The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday extended bans on single-family foreclosures and evictions one month to March 31 at the direction of the Biden administration. “President Biden asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development to consider an immediate extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on federally-backed single-family mortgages. In order to provide much-needed economic relief and support to working families, HUD has implemented the President’s requests,” HUD’s Acting Secretary Matthew Ammon said in a press release issued Thursday. The extension of the ban on foreclosures for Federal Housing Administration and Public and Indian Housing loans to March 31 fulfilled expectations that government housing agencies would generally expand the scope of consumer housing relief amid the transition in Washington to Democratic leadership. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, for example, also has extended its ban. Just prior to the inauguration, the Federal Housing Finance Agency extended its single-family foreclosure and eviction deadline from Jan. 31 to Feb. 28, and will likely extend them further. Moves at individual agencies are likely stop-gap measures as the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan proposes to extend the bans and allow forbearance through Sept. 30. The administration’s plan and the foreclosure and eviction bans have gotten mixed reviews from the industry. Data provider CoreLogic on Tuesday credited the more than 20-year low in the vacancy rates in single-family homes with helping to “maintain stability for rent prices despite economic challenges.” Those low vacancy rates stem largely from the eviction ban. In contrast, Richard Kruse, principal at distressed asset manager Gryphon USA, said in a press release issued Monday that he is concerned about the backlog and runup in costs resulting from the eviction ban. Kruse expressed concern that the stimulus plan might not cover its costs, although he noted that the number is “hard to quantify.” National Council of State Housing Agencies estimates suggest tenants in the larger rental market had between $34 billion and $70 billion in past-due rents as of Dec. 31. The plan as outlined on Jan. 14 would allocate $30 billion in rental assistance, Kruse noted. "At a maximum, billions in newly printed money pays some back rent and pays some delinquent utilities," Kruse said. "Tenants are still behind, landlords are potentially still behind, and there is still no plan for what happens next.” Some political consultants expect the final form of the stimulus package could move the end date for foreclosure and eviction bans up a few months. “Keep in mind that this is a starting point that will be negotiated in Congress. I doubt that the rent relief will be negotiated down in this environment, but the moratoriums could be pared back to say the end of June,” said Tim Rood, head of industry relations at SitusAMC, in a report posted online Thursday.“The topic likely will be heavily debated.”
Home Point Capital's initial public offering could raise over $301 million for the sellers if the transaction goes off in the expected price range. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company updated its Security and Exchange Commission filing to detail the sale of 12.5 million shares, plus an additional 1.875 million share underwriters' option to be priced between $19 and $21 per share. However the last two companies to go the IPO route, Rocket Cos. and Guild Holdings, both downsized and cut their per-share prices. UWM Holdings, which started trading on Friday morning, went public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Gores Holdings IV and assumed its stock valuation when that deal closed. Home Point will not receive any proceeds from the IPO. After the deal is completed, entities affiliated with Stone Point Capital, will receive the majority of the proceeds. Currently they own 94% of Home Point's equity. After the IPO, they will control 88.4% of the voting equity (87% if underwriters' option is exercised). Willie Newman, the company's president and CEO, is scheduled to sell 185,966 of the nearly 2.09 million shares he owns of Home Point.Andrew Bon Salle, who just joined Home Point as its chairman from his former role heading up Fannie Mae's single-family business, is selling 12,000 shares of his 134,818-share stake in the company. The prospectus lists Bon Salle as the company's executive chairman; there is a consulting agreement between him and Home Point through Dec. 31, 2022, with automatic one-year renewals. Bon Salle will receive a $500,000 annual consulting fee, plus will be eligible for an annual bonus based on performance targets. After going public, Home Point will set aside 6.94 million shares for future issuance under the 2021 Incentive Plan and 1.39 million shares of common stock to be issued as part of the 2021 Employee Stock Purchase Plan. Home Point also recently had a successful debt sale. On Jan. 19, Home Point closed a $550 million senior notes offering (upsized from the announced $500 million). The notes are due in 2026 and have a 5% interest rate. Up to 50% of the proceeds were used to fund a distribution to the company's current owners, with the rest to repay any outstanding amount on its mortgage servicing rights facility.
Ally Financial, which was spun off from General Motors in 2006, has long wanted to reduce its heavy reliance on the auto finance business. The Detroit-based company hit some bumps along the way. In 2019, Ally ended a credit card partnership with TD Bank. Last summer, its $2.7 billion deal to buy a subprime card issuer was terminated amid the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But Ally, which operates a digital-only bank with deposits of $137 billion, is starting to gain some traction in two fledgling lending segments — mortgages and unsecured consumer loans. Last year, Ally originated $4.7 billion in home loans, which was up 74% from 2019. The mortgage unit, which seeks to appeal to home buyers who want an online borrowing experience, reported pretax income of $53 million in 2020, up from $40 million the previous year. Meanwhile, the unsecured lending segment had full-year loan origination volume of $503 million, which was up 75% from 2019. While the business is not yet profitable, Chief Financial Officer Jennifer LaClair said that is largely because new accounting rules require lenders to reserve for losses over the life of a loan, which makes it harder to achieve profitability during a period of rapid growth. Ally’s digital brokerage platform, a third prong of the firm’s diversification strategy, has also shown strong customer growth, though its bottom line has been hurt by the rise of free online trading. In an interview Friday, LaClair attributed the rapid growth of new consumer products largely to Ally’s 11-year-old digital bank, which she said offers depositors a gateway to additional offerings. Existing depositors account for more than half of Ally’s new mortgage volumes, and the same pattern holds for its new brokerage account holders. “Our new businesses are scaling because of existing customers,” LaClair said in remarks that followed the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report. “We’ve been able to do that very efficiently through the digital deposit platform, and to the extent we can leverage that as a gateway, we have an incredibly low cost of acquisition for these other products.” To be sure, Ally remains heavily dependent on auto loans, which account for around 60% of the company’s $176 billion of assets. Last year, residential mortgages and unsecured consumer loans made up about 9% of the balance sheet. LaClair said Friday that she sees a clear path for Ally to quadruple its unsecured consumer loans, to $2 billion a year. The business segment, known as Ally Lending, grew out of the company’s $190 million acquisition of Health Credit Services in 2019. It offers point-of-sale loans in partnership with health care providers, home improvement contractors and retailers. Loans for home improvement projects have gotten a boost from changes in consumer spending patterns during the pandemic. The home loan business, known as Ally Home, grew out of a partnership with the digital mortgage firm Better.com. Ally’s return to the mortgage business came several years after the demise of Residential Capital, a subprime mortgage unit of GMAC, as Ally was formerly known, which lost $9.2 billion between 2007 and 2009 and was later liquidated. Still, it was the traditional auto lending business that drove profits in the fourth quarter of 2020. Ally reported net income of $687 million, up 82% from a year earlier, thanks both to a smaller provision for credit losses and higher revenue. Ally has benefited from strong consumer demand for cars during the pandemic, which has propelled loan volumes and bolstered used-car prices, reducing the size of losses when loans go bad.
In early trading on Friday, United Wholesale Mortgage’s stock price was on the same roller coaster ride that stocks from the two other recently launched nonbank mortgage public offerings went through. UWM Holdings Corp.s’ opening price was $11.95 per share, according to Yahoo Finance, with a high point of $12.30 shortly afterwards. The special purpose acquisition company it merged with, Gores Holdings IV, closed Thursday afternoon at $11.54 per share. Courtney Crow Still, out of the myriad of nonbank mortgage lenders that announced they were going public since last summer and into 2021, UWM is just the third to actually list, joining Rocket Cos. and Guild Holdings. But that initial enthusiasm was short-lived as the stock began trending downward and by 10 a.m. UWM Holdings already down $0.29 on the day to $11.25. Over the next hour, UWM’s was both above and below Gores Holdings IV previous close. As of 11 a.m., all other publicly traded nonbank mortgage lenders — a group that includes Ocwen, Mr. Cooper, New Residential, Redwood Trust and Impac — were lower as part of a broader drop in the stock market. That sell-off was driven by investors reassessing the government's stimulus package, according to CNBC. The SPAC valued UWM at approximately $16 billion. By going public in this method, rather than through an initial public offering, UWM did not have to reduce the size or the valuation of its shares during the pricing phase. Rocket initially wanted to sell 150 million shares at between $20 and $22 each; it ended up selling 100 million at $18. Guild was looking at selling 8.5 million shares between $17 and $19 each; that ended up at 6.5 million at $15 each. Both companies had their ups and down in their initial day of trading, with Rocket ending at $21.51 and Guild at its IPO price. On Jan. 22, Rocket opened at $19.82, with Guild at $16.15. “We are grateful to The Gores Group for their expertise in the SPAC process, they are the experts in these things and we’ve appreciated all of the guidance they’ve provided to get us to our listing day,” UWM President and CEO Mat Ishbia said in a press release. In connection with the closing of the merger, UWM received approximately $925 million of gross proceeds. That is broken down into approximately $425 million in cash from Gores Holdings IV, as well as $500 million in proceeds from the previously announced private placement offering. United Wholesale Mortgage was founded as United Shore Financial by Mat Ishbia’s father Jeffrey. After considering a career as a college basketball coach, Mat Ishbia, who was a part of Michigan State’s 2000 national championship team, returned to the family business. Following the merger with Gores Holdings IV, he has a 94% stake in UWM Holdings. The company previously announced net earnings of $1.45 billion in the third quarter, compared with $539.5 million in the second quarter and $198 million in the third quarter of 2019.
WASHINGTON — The election of President Biden and turnover in leadership of the federal banking agencies not only means a new regulatory approach to implementing the Community Reinvestment Act. It could shine a brighter light on Congress potentially expanding the law to nonbanks. A legislative effort led by Democrats to subject fintechs and other unregulated institutions that offer banking services to CRA exams would be an uphill battle, and some observers say lawmakers are not likely to focus on such a proposal anytime soon. Yet Biden supported a CRA expansion during the presidential campaign to cover nonbank mortgage providers and insurance companies. A policy brief released by his campaign last February said the CRA currently "does little to ensure that ‘fintechs’ and non-bank lenders are providing responsible access to all members of the community.” Just as the bank regulators weigh fundamental changes to the CRA exam process, industry representatives and community advocates have long argued for extending CRA standards to financial institutions other than banks. And some Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have pushed for legislative approaches expanding CRA to a broader array of companies. "It’s time to look at how those entities can best demonstrate that they serve their entire communities,” said Krista Shonk, vice president of regulatory compliance and policy of the American Bankers Association. Others say financial services companies that generally receive benefits from the government should be held accountable for their level of investment in their respective communities. Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said it is feasible that Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress may pursue some kind of legislative package focused on addressing racial inequities, and that the inclusion of CRA-like obligations for nonbank financial companies could be folded in alongside other initiatives. “I think almost every financial services company is the product of, or in some way the beneficiary of, the government infrastructure that regulates them,” Van Tol said. In the same way that the government can point to federal deposit insurance and chartering as exclusive government benefits for banks that warrant greater responsibilities, he said, the trillions of dollars distributed by the government to large companies in the wake of the pandemic could come with similar strings. “There’s a lot of evidence that many financial markets, especially mortgage markets, are essentially propped up by the government,” Van Tol said. “That means a rationale is there for requiring something in return.” Biden's campaign said the then-candidate “will expand the Community Reinvestment Act to apply to mortgage and insurance companies, to add a requirement for financial services institutions to provide a statement outlining their commitment to the public interest, and, importantly, to close loopholes that would allow these institutions to avoid lending and investing in all of the communities they serve.” However, with everything else on the policy agenda — including fighting the brutal economic effects of the pandemic — some aren't holding their breath that a legislative overhaul of the CRA will happen anytime soon. “I don’t think, realistically, that it will happen in the next couple of years” said Van Tol. A legislative focus on CRA could be combined with broader policy questions about fintech regulation, including whether states or the federal government are better positioned to charter and supervise nonbanks that increasingly want access to the banking system. But despite Democrats' victories that gave them control of Congress, the margin in the Senate is razor thin with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote. “You’ve got a really tight margin when you need every single Democrat voting for something,” Van Tol said. And some Republican support is necessary for standalone bills that can be blocked by filibuster. Analysts also doubt a CRA bill could be attached to any must-pass budget bills that only require a majority in the Senate. “In an ideal world, Congress would focus on the fundamental frictions with federalism and fintech, which would include a thoughtful consideration of everything from chartering to CRA requirements,” said Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at Compass Point. “Needless to say, we do not live in an ideal world and I am bearish on legislation via regular order,” he added. Since the passage of the CRA in 1977, banks have been required to provide financial services to local communities with “low-to-moderate income,” a technical term based on Census data. But in recent decades, banks have lost significant market share of financial services to nonbanks, which advocates say has diminished the impact of the CRA nationwide. Both times the law has been meaningfully reformed — first in the 1990s and most recently under the Trump administration — calls followed to expand the law’s obligations to nonbanks, including credit unions, mortgage lenders and most recently, fintechs. Analysts say that the impact of such changes could be significant. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the market share for mortgage originations among nondepository institutions grew from 24% to 58% between 2008 and 2019. Between 1990 and 2018, the banking sector’s share of 1-4 family mortgages dropped from 40% to 24%, according to analysis by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. In that same period, banks’ share of multifamily residential mortgages dropped from 44% to 33%, and in consumer credit, the figure fell from 52% to 42%. “We’re talking about how the financial services marketplace has evolved and is still evolving at a rapid pace,” said Shonk of the ABA. “We’re not limited to the days of having to go to the local bank, and more and more assets are being held by nonbanks of various sorts." Boltansky said despite the national focus on ending racial inequities, which could address strengthening the CRA, the still-simmering political divisions in Congress make legislation unlikely. “The [Community Reinvestment Act] is clearly part of the broader economic justice conversation, and we should expect headlines and proposals,” said Boltanksy, “but I need to see a demonstrable thaw in our political discourse before becoming bullish on" such a plan moving forward. Other challenges to expanding the CRA are structural and go deeper than political will. As written in 1977, the statute is a piece of banking law, analysts stress, making it difficult to simply drag and drop other industries into it. “The CRA is built around the concepts of deposits and bank branches,” said Randy Benjenk, a partner at Covington. “When Congress passed the CRA, it was concerned that banks were taking deposits from low-to-moderate-income communities without lending back in. But mortgage and insurance companies don’t take deposits, and they don’t have branches in the CRA sense.” “Without the concept of deposits, it’s not clear how you would measure CRA obligations. You can create a regime that doesn’t include those concepts or has a substitute, but you’d be starting from scratch,” Benjenk said.
“After months of barely budging, mortgage rates rose significantly in early January at their strongest pace since the spring,” said Matthew Speakman, a Zillow economist. “But that upward momentum has since dissipated, and it appears that fears of an extended, more substantial spike in rates have diminished — at least for now.” For the moment, according to The Washington Post, the mortgage market appears to be in a holding pattern, watching to see what President Biden’s administration does. Continue reading Rates adjust to new Administration at Movement Mortgage Blog.
Former GE Capital executive Ryan Zanin will resign from Fannie Mae’s board effective Jan. 31 to become the government-sponsored enterprise’s chief risk officer Feb. 1, according to a press release issued Thursday. “Ryan’s appointment as chief risk officer comes at a critical time for Fannie Mae,” said Fannie CEO Hugh Frater. “Filling this position with someone of Ryan’s caliber is key to meeting our mission to sustainably serve lenders, homebuyers and renters, and provide liquidity through all market cycles.” Ryan Zanin Fannie Mae The former president and CEO of GE Capital’s restructuring and strategic ventures group was named executive vice president at Fannie soon after another EVP, Andrew Bon Salle, stepped down in December. Bon Salle was recently named chairman at Home Point Capital, which is planning to join a wave of mortgage companies going public. The Trump administration had taken several steps toward eventually taking Fannie Mae and fellow government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac public, but the Biden administration is considered less likely to. Zanin joined Fannie’s board in 2016, back when he was still working at GE Capital. His tenure at GE ran from 2010 to 2018 when he retired. In addition to heading the restructuring and strategic ventures group there, he served as GE’s CRO between 2010 and 2015, and then again from November 2016 until his retirement. Prior to joining GE Capital, Zanin also served as CRO, international capital markets, at banking giant Wells Fargo from 2008 to 2010. He previously served as CRO for the corporate and investment bank unit at Wachovia Corp. from 2006 to 2008. Wells Fargo purchased the company in 2008. In the 14 years prior to joining Wachovia, Zanin held a variety of leadership positions at Deutsche Bank AG and Bankers Trust Co. “I am grateful for Ryan’s service on Fannie Mae’s Board of Directors since 2016, and I’m pleased the company will continue to benefit from his extensive risk management experience and expertise in his new role,” said Sheila Bair, who was named chairwoman of Fannie’s board in November. Bair, like Zanin, had a professional career that gave her experience managing risk in a distressed market after the Great Recession. She was appointed to head the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2008 under the Bush Administration and oversaw the resolution of more than 300 failed banks.
Mortgages in forbearance rose after two weeks of declines, following the trend of midmonth increases in active plans and the country’s surging coronavirus cases, according to Black Knight. Forbearances jumped by 17,000 from one week earlier, growing to a total of 2.744 million plans as of Jan. 19. This forborne faction represents 5.2% of all mortgages and a combined unpaid principal balance of $548 billion, both up from 5.1% and $545 billion.Loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the only loan type to decrease week-over-week, dipping by 3,000 to a total of 929,000. Government-backed mortgages — backed by the FHA and VA — rose by 5,000 to 1.14 million overall. Portfolio and private-label securitized loans — which do not fall under CARES Act protections — increased by 15,000 to a total of 675,000. “Removal rates have also slowed noticeably following the six-month point of forbearance plans,” Andy Walden, Black Knight economist and director of market research, said in the report. “This suggests that those borrowers who remain in forbearance were likely more heavily impacted by the economic downturn and thus are less likely to leave such plans before the full allowable 12-month period runs down.” Mortgage servicers need to make monthly advances of $3.3 billion in principal and interest payments and $1.2 billion due in taxes and insurance per month, according to Black Knight’s analysis. Those breakdown to estimates of $1 billion and $400 million for government-sponsored enterprise loans, $1 billion and $400 million for FHA and VA, and $1.2 billion and $400 million for private labels.
Posted on January 22nd, 2021 Today we’ll check out “Carrington Mortgage,” a top-50 mortgage lender nationally that is based in Anaheim, California. They recently launched “Vylla Home,” which is their take on a modern all-in-one experience for home buyers and mortgage seekers. It’s a single brand that encompasses everything from mortgage lending and loan servicing to a real estate brokerage, title, escrow, and settlement services – all under one roof. Let’s learn more about this full-service real estate and mortgage company. Carrington Mortgage Fast Facts Retail direct-to-consumer mortgage lender A top-50 mortgage lender nationally Founded in 2007, headquartered in Anaheim, CA Offers home purchase loans and mortgage refinances Funded more than $7 billion in home loans last year About two-thirds of their total loan volume consisted of mortgage refinances They also operate wholesale and correspondent lending divisions and are a loan servicer Currently licensed in 48 states and the District of Columbia Carrington Mortgage Services is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the country, and also a major loan servicer as well. Aside from running a billion-dollar retail direct-to-consumer channel, they operate wholesale and correspondent lending divisions. This means you might be resold a Carrington Mortgage at a credit union or via one of their mortgage broker partners. The company got its start back in 2007 in Anaheim, California (home to Disneyland), and since then has increased its footprint to 48 states and D.C., with North Dakota and Massachusetts the two exceptions. While they mostly operate online, there are six physical locations, including offices in Scottsdale, AZ, Anaheim, CA, Windsor, CT, Jacksonville, FL, Westfield, IN, and Owing Mills, MD. They appear to be most active in their home state of California, along with Florida and Texas. Last year, roughly two-thirds of total production consisted of mortgage refinances, with nearly 40% resulting in cash out to the borrower. Nearly half of all their lending was made up of FHA loans, with another 20% in VA loans, so it’s clear they specialize in government-backed mortgages. But they offer a lot more than just the basic loan programs all the other guys have. How to Apply for a Home Loan with Carrington Mortgage It’s possible to visit a physical branch if one is located near you You can also simply call them up or navigate to their website and search their loan officer directory Once at an individual loan officer’s personal webpage it’s possible to apply online They appear to offer a digital home loan process powered by L.O.N. You’ve actually got quite a few options here. You can either give them a call on the phone or get started on their website. And I suppose visit an office if one happens to be located near you. While they do have six physical locations across the United States, there’s a good chance you’ll be working with your loan team remotely. If you choose the online route, you’ll need to provide some basic loan information like loan amount/purchase price, down payment, along with basic contact info. At that point, a Carrington Mortgage loan officer will reach out to learn more about your situation and discuss loan options and mortgage rate pricing. Alternatively, you can browse their online loan officer directory and find someone nearby to work with. If you go in that direction, you’ll be able to start the digital loan application right from the individual loan officer’s personal webpage. They appear to offer a digital app powered by Loan Originator Networks, LLC (LON). It allows you to input most loan details electronically and scan/upload supporting documents. Ideally, you can also complete the rest of the process paperlessly as well, though that’s unclear because they don’t provide all the details. Carrington does say you can get same-day mortgage pre-qualification letters if you’re buying a home Loan Programs Offered by Carrington Mortgage Home purchase loans Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, and streamline Conventional loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Jumbo home loans up to $3 million loan amounts FHA loans USDA loans VA loans Mortgages for first-time home buyers Proprietary loan programs for low credit scores, high DTI ratios, etc. Fixed-rate mortgages: 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, and more Adjustable-rate mortgages: 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 ARMs One plus to using Carrington Mortgage is their huge array of loan programs. Like all other lenders, they offer both home purchase loans and refinance loans, including cash out and streamline refinances, on all types of properties including condos. They also offer the usual stuff like conforming loans backed by Fannie/Freddie, FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans. But what sets them apart might be their jumbo home loan offerings, which allow for loan amounts as high as $3 million. Or their proprietary suite of lending options known as “Flexible Advantage.” Carrington Flexible Advantage I dedicated an entire section to “Carrington Flexible Advantage” because they offer so many different loan options. This is basically their proprietary home financing solution that allows borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, a high DTI ratio, or past credit events to qualify for a mortgage, even if they wouldn’t otherwise. These types of mortgages are known as portfolio loans because instead of being sold off, they are retained in the lender’s portfolio. You can get one of these loans for a home purchase, rate and term refinance, or even a cash out refinance. Some of the features include: Credit scores as low as 550 (subprime) Loan amounts up to $1.5 million with cash-out up to $250,000 Recent credit events like bankruptcy, short sale, foreclosure, or late mortgage payments Bank statements instead of tax documents for self-employed borrowers High debt-to-income ratios OK No mortgage insurance required Carrington Mortgage Rates One downside to Carrington Mortgage is the fact that they don’t mention their mortgage rates on their website. It’d be nice to know where they stand pricing-wise since you’ll be paying the home loan for possibly the next 30 years! Like plenty of other lenders, they choose not to advertise their interest rates online, which is fine, but make sure you call and get pricing first before proceeding to the loan application. You should inquire about both mortgage rates and lender fees, which together make up the loan’s mortgage APR. Once you know their rates, and what they charge, such as an application fee and/or loan origination fee, you can better gauge how aggressive they are relative to other banks and lenders out there. Carrington Mortgage Reviews On Zillow, they’ve got a very impressive 4.5-star rating out of 5 from roughly 900 customer reviews. You can filter the Zillow reviews by loan officer, which might be a helpful tool to decide who you want to work with. Since they’re a large company, experiences can vary from one loan officer to the next. On LendingTree, they’ve got a more average 4.1-star out of 5 rating from nearly 100 reviews. They also have an 80% recommended rate, which isn’t terrific. They also have over 500 Google reviews with a 4.5-star rating at last glance. Finally, Carrington Mortgage is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau, and have been since inception in 2007. They currently have been assigned an ‘A+’ rating based on customer complaint history. To sum things up, Carrington Mortgage might be a good choice if you have a unique or hard-to-close loan scenario that other lenders might not go for. Thanks to their vast array of available loan programs, they might be able to find a home for your loan where others have failed. They’re also a one-stop shop, so third-party services like title insurance and escrow could potentially be cheaper when bundled together. Carrington Mortgage Pros and Cons The Good Stuff Can apply for a home loan online Tons of loan programs to choose from including their own unique portfolio products Mostly good reviews from past customers A+ BBB rating, accredited company They service their loans (as opposed to transferring them) Free mortgage calculators and how-to guides on their website Free smartphone app to make payments and manage your loan MooveGuru (third-party savings program for new home buyers) The Maybe Not Do not publicize mortgage rates or lender fees Limited physical locations Not licensed to lend in North Dakota or Massachusetts
Sales of previously owned homes increased unexpectedly in December, capping the best year for the housing market since 2006 as historically low mortgage rates helped power demand. Contract closings rose 0.7% from the prior month to an annualized 6.76 million rate, according to National Association of Realtors data released Friday. The figure topped all but one estimate from economists in Bloomberg survey that had a median of 6.56 million. For the full year, existing-home sales climbed to 5.64 million, up from 5.34 million in each of the prior two years. The S&P 500 briefly pared losses in early trading, while a gauge of homebuilder shares headed for a ninth straight advance. The increase shows low borrowing costs and solid demand for larger spaces continue to underpin the rebound in home sales amid the pandemic and indicate more momentum for residential real estate in early 2021. Still, the number of homes available for purchase stands at an all-time low, which is driving up asking prices and sidelining some buyers. “Homeowners are smiling because they’re seeing price increases,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said on a call with reporters. “The frustration is coming from the first-time buyers who don’t have any housing equity and they’re trying to save up for a down payment. “Today’s market is unhealthy, people are making hurried decisions and prices are rising way above income growth,” Yun said. Available inventory declined 23% from a year earlier to 1.07 million units, the NAR said. It would take 1.9 months to sell all the homes on the market at the current pace, also a record low. The median selling price rose 12.9% in December from a year earlier on an unadjusted basis to $309,800, reflecting more purchases of higher-end properties. Properties remained on the market for 21 days in December for a fourth month. President Biden’s proposed fiscal stimulus package, in addition to aid approved by Congress in late December, could prop up household incomes and lead to more purchases this quarter. A government report released Thursday showed that applications to build new homes rose in December to the best pace since late 2006 as builders responded to robust demand for single-family housing. The report showed purchases of existing homes increased in two regions, including a 4.5% advance in the Northeast to a 14-year high and a 1.1% gain in the South. Sales of existing single-family homes rose 0.7% to a 6.03 million pace, while condominium and co-op purchases rose 1.4% from a month earlier to 730,000.