FHFA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The seal of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is displayed outside the organization's headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. President Donald Trump's pick to lead Fannie Mae and Freddie Macs regulator pledged to work with Congress on overhauling the companies, while downplaying controversial positions he's previously laid out on everything from the 30-year-mortgage to affordable housing initiatives. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Fannie and Freddie push adverse market refi fee to December
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is delaying a Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-imposed fee on refinanced mortgages set to start next week until Dec. 1 after intense backlash from the mortgage industry. The government-sponsored enterprises said Aug. 12 they would start charging an additional “adverse market fee” of 0.5% on refis due to the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Read full story here.)
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Mortgage rates tumble after delay to adverse market fee
Mortgage rates decreased by 8 basis points this week, remaining near record lows, while a strong purchase market should continue into the fall, according to Freddie Mac.

"This year has been anything but normal and as the uncertainty lingers, mortgage rates remain near record lows," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a press release. "These rates continue to incentivize potential buyers and the home buying season, which shifted from spring to summer, will likely continue into the fall."
(Read full story here.)
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As election season ramps up, divisions emerge within the mortgage industry
Between the coronavirus, increased party polarization, and protests that have put more of a focus on racial equity issues, the mortgage industry is contending with the impact of various national crises, which are affecting the various segments of the field in different ways. Capital Markets Editor Bonnie Sinnock explores the issue with an analysis of political donations from players in the field. (Read full story here.)
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Non-qualified mortgages are coming back, but with tighter guidelines
Non-qualified mortgage originators are crawling back into the marketplace, but the lack of uniformity around forbearance policies is triggering concerns with securities purchasers and in the secondary market. Originations editor Brad Finkelstein talked to players wading back into the non-QM market. (Read full story here.)
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New GSE incentive cap for servicers encourages one-and-done workouts
A new cap on the aggregate incentive fees government-sponsored enterprises pay housing finance companies for workouts may play a role in how federally mandated forbearance plans get resolved. First announced in June, the limit's potential impact is coming into focus now, as the end of the first coronavirus-related six-month forbearance period approaches, and expanded unemployment benefits expire.
(Read full story here.)
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New-home sales reach pre-COVID levels while supply declines: Redfin
New-home sales grew 10.1% year-over-year in July, back to a level in line with the pre-pandemic rates, according to Redfin. It also nearly doubled the pace of existing-home sales, which increased 5.3% from the year before. (Read full story here.)
Mark Calabria
Agencies extend freeze on foreclosures and evictions to end of year
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is extending its moratorium on foreclosures for single-family loans and evictions for real-estate-owned properties until the end of the year. Previously, the moratorium for properties backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was set to expire Aug. 31. (Read full story here.)
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GSE, fair-lending policies could look radically different if Biden wins
Given a second term, the Trump administration would likely continue steps to deregulate the mortgage industry and plow ahead with a plan to reprivatize the government-sponsored enterprises, experts say. But in a Biden administration, Obama-era efforts to toughen regulatory standards for the mortgage sector and low the cost of housing could be renewed. (Read full story here.)

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