Fannie Mae announced Ryan Zanin will be joining the company as its executive vice president and chief risk officer, effective Feb. 1.

Zanin has served on Fannie Mae’s board of directors since 2016, but will step down from this position on Jan. 31.

“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, Fannie Mae chairwoman of the board.

Zanin brings over 30 years of experience in financial services and more than 20 years specializing in risk management to his new role. Zanin served as the president and CEO of the restructuring, strategic ventures and insurance group at GE Capital before he retired in July 2018.

Before that, he worked as chief risk officer of GE Capital. Before joining GE Capital, Zanin worked as managing director and chief risk officer of international capital markets at Wells Fargo and as chief risk officer of corporate and investment bank at Wachovia Corporation.

Previously, he was a member of the board of directors of the holding company for GE Capital, General Electric Capital Corp., and spent 14 years in leadership roles across Deutsche Bank AG and Bankers Trust.

“Ryan’s appointment as chief risk officer comes at a critical time for Fannie Mae,” Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater said. “Risk management is a core function of managing our business. 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.”

There has been a higher level of turnover for the mortgage giant in recent weeks. Observers at the time told HousingWire that the departure of Andrew Bon Salle, Fannie Mae’s former head of single-family lending, to Home Point Capital was a blow to the company. A fair amount of top talent left Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the final days of the Trump administration, as it became increasingly clear that the companies won’t exit conservatorship and go public anytime soon.

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As 2021 unfolds, the real estate industry is still dealing with ongoing concerns introduced and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, leaving agents and brokers facing multiple challenges with their work.

“There’s still a massive amount of buyers and not enough inventory,” said Tyler White, Senior Vice President of Operations at PropStream, a real estate data provider. “That’s going to be an issue for a long time, and that’s why housing prices are still climbing.”

Access to property data and an ability to efficiently target prospective sellers can give agents and brokers a competitive edge in this low-inventory environment. PropStream empowers real estate professionals to grow their business by enabling them to easily research properties, identify leads and effectively market to those leads.

“With a shortage of listings, more and more people are needing to be engaged to convince them that now’s the time to sell, especially right now, as we are still in a high-priced market,” White said.

PropStream is an online solution designed to help users comb through a multi-sourced property database to paint a holistic picture of what is going on with a property and its owner.

PropStream takes data from a variety of resources – including public record, MLS information, U.S. Postal data, parcel boundary data and involuntary lien information – and simplifies it to help users make a quick and informed decision. It layers data and lists together to find properties whose owners are the most motivated to sell.

Using its parcel boundary data, PropStream users can click on any property on a map, even without knowing the address, to see detailed information on that property. For example, it shows whether the owner has ever filed for bankruptcy or if they’re facing foreclosure.

“The idea is to give full transparency of what’s going on with the property – being able to find your leads and engage with those owners,” White said. “We have a lot of information and make it really simple and easy to access.”

PropStream’s data gives agents and brokers insight into what’s going on with a property before they approach a prospective seller. Users can also apply filters to find the exact type of properties they’d like to target.

“We allow customers to pick any market they want and apply a wide array of filters to find the leads they feel will work best for them,” White said.

For example, a PropStream user could search for vacant properties as identified by the U.S. Postal database, homeowners who are facing foreclosure or what White calls “tired landlords,” those who have owned an investment property for a long time.

White noted that the current forbearance options and eviction moratoriums have resulted in “a ton of properties right now that are just kind of at a standstill” and that we may see “a wave of properties that are going to be defaulted on” once those moratoriums end.

Recent forbearance rate data from the MBA shows that the share of mortgages with suspended payments is at 5.37%, and the FHFA has extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium, as well as initial forbearance requests, through Feb. 28, 2021.

PropStream’s data and filtering can help agents and brokers find owners in various situations who may be struggling and proactively reach out to offer the option to “sell your property now, walk away with as much as you possibly can and reestablish yourself,” he said.

In addition to allowing agents and brokers to target specific types of properties to find motivated prospective sellers, PropStream also includes a List Automator function. With List Automator, when a new record comes into the database that matches a user’s criteria, PropStream automatically pulls that record, saves it and notifies the user that new records have been saved.

List Automator also provides the ability to take a list from any source and import it into PropStream’s database to then apply filters and identify the properties that no longer match the desired criteria (removing properties that already sold or are already listed for sale).

Once a user has generated their list of exactly what properties they want to go after, they can engage with those owners using PropStream’s marketing abilities. Agents and brokers can send homeowners a pre-designed, customizable postcard, send an email, or find their most recent phone number to call, text or leave a ringless voicemail.

“It allows users to engage with property owners, to hopefully get them to start calling or responding to their inquiry of wanting to help them sell the property,” White said.

In today’s low-inventory environment, complicated by external factors such as forbearance and foreclosure moratoriums, it’s crucial for real estate agents and brokers to be proactive in order to grow their business. PropStream offers them the ability to find prospective sellers, gain insight into their property and situation, and contact them to get started in one system.

“Everybody’s looking for the listing,” White said. “Having the seller is the holy grail for Realtors, and our system gives them the ability to engage with property owners to get those listings and create that opportunity.” To learn more about PropStream, visit https://www.propstream.com

The post Here’s how to find property owners ready to sell appeared first on HousingWire.



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2020 came, and with it COVID-19. Five weeks into the crisis, demand for housing in the U.S. bottomed and then after about nine weeks, began to climb again, with purchase applications making a full V-shaped recovery by early June.

The housing bubble boys had those five glorious weeks when it finally looked like the market would succumb to their dire predictions of a housing crash. That is not much time to hawk a book, website, newsletter or what-have-you, but I guess one has to make hay where the sun don’t shine – or however that goes.

Now, in the first weeks of 2021, it’s like de ja vu all over again. Our friendly neighborhood bubble boys are hawking a 2021 housing crash, citing as evidence the moderation of some housing data metrics that inevitably follow parabolic increases. But they see these moderations back to trend as the harbingers of a housing crash that will send home prices back to 1996 levels in a short time.

Remember, all housing bubble boys have to believe that prices go back to the start of the original bubble, hence the marketing of housing bubble 2.0. 

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Mike Cagney, SoFi

SoFi co-founder Mike Cagney’s latest digital mortgage operation Figure Lending closed on a $100 million funding facility from JPMorgan Chase this week.

The warehouse facility will allow the company, a subsidiary of Figure Technologies, to originate conventional loans as well as jumbo loans, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

In a statement, Figure said the $100 million loan facility represents another push toward growth in mortgage lending. The company’s mortgage business grew nearly 50% month-over-month in the fourth quarter, and Figure expects further growth in 2021, it said.

This is the fifth financing facility for the online lender, having closed nearly $1.5 billion across these deals. Wall Street partners in financing facilities include Jefferies, other banks and funds and now JPMorgan Chase.

“This facility with J.P. Morgan will help us continue to innovate in the lending space,” said Cagney, CEO and co-founder of Figure. “We hope to build on our 2020 momentum, both in volume and in bringing blockchain into the mortgage market.”


How 2020 continues to impact mortgage closings

HousingWire spoke with Altisource Vice President of Product Ben Hall about the increased adoption of RON and how Altisource supports lenders looking to move to full eClosings.

Presented by: Altisource

Cagney’s new company, founded in 2018, has bet big on blockchain technology bringing speed and efficiency to the industry. It focuses on refinancings, but also offers HELOCs and personal loans.

The company has applied for a national bank charter that would permit it to take uninsured deposits of over $250,000 from accredited investors, but not FDIC-insured deposits.

Cagney helped found Figure in 2018 after leaving SoFi in 2017 following reports about a toxic culture and sexual harassment at the company.

Under Cagney’s leadership, SoFi was able to raise huge amounts of money, including a $500 million Series F round led by Silver Lake, and a $1 billion round led by SoftBank.

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The moment has finally arrived: California-based lender loanDepot has filed an updated S-1 with the Securities and Exchanges Commission and plans to go public in 2021.

The company, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Anthony Hsieh, said Monday that its affiliate loanDepot Inc. had confidentially filed paperwork, but it hasn’t determined how much stock will be sold or at what price.

In September, Bloomberg reported that loanDepot, which operates in retail, wholesale and correspondent channels, was eyeing an IPO that would see it valued at between $12 billion and $15 billion.

LoanDepot, backed by private equity firm Parthenon Capital Partners, first announced plans to go public in September 2015 but canceled the IPO just hours before pricing, citing adverse “market conditions.” At the time, LoanDepot had sought a market value of $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion.

In March 2017, the company revived plans for an IPO but didn’t follow through.

The updated S-1 shows impressive profitability in recent months. LoanDepot posted net income of $1.47 billion for the first nine months of 2020, up significantly from the $18 million it posted during the same period in 2019.

As of November, loanDepot was the nation’s eighth-largest originator and the 31st largest servicer, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. It now has over 10,000 employees and became the second-largest retail lender in the nation in 2020, behind Rocket Companies.

“We’ve created a company that is built to serve customers throughout the entire loan transaction, from the onset of the purchase or refinance decision through loan closing and servicing,” Hsieh said in the prospectus. “We now possess roughly 3% market share of annual mortgage origination volumes, which makes up part of the $11T total addressable market. Thanks to our brand investment over time, we are also one of the most recognized brands in the industry today. All of this gives us enormous runway. And, to some, it may seem like we are in a much different place than we were eleven years ago. But, from my vantage point, much feels the same.”

LoanDepot originated $79.4 billion of loans in the twelve months ended Sept. 30, it disclosed in its prospectus. The company claimed total revenue of $1.3 billion in 2019 and $3.3 billion for the first nine months of 2020.

LoanDepot’s forthcoming public debut comes during an astonishing period of IPOs for the mortgage industry. Margins are at cyclical highs, typically over 250 basis points, and virtually every independent mortgage bank has posted record profits over the last year.

Rocket Companies and Guild Holdings made their debuts in 2020, and 2021 could see United Wholesale Mortgage, Caliber Home Loans, Homepoint, Finance of America, AmeriHome, Better.com, Guaranteed Rate/Stearns, and SoFi all go public.

LoanDepot will trade under the ticker symbol “LDI,” the company said Monday.

The company recently announced a joint venture partnership with Canadian developer Brookfield. It also has a JV partnership with AV Homes, MTH Mortgage, MSC Mortgage, Tri Pointe Connect, Polygon Mortgage and LGI Homes.

Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley are acting as lead book-running managers for the proposed offering. Barclays, Citigroup, Jefferies and UBS Investment Bank will be book running managers, and JMP Securities, NomuraPiper SandlerRaymond James & Associates, Inc. and William Blair will act as co-managers for the proposed offering.

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Correspondent and wholesale lender Homepoint is the latest mortgage company to aim for an IPO.

The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based lender filed an S-1 with the Securities and Exchanges Commission on Friday afternoon.

The company indicated in the S-1 that its price offering was $100 million, generally a placeholder for a larger offering.

In its S-1, Homepoint revealed incredible growth over the past year.

Homepoint originated $46.3 billion in originations through its broker network in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, 2020. It originated a total of $38 billion in loans through the first three quarters of 2020, according to the S-1. It’s a phenomenal rise for a lender that originated just $10.6 billion in 2018.

The $38 billion origination figure makes Homepoint the third-largest wholesale lender in America, behind United Wholesale Mortgage and Caliber Home Loans. Overall, Home Point is the 10th largest non-bank originator in the United States.

Led by CEO Willie Newman, Homepoint has operated somewhat differently to other wholesale lenders, opting to service all of its loans. It claims to have serviced the mortgages of more than 300,000 borrowers since its founding in 2015.

Though it’s best known for its wholesale channel, Homepoint also operates in the correspondent channel, purchasing loans already issued to end-borrower customers, as well as the direct channel.

Homepoint’s potential IPO won’t come as a surprise to most observers, given its backing by private equity firm Stone Point Capital.

Now is a historically great time for the industry: an estimated $4 trillion in originations in 2020, and margins sometimes well above 350 basis points.

Going public not only gives the lenders cheaper access to capital than warehouse lines of credit, it also enables the private equity backers to enjoy a cash-out.

The lender’s Wall Street debut also would follow that of local rival UWM, the largest lender in the wholesale channel, and overall king of the hill, Rocket Companies, which went public over the summer.

UWM, led by Mat Ishbia, is expected to debut via a special acquisition company on Jan. 22 at a valuation of $16.1 billion. Caliber, which is a multichannel lender, also planned to go public but postponed its IPO following Guild Mortgage’s choppy debut.

In its S-1, Homepoint disclosed that its adjusted net income for the first three quarters of 2020 was $494.6 million.

Homepoint will be listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “HMPT.” Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank are acting as lead book-running managers for the proposed offering.

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2021 was supposed to be different. In the first days of the New Year, we have been dealing with a new strain of COVID, vaccinations aren’t going as planned and the political drama is hotter than ever. It was starting to seem like 2020 all over again.

But it is different. On Jan. 5 the 10-year Treasury yield broke 1%, and on, Jan. 6, the 10-year remained above that line in the sand even with the storming of Capitol Hill. America’s fight against COVID-19 still presses on, but we do see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

This 10-year yield milestone is important to keep in mind when we look at the housing data in the coming months. The housing data in late 2020 went parabolic by some measures and now it should moderate to a normal trend. But unless we see noticeable hits on forward-looking indicators of demand, like the MBA purchase applications, we shouldn’t interpret the moderation of housing sales metrics as anything other than going back to trend. 

When tracking MBA purchase application data as a means of determining demand in the marketplace, my usual recommendation would be to only consider the year-over-year data from the second week of January to the first week of May. The data from this period provides an excellent snapshot of the market as a whole for the year. At least, this would be true if last year could be considered a “normal” year for the market, except is wasn’t.

Since 2020 was by no measures typical, including for the housing market, I provide here some considerations to take into account when interpreting the year-over-year purchase application data for 2021 that take into account how significant the effect of the COVID crisis was to this metric.

First, when considering the purchase application data for the first 2.5 months (approximately) of 2021, remember that 2020 started off strong.  Last year we had year-over-year growth of around 10% in purchase applications each week up until March 18. We did not have growth like this in 2018 or 2019. This was the first real breakout sales data in housing we had seen in a long time, as the February existing home sales report came in at 5,760,000. 

For 31 straight weeks, from the end of May to before Christmas, purchase applications were trending at over 20% growth year over year. This strong growth was due to demand that was stalled during the nine weeks in 2020 when purchase applications went negative year over year. In other words, this was make-up demand and we can’t expect this trend to continue. I don’t believe that when the data normalizes we will see 20% growth trends.

But, if the early part of 2021 we can see 1%- 11% growth in purchase applications, year over year, that would seem correct to me. Above 12% growth early in the year just means that we are still making up for the lost demand we saw last year, something that I have been talking about for many months now.

Tuesday’s purchase application data showed 3% year-over-year growth, but I wouldn’t read too much into that due to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Second, when considering the purchase application data in 2021 for the period after March 18, realize that we are going to see enormous year-over-year growth, especially during the first five weeks of this period. 2020 purchase application data took a waterfall dive during this period due to the shutdown mandates that were imposed in many communities and the simple fear of the virus and what it would do to our economy.

Remember we were hoarding toilet paper and water back then. Some analysts may try to position this year-over-year growth in 2021 as a boom. It is not. Even if purchase application data went down 10% year over year, we will show over 20% year-over-year growth for some of these weeks. Just take that into consideration during that nine-week time period. 

Third, when considering the purchase application data for the period of 2021 past the nine negative weeks of 2020 to the end of the year, note that the 2020 comparisons will likely have harder than normal comps all the way to Christmas week. So, yes, we need to know this now so if we see weaker year-over-year data during the second half we have some context to go with the data. 

The last thing to keep in mind for all of 2021, is that the “too-hot” demand we have had going into 2021 will moderate as that was more of function of make-up demand after the drop in housing data due to COVID-19. This should be expected by everyone. Don’t be like the housing bubble crash boys who, for the last eight years, have taken every soft number (even if the metric was positive year over year) as evidence for their narrative that the housing market is on the verge of a 30%-50% price crash in a calendar year. 

Remember, this merry band of forbearance crash bros are professional grifters, not economic data people. I have already seen some of these terrible takes on the recent housing data. 

For 2021, I expect existing home sales to have some prints roughly around 6.2 million once the data moderates to a trend. Remember, existing home sales ended the year 2019 at 5.3 million. The February existing home sales data in 2020 showed that if we don’t complete the year at 5,710,000 to 5,840,000 in sales, then COVID-19 not only delayed demand  but also erased some of it last year. This will be made up in 2021.

The move from 2019-2020 is a noticeable jump in sales, if assuming we had 5,840,000 existing home sales in 2020, then that to me would be the biggest nominal jump in sales year over year during years 2020 -2024. This is due to the fact that 2019 sales were flat at 5.3 million, so we had a low bar to work with, not an overheating home sales marketplace, as the chart below shows.

At some point in the future, the data will moderate enough to get a better trend going. Remember, the big theme here is steady, replacement demographic built-in demand while mortgage rates are this low. More information on that can be found in a podcast interview I did recently with HousingWire.

The post For 2021 housing data, context is key appeared first on HousingWire.



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Acra Lending, one of the largest independent non-QM specialty finance lenders, has added to its suite of mortgage loan programs with the launch of its Jumbo Prime mortgage solution. Acra designed the program as an extension to its suite of programs for purchase or refinance of higher valued properties.

“This specific program has been developed to meet the needs of customers in today’s environment and was launched to provide borrowers with the larger loan amounts they need to purchase or refinance a high value property,” said Keith Lind, Acra Lending executive chairman and president. “With this addition, Acra is once again demonstrating its commitment to identifying, responding to and anticipating the needs of borrowers across the market while maintaining the high standards of responsible lending that are the foundation of our business.”

The new Jumbo Prime mortgage program features LTVs up to 90% with loan amounts up to $3 million. The program comes at a time when jumbo mortgages are harder to access for borrowers due to ongoing economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

“We continue to focus on building on our track record of leadership in the non-QM space by developing programs that are at the forefront of the industry,” Acra Lending CEO Kyle Gunderlock said. “The program will allow our network of industry professional access to a solution for their clients who are looking to buy or refinance high value primary homes, second homes and investment properties.”

To find out more about this program and Acra’s suite of mortgage lending options for mortgage professionals, visit the company’s new website at acralending.com

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Mortgage applications dropped 4.2% from two weeks prior, according to the latest report by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage rates continued 2020’s trend at historically low figures, with the 30-year fixed rate at 2.86% and the 15-year fixed rate at a survey low of 2.40%, according to Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry Forecasting.

But mortgage applications dropped during the week ending Jan. 1 – an annual occurrence during the holiday season. That should change as the year progresses, Kan said.

“The steady demand for home buying throughout most of 2020 should continue in 2021,” he said. “MBA is forecasting for purchase originations to rise to $1.59 trillion this year, which would be an all-time high.”

The unadjusted index decreased 33% from two weeks ago, and the holiday adjusted refinance index decreased 6%.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index also decreased 0.8% from two weeks ago.

The FHA share of total mortgage applications remained unchanged from 10.1% the week prior. The VA share of total mortgage applications increased to 13.6% from 12.1% the week prior.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of this week’s mortgage application data:

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 2.86% from 2.9%
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) decreased to 3.08% from 3.09%
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 2.90% from 2.95%
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to a survey-low 2.40% from 2.42%
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.63% from 2.57%

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