Industry Briefs

Stewart Information Services Acquires United States Appraisals

Stewart Information Services Corp., Houston, acquired United States Appraisals. Stewart said the acquisition strengthens its digital real estate services offering in appraisal and valuation management and enhances its existing title insurance, settlement services, appraisal/valuation and other real estate services.

United States Appraisals has provided residential management services for the past decade. Its portfolio includes the Valuguard Home Inspection mobile application. Berkery Noyes served as exclusive financial advisor to United States Appraisals.

Black Knight: Homeowners in Forbearance Down 2nd Consecutive Week

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said its latest forbearance data show the number of homeowners in active forbearance on their mortgages fell for the second consecutive week. Overall, the number of active forbearance plans fell by 77,000 from last week, and 112,000 from the peak the week of May 22.

Black Knight said as of June 9, 4.66 million homeowners remain in forbearance plans, representing 8.8% of all active mortgages, down from 8.9% last week, representing just over $1 trillion in unpaid principal. It said 7% of all GSE-backed loans and 12.2% of all FHA/VA loans are currently in forbearance plans. GSE loans saw the greatest reduction, with forbearances falling by 47,000 week-over-week, but decreases were seen across all investor classes – as compared to last week, which saw a decline among government-backed mortgages partially offset by a rise in portfolio and PLS mortgages.

MountainSeed Partners with Kabbage

MountainSeed, Atlanta, a nationwide real estate services provider for banks and credit unions, formed a partnership with Kabbage, an automated Paycheck Protection Program lender, to give community bank and credit union clients access to PPP loans for their small business customers in non-urban areas.

Kabbage has used its automated lending platform to process and fund $800 million for nearly 20,000 small businesses on behalf of banks and credit unions. So far, 80 percent of the loans that have resulted from the partnership with MountainSeed have been made in non-urban areas, with an average loan size of $40,000. That amounts to more than 115,000 paychecks for employees in financially fragile communities and industries.

Fannie Mae Prices $719.5M Multifamily REMIC

Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C., priced a $719.5 million multifamily Delegated Underwriting and Servicing real estate mortgage investment conduit on June 10.

Fannie Mae guarantees all classes of FNA 2020-M29 regarding the full and timely payment of interest and principal.

Freddie Mac Prices Two Securities

Freddie Mac, McLean, Va., priced two new securities offerings.

Freddie Mac priced a new offering of structured pass-through “K Certificate” multifamily mortgage-backed securities. Freddie Mac said it expects to issue $729 million in K-1515 Certificates, which should settle on or about June 19. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and PNC Capital Markets LLC served as Co-Lead Managers and Joint Bookrunners.

Freddie Mac also priced the SB75 offering, a multifamily mortgage-backed securitization backed by small balance loans underwritten by Freddie Mac and issued by a third-party trust. The company expects to issue $444 million in SB75 Certificates, which it expects will settle on or about June 19.

Freddie Mac Small Balance Loans generally range from $1 million to $7.5 million and are generally backed by properties with five or more units. This is the sixth SB Certificate transaction in 2020.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC were the Co-Lead Managers and Joint Bookrunners.

Freddie Mac will guarantee four senior principal and interest classes and one interest-only class of securities issued by the FRESB 2020-SB75 Mortgage Trust. In addition to the five classes of securities guaranteed by Freddie Mac, the trust will issue certificates consisting of Class B and Class R Certificates with no Freddie Mac guarantee that will be sold to private investors.

CoreLogic Integrates Verification of Employment and Income Platform with Ellie Mae Encompass

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., integrated its Verification of Employment and Income platforms with Encompass by Ellie Mae, Pleasanton, Calif.

Through the integration, mortgage lenders can now receive both automated and manual borrower employment and income verifications directly from Encompass. Additionally, because the CoreLogic VOE/I platform—part of the AutomatIQ Borrower suite of digital mortgage platforms—is also integrated with Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter validation service, it delivers Day 1 Certainty and instant representations and warranties relief for all eligible borrower employment and income verifications.

Zillow: Housing Market Activity Returns to Growth After Memorial Day Blip

Zillow, Seattle, said housing market activity picked back up last week after a hiccup during the week of Memorial Day, according to its Weekly Market Report.

The report said newly pending sales returned to growth (13.6%) after last week marked the first dip since mid-April. New listings are up 17% from the previous week, but it appears to not be enough to keep up with buyer demand as total inventory continues to fall.

Zillow said the median list price in the U.S. is $333,372, 1% higher than a week ago and up 4.2% from this time last year. Continued growth in expensive listings, which make up a greater share of the market than they did a month ago, is a driving force behind the rise in median list price.

Zillow research also shows newly unemployed service workers owe $1.2 billion in rent each month, and the millions of Gen Zers who have moved back in with their parents pay $726 million monthly. “If moves home become permanent or some payments are missed as government assistance and protections expire, rent price growth could slow,” Zillow said.