Industry Briefs Mar. 2, 2022: Arch MI: Home Price Growth to Slow in 2022

Arch MI: Home Price Growth to Slow in 2022

Home sales, which increased more than 6% in 2021 to a 15-year high, will remain strong this year — supported by solid demographic trends and an expected increase in homes for sale, according to the winter edition of The Housing and Mortgage Market Review from Arch Mortgage Insurance Co., Greensboro, N.C.

While rising prices are squeezing entry-level buyers, many factors continue to energize overall demand, according to HaMMR author Parker Ross, Arch Global Mortgage Group’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Housing demand fundamentals will remain strong in 2022 due to the large number of Millennials entering their prime homebuying years, strong wage growth, the persistence of remote work, savings accumulated during the pandemic, record levels of home equity and the likelihood that some buyers will rush to act ahead of anticipated increases in mortgage rates,” he said.

Redfin: New Listings Gain Steam, Met by Hearty Demand

Redfin, Seattle, said newly listed homes for sale during the four weeks ending February 20 were down just 2% year over year, the smallest decline since mid-November.

The report said more new listings were met with hearty demand. Pending sales rose 1%, the first increase since mid-January. The market again set record highs for home sale prices, asking prices, buyers’ mortgage payments and the share of homes selling within days of hitting the market, as well as record-low homes for sale.

“The good news for homebuyers is that each week more homes are being listed for sale,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr. “There is growing evidence that January’s dramatic drop in new listings was only a temporary blip driven by heavy winter storms and the spike in Covid cases, so homebuyers may have some hope for better selection in the coming spring season.”

UniversalCIS | Credit Plus Rebrands as Xactus

UniversalCIS | Credit Plus, Philadelphia, a verifications provider for the mortgage industry, announced its new name, Xactus, with the tagline, “Advancing the Modern Mortgage.”

The company said Xactus reflects its qualities of being exact, factual, accurate and its commitment to advancing delivery of the modern mortgage, enabling lenders to close more loans more quickly and provide a better consumer experience.

TransUnion to Maximize Financial Inclusion Opportunities for 100 Million Consumers Using BNPL Loans

TransUnion, Chicago, introduced a new suite designed to promote financial inclusion opportunities for the nearly 100 million U.S. adults who have used buy now pay later loans at least once in the past 12 months

TransUnion is launching the capability to receive point-of-sale lender trades through the traditional credit reporting process, with specific Metro 2 reporting guidance that ensures FCRA compliance. The goal is to have a single standard for lenders to report data and accelerate adoption by lenders and scoring providers in the future. The information will be tagged and filtered into a new partitioned part of TransUnion’s core credit file.

Users of TransUnion credit data will be able to opt-in to receive these tradelines as part of their existing credit data delivery. Default credit report delivery, which feeds existing scoring models, will remain unaffected. Over time, as the industry works to enhance models with these data, it is expected that many lenders will choose to use the information in addition to their existing models to help expand their buy boxes – accelerating the consumer impact. 

Ellington Financial to Acquire Longbridge Financial

Ellington Financial Inc., Old Greenwich, Conn., a real estate investment trust investing in a diverse array of financial assets including residential and commercial mortgage loans, and Longbridge Financial LLC, Mahwah, N.J., a national reverse mortgage loan originator and servicer, announced Ellington Financial entered into a definitive agreement to purchase an additional 49.6% ownership interest in Longbridge from Home Point Capital Inc. for $75 million.

Following closing of the transaction, Ellington Financial, which has been an investor in Longbridge since 2014, will hold substantially all of Longbridge’s equity. Founded in 2012, Longbridge originates and services reverse mortgages to help the growing demographic of U.S. homeowners aged 55 and older manage their retirement and improve their financial future.

The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

CFPB Outlines Options to Prevent Algorithmic Bias in Home Valuations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau outlined options to ensure that computer models used to help determine home valuations are accurate and fair. The options will now be reviewed to determine their potential impact on small businesses.

“It is tempting to think that machines crunching numbers can take bias out of the equation, but they can’t,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra.

The Bureau said computer models and algorithms are additional tools for mortgage lenders and appraisers to improve valuation accuracy. However, automated valuation models can pose fair lending risks to homebuyers and homeowners. The CFPB is particularly concerned that without proper safeguards, flawed versions of these models could digitally redline certain neighborhoods and further embed and perpetuate historical lending, wealth and home value disparities.

Rynoh, Integrate

Rynoh, Charlotte, N.C., a national financial security software provider serving the title and settlement services industry, and, a digital funds transfer provider focused on the same industry, integrated to enable title agencies to accept funds and reconcile bank transactions. subscribers can now access Rynoh’s daily automated transaction retrieval and reconciliation functions directly. The increased efficiency offers comprehensive oversight for faster error discovery, correction, and safeguard against costly fraud. The integration allows title agencies to automatically reconcile and clear the transaction without logging into multiple systems or cross-referencing multiple screens.

Sales Boomerang Partners with OptifiNow

Sales Boomerang, Baltimore, announced its application programming interface integration with OptifiNow, Seal Beach, Calif., a cloud-based sales, marketing and customer relationship management platform.

The integration ensures accurate borrower data flows automatically between the systems, giving lenders more time to focus on nurturing borrower relationships and exceeding sales goals. Sales Boomerang’s integration can be applied to any of the borrower intelligence platform’s 11 unique loan opportunity alert offerings. When an opportunity alert is triggered by someone in a lender’s database, that alert data is automatically ingested into OptifiNow. The CRM will then notify the loan originator associated with that customer and, depending on the user’s specifications, automatically trigger personalized borrower outreach.

TransUnion Enhances to Acquire Verisk Financial Services

TransUnion, Chicago, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Verisk Financial Services, the financial services business unit of Verisk.  

TransUnion has agreed to acquire Verisk Financial for $515 million, which will be funded with cash on hand. In 2021. With the acquisition, TransUnion intends to provide enhanced insights and platforms to help consortium members increase financial inclusion, acquire new accounts and improve fraud prevention, risk management and targeting. TransUnion plans to accelerate modernization of delivery of Verisk Financial’s products by leveraging technology of its PRAMA Analytics Platform.

LoanMAPS LOS Now Integrated with DocMagic

DocMagic Inc., Torrance, Calif., integrated multiple digital lending platforms with Take Three Technologies’ cloud-based and fully integrated loan origination system, LoanMAPS. 

The integration with LoanMAPS eliminates the need for an initial disclosure desk and closing department, which results in reducing the clients’ full-time employee count and slashes clients’ cost to produce loans. Via the integration, LoanMAPS users can generate loan documents for borrowers, eSign documents, and will offer eClosing capability. Together, they enhance the initial disclosure process, streamline closings and provide users with an efficient and simplified mortgage process.

FHFA Announces More than $1.1 Billion for Affordable Housing Programs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced its Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund will receive $1.138 billion for affordable housing initiatives from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest amount ever provided to these programs from the Enterprises.

The Housing Trust Fund, overseen by HUD, allocates funding annually to states and state-designated entities for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing. This program will receive $740 million, a $29 million increase from the previous year.

The Capital Magnet Fund, overseen by the Treasury Department, competitively awards money to finance affordable housing activities, as well as related economic development activities and community service facilities. This program will receive $398 million, a $15 million increase from the previous year.


FHA Insures $24.5 Million for Multifamily Housing in Denver

The Federal Housing Administration closed on a $24.5 million loan insured under FHA’s 221(d)(4) new construction mortgage insurance program for Wildhorse Ridge in Denver. The insured loan will be used to finance the construction of an affordable multifamily apartment project that will include 119 rental homes for residents earning between 30% and 70% of the Area Median Income. Of the 119 units, 12 will be for residents at 30% AMI, 47 units will be for residents at 50% AMI and 60 units for residents at70% AMI. These restricted rents average 40% lower than new market rate rental units.

The project was originated by Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC and EC Wildhorse LLC, W. Daniel Hughes Jr., and the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver.

AppraisalWorks Expands Presence among Michigan Banks

AppraisalWorks, Cleveland, Ohio, announced it is the technology powering Ohio Bankers League Valuation Analytics’ expansion into Michigan.

The AppraisalWorks platform is designed to streamline the real estate appraisal process, helping lenders, servicers and appraisal management companies achieve lower costs, faster turn times and greater transparency.