growth in that market almost exclusively has been in its less-regulated corner.

Post crisis regulations curb bank and non-bank lenders alike from making the “liar loans” that wiped out many lenders and forced a wave of foreclosures during the crisis. What worries some industry participants is that little has changed about non-bank lenders’ structure.

Their capital levels aren’t as heavily regulated as banks, and they don’t have deposits or other substantive business lines. Instead they usually take short-term loans from banks to fund their lending. If the housing market sours, banks could cut off their funding—which doomed some non-banks in the last crisis. In that scenario, first-time buyers or borrowers with little savings would be the first to get locked out of the mortgage market.

“As long as the good times roll on, it’s fine,” said Ed Pinto, co-director of the Center on Housing Markets and Finance at the American Enterprise Institute. “But all I can say is, we’re in a boom, and you cannot keep going up like this forever.”

Freedom was just a small lender in the last crisis. When it became hard to borrow money, Freedom Chief Executive Stan Middleman embraced government-backed loans on the theory they would offer more stability.

As Quicken Loans Inc., the biggest and best-known non-bank, grew with the help of flashy technology and advertising campaigns, Freedom stayed under the radar, buying smaller lenders and scooping up other companies’ huge portfolios of loans, often made to relatively risky borrowers.

Mr. Middleman is fond of saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. “I always believed that, if somebody is applying for a loan, we should try to make it for them,” says Mr. Middleman.

The New Mortgage Kings: They’re Not Banks

One afternoon this spring, a dozen or so employees lined up in front of Freedom Mortgage’s office in Mount Laurel, N.J., to get their picture taken. Clutching helium balloons shaped like dollar signs, they were being honored for the number of mortgages they had sold.

Freedom is nowhere near the size of behemoths like Citigroup or Bank of America; yet last year it originated more mortgages than either of them, some $51.1 billion, according to industry research group Inside Mortgage Finance. It is now the 11th-largest mortgage lender in the U.S., up from No. 78 in 2012.

What does this mean? Several things, depending on the resolution of the lens you’re using.

In the mortgage market it means that emerging private sector lenders are taking market share – presumably by being more aggressive – which puts pressure on the relatively stodgy brand-name banks to lower their own standards to keep up. To grasp the truth of this, just re-read the last sentence in the above article: “I always believed that, if somebody is applying for a loan, we should try to make it for them.” That is fundamentally not how banks work. Their job is to write profitable loans by weeding out the applicants who probably won’t make their payments.

Now, faced with competitors from the “No Credit, No Problem!” part of the business spectrum, the big guys will once again have to choose between adopting that attitude or leaving the business. See Bad Bankers Drive Out Good Bankers: Wells Fargo, Wall Street, And Gresham’s Law. Since the biggest mortgage lender is currently Wells Fargo, for which cutting corners is standard practice, it presumably won’t be long before variants of liar loans and interest only mortgages will be back on the menu.

From a broader societal perspective, this is par for the late-cycle course. After a long expansion, most banks have already lent money to their high-quality customers. But Wall Street continues to demand that those banks maintain double-digit earnings growth, and will punish their market caps if they fall short.

This leaves formerly-good banks with no choice but to loosen standards to keep the fee income flowing. So they start working their way towards the bottom of the customer barrel, while instructing their prop trading desks and/or investment bankers to explore riskier bets. Miss allocation of capital becomes ever-more-common until the system blows up.

The signs that we’re back there (2007 in some cases, 2008 in others) are spreading, which means the reckoning is moving from “inevitable” to “imminent”.

Source: by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com | ZeroHedge

Australians Face Huge Spike in Repayments as Interest-Only Home Loans Expire

Day of Reckoning: Hundreds of thousands of interest-only loan terms expire each year for the next few years.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Australia’s central bank, warns of a $7000 Spike in Loan Repayments as interest-only term periods expire.

Every year for the next three years, up to an estimated 200,000 home loans will be moved from low repayments to higher repayments as their interest-only loans expire. The median increase in payments is around $7000 a year, according to the RBA.

What happens if people can’t afford the big hike in loan repayments? They may have to sell up, which could see a wave of houses being sold into a falling market. The RBA has been paying careful attention to this because the scale of the issue is potentially enough to send shockwaves through the whole economy.

Interest Only Period

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In 2017, the government cracked down hard on interest-only loans. Those loans generally have an interest-only period lasting five years. When it expires, some borrowers would simply roll it over for another five years. Now, however, many will not all be able to, and will instead have to start paying back the loan itself.

That extra repayment is a big increase. Even though the interest rate falls slightly when you start paying off the principal, the extra payment required is substantial.

Loan Payments

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RBA Unconcerned

For now, the RBA is unconcerned: “This upper-bound estimate of the effect is relatively modest,” the RBA said.

Good luck with that.

Source: By Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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Australian Government Rolls Out Universal Reverse Mortgage Plan

The Australian government has proposed a wide-ranging reverse mortgage plan that would make an equity release program available to every senior over the age of 65.

Previously restricted to those who partially participate in the country’s social pension program, the government-sponsored plan will extend to any homeowner above the age cutoff, according to a report from Australian housing publication Domain.

Under the terms of the government-sponsored plan, homeowners can receive up to $11,799 each year for the remainder of their lives, essentially taken out of the equity already built up in their homes. Domain gives the example of a 66-year-old who can receive a total of $295,000 during a lifetime that ends at age 91.

As in the United States, older Australians have a significant amount of wealth tied up in their homes; the publication cited research showing that homeowners aged 65 to 74 would likely have to sell their homes in order to realize the $480,000 increase in personal wealth the cohort enjoyed over the previous 12-year span.

In fact, the Australian government last year attempted to encourage aging baby boomers to sell their empty nests to free up the properties for younger families. Under that plan, homeowners 65 and older could get a $300,000 benefit from the government, a powerful incentive in a tough housing market for downsizers — and in a government structure that counts income against seniors when calculating pension amounts.

“Typically, older homeowners have been reluctant to sell for both sentimental and financial reasons,” Domain reported last year. “Often selling property is costly, and funds left over after buying a smaller home  could then be considered in the means test.”

But the baked-in reverse mortgage benefit represents a shift toward helping seniors age in place instead of downsizing. The Australian government’s “More Choices for a Longer Life” plan also expands in-home care access by 14,000 seniors, according to the Financial Review, while boosting funding for elder physical-fitness initiatives and other efforts to reduce isolation among aging Australians.

The reverse mortgage plan will offer interest rates of 5.25%, which Domain noted is less than most banks, and will cost taxpayers about $11 million through 2022. Loan-to-value ratios are calculated to ensure that the loan balance can never exceed the eventual sale price of the home.

Source: By Alex Spanko | Reverse Mortgage Daily

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Australia Debating Universal Basic Income Plans

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has proposed a radical overhaul of Australia’s welfare system through the introduction of a universal basic income scheme, but critics believe this would only increase inequality.

Di Natale gave a speech at the National Press Club on Wednesday, outlining why he thought Australia’s current social security system was inadequate.

“With the radical way that the nature of work is changing, along with increasing inequality, our current social security system is outdated,” Di Natale said.

“It can’t properly support those experiencing underemployment, insecure work and uncertain hours.

“A modern, flexible and responsive safety net would increase their resilience and enable them to make a greater contribution to our community and economy.”

 

 

To address this, Di Natale called for the introduction of a universal basic income scheme, which he labelled a “bold move towards equality”.

“We need a universal basic income. We need a UBI that ensures everyone has access to an adequate level of income, as well as access to universal social services, health, education and housing,” he said.

“A UBI is a bold move towards equality. It epitomises a government which looks after its citizens, in contrast to the old parties, who say ‘look out for yourselves’. It’s about an increased role for government in our rapidly changing world.

“The Greens are the only party proudly arguing for a much stronger role for government. Today’s problems require government to be more active and more interventionist, not less.”

However Labor’s shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh, responded on Twitter that Australia had the most targeted social safety net in the world and that Di Natale’s plan would increase inequality.

 

Leigh was unavailable for comment when contacted by Pro Bono News, but in a speech given at the Crawford School of Public Policy in April last year, he explained why he opposed a UBI.

“As it happens, using social policy to reduce inequality is almost precisely the opposite of the suggestion that Australia adopt a ‘universal basic income’,” Leigh said.

“Some argue that a universal basic income should be paid for by increasing taxes, rather than by destroying our targeted welfare system. But I’m not sure they’ve considered how big the increase would need to be.

“Suppose we wanted the universal basic income to be the same amount as the single age pension (currently $23,000, including supplements). That would require an increase in taxes of $17,000 per person, or around 23 percent of GDP. This would make Australia’s tax to GDP ratio among the highest in the world.”

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz described Di Natale’s plan as “economic lunacy”.

“Its catastrophic impact would see the biggest taxpayers in Australia, the banking sector, become unprofitable and shut down and his plan for universal taxpayer handouts would see our nation bankrupted in a matter of years,” Abetz said.

“This regressive and ultra-socialist approach of less work, higher welfare and killing profitable businesses has been tried and failed around the world and you need only look at the levels of poverty and riots in Venezuela.

“Senator Di Natale must explain… who will pay for this regressive agenda when he runs out of other people’s money.”

Despite this criticism, welfare groups said they welcomed a conversation on a “decent income for all”.                                                                

Dr Cassandra Goldie, the CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service, indicated that a UBI would be discussed among their member organisations.

“We are very glad a decent income for all is being discussed. Too many people lack the income they need to cover even the very basic essentials such as housing, food and the costs of children,” Goldie told Pro Bono News.

“We will be discussing basic income options with our member organisations.

“Our social security system has a job to protect people from poverty and help with essential costs and life transitions such as the costs of children and decent housing. It is failing at this. The basic minimum allowance for unemployed people is just $278 per week.

“Budget cuts – including the freezing of family payments – have made matters worse.”

Goldie said that working out if a basic income proposal would increase or reduce inequality depended on the detail.

“We don’t oppose universal payments on principle, but reform of social security should begin with those who have the least. This must be the first priority,” she said.

“The principle that everyone should have access to at least a decent basic income is a good starting point for reform. Let’s have that debate.”

The convenor of the Anti-Poverty Network SA, Pas Forgione, told Pro Bono News that a UBI would only address inequality if payments were set to an adequate level.

“If universal basic income means that everyone gets the same income that people on Newstart gets, roughly $260 a week, then I don’t think that’s going to do much to alleviate poverty,” Forgione said.

“It needs to be set at an adequate level. And I think that involves looking at what it takes to have a reasonable standard of living and a reasonable quality of life in a country like Australia. So it depends on the details.

“If it is set at an adequate level, than it would be a terrific thing for the quality of life for a number of very low income people. I’m not saying that it’s a panacea… but I think you could make a very strong case for looking at a UBI.”

Di Natale’s speech also called for the creation of a nationalised “People’s Bank”, to give more people access to affordable banking services and to add “real competition” to the banking sector.

“A people’s bank, along with more support for co-operatives and mutuals, would inject some real competition into the banking sector,” he said.

“We have a housing crisis that has been created by governments.

“So now is the time for government to step in: through a People’s Bank, by ending policies skewed in favour of investors like negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount, and through a massive injection of funds for social and public housing.”

Source: By Luke Michael | Probono Australia

 

Refinance Window Closing Fast: Recent Applications Plunge 22 Percent

Even after adjusting for the holidays, Mortgage Refinance Activity plunged a steep 22%.

The Mortgage Bankers Association returned from its holiday hiatus today, issuing its first update on mortgage applications’ activity since that for the week ended December 16. The results thus include data for the last two weeks and an adjustment to account for the Christmas holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, for the week ended December 30 was down 12 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the December 9 summary. Before the adjustment, the drop in application activity was 48 percent.

The Refinance Index decreased 22 percent from two weeks earlier and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index declined by 2 percent. The unadjusted Purchase Index was 41 percent lower than the two-week old reading and lost 1 percent when compared to the same week in 2015.

Purchase Applications vs. 30-Year Rates:

https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/purchase-applications-vs-30-year.png?w=529&h=358

Its difficult to say at what point consumers thrown in the towel on new home purchases as a number of factors are in play.

Refinance Window Closing Fast:

https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/refinaance-window-closing-fast.png?w=529&h=344

Refis show a clear pattern. Only those whose interest rate is above the red dotted line is likely to refi. Given closing costs, it’s only profitable to refi when rates are substantially above the red line.

Bear in mind this data is for a slow holiday period. Nonetheless, refi applications behave as expected.

Three rate hikes in 2017? I don’t think so.

By Mike “Mish” Shedlock


Mortgage Application Activity Wraps Up 2016 on a Down Note

Residential loan application activity continued its post-election slump, declining for the sixth time in the eight weeks, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s survey for the week ending Dec. 30. The results included adjustments to account for the Christmas holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 12% on a seasonally adjusted basis from two weeks earlier, the last time the MBA conducted its Weekly Application Survey. On an unadjusted basis, the index decreased 48% compared with two weeks ago. The refinance index decreased 22% from two weeks ago.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 2% from two weeks earlier, while the unadjusted purchase index decreased 41% compared with two weeks ago and was 1% lower than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 52.2% of total applications from 51.8% over the previous seven-day period.

Interest rate comparisons are made with the period ended Dec. 23. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 5.4%, while the Federal Housing Administration share increased to 11.6% from 10.7% the week prior.

The VA share decreased to 12.3% from 12.4% and the USDA share increased to 1.1% from 1% the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.39% from 4.45%. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000), the average contract rate decreased to 4.37% from 4.41%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA remained unchanged at 4.22%, while for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA, the average decreased to 3.64% from 3.7%.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.28% from 3.41%.

By Glenn McCullom | National Mortgage News