October 31, 2014

Trammell Crow Promotes Moses to VP in LA

Trammell Crow Company has promoted Nancy Moses to vice president with the firm’s Los Angeles business unit.

In her new role, Moses will focus on management and execution of complex construction projects including design, programming, budget, construction supervision, build-out and close.

Since joining Trammell Crow Co in 2005, Moses has grown her expertise in client management, design supervision, construction management, budgeting, and scheduling. She most recently served as development manager, overseeing or participating in multiple development projects throughout the Greater Los Angeles area including the Keck Health Sciences Building for USC, the 790,000-square-foot office building at 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City, Lowe’s Hotel, and the WaterGarden refresh project in Santa Monica.

“Nancy has been an integral part of our development team in Los Angeles,” said Brad Cox, senior managing director of Trammell Crow Company’s Los Angeles Business Unit. “In the last two years alone, she has successfully delivered over 330,000 square feet of medical and health sciences facilities and built excellent relationships with our key partners, lenders, and users. We are confident in her ability to continue to be a leader of our team and executing projects for TCC and our clients in Los Angeles.”

Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/Trammell-Crow-Promotes-Moses-to-VP-in-LA/165633?ref=/News/Article/Trammell-Crow-Promotes-Moses-to-VP-in-LA/165633&src=rss

Affordability Has Nothing to do with Home Prices or Rates -RealtyTrac

“A real estate market that should be flying high is
instead a real estate market that is faltering,” according to Brian Mushaney,
Executive Vice President, Data Solutions, for RealtyTrac. Writing in the
current issue of RealtyTrac’s Housing
News Report
he points to a market which he says should be a buyer’s
paradise in many ways, with property values well below historic affordability
levels, banks with tons of cash to loan, interest rates near their all-time
lows, and foreclosures abating.

 “So why,” he
asks, writing, “have home sales stalled in recent months?  It is an issue of affordability he says, but
not the way we usually think about it. 

The 30 percent of income as a measure of the maximum
to be spent on housing doesn’t work today because markets vary enormously. The
better approach
is a relative measure that compares a market or a micro-market
to itself rather than to other markets. 
He uses Omaha and San Francisco as examples of two places that are
essentially incomparable.  The percentage
of income needed to buy in Omaha (17 percent in a recent survey) won’t work in
San Francisco.  Even though median
household incomes are 45 percent higher in the latter area, it requires 75
percent of that median income to buy. 

Looked at another way, the MIT Living Wage
Calculator shows it takes $18.64 per hour for a household with two adults and
two children to “make it” in Douglas County, Nebraska (Omaha) whereas the same
family would need $25.44 in San Francisco.

Mushaney said that “for our purposes” affordability
raises two issues.  First, communities
which are not affordable will soon run out of teachers, first responders and
many other professionals the community needs to survive.  “Second, when affordability sags you have
fewer first-time buyers and that means trouble.”

RealtyTrac’s data shows that sales of lower priced
houses, those most likely to be first-time purchases, have “fallen through the
  It’s the clearest demonstration
of a first-time buyer affordability gap.” 
And without first-time buyers there will be no buyers able to move to
their second home and so on up the tiers.

So back to the issue of affordability.  Home prices rose quickly last year but
appreciation has slowed and real estate values have not yet reached (except in
a few cities such as the major ones in Texas and in Denver) to their previous
pre-crisis peaks.  So property, the
author says, is comparatively affordable.

Then too, “lender vaults are stuffed with cash”,
perhaps as much as $2 trillion in excess funds and that has caused mortgage
rates to stall in the low 4 percent range whereas just before the housing
crisis (April 2007) the Freddie Mac rate was 6.18 percent.  This means a huge differential in
payments.  A $200,000 loan in 2007 would
have carried a payment of $1,222.34; at the end of this past July the Freddie
Mac’s 4.12 rate would cost the borrower $958.72 each month. 

While today’s rates are higher than in 2012 the more
important point, he says, is that the average mortgage rate over the past 40
years has been 8.6 percent so rates today represent a better than 50 percent
discount.  Therefore mortgages are
affordable too.

So Mushaney says, if home prices are down from 2007 and
mortgages rates are half off of historic norms then affordability “should be
  But that is not the case.  “The problem is that in a market filled with
great real estate deals and cheap financing incomes are down.”  The national average income in 2012 was $51,017,
9 percent lower than in 1999 while buying power has declined even more.  It takes $1,430 today to purchase goods and
services costing $1,000 in 1999.

A RealtyTrac analysis of median household incomes
shows a decrease in real terms in 43 percent of the nation’s 3,100 counties
between 2008 and 2012.  “Among all
counties, even those with increasing income, the average change in income was
just 2 percent.”  During the same period
the Consumer Price Index increased 9 percent as median home prices dropped 22
percent.  Since 2012 home prices have
bounced back by 22 percent while the CPI has risen 3 percent.  Median income data is not available post 2012
but Mushaney says it is unlikely it has jumped 10 percent in two years to catch
it up with the 12 percent rise in the CPI since 2008.  The bottom line, he says, is that consumers
now need to spend more of their income on other goods and services and have
less left over for housing than before the recession. 

He concludes that the core barrier to higher real
estate sales has nothing to do with home prices or mortgage rates but rather
with jobs and income.  “Simply put, we
don’t have enough jobs, the job we do have don’t pay enough, and the result is
that homeownership levels are at their lowest point in 19 years.”

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/10302014_housing_affordability.asp

Mortgage Rates Recover Slightly; Holding Near 4 Percent

Mortgage rates pulled back to hold near 4 percent after rising to the highest levels in 3 weeks.  After yesterday’s Fed announcement, the most common rate quotes were at risk of edging up to 4.125% for top tier borrowers.  While some lenders are still in that range today, the improvement keeps the balance tipped decisively toward 4.0%.  In other words, both rates are out there today, but 4.0% is more prevalent.  In general, rates are nearly back in line with Tuesday’s.

Whether rates had simply had enough of their recent move higher or whether they’re just more in tune with weakness in the European economy, today’s stronger GDP report didn’t have any impact.  Typically, stronger data would push rates higher.  That said, the resilience was nominal at best, keeping us in a limbo between 2014’s previous lows and the the highs of the past 3 weeks.  With the FOMC Announcement NOT creating the movement it might have, attention now turns to next week’s big events (concentrated on Thursday and Friday) for the next potential dose of volatility.


Loan Originator Perspective

“Lender pricing improved this morning from yesterday’s reprices for the
worse. As i mentioned yesterday, lenders always tend to take away more
in pricing than the price drop of MBS justifies. The benchmark 10 year
note has a very supportive ceiling just overhead at 2.34, it is
currently at 2.31. With the solid support just over head, and
weakening data coming from Europe i would continue to float unless
within 15 days of closing. Those loans i would be locking.” Victor Burek, Open Mortgage

“After the Fed announced an end to QE yesterday, it appears the rate markets are treading water until finding more convincing motivation. That could happen next week as we get the all important Jobs Report as well as
activity out of the European Central Bank. The bias seems to be to the upside now which lends me to
believe locking these rates is prudent for now. Float carefully.” -Hugh W. Page, Mortgage Banker, Seacoast National Bank

“We rebounded from yesterday’s Fed related sell off today, but the gains
weren’t remarkable. It is still encouraging that the weakness was short
lived. Rates remain within recent ranges, but more towards the higher
end, which may give us some room to improve. It’s a 50/50 float/lock
call in my estimation. Those floating need to be keenly aware that
pricing can change in either direction!” -Ted Rood, Senior Mortgage Originator

“The overall immediate short-term direction is higher. 2.34% on the 10
YR bond remains,at least in my opinion, to be a critical pivot point,
support level and indication of a general larger shift in rates higher.
Until we close above that threshold I will be optimistic we can see the
recent rally continue. Shorter term technicals indicate to the
contrary, as always, if you like your rate lock it. I am locking loans
cleared to close.” -Constantine Floropoulos, Quontic Bank


Today’s Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.0
  • FHA/VA – 3.5
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  3.25
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  3.0 – 3.50% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • The hallmark of 2014 has been a narrow range in rates.  Too many market participants bet on rates going higher in 2014, and markets punished that imbalance with a paradoxical move lower.

  • European markets helped that process along and continue to play a prominent role in keeping US rates lower than they otherwise might be.  
  • For most of the Summer and early Fall months, rates held a narrow range of 4.125% -4.25% (essentially where the 2014 rate recovery has bottomed out) and finally broke to a 3.875%-4.0% range in mid-October.  It’s too soon to tell if this is a brief window of opportunity or the continuation of 2014’s very gradual improvements.

  • As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we’ve termedbest-execution(that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also ‘bang-for-the-buck.’  Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points–though this can vary–and tends to predict Freddie Mac’s weekly survey with high accuracy.  It’s safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie’s once-a-week polling method). 

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/402803.aspx

MBS RECAP: Super Flat Day… Not at all What You’d Expect

If the official end of QE is to be an inspirational moment for bond markets in the bigger picture, you wouldn’t know it based on how trading has gone since then.  A case is rapidly building for the news being fully priced in ahead of time and actual whipsaw effect happening a few weeks earlier.  Whatever the case, inspiration was lacking and continues its absence today.

MBS were able to hold super steady today at slightly stronger levels.  But here too, the improvement was fairly uninspired, and may even have more to do with the fact that rates had simply spent so many days in a row moving higher after October 15th’s big drop. That can happen sometimes.

One thing’s for sure though: the traditional motivations were irrelevant today. Rates are typically pressured higher by stronger economic data, but this morning’s news that 3rd Quarter GDP beat estimates didn’t have a material effect. Instead, the bond markets were more in tune with European bond markets, which were improving due to weak inflation data.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/mortgage_rates/blog/402823.aspx

Majestic East & West Apts Trade for $25.5M

Equity Real-Estate Group LLC acquired the Majestic East West Apartments at 11677-11683 Gosehn Ave. in Los Angeles, Ca for $25.5 million, or $375,000 per unit, from Jasin Co.

The 59,071-square-foot multifamily property was built in 1971 on more than half an acre in the Brentwood neighborhood, part of the West Los Angeles submarket. It totals 68 apartment units, and offers a swimming pool, balconies, secured parking, controlled building access and on-site laundry facilities. The Majestic East consists of 39 one-bedroom units. At Majestic West there are 29 units including 27 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom floorplans.

Tony Azzi and George Azzi of Marcus Millichap represented the seller. Stephen Saltzman of Keller Williams Commercial Santa Monica represented the buyer.

Please refer to CoStar COMPS #3129640 for more information on this transaction.

Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/Majestic-East-West-Apts-Trade-for-$255M/165445?ref=/News/Article/Majestic-East-West-Apts-Trade-for-$255M/165445&src=rss

Hotel Family Lays Out a Future

New York’s Denihan family has a reputation in the real-estate world for owning and managing upscale boutique hotels like the Surrey on the Upper East Side and the Benjamin in Midtown.

What is less known is the behind-the-scenes drama that took place over the years within the Denihan dynasty involving poor transition planning, family buyouts and a huge debt burden that forced some family members to consider a bankruptcy filing during…

Article source: http://online.wsj.com/articles/hotel-family-lays-out-a-future-1414370708?mod=residential_real_estate

Luxury Condos Tempt the Toddlers

A handful of New York City developers are wooing potential buyers with on-site classes for children of residents. Karen Barofsky, a resident at 8 Spruce Street, suggested a music class to the building’s concierge. Her request led to a music class; the one shown here is taught by Ranjit Arapurakal of Music Together, an early-childhood music program.

In the Music Together class, parents and toddlers join in.

Younger residents of the building play with musical instruments. Robert Madsen (not pictured), a resident of 8 Spruce Street for about 2½ years, pays $400 to take his almost 1-year-old daughter, Nellie, to an 11-week music class there.

The ‘Tween Room’ at 8 Spruce Street caters to residents in their early teens. Units currently available for rent at 8 Spruce range from about $3,000 a month for a studio apartment to about $9,200 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

15 Broad Street, a luxury high-rise in Manhattan’s Financial District, offers karate classes to children of residents. Instructor David Kaplan holds up a foam roller for Jack Elliot to jump up to as his sister,Taylor, looks on. Residents do have to pay for the classes, but returning students and siblings get discounts.

Mr. Kaplan goes over a low walking exercise with students. ‘It’s certainly one of the first amenities I mention when the client has a baby or toddler,’ says Gisela Vergara, a broker with Douglas Elliman.

Ms. Vergara, who also resides at 15 Broad Street, says having such classes in the building not only has helped her to sell apartments there, but she has spent more time with her two young children as she continued to work. ‘When the classes are an elevator ride down, you save so much time,’ she says.

Historically themed art decorates the hallways of the basement gym area at 15 Broad Street.

What does “family friendly” mean in luxury condo buildings these days? A spacious playroom is a given. A practice space for a beginner violin player is helpful. And an indoor pool is certainly a plus.

But now, a handful of New York City developers are wooing potential buyers and renters with on-site classes—some even curated by museums—to the children of residents.

In Brooklyn, a 42-unit luxury building under construction called One John Street will include a 1,700-square-foot annex of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, which will offer classes on art, culture, science and the environment.

At the Boerum, another Brooklyn condominium complex at 265 State Street, toddlers will be able to take classes that will be staffed by artist-teachers from the Children’s Museum of the Arts in Manhattan. Even though the building is under construction, the museum has already tested some of the planned classes, such as clay-figure making, on neighborhood kids.

In addition, many concierge services at other upscale New York City developments are scheduling a variety of classes that rotate seasonally so that parents and caregivers simply need to hop on an elevator for their children to participate in an art, yoga or tumbling class.

The ‘tween’ room at 8 Spruce Street caters to residents in their early teens. Units currently available for rent at 8 Spruce range from about $3,000 a month for a studio apartment to about $9,200 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

“It’s certainly one of the first amenities I mention when the client has a baby or toddler,” says

Gisela Vergara,

a broker at Douglas Elliman about the exclusive classes at 15 Broad Street, a luxury high-rise in Manhattan’s Financial District.

Ms. Vergara, who also resides at 15 Broad Street, says having such classes in the building not only has helped her to sell apartments there, but she has spent more time with her two young children as she continued to work.

“When the classes are an elevator ride down, you save so much time,” she says. “I’m not sure if I could have had my kids in a class somewhere else and keep the work schedule I have.”

Residents do have to pay for the classes, but returning students and siblings do get discounts. Although the classes at 15 Broad are for residents only, some classes in other buildings have been open to the public.

New York boasts some of the most expensive real estate in the world. In Manhattan, the median sale price of a two-bedroom condo is $2 million, or $1,569 a square foot, according to research firm CityRealty. Buyers in new condo buildings pay a median $2.35 million for a two-bedroom unit, or $1,893 a square foot.

Jared Della Valle,

president of Alloy Development, one of the developers of Brooklyn’s One John Street, recognized that the city’s multimillion redevelopment of Dumbo’s waterfront area would attract young families. So he reached out to the trustees at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights.

15 Broad Street, a luxury high-rise in Manhattan’s Financial District, offers karate classes to children of residents.  Instructor David Kaplan holds up a foam roller for Jack Elliot to jump up to as his sister,Taylor, looks on.

“Playrooms are wonderful, but children grow out of them,” he said. “We wanted to come up with an idea that would permanently connect our residents to the historic artistic elements of Dumbo and the park.”

The development, where prices start at about $3.5 million for a three-bedroom unit, is expected to open in the summer of 2016.

“I think Alloy’s idea of bringing a museum into its [development] plan is visionary,” says

Mindy Duitz,

president of the museum. “Children will be able to learn about the engineering behind the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges while looking out the window!”

Mick Walsdorf,

a managing partner at Flank, the firm that is designing and developing the Boerum in Brooklyn, said the Children’s Museum of the Arts was initially brought in to design the building’s playroom. Eventually, talks between the two organizations led to the museum curating an arts program for future resident children.

When the building opens, the exclusive classes for residents will be free for a year, Mr. Walsdorf said.

In some buildings, an active parent helps organize activities. After taking her two children to classes in other buildings in the Financial District,

Karen Barofsky,

a resident at New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street, suggested a music class to the building’s concierge. Her request led to a phone call to

Rosanna Magarelli,

director of Music Together in the City, an early-childhood music program.

“I figured most people [with toddlers] don’t want to leave the building in the winter,” Ms. Barofsky said. “Having a well-run common area is definitely one of the appeals of living in a large apartment building like mine.” Units currently available for rent at 8 Spruce range from about $3,000 a month for a studio apartment to about $9,200 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

Robert Madsen,

a resident of 8 Spruce Street for about 2½ years, pays $400 to take his almost 1-year-old daughter, Nellie, to an 11-week music class there.

“Having a class right in your building is definitely one of the pluses for living here,” Mr. Madsen said. “I would really like to use amenities like this more often going forward.”

The boom in on-site classes is a boost to area entrepreneurs, such as Ms. Magarelli. She has been running music classes for about 20 years and first started seeing on-site classes about five years ago.

“It’s key to have a well-managed building concierge to bring businesses like myself and residents together,” said Ms. Magarelli, adding that a concierge can help schedule classes and gauge residents’ interest to determine what kind of classes to bring in and when.

Cara Ottilio-Cooper,

founder of yoga classes for children called Breathe Bend Grow, says she has worked with numerous buildings in Manhattan’s Financial District and Battery Park City to keep her 2½ year old business on solid ground. Her 17-week fall/winter yoga session costs $420 per student.

“I’m cautious about growing my business too quickly, but I’m finding more opportunity in residential buildings,” she says. “It’s a new way to spread my love of yoga to everyone.”

Article source: http://online.wsj.com/articles/to-sell-luxury-condos-developers-tempt-toddlers-1414605253?mod=residential_real_estate

Mortgage Apps: Still Much More Refi Demand Than 2 Weeks Ago

Mortgage application numbers during the week ended
October 24 backed off a bit from the numbers posted during the week ended
October 17 but were still elevated compared to other recent weeks.  The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA’s) Weekly
Mortgage Applications Survey for last week reported almost entirely declining
numbers but for context we will include the increases from the previous week in
which there was unusually high refinancing volume.

MBA’s Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage
loan application volume fell 6.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from
the previous week when it had posted an 11.6 percent increase.   On an unadjusted basis the Index was down 7
percent following a 12 percent gain.

The Refinancing Index was down 7 percent as well on
the heels of a huge 23 percent gain the previous week but refinancing retained
the same 65 percent market share as the prior week.    

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

There had been no increases during the week ended
October 17 for any of the Purchase Index numbers, all declined and did so
against this week.  The Purchase Index,
both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, declined 5 percent and the unadjusted
index was 15 percent lower than during the same week in 2013.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

MBA said
that the seasonally adjusted purchase index was the lowest since last February
as was the conventional purchase index and the government purchase index was
the lowest since August 2007.  MBA also
reported the following regarding government-backed loans:   

  • The
    FHA share of total applications increased from 8.3 percent last week to 8.9
    percent this week.
  • The
    VA share rose from 9.6 percent to 10.7 percent.
  • The
    USDA portion moved from 0.8 percent of applications to 0.9 percent this week.

with jumbo loans tend to be most sensitive to changes in rates, and that
sensitivity has been clearly apparent in the past few weeks with double and
even triple digit percentage changes in refinance application volume for jumbo
loans,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist. “The average loan size for
refinance applications decreased to $263,600 in the most recent week from a
survey high of $306,400 the previous week. The decrease was driven by a 41
percent drop
in refinance applications for loans greater than $729,000, which
had surged almost 130 percent the week before.”

average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with
conforming balances of $417,000 or less increased from 4.10 percent to 4.13
percent.  Points were unchanged at 0.21
and the effective rate increased.

The jumbo
version of the FRM, with loan balances above $417,000, rose 10 basis points to
4.13 percent.   Points decreased to 0.13 from 0.20 and the effective
rate rose.

average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA
increased to 3.84 percent from 3.81 percent, with points increasing to 0.16
from 0.07.  The effective rate increased.

FRM had an average contract rate of 3.28 percent, unchanged from the previous
week.  Points increased to 0.24 from 0.22
and the effect rate remained the same. 

The market
share of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) fell back to 8.2 percent of all
applications during the week after establishing reaching 9.4 percent the week
before – the highest share since June 2008. 
 The average contract interest
rate for 5/1 ARMs was unchanged at 2.94 percent, Points moved to 0.43 from 0.37,
raising the effective rate.

MBA’s survey
covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications,
and has been conducted since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers,
commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March
16, 1990=100 and interest rate information assumes a loan with an 80 percent
loan-to-value ratio with points that include the origination fee.   

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/10292014_application_volume.asp

LOS Survey; RESPA-TILA Toolkit; LO Comp Violations Still Out There

You don’t think things are changing? Apple announced it has signed up 500 more banks
in addition to the 6 largest US banks it announced during the launch of
its Apple Pay service, which is now available today. In the UK, Lloyds Bank is cutting 9,000 jobs.
“Lloyds…wants a new type of branch, complete with iPads and facilitated
internet discussion screens, enabling chats with staff who may not be
physically in the same branch as the customer.” And Walmart has recently announced a new banking initiative called GoBank
through which it will offer mobile checking accounts with debit cards
in its 4,300 US locations by the end of October. Bank analysts will
counter with the line of thought that the most profitable bank customers
may not shop at Walmart, but still…

Current volumes aren’t too shabby. The
MBA reports that in 2013, refinancing made 66% of single family
residential originations or about $1.1T in total. This morning we
learned that applications last week fell 6.6 percent: refinancing
dropped over 7% and purchases fell 5%.

am so old that I remember when Price Waterhouse and Coopers Lybrand
were separate companies! Now the entity is known as PWC. And PWC produces reports that help folks forecast will happen in their marketplace during 2015.

USDA step aside: The CFPB has posted its 2015 final lists of Rural and Rural or Underserved Counties on its website. The
CFPB has previously posted lists of such counties for calendar years
2011-2014. The lists are relevant to exemptions in several CFPB mortgage
rules, including the CFPB’s rule requiring creditors to establish
escrow accounts for certain first-lien higher-priced mortgage loans.
 The CFPB’s blog post announcing the posting of the 2015 lists includes links to the various CFPB rules that refer to the lists.

While we’re on the CFPB, “Rob, here is a link to a TILA/RESPA toolkit
that Wolters Kluwer put together for its clients. The materials and it
seems to be pretty thorough and a great resource for those that don’t
have a large staff to help guide implementing the rule. There is a
Resource center and tool kits – click on tool kits.” Hey, compliance is
going to cost you money anyway, and this might be a cost effective way
to do so.

Turning to vendors, what is the true market share of Loan Origination System (LOS) providers?
“Have you recently replaced this crucial technology for your company?
Was the implementation successful? How does your LOS functional
experience compare to that of your peers, from a functional suitability
and vendor service perspective? Take our 15 minute LOS Technology Insight survey to learn the answers. STRATMOR
Group is actively conducting a repeatable, statistically reliable
survey to provide lenders with up-to-date, industry-wide objective data
for future trend analysis and much needed decision support for internal
LOS self-evaluation and/or LOS replacement. Participation
is FREE and respondents will receive a high-level summary of overall
market share by product/vendor and of implementation success metrics.
Note that you must participate in this survey to receive these summary
results. Detailed survey results and STRATMOR’s proprietary analysis of
our findings will also be made available for purchase that will break
out the full range of survey questions by respondent organization
(independent, bank owned, etc.), origination channels, and by company
size (origination volumes). As is STRATMOR’s practice, to assure
confidentiality, we will conduct this as a “blind” survey. All survey
results will be aggregated; individual company results will not be
disclosed, nor will we publish the results in a way that would enable
individual respondent identities to be derived. To participate in the
2014 LOS Technology Insight, register at STRATMOR LOS Technology Survey Website.

“Rob, I haven’t read much about LO comp
lately. Is the issue all taken care of, and the CFPB has moved on?” No,
unfortunately it is still a source of confusion. And there are still
reports of lenders offering programs that are not compliant with the
CFPB’s regulations, or the intent of the regulations. Examples are too
numerous to list, but reports certainly include the following: one
independent mortgage bank offers its LOs a deal where the first 100
basis points goes to the house on conventional loans and then the LO
keeps everything above that. (Oh, and for FHA loans the house keeps 200
basis points and the LO keeps the rest.) There is chatter of paying LOs
different amounts based on conventional and government loans. (Certainly
an issue when a borrower is looking at a 95% LTV deal!) I’ve heard of
single originators being offered a branch manager position paid out of
profitability on the loans he or she closes personally. And I hear about
independent mortgage banks, and even banks, having convicted felons
employed in mortgage operations. And no, I don’t know what these
companies are thinking – but the question is whether or not the consumer could be negatively impacted by policies.


Lender, agency, and vendor news. As always it is best to read the full bulletin for complete details!

Hilco Real Estate LLC announced that it has sold its private real estate mortgage lending company – Hilco Real Estate Finance LLC (CEO Mark Filler) – to the Garrison Investment Group.
“Neil Aaronson, CEO of Hilco Real Estate LLC, a unit of Hilco Global,
indicated that the growth of Hilco’s private real estate mortgage
lending business had exceeded all expectations and financial
projections.  Aaronson
said that “following such a successful first year and a half of
lending, originating loans in approximately 20 states and rapid
expansion of the operations, we decided that the time was right to
carefully transition the company to a new capital partner that wanted to
aggressively scale the business.”

Hey, don’t forget that last week Ginnie Mae changed its net worth requirements.

On Q
announced that it has opened a new branch office in Gig Harbor, WA
which underscores the rapid expansion of the company into the home
financing market in the Pacific Northwest. In 2014, On Q opened four
branch offices in the Pacific Northwest (Bellevue, Lynnwood – Seattle,
Vancouver and now Gig Harbor. The On Q Gig Harbor branch is managed by
local residents, and husband and wife team, Peter and Dawn James.  The
branch supports the entire Puget Sound area and plans to open a
satellite office in the Olympia/Thurston County area as well.

Flagstar Wholesale
streamlined the approval process for both the Construction and
Renovation loan programs. By attending the full duration of one session,
attendees will satisfy both construction and renovation requirements.
To register for the Construction Renovation Programs class, go to wholesale.flagstar.com under the Help Training link and then select Wholesale Live WebEx Training. Click the Upcoming Sessions tab to view and register for the date and time that works best.

California’s LHFS Wholesale has jumbo products for non-warrantable condos.

Arch MI
updated its rates for the Non-Refundable Single Premium Lender Paid
Mortgage Insurance (LPMI) program. The changes include a new credit
score tier for borrowers with credit scores 760 and greater, lower
pricing for higher-quality borrowers with credit scores 720 and greater,
and further rate refinement for credit score tiers below 680. The new
rates also reflect some increases in the rates for credit scores below

briefly at the markets, we did have some news yesterday. Durable Goods
Orders decreased 1.3% in September after declining 18.3% in August. The
SP Case Shiller Home Price Indices told us that the deceleration in
home prices continued in August. But despite the weaker year-over-year
numbers, home prices are still showing an overall increase, as the
National Index increased for its eighth consecutive month.  The
large extent of slower increases is seen in the annual figures with all
20 cities; the two composites and the national index all revealing
lower numbers than last month. Lastly, the Conference Board’s consumer
confidence index rose to 94.5 in October from 89 the prior month. By the
time the dust settled the 10-year was at 2.28% and 30-yr agency MBS
prices were worse about .125.

today the Treasury sells $15 billion 2yr floating rates at 11:30am and
$35 billion 5yr notes at 1PM Eastern time, and then an hour later all
eyes turn to the FOMC meeting at its conclusion with the statement out
around this time. Most foresee a cessation to MBS agency purchases and a
continuation of prepay reinvestments (approximately $20B/month). The agency MBS market is roughly unchanged from Tuesday’s close with the 10-year at 2.28%.


MB Financial is expanding, and is looking for LOs in Chicagoland.
As a reminder, a few months ago Cole Taylor Mortgage, along with its
parent Cole Taylor Bank, merged with MB Financial Bank N.A. The merger
resulted in an incredible opportunity for the Mortgage group to partner
with MB’s 90 banking centers in the Chicagoland area
and generate mortgage leads from a pool of existing customers. “If you
are interested in becoming a loan officer within a vibrant and growing
organization, have some self-sourced business, and have a desire to
significantly increase your monthly loan closings, please email your
resume to David Angres.

Headquartered a thousand miles to the southwest, Colonial
and its mortgage divisions, Colonial National and CU Members Mortgage,
have several key job openings at its Fort Worth headquarters and across
the country:  Vice President of Underwriting; Fair Lending Compliance Manager; Business Unit Compliance Manager; Sr. Compliance Analyst; and a Sr. Mortgage Recruiter
for Loan Officers nationwide and more. “This privately owned,
retained-servicing lender has been financially solid for more than 60
years and is highly respected. Great pay and superior benefits.  Check
out all of the job openings and apply at Colonial.”  Equal opportunity employer, M/F/Disability/Vet.

And Envoy‘s Correspondent Lending Division
continues its growth has brought on a couple more additions to their
Regional Account Management Team:  Susan Loomis has been tabbed to grow
the Northern California market and Jennifer Matill-Snyder has been hired
to build MD, VA, NC and SC.  With strong momentum in growth, sales and
development – Envoy
is looking for three seasoned Correspondent Regional Account Managers in
the following areas to complete their nationwide coverage:  Upper
Midwest/Chicago area, Southwest, and Southern California. “If
you like succeeding – be a part of a champion lending team and
experience the difference at Envoy by forwarding your resume to Todd Potter,
CMB – SVP National Sales Manager.” Envoy CLD offers best effort, SLM
and bulk execution and is a FNMA, FHLMC, and GNMA seller/servicer.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/channels/pipelinepress/10292014-mortgage-forecasts-for-2015.aspx

MBS MID-DAY: Bond Markets on the Ropes Ahead of FOMC Announcement

MBS and Treasuries are at their weakest levels in 3 weeks ahead of this afternoon’s FOMC Announcement.  That’s really all there is to it.  We haven’t had any meaningful market movers, and in fact, the only motivation has come from traders watching other traders.  In that regard, “defensive” would be the best way to characterize the bigger trades we’ve seen. 

There was an obvious glut of large trade activity from 9:11 to 9:17am in 5 and 10yr Treasuries.  This took bonds to their weakest levels, but the volatility is completely insignificant compared to that seen 2 weeks ago, or that which might be on the horizon. 

While we’re technically into our weakest recent levels, it’s nothing more than an incidental drift.  For instance, Fannie 3.5s are down only 1/32nd on the day.  There is no conviction here, just an unlucky break for morning rate sheets.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/mortgage_rates/blog/402405.aspx