Continuing a trend that stretches back through most of this year, mortgage originations were up at some of the nation’s biggest banks in the third quarter due to this year’s consistently low mortgage rates.

As seen in the most recent data from Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates have been sitting at approximately one full percentage lower throughout this year than they were last year.

The lower rates have led to an increase in overall originations, as the latest projections show that 2019 will likely best year for mortgage originations since 2016.

Evidence of that began to emerge earlier this year when mortgage originations rose at Wells FargoJPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup in the second quarter.

And that trend
continued in the third quarter.

Each of those banks
reported their third quarter earnings on Thursday, and examinations of each
bank’s earnings materials show that originations were up at each bank due to
low mortgage rates.

Wells Fargo, for
example, originated $58 billion in mortgages in the third quarter. That’s up
from the $53 billion originated in the second quarter, and from the $46 billion
originated during last year’s third quarter.

In fact, the third
quarter of 2019 saw Wells Fargo’s highest dollar amount in originations of any
quarter in the last year.

Unsurprisingly given
the interest rate environment, the increase in originations came as the share
of refinances went up as well.

According to Wells
Fargo, 40% of its mortgage originations in the third quarter were refinances,
the highest that share has been in at least a year.

In the second
quarter, for example, Wells Fargo saw 68% purchase originations, compared to
32% refinances, but in the third quarter, it was a 60/40 split between
purchases and refinances.

The share of
refinances has climbed steadily over the last year. During the third quarter of
2018, only 19% of Wells Fargo’s originations were refinances. That figured
climbed to 22% in the fourth quarter of 2018, 30% in the first quarter of this
year, 32% in the second quarter, and finally, to 40% in the third quarter.

As one might expect,
that increase was mirrored by the mortgage applications Wells Fargo received.
According to the bank, it received $85 billion in mortgage applications in the
third quarter, which was actually down slightly from the second quarter when
the bank got $90 billion in applications.

But, of those $85
billion in mortgage applications in the third quarter, a full 50% were for
refinances. That’s nearly double what it was in the same time period last year.

Wells Fargo is also
showing strong continuing demand for mortgages, as the bank reported that it
has $44 billion in its application pipeline (applications that are in process).

That’s the same
amount that it was in the second quarter, but up from $32 billion in the first
quarter and $22 billion in the third quarter of last year.

Mortgage
originations were also up at JPMorgan Chase.

According to the bank,
it originated $32.4 billion in mortgages in the third quarter, up from $24.5
billion in the second quarter, $15 billion in the first quarter, $17.2 billion
in the fourth quarter of 2018, and $22.5 billion in the third quarter of last
year.

Citi has the
smallest mortgage business of the three, but its originations are on the rise
as well.

That continues a recent trend at the bank, which scaled back its lending operations a few years ago, but began to ramp those back up last year.

According to the
bank, it originated $5 billion in mortgages in the third quarter, up 28% over
the second quarter total of $3.9 billion and up 85% over the third quarter of
last year, when the bank originated $2.7 billion in mortgages.



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For the second time this year, Redwood Trust, a real estate investment trust that specializes in buying and securitizing jumbo mortgages, is growing its real estate investor loan business through an acquisition.

Earlier this year, Redwood Trust paid $50 million to acquire 5 Arches, an originator and asset manager of investor-focused loans and the parent company of 5 Arch Funding.

But that was just the appetizer. Now comes the main course.

Redwood Trust announced Monday that it is acquiring CoreVest American Finance Lender, the real estate investment lender formerly known as Colony American Finance for $490 million.

CoreVest was founded in 2014 and specializes in lending to real
estate investors who want to purchase single-family rental homes, townhomes,
condos, and small multifamily properties.

The company was known as Colony American Finance until 2017, when Colony American was acquired by Fortress Investment Group. At the time, the company rebranded to CoreVest American Finance Lender.

Since its founding in 2014, CoreVest has funded more than $4
billion in loans, including more than $1.1 billion in 2019 so far. The
company is also an experienced securitization issuer, having recently completed
its ninth single-family rental securitization.

In a release, Redwood states that it views the acquisition as
a significant boost to its real estate investor lending business.

“Collectively, the platform and assets will significantly
expand Redwood’s presence in the BPL market, furthering its position as a
leading private-sector source of housing-market liquidity,” Redwood Trust said
in a release. “Importantly, the transaction also advances several of Redwood’s
key corporate strategic initiatives, including broadening and diversifying its
revenue streams, significantly expanding its capacity to create proprietary
credit investments, and profitably scaling its infrastructure and operations.”

According to Redwood Trust, the acquisition includes the
CoreVest operating platform and more than $900 million of related financial
assets.

Under the terms of the agreement, Redwood will acquire
CoreVest’s operating platform and assets, including its business-purpose loan
portfolio and subordinate bonds from CoreVest-sponsored securitizations, from Fortress
for approximately $490 million.

Redwood plans to fund this deal with a mix of cash on hand
and shares of Redwood stock, which are payable to the CoreVest executive
management team and vest over a two-year period.

“Today we are pleased to announce the acquisition of the
CoreVest operating platform,” Redwood CEO Christopher Abate.

“CoreVest is a best-in-class operator in the
business-purpose lending sector, an area of residential lending that increases
liquidity in the housing market by enabling investors to efficiently finance
purchases of both single-family and multifamily investment properties,” Abate
continued.

“Additionally, CoreVest is the standard-bearer for BPL
securitizations, having completed more such transactions than any other issuer,”
Abate added. “Integrating the CoreVest operations and suite of products with
our own market-leading consumer mortgage banking and securitization platform
will create the preeminent specialty finance operator in our industry.”

Dashiell Robinson, Redwood’s president, said the acquisition
builds on the 5 Arches deal from earlier in the year and will allow the company
to capitalize on the “rapidly growing segment” of lending to real estate
investors.

As for CoreVest, CEO Beth O’Brien said the company is excited to be joining Redwood Trust.

“Our team has built an amazing platform and brand, and we’re poised to enter a new phase of growth by leveraging Redwood’s significant, permanent capital base and deep residential credit expertise,” O’Brien said. “Our clients will continue to experience our high level of service, but with an even greater commitment to delivering customized funding solutions at highly competitive rates.”

The companies expect the deal to close within the next two
to three business days.



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Q: How did you start in physical theater?

A: When I was a teenager I was very lucky to have worked with Dan Hurlin who is a phenomenal performance artist, writer and teacher. We didn't talk about the work as a genre like 'physical theater' or 'realism' or 'absurdism' we just worked very physically. He taught me that acting was sweaty and theater didn't have to look like real life. As I got older and found myself wanting more than what my Stanislavsky-based work was giving me, I started searching for other styles that paralleled my work with Dan, which eventually brought me to the Dell 'Arte International School of Physical Theater.

Q: What is physical comedy and what are its distinguishing factors?

A: Physical comedy is telling a comedic story with one's body insteaad of relying on words. Words can be used, but the actor doesn't rely on the words to get the story across. It's slapstick from commedia dell 'arte, the old school Jerry Lewis kind of thing. Things need to be big in physical comedy. Most physical comedy these days is seen in cartoons, everything from Tom and Jerry and the Road Runner to the feature films like "Shrek." One of my favorite movies is "The Triplets of Bellville" which is an animated film that came out of Europe a few years ago. There is a little dialogue in the film and the bodies and movements of these cartoon characters are so filled with meaning and visual stimuli in their performance it's amazing. It's an interesting study in how physical theater or performance works and how you tell stories, physically, as opposed to verbally.

Q: What is Commedia Dell'arte?

A: Commedia Dell'arte is a Renaissance Italian form of theater and the term means the "comedy of art." It was popular in the 15th and 16th Centuries when troops of actors performed traditional stock characters, mostly in three-quarter mask. The traits of these stock characters were familiar to the audience, the style of acting was improvisatory, but actors didn't start cold as they would in an improv game these days. The gist of each particular scenario was standard, but what exactly transpired was improvised. As these actors had worked together for years and knew each other's work and characters well there was a platform to work on, literally and figuratively. They performed wherever they could gain an audience's attention – whether it was on a platform or wagon. They didn't draw a highbrow audience paying lots of dollars to see them. They had to pull in an audience and then pass a hat to collect coins.

The influences of Commedia are here today. You can see it in The Marx Brothers. You'll even find Commedia's stock characters and plotlines in Shakespeare's comedies such as "Love's Labors Lost." All art forms either change with the times or die off, and in a sense, that's what's happened to Commedia. Very few companies still work in the Commedia style, but I think actors can learn a great deal from working in that style. I'm excited about an advanced Camp Shakespeare at the Shakespeare Theater Company for teens this summer that I will teach. We'll work with a group of teenagers on improvisation, mask, and physical comedy and create a Commedia play.

Q: What distinguishes Commedia Dell'arte from other forms of performance?

A: Commedia Dell'arte is fifty percent physical and fifty percent verbal. Because it's in mask, it has to be incredibly physical, some of the actors might be tumblers or dancers. Broad physical gestures are integrated with witty speech so that actors aren't standing around talking or expressing their emotions through small gestures.

There was no such thing as a black box theater during the Renaissance; audience members couldn't watch an actor's deep pain or joy through the actor's eyes. There was no – lights down on the audience and spotlights on the stage. This was the time of lit audiences. Finding ways of amplifying, communicating to the audience, what actors were doing or experiencing was necessary. There were no programs for the audience; they couldn't read in advance that this guy was playing this or that character. The things that we take for granted now didn't exist then.

Performers had to fight to get an audience in the Renaissance. They had to draw them in. If they were performing outside on a wagon, they had to get people's attention, they had to work with the audience. There were 2,000 people in the Globe. It was a very different audience than we have today. People walked around selling oranges and beer and if audiences couldn't hear, see, or understand the actors or story, they could lose interest and their attention. Today it's easy to keep the attention of the audience because there's nothing else to look at. The lights are out and the only place to look is straight ahead. But that wasn't always the case. There were a lot of distractions for the audiences, they were checking out what the royalty was wearing, or who was sitting with whom, or looking for someone to go out with. It was all very social.

Q: What about the stock characters?

A: Stock characters are archetypes – the old miserly man, the crafty servant, the braggart soldier, or the young lovers. They're with us even today – we can see them in the Simpsons "and they've been part of theater for years. In commedia, each character had traditional costumes, mask, signature props, poses, stances, actions, plot function, relationship to the audience, relationship to other characters. When the audience saw the guy with the long, pointy, droopy nose, wearing tight trousers over skinny legs, they knew it was Pantalone. He was the misery old man of high social status. (Harlequin) was a servant, the spry one always looking for food. Each stock characters had signature lazzis

Q: What are lazzis?

A: Lazzis are the running gags, stunts, and pranks that were performed by the characters. Arlechinno might have a bit about a fly that is bothering him that he tries to catch and eat. It was another way to physicalize and display character to the audience. The stock characters can reach beyond the traditional fourth wall, as we know it.

Q: What do you mean about reaching beyond the fourth wall?

A: Today, while actors understand that the audience is there, the characters, themselves, don't. Realistic drama and realistic acting has a give and take with the audience, but it's subtle. Good actors can sense what's happening in the audience and work that, but it's much more overt in these earlier forms. When film started, and with it the beginning of realism, that distinction wasn't made. Characters then performed with an awareness of the audience. In Shakespeare, it's very clear at certain moments that the character is talking to the audience, and a lot of people believe that it's actually happening even more, it's just not as evident. Several Shakespeare companies take everything to the audience and actors make a lot of eye contact with the audience. Shakespeare and Company in Massachusetts and the American Shakespeare Center in Virginia approach their productions this way.

In clowning, audience contact is crucial. It's a give and take between the audience and the performer in a very direct way. Some people balk at that, like it's the audience participation thing, but it's different – it's not about dragging someone up on stage and making them do stupid things.

There are different worlds of clowning ranging from the traditional circus clown to the existentialist clown like with "Waiting For Godot." Clowns have a sort of resiliency. Tragic things can happen around them, but they bounce back, they are resilient, nothing crushes them for too long. They're not childish or stupid, but there is a naivety to them because the regular logic of our world doesn't necessarily apply. Clowns tend to be very physical and often many of them don't use language at all, so they have a universal form of communication.

Q: Are there skits or are the actors just performing improv?

A: Both, the actors have their clowns' personage that they've developed and they might have an outline of what happens in their skit, scene or production, but how they get from each point can change a lot each time they do it. It's similar to improv theater today, the same skills are being used – it's about taking in and responding to what's given to you on stage, whether it's from your partner, or the audience, or the chair. Anything can be your partner in clowning, whether it's a human or inanimate object, and you take advantage of that. In regular theater, if your shoes squeaked, you'd try to figure out a way to diminish it, whereas in clowning, you exploit it. You exploit your own faults in clowning. It's a challenging way to work. The history of clowning is huge and you can find clowns in most cultures. In America, we have a very definite circus clown archetype – the Bozo or the sad hobo clown of the circus – with heavy makeup, floppy shoes and the squirting flower. But clowning doesn't have to be about walking on stilts and juggling. 500 Clowns out of Chicago doesn't wear red noses; they paint their ears red and are sort of scarier looking. Bill Irwin, who is probably the best clown we have in this country, doesn't always work in a red nose. He did when he first started out with the Pickle Circus in San Francisco, and he started developing a theatrical movement that he called New Vaudeville with shows such as The History of Flight and Largely New York, which incorporated much of his clowning expertise and physical comedy .

Q: Why don't we see more of these types of performing now in Washington?

A: There's seems to be a reticence here for different forms of theater. Street theater and busking is illegal. In other cities around the world, there are international buskers' festivals, where all sorts of street performers do amazing things.

The growth of Fringe festivals has allowed artists to explore and experiment with different types of performances, and the Festivals allow the audience to experience theater in ways they hadn't thought of or known about. In this city, people say there's no audience for different kinds of theater, but I'm not sure that's true. Especially when you look at the success of the Capital Fringe Festival, and companies like Synetic. Other cities seem to foster physical theater better than this area, but I have hope for DC. Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia are probably the three biggest areas for more physical theater, including puppetry, mask, clown, and multimedia and everything in between. Some of it's crap and some of it's amazing and a lot of it lies in between – that's great. We want all of that here, too.

Q: Would you talk some about your background and training?

A: I went to undergraduate school in New Mexico State and studied with Mark Medoff, the playwright, who was the head of our program, and I got my MFA from Catholic University in Washington, DC While in college, I interned at The Actors Studio in New York. That was before James Lipton and the establishment of the school. Back then, it was just actors in a room attending their American method of acting sessions twice a week. It was during that internship that I figured out that the traditional approach was not for me. That's not to say I didn't appreciate it; there are some brilliant method actors, but I knew I'd never be one of them. All I knew at that point was that method acting and realism were not for me, but I didn't know what was. Luckily, in graduate school I was introduced to a vast array of modern, nontraditional, nonrealism theater which I really liked.

I was always interested in Shakespeare because it is so big and expressive, and like many people around here, I toured with Shenandoah Shakespeare in Staunton, Virginia. Everybody knows Shakespeare's good, people get that, but before I worked at Shenandoah Shakespeare, I didn't really understand why Shakespeare is so extremely good. When you're speaking those words every day for several years, you find so much more in it. You find out how amazing Shakespeare really is and the Shenandoah Shakespeare style of working, I think, helps illuminate the play and the text for both the actors and audience. But even then, I still knew that there was this whole other world of performance that I wasn't really tapping into.

I later worked in a company in New York called the Collapsable Giraffe which is sort of a devised theater group or ensemble. We would be in a room, have some inspiration or text and just create. Most of the people there, besides me, had worked or were still working for The Wooster Group in New York, which is a theater which uses new forms and techniques in producing new and established works. The Collapsable Giraffe and The Wooster Group share a similar esthetic that I find interesting and exciting. From there, I trained at the Dell'arte International School of Physical Theater in Blue Lake, California, where I was taught clowning, commedia, and overall physical theater.

Q: What was that training like?

A: It was great, but it was difficult. They were hard on us students and we probably collectively cried more than laughed during training. We laughed too, but we all separately and collectively cried a lot. One teacher was scary. At times, he yelled and threw tennis balls at us while we were on stage – with the best of intentions. He wasn't trying to hurt us – his goal was to keep us in the present and reactive on stage. Some people tried to stay in character and dodge the tennis balls and that made him throw even more balls and yell even louder. As actors, we were so ingrained in our method of acting and training that even in clowning we put blinders on and refused to react to outside things. In clowning, that's really what it's all about. It's being present and taking in what's happening in the space, whether it's in the audience, in the air ducts, or a squeak in your shoe. We all experienced frustration in trying to find that unexplainable place of fully living in that clown personage. We wanted it so badly, and the more we wanted it, the more it seemed to elude us and the more frustrated we got. We didn't speak on stage for months because their belief is that the movement comes first and the voice comes after. Like children, we learn to walk before we learn to talk.

Q: What's so difficult about clowning?

A: Clowning is about going to a very scary place. A lot of people in clowning pick what they find most humiliating about themselves and exploit it. When you really push on those places you avoid, it opens you up to a lot of new and exciting places and freshness. You've got to have a thick skin and be really resilient in clowning. When I started in clowning I thought I was resilient, but in retrospect, I don't know if I really was. This kind of training is not for everybody, but it is very valuable. Mask and clowning skills are incredible tools for traditional modern realist actors to have. Jackie Chan is very clowny and very funny. It's genius how he understands physical comedy in an elevated way in the midst of violence.

Q: What do students learn in your clowning and physical theater classes?

A: It's sort of unlearning everything that we've learned about acting in some ways. Students in acting classes have been told not to make audience contact, that when it's done, it seems faked or contrived. But with clowning, that's the trick, connecting with the audience and making the performance real. The actor is still in character and has the same objectives, but is sharing and interacting with the audience and the environment instead of performing for the audience.

This is where a whole connection happens, part of which is indescribable. When the mask connects with the audience, it's riveting and dynamic, a kind of magic happens that is inexplicable. Clowning is more traditional than modern acting, but in our modern view of acting, actors can get away with not being in the moment. With clowning, it's really what it's all about – the actors have to be open and respond to whatever is happening.

Actors can feel vulnerable because they can't rely on techniques they're comfortable with. People communicate a lot through their eyes and facial expressions. Actors tend to act a lot with their faces because they've learned that from watching movies and television. By putting on masks, we've cut off that method of communication and that leaves us with having to find other ways to communicate. The mask becomes the translator, the transducer of the character, and those emotions that would otherwise be expressed through our faces are sent through our bodies.

Sometimes an actor on stage may pull back, and if that actor has on a mask, that pulling back is magnified. Things that worked without the mask, don't translate, they're not large enough to communicate to the audience what's going on. Working with a mask becomes second nature with practice. It's not a big effort forever. Any technique becomes easier with practice, it's just a matter of getting used to using your body to express the characters and make contact with the audience.

Q: Would you talk about your approach to teaching clowning and physical theater?

A: Good teachers of these forms don't necessarily teach, they provoke, they set up circumstances for actors to work through and learn by doing, as opposed to lecturing about it. I can tell students to be in the moment and play with their surroundings until I'm blue in face, but they won't get it until they experience it. The actual doing of it is where they're going to start to learn it and experience it.

The beauty of the teaching and learning of acting is that there are a million different approaches and what most people get taught is that you will learn a lot of things, some of which will work for you and some won't. There are brilliant method actors in this world who are amazing, breathtaking. They found a path that works for them. That doesn't mean it works for everybody.

For instance, I don't like the separation of voice and movement, where the physical work happens in one class on one day and the voice work happens in another on another day. Even in my studies, we learned voice a couple times a week, for an hour, that was it. I found a disconnect in learning how to match what we were doing vocally with what we were doing physically. We were making these big dynamic shapes with our bodies and feeling our hearts out, but some people had never had any voice training and they couldn't be heard or understood because they couldn't elevate their voices up to what they were doing with their bodies. One of my goals when I get my Ph.D. and become a professor is to develop pedagogy where actors' voices and bodies are trained simultaneously.

Q: What would the Avery technique be?

A: I'm still developing it and that's why one of the reasons I'm hoping to begin a Ph.D. soon. Right now, it's all in notes and ideas. There were some really wonderful moments at Dell'arte where we studied Tai Chi. For the most part, Tai Chi is fairly silent because it's a meditative martial art, but a couple of times the teacher played music, which took us to another level. One day, in voice class while working on harmony and singing together, we practiced Tai Chi and that helped us find different connections. Many people have a tendency to hold their breath while doing something strenuous. In acrobatics class, we did forward rolls, cart wheels, or whatever, down the mat, while humming or singing. It's hard to do, but it's serves actors in two ways – it keeps them breathing and in touch with their voice, while exerting themselves physically. Things like that are key.

Q: When did you get into the arts?

A: I was always around the arts as there are a lot of musicians in my family. My grandmother is an incredible jazz pianist and she still plays in her jazz band that jams every month at her house. My uncle has been a singer / entertainer for at least thirty years. My mother is a musician and an incredible singer. She studied music in college, teaches music, and plays standup bass. As a small child, I attended the rehearsals of shows for which she directed the music. My father, though not trained in any particular one, was a great appreciator of the arts. My sister is a visual artist, and as with me, her interests have moved around. She went to the Parsons School of Design and while she's worked in a lot of different media, she now has her own business making custom mosaics and doing tile installation.

As a kid I wanted to take ballet lessons and to learn how to dance. I grew up in a very small town in New Hampshire so there wasn't much opportunity for that, but as soon as opportunities for acting came around, I jumped right in. I was also very lucky. An incredible performer and puppeteer named Dan Hurlin, who is also from New Hampshire, is a professor at Sarah Lawrence. When I was a teenager, he ran a children's theater in New Hampshire so I got to train with him. We loved him, we thought he was amazing, but outside of our little world, we didn't know how respected and amazing he really was. His work, though I didn't know it at the time, formed part of what my aesthetic is now – looking for challenging and new ways of performance.

My father supported the arts and me in them. I was a biochemistry major in college studying to be a genetic engineer, but I remember as a child my father saying to me, you know, you might want to act and he used all kinds of little schemes to move me towards acting and the theater knowing that's really where I'd end up. He always knew I'd be in the arts, even when I didn't know it.



Source by Mary Ann Sust


Fannie Mae
announced Wednesday that it will invest $14 million for a Low-Income Housing
Tax Credit as it facilitates the development of a 110-unit multifamily
residence.

Back in 2017, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they were re-entering the LIHTC market, the federal program which encourages investment of equity into affordable rental housing.

Freddie Mac explained at the time that under the program,
qualified properties are allocated federal tax credits and investors are able
to invest in those properties to take advantage of those tax credits.

The new residence, Mino-bimaadiziwin Apartments, will be located
in Minneapolis, will house Native Americans and other low-income residents in
the community and is being developed by the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians.

Fannie Mae will invest in the project through Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, a
Fannie Mae LIHTC fund partner.

“Our LIHTC financing of Mino-bimaadiziwin Apartments helps support much-needed housing and ancillary services for Native Americans and other members of the Minneapolis community near public transit options that enable them to commute to their places of employment,” said Dana Brown, Fannie Mae vice president of LIHTC investments.

“LIHTC enables affordable rental housing, and we are excited
to work with our partners to address our country’s pressing housing challenges,”
Brown said. “Projects like Mino-bimaadiziwin foster a healthier and more stable
living environment for individuals and families while also creating a more
sustainable neighborhood for all members of the community.”

The apartments will offer studios, one-, two- and
three-bedroom units for residents that earn 30%, 50% and 60% of the area median
income. And 24 of the units will serve as permanent housing for the metro’s
chronically homeless.

The new development will include a playground, daycare facility, wellness center, and the Red Lake Nation Urban Embassy community center. Residents will also have access to on-site healthcare and educational services.

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians will provide a Housing
Support/GRH rental subsidy in partnership with Minnesota Department of Human Services. The project will cost $38.6
million. Developers have broken ground on the building project and expect to
open it to residents by fall 2020.



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The housing market is signaling there will be an economic recession by the 2020 election, according to Benn Steil, director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Looking back at the years preceding the 2008 financial crisis, a critical warning sign was the surging gap between the growth in home prices and household income,” Steil wrote in a blog post with former CFR analyst Benjamin Della Rocca on the think tank’s website. “Today, a parallel dynamic is playing out.”

In 2018, as in 2005, housing-price growth began slowing, with significant price drops occurring in several major markets, the post said, linking to a story on New York home prices in “near free-fall” from earlier this month.

Household income has been growing, but it hasn’t come close to keeping up with the increase in home prices. For example, the median annual household income in August rose 1.3% from a year earlier, Sentier Research said earlier this month. That compares with the 4.7% gain in the U.S. median home price in August from a year earlier, using data from the National Association of Realtors.

“The trend-line in existing-home sales growth has also been down since 2015, tipping into negative territory at the start of last year,” the post said. “Similar drops have preceded nearly every recession since 1970,” it said.

“When income fails to keep pace with home prices, the latter must fall back,” the post said. “Falling home prices, in turn, drive down household spending by way of the so-called wealth effect – that is, consumers cut spending when their assets fall in value.”

A slowdown in consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of GDP, points to an economic contraction. Economists define a recession as two subsequent quarters of negative GDP.

“If these trends continue, we should expect broad falls in home prices beginning by mid-2020, which will, in turn, drag down household spending against a darkening economic backdrop,” the post said. “Growth has been slowing, with Trump’s tariff war hitting exports. Manufacturing is contracting. Retail sales, excluding autos, have stalled. Consumer confidence is falling.”

The Federal Reserve probably doesn’t have enough power to stop a recession, the authors said. When the economy slows, the Fed cuts its benchmark rate to make it cheaper to borrow and encourage economic growth. But, the rate already is so low it probably won’t be enough to help, the blog post said.

“If we are really on the cusp of a recession it will likely take more than 175 basis points of easing to prevent it – and that is all the central bank has to play with before we’re back to the zero lower bound,” they wrote. “At that point, applying monetary stimulus becomes considerably more challenging.”



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What a time to be an independent mortgage broker!

As we kick off the second annual AIME Fuse national conference this
weekend, it’s a good time to not only reflect on the successes that the
mortgage broker community has achieved over the last 18 months, but also to
fully assess our current status and focus on the responsibilities that still
lie ahead if we want to reach and surpass our biggest goals.

The victories we’ve achieved, both individually and collectively,
should absolutely be celebrated. Not only have thousands of loan officers left
the retail side of the business to join mortgage brokers – or open their own
businesses as entrepreneurs – but a countless number of existing loan officers
and brokerages have seen business grow at an incredible speed.

Consumer awareness of the value that independent mortgage brokers
provide continues to increase, and the proof is in the numbers. The third
quarter of 2019 was the best quarter for brokers in funded volume and market
share percentage in over 12 years. Mortgage brokers have been the
fastest-growing channel in the mortgage business over the last seven quarters,
notably producing greater than 100% year-over-year growth in loan volume
compared to the third quarter of 2018.

With mortgage broker market share at nearly 16%, brokers have doubled
market share in the 18 months since AIME launched in March 2018 – a monumental
shift that I’m incredibly proud to be a part of.

But, in light of all the success that the mortgage broker community has
worked so hard to accomplish thus far, our status is a very real reminder that
there’s still a great amount of work left to do. Our growth is indicative of the
progress we’ve made so far on our journey; our destination is still far ahead
of us.

In a business environment where e-commerce giants like Amazon have used
their distinct financial clout to consistently and methodically suffocate small
businesses from the playing field, the revitalization of independent mortgage
brokers bucks that trend. Entrepreneurs in the mortgage business are thriving,
growing their businesses, growing their teams, and bringing investment back to
their respective communities – all while best serving local consumers on their
journey to affordable homeownership. Not only are we holding our own against
the giants of the mortgage business, we’re beating them in many ways.

Mortgage brokers are more focused than ever on providing consumers the
best and most trustworthy service by delivering the lowest interest rates
available, the lowest cost to borrow, the widest selection of products and
programs, and personalized service from true advisors. Our priority is
protecting, educating and supporting our customers throughout their
homeownership journey.

As the mortgage broker community continues to increasingly outshine our
mega bank and retail lender competition by making best-in-class customer
service – not profit margins – our primary objective, we’ll continue our rapid
upward trend.

Mortgage brokers should take time to revel in what we’ve been able to
accomplish thus far but, remember, we’re really just getting started. Several
years back, the idea of the mortgage broker channel reaching 20% market share
seemed out of reach, but here we are, knocking on the door.

Today, with our goal set at surpassing 50% market share, that
milestone, too, is closer than you may think. At the same time, in true
mortgage broker spirit, it’s not the destination of a 50% market share that we’ll
appreciate the most – it’ll be the process of serving our communities, helping
consumers achieve affordable homeownership, and growing our business with local
jobs that will satisfy us the most. Just the way it always has been.



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Visualizing Density By Julie Campoli and Alex S. MacLean, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 113 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, ISBN 1-55844171-9 , 978-1-55844-171-2, $39.95, 160 Pages, 2007

Planners and designers must make room in their reference library for this engaging new book that explores land density in the United States. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a think tank, in conjunction with the authors, Julie Campoli whose focus is landscape change, sprawl, and density and Alex MacLean, an aerial photographer, have produced an authoritative book for both professionals and the layperson. Green building and design is more than a trend and this in-depth book outlines the current density problem and as well as offers solutions to uninspired sprawl and urban housing concentrations that strain infrastructure and residents.

Content covers: Growing Closer: The Count, The Coming Boom, Spreading Out or Growing In, Crosscurrents, The Benefits, Why We Hate Density, How We Can Love Density and Patterns of Density: Planning for Density, Designing for Density The Density Catalog features aerial photos of density of Less Than 1 Unit Per Acre to More Than 200 Units Per Acre . Additional features include a forward, references, acknowledgements, about the authors and background information about the Lincoln Land Institute. Also included is a handy CD-Rom for educational use.

The aerial photography tells a compelling story of how many cities and suburbs can learn and visualize density patterns, which Mr. MacLean does in a impressive way, with crisp, clean and interesting photographs. Highly recommended for urban, suburban and ex-urban planners, designers, city and village administrators, smart growth advocates and residents of areas around the country looking for a birds-eye-view of their community.



Source by Mark Nash


The real estate industry has been waiting to see how Realogy, the largest owner of U.S. real estate brokerages and franchise brands, would respond to the iBuying trend. Now we know.

Realogy is teaming up with Home Partners of America, a real estate investment and management company, to launch two new programs, RealSure Sell and RealSure Mortgage.

RealSure Sell gives qualifying home sellers a cash offer upon listing. It’s valid for 45 days while an affiliated agent markets the home in pursuit of “an even better price,” as Realogy described it.

“RealSure has been designed to solve the two questions consumers most often have when selling their home – what is the best price I can achieve in the market, and should I wait to look for my next home until my current residence sells?” Realogy said in a statement.

Next, RealSure Mortgage allows a seller who’s enrolled in RealSure Sell to make an offer on his or her next home by “leveraging” the cash offer, Realogy said.

“The ability to secure a mortgage on a new home eliminates the stress many Americans face when having to sell a home while simultaneously trying to buy another,” Realogy said. “A majority of consumers are selling a house while also looking to buy one at the same time.”

According to a survey from the National Association of Realtors, 39% of buyers need to use proceeds from the sale of their prior residence to fund the purchase of their next home.

RealSure is now available in Dallas and Denver for home sellers who have a qualified property and use a participating real estate agent affiliated with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA or Sotheby’s International Realty.

Over the next month, RealSure will roll out to brokerages affiliated with those brands in eight additional U.S. markets, including Chicago, Houston and Austin, Texas, Sacramento, California, as well as Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota and Fort Myers in Florida.

Realogy intends to “learn from the program in these markets and quickly scale to others,” the company said in the statement.



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Mortgage credit availability loosened in September, driven
by an increase in jumbo loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index,
which analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s
AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

The MCAI rose by 0.9% to 183.4 in September. A decline in
the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in
the index are indicative of loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100
in March 2012.

The Conventional MCAI increased by 2.4%, while the Government MCAI increased 0.6%. But the Jumbo MCAI saw the largest increase as it rose by 4.7%. The Conforming MCAI fell by 1.1%.

“Credit availability increased slightly in September, driven
by a 5% increase in the supply of jumbo loans,” said Joel Kan, MBA associate
vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “The jumbo index, which
grew from a combination of lower credit score requirements, non-QM loans, and
investor products, is now at a record high since tracking began in 2011. Meanwhile,
the trend of tightening credit availability in conforming and government
programs continued over the past few months, as both indices decreased.”

In fact, earlier this year, the appetite for jumbo loans increased as jumbo credit availability rose to an 8-year high. Back in May, reports showed investors were turning their eye on jumbo, non-QM loans in a race to remain competitive.

Non-QM is predicted to continue rising, poised for 400% growth in 2019, according to the annual Origination Solutions Survey from Altisource Portfolio Solutions, and a continued surge is expected in 2020.



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Would you believe that a man who never took a single snap in a NFL uniform would have the game's most coveted trophy named after him? It isn't just the trophy, and the Super Bowl victory that allows teams to possess it that make the name so powerful. Vince Lombardi did that on his own after finding his love for the game through coaching, instead of playing. History was made the minute the legend was born. He and his family just didn't know it yet.

Vincent Thomas Lombardi was born the son of a butcher in Brooklyn, New York in 1913. As a child he worked in his father's butcher shop, but despised the idea of ​​leading a similar life, and began playing in a football league in the neighborhood around age 12. After graduating the 8th grade, Vince Lombardi began his quest to become a Catholic Priest by entering a secondary, six-year schooling program. Although against the seminary's rules, he continued to play football in his spare time. He spent four years at the school before leaving for a preparatory school where he became All-City in football.

In 1933 he began his official football career by accepting a scholarship to Fordham University in the Bronx borough of New York. He was a starting tackle until he graduated in 1937, just in time for the Great Depression to ruin the lives of many, including – at the time, Vince Lombardi. There was very little work, and his ambition was even less, so at his father's urging he returned for Fordham where he enrolled in their law school. He was enrolled for one semester before dropping out completely. The following year, 1939, he took the job as assistant coach at St. John's Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey to support himself and his new wife. He became the head coach of the school in 1942. In 1947 he returned to Fordham again to take the reins of the freshman football and basketball teams, and was named as the assistant varsity football coach the following year. He was beginning to move up the coaching ranks, slowly but surely.

The opportunity to join the US Military Academy at West Point's coaching staff presented itself in 1948, and Lombardi kindly accepted the assistant coaching job. He was the Offensive Line Coach, where he remained for five seasons. Like so many other legendary coaches, he finally got his shot at the big time when the New York Giants offered him an assisting coaching position. He accepted the Offensive Coordinator position – although it was yet to be named as in – 1954, at the age of 41. With his Defensive Coordinator, a guy by the name of Tom Landry, they took the Giants to winning the League Title in 1956, defeating the Chicago Bears. Both guys, who are now absolute legends in the game, were itching to become head coaches in their own right. Lombardi applied for the position at several schools, including Notre Dame and Wake Forest, but was never given the courtesy of a response.

In 1959 Vince Lombardi took the head coaching job, and the title of General Manager, with the Green Bay Packers, and the Pack Nation – and the NFL – would be changed forever. That season the team's record was 7-5, and Vince was named Coach of the Year. His second year found even more success, with the team winning the NFL Western Conference. In 1960 he took the team to the NFL Championship game, where he suffered his first AND ONLY championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Lombardi was a stern coach, and would strongly criticize his players after a loss. In doing so, he won nine straight post season games. That record stood until it was beaten by Bill Belichick with ten wins from 2002 – 2006 with the New England Patriots.

The Packers went on to win two back to back NFL titles in 1961 and 1962, beating the New York Giants both times. Vince Lombardi never coached a losing season in the NFL and finished with an overall record of 105-35-6. His Packers went to, and won, three NFL Championships in 1964, 1965 and 1966 giving him six total NFL Championship victories. Once the game was renamed the Super Bowl, he won the first two such named events, I and II. Vince stepped down as the Packers' Head Coach after the 1967 season, but remained their General Manager through 1968. He finished his coaching career with the Washington Redskins, where he spent a single season on the sideline. Vince Lombardi was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, one year after the Super Bowl trophy was named in his honor. It carries his name to this day, and is a brilliant reminder of the man who earned such adoration.



Source by Steven Ircha