As we watch the second largest stimulus bill in history move toward passage, greetings from the Winter Solstice, the official start of winter and the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in the year in the Northern Hemisphere. More sunlight going forward! On a smaller scale, I love it when your alarm goes off and you ask for 10 more hours. (Why do we say that the alarm went “off,” or that sirens went “off?” Shouldn’t it be “on?” The English language is full of oddities. Other languages as well. Did you know that “mortgage” is French for “dying a long slow death by making monthly payments”?) The U.S. Census Bureau came out with dozens of holiday-related facts and figures from its collection of statistics. Among those: the U.S. imported $485 million of Christmas tree lights for 2019, with Cambodia leading the way at 47% of those total U.S. imports. That was actually less than the $547 million imported of tapered candles in 2019. Most of these came from Vietnam, representing more than 47% of America’s imported tapered candles. (I searched on eBay for something to light my candle. It said, “No matches found”.)
Private Mortgage Insurance Development
National Mortgage Insurance Corporation (National MI), is now integrated with Loan Originator Networks, LLC (LON), which creates websites for mortgage lenders and integrates seamlessly with their loan origination systems (LOS). LON worked with National MI to offer a new functionality that provides National MI’s risk-based pricing engine, RateGPS®, in LONPricer, a comprehensive platform that handles all mortgage channels—retail, wholesale, correspondent, and consumer direct. The integration brings National MI’s innovative, real-time, risk-based mortgage insurance pricing to LONPricer. “National MI is delighted to join forces with LON,” said Norm Fitzgerald, chief sales officer with National MI. “Having access to our Rate GPS risk-based pricing through the LON platform will save lenders time and streamline the origination process.”
Demographics: Know Your Borrower
Feeling older every month? I hope not. Reverse mortgage lenders know that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the growth of the U.S. population age 65 and older exceeds that of the total population. The most common type of household income received in the past 12 months among the population 65 and older was social security (90 percent). Among the older population, computer ownership (87 percent) and internet access (83 percent) were greatest for people ages 65 to 74 years. The report also finds that around 30 percent of males and 22 percent of females ages 65 to 74 were in the labor force. The homeownership rate (the percentage of all occupied housing units that are owner-occupied) was highest among people ages 65 to 74 (79 percent). It was also higher for the two other older age groups (79 percent and 69 percent, respectively) compared with the rate for all ages (63 percent). Read the complete findings and check out the interactive map which allows you to change characteristics for various comparisons.
Nationwide, a report from the Federal Reserve finds that people born between 1981 and 1997 (aka Millennials) are not the free-wheeling, globetrotting, financially wasteful millennials that their elders have smeared them as. Realistically, millennials aged 30 to 34 have annual expenditures almost exactly on par with those born between 1965 and 1980. No, the Fed said a couple years ago, the reason millennials are so broke is because most came of age in a recession they did not cause and they were being paid less in real terms than their elders. The average full-time labor earnings of a millennial male were over 10 percent lower than a comparable baby boomer’s in 1978, and the median labor earnings of women household heads were 3 percent lower than those of comparable Gen X household heads in 1998.
Of course all real estate is local, and California accounts for nearly 1 in 4 residential mortgages in the United States. Despite political gyrations, California's housing costs are high. So astronomical in fact that even full-time employees are having trouble affording rent on a steady salary. The Golden State has plenty of problems, including many residents having to turn to second jobs to survive. In Los Angeles, nearly 3 in 5 tenants are “cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30% of their income on rent, and statewide, 3 million households pay at least that much, with 1.5 million spending at least half of their earnings on housing. Paying too much rent can have an adverse impact on residents’ current and future prospects, as it can prevent them from addressing health problems, saving money, starting a business, or even preparing for retirement.
The typical renter in California has nearly 20% less of their income to spend on other things, or to save for retirement. When rent consumes too much of people’s incomes, argues University of Southern California sociologist and economist Manuel Pastor, it handicaps innovation. If rents go up but incomes don’t, tenants generally go into debt, tighten their belts elsewhere, or both. Ultimately this means that they don’t spend money on other things that are more likely to bolster a truly dynamic economy.
Like the pace of our workdays, the bond market is winding down for the year. U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities ended last week on a mixed note, the curve steeper, and the MBS basis tighter, amid hefty Fed support. Headlines revolved around continued political wrangling over a Brexit deal and a U.S. fiscal stimulus agreement, which overshadowed economic releases on the day. Of note, the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index increased in November, the seventh straight month of positive readings. Unfortunately, the increase was the smallest increase in the seven-month recovery and the ongoing deceleration in growth since May suggests a significant moderation in U.S. economic growth going into 2021.
This holiday-shortened week sees most of the action tomorrow and Wednesday (Q3 GDP, regional Fed surveys, housing data, home sales, durable goods, home prices, and personal income and spending), though we do have a couple events to report today. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for November (down to .27 from October’s 1.01). This afternoon sees $24 billion 20-year Treasury bond reopening results, and with regards to MBS, Class D 48-hours is today. The Desk will conduct three operations with one across each class totaling over $5.2 billion in support. We begin the week with worries about if the stimulus package is enough, and questions about a new strain of virus further dampening economies, and as a result, Agency MBS prices are up/better by .125-.250 and the 10-year yielding .89 after closing last week at 0.95 percent.
Employment Across the Country
Earlier this year, Caliber Home Loans successfully launched Processor Accelerated Career Education (PACE), a program designed to introduce new-to-industry professionals to a career in the mortgage field. Participants are immersed in seven weeks of hands-on training and mentorship across Caliber’s Learning and Development and Operations teams. Graduates are hired with Caliber immediately. They begin engaging with customers and processing loans to support our mission of helping people achieve their dreams of home ownership. Caliber is excited to offer these opportunities to educate and help individuals grow their mortgage careers. On Jan. 15, 2021, we’re kicking of the new year with our 10th class! To learn more about this program and rewarding career opportunities, contact Mackenzie Plyer or Recruiting@caliberhomeloans.com.
Towne Mortgage Company continues to strategically grow its TPO sales force. “At Towne we are versatile, offering Wholesale, Mini Correspondent and Delegated channel options. We also have the unique opportunity to service the majority of the loans we originate. At Towne in addition to conventional financing we offer VA, FHA, and USDA financing. We are specialists in renovation loans, FHA 203k and HomeStyle loans specifically, as well as Manufactured homes, construction, and manual underwriting on our government products. We are looking for Account Executives who are active in Washington, Dallas/Austin, TX, Northern Virginia, Maryland, Florida, and Tennessee. Prospects should have a strong desire for building a new market, expanding production and the high-income opportunity offered in these wide-open territories. Contact Mark Zierott in confidence for more details.
Assurance Financial is continuing to grow production, add retail branch offices and is expanding its production reach into the midwestern U. S., particularly Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, and New Mexico markets. “We are searching for an established Regional Production Manager to help create and develop mortgage origination branches in the new midwestern territory, someone that is an outstanding talent and proven retail sales leader with a demonstrated track record of hiring and managing multiple production offices across several states. We are a profitable and well capitalized full-service mortgage banker offering an entrepreneurial customer-focused sales support environment, FNMA/FHLMC/GNMA direct status and are well-positioned to compete for more growth with state-of-the-art operations/support technology. This new Regional Production Manager position will report to the CEO. If you are interested in joining a dynamic group of mortgage bankers and building a dynamic production team, please contact Paul Peters, CMB.”
NewRez is looking for a Vice President of Non-QM Business to grow the Non-QM origination beyond $2 billion throughout their wholesale, correspondent, and retail channels. Directly and indirectly leading, developing and managing a team of business development, scenario desk, underwriters, closers, and post closers for multiple channels is an important part of this job function. The right VP of Non-QM business candidate will have the ability to work in a matrixed environment and will have proven excellent communication and coaching skills. If you have extensive experience developing and executing Non-QM business plans with thorough market and competitor analysis, and have a deep understanding of Non-QM products, please see the full job description here.
An institutional capital provider is seeking a Credit/Diligence Specialist for its expanding team. The ideal candidate will have 10+ years of experience in frontline underwriting and/or the oversight of residential loan level underwriting and mortgage due diligence. Experience in both pre-purchase credit quality control, pre-purchase valuation reconciliation and expert knowledge surrounding all aspects of the mortgage cycle. Candidate should have a deep understanding of various product guidelines including Non-QM, DSCR and Business Purpose Loans. Aggregator experience a plus. The person will oversee third party diligence across both flow, bulk and mini bulk purchases, collaborate with Credit and Business Development teams to ensure superior customer service levels are being maintained, contribute to managing diligence on securitizations, manage and operate the company’s scenario desk while fostering relationships with originator sellers, coordinate operational aspects of the loan buying process, oversee third party diligence pre-close review process between the seller, vendor and other intermediaries, manage vendor relationships, and assist management with critical projects and reporting. If interested, please send your confidential resume to Anjelica Nixt for forwarding.
Thrive Mortgage is continuing to build out an Operations Division set for capacity. Many lenders spent this year managing their capacity by driving slower instead of building a bigger highway. Selene Kellam, VP of Operations, stated, “We knew early in 2020 the best way forward was to increase our capacity on the back-end rather than choking our volume on the front-end.” Thrive’s dedication to smart growth has allowed them to resume record-breaking turn times for ALL transactions. After laying an incredible foundation of best-of-breed technology solutions, perfecting its Quality & Efficiency workflow, and building one of the best leadership teams in the industry, Thrive Mortgage is crushing production numbers and is positioned to maintain this growth for years to come. “When you have great leadership, it simply breeds a culture of excellence from the top down.” To inquire about open positions within Thrive, contact email@example.com to begin a conversation.
'Tis normally the season to mentally check out, but with this momentum? The new year means a (now official) new administration, new appointments, people moving on, new faces, changing teams and pros looking for their next adventure. What's next for you? Interfirst has launched a new Charlotte office, near the heart of the Queen city, and is aggressively hiring. Since Interfirst announced its return to the wholesale space, enthusiasm from mortgage brokers, community banks and credit unions has been tremendous! Interfirst is delivering on its commitment to being the most broker-centric wholesale firm in the country. “Interfirst is currently sourcing talented AEs to meet this growing demand from our expanding national footprint. Seasoned AEs interested in learning more about available opportunities can reach out to Casey Nunn directly or feel free to apply here.”
A big part of Equity Prime Mortgage LLC’s activism has been contributing back to the community through various charities. EPM is proud to be partnered with Leashes of Valor, a nationally known non-profit that provides post 9/11 veterans with highly trained service dogs to assist with mitigating the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Their mission is to bring service dogs and post 9/11 veterans together in order to enrich and improve the lives of both. A Georgia veteran recently began his journey to healing with the help of a Leashes of Valor specially trained service dog. A pairing partially thanks to EPM’s generous donation. Leashes of Valor President and Navy veteran Danique Masingill said. “EPM has been invaluable. Its generosity makes these life changing partnerships possible.”