Today’s Top National News Dec. 8 2022

Here’s a summary of Top National News Items from major news sites and industry trade publications. To get started, click on the headline above:

Mortgage Demand Falls Again Even as Rates Sink Further
CNBC, Dec. 7, 2022–Diana Olick
Mortgage application volume fell 1.9% last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

The Hill’s Top Lobbyists 2022
The Hill, Dec. 7, 2022
This list honors the corporate lobbyists, hired guns, association leaders and grassroots activists who leveraged their expertise and connections to make a difference in the nation’s capital this year. The list includes Tallman Johnson, Associate Vice President of Legislative Affairs with the Mortgage Bankers Association.

LOs, Mortgage Rates and the Long, Cold Winter Ahead
HousingWire, Dec. 7, 2022–Flávia Furlan Nunes
There are signs of improvement in borrowers’ demand for home loans, but mortgage applications are still moving down. (MBA mention)

Mortgage Payments are ‘a Huge Sticke Shock’ for Potential Homebuyers
Yahoo! Money, Dec. 7, 2022–Gabriella Cruz-Martinez
Record-high home prices are finally falling month over month, but the pullback hasn’t been enough to bring back buyers — especially as mortgage rates remain high. Elevated home prices and mortgage rates have stunted homebuyer demand, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest survey of applications, as inflationary pressures continue to fuel affordability concerns.

What’s Going On With the Housing Market?
Wall Street Journal, Dec. 7, 2022–Nicole Friedman (subscription)
Home buyers and sellers are trying to make sense of a downturn that’s full of contradictions: Demand has seized up but supply is still low; prices are sliding but not plummeting; and no one can agree on what comes next.

Doma to Lay Off 515 Workers in Cost-Cutting Plan
National Mortgage News, Dec. 7, 2022–Andrew Martinez (subscription)
Title insurer Doma will lay off approximately 515 employees, or 40% of its workforce, as part of a plan to cut costs significantly.

Future of Work: Back to the Office
Reuters, Dec. 7, 2022–Paritosh Bansal, Mark John
Employers have been asking workers with increasing urgency this year to return to the office, while workers are demanding flexibility, creating a tussle that is yet to be resolved as 2022 draws to a close.

The Struggling FoA Agrees to Buy the Nation’s Largest Reverse Lender
Inside Mortgage Finance, Dec. 7, 2022–Paul Muolo
Finance of America, which posted $470 million of losses the past two quarters, Wednesday morning announced it struck a deal to buy American Advisors Group — the nation’s largest FHA reverse lender — through an “asset” purchase transaction.

Nearly a Third of Athas Employees Move to Hometown Equity Mortgage
National Mortgage News, Dec. 8, 2022–Maria Volkova (subscription)
Dozens of former Athas Capital Group employees have made their way to Hometown Equity Mortgage, LLC, a dba of theLender, in recent weeks.

Manhattan Apartment Rents Inch Up After Three Months of Declines
Bloomberg, Dec. 8, 2022–Jennifer Epstein
Manhattan apartment rents climbed slightly in November after three months of declines. But the market isn’t returning to the hypercompetitive heights of the summer.

The Need for Nonbank Regulation is a Consensus Issue for the Fed
American Banker, Dec. 7, 2022–Kyle Campbell (subscription)
A consensus is emerging within the Federal Reserve about the need to address the risks nonbanks pose to the financial sector, with champions on opposite ends of the Board of Governors’ ideological spectrum.