Industry Briefs Feb. 16 2021

LodeStar Software Solutions Integrates with Mortgage Coach Platform

LodeStar Software Solutions announced an integration with Mortgage Coach, creator of the Total Cost Analysis Borrower Conversion Platform. This integration allows lenders of any size to include accurate closing provider fees when creating a Total Cost Analysis for borrowers.

Loan originators can access the LodeStar Loan Estimator, a TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule) compliant API, to import closing costs into Mortgage Coach’s TCA presentations. Delivering real-time and accurate comparisons enables the loan originator to show the total cost for each loan option at closing and over time.

The LodeStar and Mortgage Coach integration is available to any lender with access to Mortgage Coach Enterprise Edition and LodeStar Loan Estimator.

Rocket Mortgage, HomeFree-USA Expand Partnership for Flagship Financial Education Programming to HBCUs

Rocket Mortgage, Detroit, and Black-founded HomeFree-USA today announced an expansion of their ongoing partnership, which will continue financial education and career preparation through HomeFree-USA’s flagship education initiative, The Center for Financial Advancement, at six historically Black colleges and universities.

Through this partnership Rocket Mortgage is developing a pipeline to bring diverse new talent to Rocket Mortgage and its Rocket Companies affiliates. First partnering in 2018 on CFA, the organizations work side by side to provide tools and opportunities to prospective homebuyers to bridge the Black homeownership gap, collaborate on numerous financial information programs, and offer educational initiatives to HBCUs. The partnership expands beyond those goals for 2021 by investing in career preparation that will allow HBCU students to access fields where they are traditionally underrepresented.

Black Knight: Mortgages in Forbearance Drop Again

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said its McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker reported the number of mortgages in active forbearance fell again last week, dropping 48,000 (-1.6%) from a week ago. .

As of Feb., Black Knight reported 2.67 million homeowners – 5% of all mortgage-holders – in active forbearance, the first-time n volumes have been below 2.7million since early April 2020. Declines were seen across all investor classes. Plans among portfolio held and privately securitized loans experienced the largest decline (-30,000 / -4.4%), followed by declines of 12,000 (-1.1%) and 6,000 (-0.7%) in active FHA/VA and GSE forbearances, respectively.

Expanded Partnership Makes CoreLogic AVMs Available Through Mortgage Cadence LOS

Mortgage Cadence, Denver, announced an expanded partnership that will see CoreLogic’s Total Home Value for Originations Automated Valuation Models fully integrated with the Mortgage Cadence Platform, the company’s end-to-end, open digital lending platform.

Total Home Value for Originations is specifically calibrated and packaged to improve efficiencies when performing property valuations during the purchase and refinance loan underwriting process. Total Home Value for Originations can also help home equity mortgage lenders reduce their costs and enable judicious allocation of their resources for business process outsourcing and appraisals. Mortgage lenders may also benefit from streamlined workflows and reduced cost-to-close which improves both the borrower experience and lender profitability.

Surefire CRM by Top of Mind Integrates with Blend

Top of Mind Networks, Atlanta, announced its integration with digital lending platform Blend.

The integration leverages bi-directional data syncing between Surefire CRM and Blend’s point of sale platform, enabling the systems to automatically prefill loan applications with borrower contact information and execute automated workflows tailored to where clients are in the loan journey. When combined, the technologies automate Surefire CRM’s workflows and award-winning content to loan applicants, resulting in improved loan application completion rates and borrower satisfaction.

Nomis Solutions Partners with Heitman Analytics

Nomis Solutions, Brisbane, Calif., announced a partnership with Heitman Analytics, a provider of mortgage analytics reporting, providing competitive pricing and volume mortgage data to the nation’s largest financial institutions. The partnership will offer mortgage lending clients a more efficient and effective method to analyze data for developing competitive pricing strategies.

Nomis Solutions provides an analytics platform and end-to-end pricing tool to help mortgage lenders achieve customer- and borrower-centric pricing backed by real, actionable data. Leveraged alongside the reporting from Heitman Analytics, these insights will help further enhance the strategy and tactical movements for Heitman’s clients.

HUD to Enforce Fair Housing Act to Prohibit Discrimination by Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

HUD announced that it will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity issued a memorandum stating that HUD interprets the Fair Housing Act to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and directing HUD offices and recipients of HUD funds to enforce the Act accordingly. The memorandum begins implementation of the policy set forth in President Biden’s Executive Order 13988 on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, which directed executive branch agencies to examine further steps that could be taken to combat such discrimination.

The memorandum relies on the Department’s legal conclusion that the Fair Housing Act’s sex discrimination provisions are comparable in text and purpose to those of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars sex discrimination in the workplace. 

Redfin: Introduction of Low-Income Housing Unlikely to Affect Nearby Home Prices

Redfin, Seattle, said its analysis of more than 220,000 home sales found no consistent relationship between the addition of low-income housing and changes in nearby home prices in most metros.

In 18 of the 26 metro areas studied, no significant difference was detected in the prices of nearby homes sold before and after the construction of a low-income housing development, when compared with similar homes farther from the development but within the same neighborhood. In four of the eight metro areas where significant differences were detected—Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Charlotte, N.C.—homes near low-income housing developments sold for more after the development was constructed. In the remaining four metro areas—Chicago, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Warren, Mich.—homes sold for less after low-income housing developments were built nearby.

11% of Searches Were For $1 Million-Plus Homes in January

Redfin, Seattle, said nationwide, 10.8% of saved searches on filtered exclusively for homes priced over $1 million in January. That’s up from 8.5% a year earlier and the highest share since Redfin started tracking this data in the beginning of 2017.

At the same time, 36% of home searches in January filtered exclusively for homes priced under $500,000, down from 39.3% a year earlier and the lowest share since September 2017.

“Wealthy people are reaping the benefits of unequal recovery from the pandemic-driven recession as they earn money from robust stock portfolios and rising real estate values,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Not only can they afford to move, they also have big budgets. Unfortunately, many lower-income people, particularly those in the service industry, are struggling financially and aren’t in the market for homes.”

Luxury home sales in the U.S. soared 61% in the three months ending November 30, the biggest jump since at least 2013 and a much bigger increase than sales of mid-priced or affordable homes. 1 in 5 Millennials Believe they will ‘Always Rent’’s latest Millennial Homeownership Report explores generational gaps in homeownership and what the future holds for the nation’s largest generation. It found when members of older generations were the same age as millennials are now, they owned homes at notably higher rates. Although this gap has narrowed, now 18% of millennials believe they will always rent – up significantly from 12% last year.

Key takeaways from the report:

•           At age 30, 42% of millennials own homes, fewer than Gen Xers (48%) and Baby Boomers (51%) when they were the same age.

•           Among millennials who do not currently own homes, 18% say that they expect to rent forever, up significantly from 12% in last year’s survey. 74% of those who plan to never purchase a home say that affordability is the primary reason, more than double the share who say that they prefer the lifestyle benefits of renting.

•           Among millennial renters who do plan to purchase homes, 63% do not have any dedicated down payment savings set aside, and only 15% have saved over $10,000. Furthermore, 40% of prospective millennial homebuyers say that the pandemic has directly affected their plans, with 21% now delaying homeownership, largely due to loss of income and/or diminished savings.

•           Generational homeownership trends exhibit significant disparity by race – while white millennials have nearly closed the generational gap, Black millennials have both the lowest homeownership rate and the largest gap compared to older generations.

Advantage Systems Launches Enhancements to Accounting for Mortgage Bankers Software

Advantage Systems, Irvine, Calif., announced updates to the Commissions Module of its Accounting for Mortgage Bankers software.

The AMB commission module today provides features to address recent trends. The most notable is the sheer number of people, in different operational roles, that can be paid on one loan. Flexible bonus and override compensation features in its system will continue to help our clients recruit and retain qualified and talented professionals.

Demand for Vacation Homes Soared 84% Year Over Year in January

Redfin, Seattle, said mortgage applications for second homes soared 84% year over year in January. While that’s down from a peak 118% year-over-year increase in September, it’s up significantly from a year ago and marks the eighth straight month of 80%-plus year-over-year growth.

The annual rise in second-home applications is more than double the increase in applications for primary homes. Demand for primary residences rose 36% year over year in January, down from the 65% peak in September and the smallest increase since May.

“Although demand is down slightly from the fall peak, the fact that nearly twice as many second-home buyers submitted applications in January as the year before means the popularity of vacation towns is not a fad,” said Redfin economist Taylor Marr. “Many Americans have realized remote work is here to stay, allowing some fortunate people to work from a lakefront cabin or ski condo indefinitely. But while many well-off remote workers are able to follow their dreams and purchase second homes, it has become even more difficult for many lower-income people to buy a primary residence as home values rise and the recession disproportionately impacts employees in the service sector.”

Valutrust Solutions Adds Property Evaluations Services, BPOs

Valutrust Solutions LLC, Portland, Ore., added property evaluation services and broker price opinions to its suite of property valuation offerings.

For origination transactions, Valutrust’s ValuTrue property evaluation services can be ordered with or without interior inspection, as can BPOs, which are now available for servicing and default management. With these new services, Valutrust customers now have a single-source solution for all their property valuation needs, including property valuation platforms such as AVMs, evaluations, appraisals, field valuation services and BPOs; valuation review offerings; and property and market condition reports. 

Ginnie Mae Starts 2021 with Record January MBS Volume

Ginnie Mae, Washington, D.C., reported mortgage-backed securities issuance volume at a record $82.6 billion in January, slightly above the previous record high $81.7 billion issued the prior month. Issuance was fueled by across-the-board demand for government-backed mortgages as consumers increase home refinance and home purchase volume during this period of record-low interest rates. The report said 293,004 homes and apartment units were financed by Ginnie Mae guaranteed MBS in January.

A breakdown of January issuance of $82.61 billion includes $77.95 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $4.65 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which includes $4.57 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance as of January 31 was $2.114 trillion, up from $2.10 trillion in December, and little changed with the January 2020 level of $2.13 trillion.

Fannie Mae: Housing Sentiment Edges Upward as Reported Conditions Favor Sellers

Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C, said its Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased in January to 77.7, a 3.7-point improvement from December. Consumers reported a significantly more positive view of home-selling conditions month over month, with that particular component jumping 16 percentage points on net. The other five components remained relatively flat. Year over year, the HPSI fell by 15.3 points.

The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy a home remained unchanged at 52%, while the percentage who say it is a bad time to buy decreased from 39% to 37%. As a result, the net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy increased 2 percentage points month over month.  The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to sell a home increased from 50% to 57%, while the percentage who say it’s a bad time to sell decreased from 42% to 33%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to sell increased 16 percentage points month over month.