Industry Briefs Feb. 8, 2023: TCN Worldwide Expands in Pa., Ohio, N.Y.

TCN Expands in Pa., Ohio, N.Y.

TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services added Jabe Companies Commercial Real Estate and Hanna Commercial Real Estate as the newest member firms

Founded in 2004, Jabe Companies is a Pittsburgh’s full-service real estate firm and offers a wide array of commercial real estate brokerage services focusing on the specific needs of the retail sector.

A TCN Worldwide member since 1994, Hanna Commercial will now represent TCN Worldwide in five markets throughout the Northeast, including: Cleveland, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Rochester. Hanna Commercial Real Estate is one of the largest independent full-service commercial real estate brokerage firms in the Northeast. Key services include commercial real estate brokerage, corporate services, appraisal and consulting, property management, accelerated marketing (auctions) and research.

ATTOM Integrates Propensity to Default Analytics into Property Data Warehouse

ATTOM, Irvine, Calif., integrated propensity to default analytics into its U.S. property data warehouse. With this news, the ATTOM Table of Data Elements expands with another layer of details to enhance market intelligence, while enabling various industries investment insight and mitigation strategies.

This integration combines ATTOM’s foreclosure and mortgage data with Powerlytics – a predictive analytics platform provider with a proprietary database of anonymized tax returns covering more than 150 million U.S. households, to score properties across the nation on the likelihood of going into foreclosure.  

This proprietary model identifies the probability that a residential property will become a mortgage default (aka pre-foreclosure) within the next 12 months and allows customers to zero in on the properties that have the highest propensity to default.

MCTlive! Lock Volume Indices Show Lock Volume Increases

Mortgage Capital Trading Inc., San Diego, released its MCTlive! Lock Volume Indices for January, showing lock volume increased across the board for the month.

Purchase lock activity rose by nearly 110% compared to December, rate/term refinance volume rose by 124%, and cash-out refinance volume rose by 93%. Lock activity in total rose by 109% versus December.

“Though December lock activity is traditionally low, with many people focused on the holidays during the final week of the month, the lock figures for January clearly show some positive rate elasticity,” the repost said. “As the Fed reaches its terminal fed funds rate for this cycle, we should see downward pressure on mortgage rates, which will only help increase origination activity.”

WFG National Title Insurance Assigned ‘Highly Recommended’ from Demotech

WFG National Title Insurance Co., Portland, Ore., announced it has been assigned a Commercial Real Estate Recommendation of Highly Recommended from Demotech Inc. 

A leading indicator of the financial stability of a title underwriter, FSRs summarize Demotech’s opinion of the financial stability of an insurer regardless of general economic conditions or the phase of the underwriting cycle.  According to Demotech, insurers earning an FSR of A’ (A Prime) possess unsurpassed financial stability related to maintaining surplus as regards policyholders at an acceptable level, regardless of the severity of a general economic downturn or deterioration in the insurance cycle.

AgentHome to Acquire Corinthian Title Co.

AgentHome LLC, Maitland, Fla., a national network of independent title agents, today announced it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Corinthian Title Company Inc., a California-based provider of title insurance and escrow services for residential and commercial real estate transactions. The closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Corinthian, headquartered in San Diego, is a locally owned and operated title agency currently licensed to issue title insurance policies in 28 counties within California. With 10 locations throughout Southern California, the company is licensed to provide title and escrow services to 90% of the population in California, including most major metropolitan areas.

Draycott Place Partners served as the Exclusive Financial Advisor to Corinthian. Nelson Mullins served as legal counsel to AgentHome.

LodeStar Closing Fee Tech Required One Cure Every 22,000 Quotes

Mortgage loan originators using the closing fee calculator technology of LodeStar Software Solutions, Philadelphia, in 2022 averaged one inaccuracy requiring a cure out of every 22,000 fee estimates or quotes.

LodeStar is a national provider of closing fee-related compliance tools for mortgage lenders.

LodeStar financially guarantees the closing fees its technology provides to lenders assembling fee estimates or TRID disclosures, and covered the cost to cure for clients where there were any inaccuracies.

OrangeGrid’s Mortgage Servicing Platform Integrates with Flagstar Bank

OrangeGrid, Dallas, a provider of mortgage servicing software, announced Flagstar Bank, Troy, Mich., implemented mortgage servicing software provided by OrangeGrid to manage its loss mitigation processes and enhance internal efficiencies.

The software provides Flagstar with a collaborative operating system to help handle the complexities inherent in the loss mitigation process. It has the added benefits of enhancing compliance, tracking metrics for internal staffing, generating reporting on turn-time on loss mitigation requests, and delivering a clear audit record for every step in the workflow.

AmeriCU Partners with SimpleNexus on Mobile Lending

SimpleNexus, Lehi, Utah, announced AmeriCU will implement Nexus Engagement, Nexus Origination and Nexus Closing to provide a streamlined, mobile-first member experience.

Nexus Engagement helps lenders engage pre-application leads and strengthen referral strategies with real estate agents via a shareable mobile app featuring integrated tools such as home search listings and a payment calculator. Nexus Origination, SimpleNexus’ point-of-sale technology, enables borrowers to apply for a loan, submit documents, monitor loan status, contact their loan officer, electronically sign disclosures and more. Nexus Closing supports traditional, hybrid and fully digital eClosings. Leveraging these tools together will enable AmeriCU to offer members a modern, single-sign-on experience via a mobile app while benefiting from the productivity advantages of streamlined workflows.

AppraisalWorks Integrates with ClickFORMS Appraisal Software

AppraisalWorks, Cleveland, Ohio announced its AppraisalWorks platform now integrates with ClickFORMS, an intuitive appraisal software application developed by Bradford Technologies.

The integration allows appraisers on the AppraisalWorks platform to populate appraisal data and create reports in ClickFORMS, without having to enter data in multiple applications. The integration enables greater efficiency and ease-of-use for appraisers. 

OptifiNow Integrates with Lender Price Flex Pricing Engine

OptifiNow, Seal Beach, Calif., announced an integration of its wholesale mortgage CRM platform, OptifiNow TPO, with the Lender Price Flex Pricing Engine. The integration enables wholesale account executives to provide mortgage brokers with instant loan quotes, increasing customer engagement and sales efficiency.

The integration with Lender Price emerges as the next step in OptifiNow’s mission to provide a CRM purpose-built to help wholesale mortgage lenders improve their sales performance. A key innovation is OptifiNow TPO’s Loan Scenario Ticketing Module, a tool designed to track loan scenario inquiries from mortgage brokers. The Flex pricing engine is integrated into the Loan Scenario Ticketing Module, incorporating powerful loan eligibility and pricing capabilities directly into the wholesale lender sales process. 

Down Payment Resource: Homebuyer Assistance Programs Increase for 5th Straight Quarter

Down Payment Resource, Atlanta, said its latest Homeownership Program Index showed the net number of homebuyer assistance programs increased by 1.82% from Q3 to Q4 2022, marking the fifth consecutive quarter the number of homebuyer assistance programs has grown.

The total number of programs increased by 42 in Q4 2022. Among them were five nationwide or multi-state programs and seven statewide programs. The number of programs dedicated to supporting first-time homebuyers now totals 1,315, up from 1,291 in Q3 2022. Programs that support multifamily homeownership saw a 5.5% increase over Q3 2022. These programs now make up 29.3% of all homebuyer assistance offerings.

Snapdocs Integrates with Mortgage Cadence LOS

Snapdocs, San Franciso, integrated with Mortgage Cadence, Denver. The integration enables lenders nationwide to use Snapdocs within Mortgage Cadence’s loan origination system to streamline the closing process, reduce operating costs, and enhance the borrower experience.

The integration allows lenders to facilitate digital closings powered by Snapdocs and finalize closing documents without ever leaving the Mortgage Cadence Platform. Lenders can order required closing documents and data with any version of Mortgage Cadence and securely transmit them to Snapdocs to initiate the closing process. The completed documents are then encrypted and returned to the Mortgage Cadence Platform for secure storage.

HouseCanary: Rental Market Looking Up

HouseCanary released its latest National Rental Report and Webinar, noting rental listing inventory is up 93% year-over-year and days on market is up 52% year-over-year, indicating that consumers will experience less difficulty finding rentals than they may have previously. “The increased supply combined with economic headwinds will put continued downward pressure on future price growth,” the report said.

HouseCanary said competition for single-family rentals has begun to simmer down thanks to increased supply. There was an 89.9% year-over-year increase in the weekly average of listings in the last six months of 2022. Southern states, such as Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, have experienced sustained upward growth in the real estate investment market even as the impact of the pandemic wanes. Most notably, Charleston, S.C., and Naples, Fla., experienced a 25.3% and 24% median rental price increase year-over-year, respectively.

The report noted rent prices remain historically high despite meaningful increases in supply. MSAs that experienced a year-over-year median list price decrease only saw low-to-mid single-digit reductions, with Memphis seeing the largest decrease of just 5.8%. Sunshine States continue to lead the nation in highest median rent prices for H2 2022. MSAs in California and Florida boasted some of the most expensive single-family median monthly rental prices. MSAs in these two states comprised 60% of the 10 highest average monthly rents across the country, with Naples taking the top spot at $5,446.

Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index Reports Growth in Business Loan Approval Rates at Non-Bank Lenders

Small business loan approval percentages at big banks slipped again, falling from 14.5% in December to 14.4% in January 2023, according to the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index. However, approval rates at small banks and non-bank lenders improved.

The report said approval percentages of business loan applications at small banks rose from 21.2% in December to 21.4% in January. Among non-bank lenders, approval rates of alternative lenders increased from 27.6% in December to 27.8% in January. Similarly, institutional lenders granted 26.1% of funding requests last month, up from 25.9% in December.

“Alternative lenders and institutional lenders are seeing an uptick. With SBA loan and traditional term loan interest rates climbing, the cost of capital from non-bank lenders is not that much higher now,” said Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2Credit. “Companies that need working capital are opting to get funding from non-bank lenders because even though the rates are a little higher, the money comes much quicker and it’s more of a sure thing.”

Accurate Group Integrates with ClickFORMS Appraisal Software

Accurate Group, Cleveland, Ohio, announced its Archer software platform now integrates with ClickFORMS.

The integration allows appraisers on the Accurate Group platform to populate appraisal data and create reports in ClickFORMS, eliminating duplicate data entry. The integration enables greater efficiency and ease-of-use for appraisers. 

Fannie Mae: Unaffordability Continues to Weigh Heavily on Consumer Perceptions of Housing Market

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased for the third consecutive month in January but still remains well below its pre-pandemic highs. Overall, the HPSI rose 0.6 points to 61.6, with three of the index’s six components increasing month over month, including those associated with home-selling conditions, home price outlook, and household income. Only 17% of respondents believe it’s a good time to buy, likely owing to the ongoing affordability challenges posed by elevated mortgage rates and home prices. Year over year, the full index is down 10.2 points.

“January’s HPSI results showed that consumer sentiment toward the housing market remains subdued by historical standards,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “For consumers, the same affordability issues are persisting, as they continue to indicate that high home prices and high mortgage rates make it a ‘bad time to buy’ a home. The latest survey data also indicated that the majority of consumers expect home prices to decrease or remain flat over the next year, which may incentivize some potential homebuyers to delay their purchase decision. Although ‘good time to sell’ sentiment ticked upward this month, it’s still much lower than it was a year ago, as purchase affordability remains seriously constrained and mortgage demand has receded. Until we see improvements in affordability via lower home prices and mortgage rates, we expect home sales to remain muted in the coming months.”

PMI Rate Pro Pricing Tool Integrates with MCP

PMI Rate Pro, Kansas City, Mo., integrated with the Mortgage Cadence Platform, the newly released, cloud-based digital lending platform from Mortgage Cadence, Denver. Users of the LOS can check pricing for Private Mortgage Insurance from all six major underwriters and get a best execution result.

PMI Rate Pro is an API-based technology provider that has built a single API to pull pricing data from all six possible sources of mortgage insurance so loan officers can provide transparency into loan pricing.

Superior Financial Chooses DocMagic Total eClose

DocMagic Inc., Torrance, Calif., announced Superior Financial Solutions LLC, a CUSO owned by Superior Financial Credit Union, chose DocMagic’s Total eClose platform for paperless electronic mortgage loan closings.

Superior is now performing eClosing ceremonies using Remote Online Notarization through its title agency subsidiary.