Freddie Mac announced Wednesday the creation of new leadership roles in order to address equity in housing in single- and multifamily housing businesses.

Pamela_Perry headshot
Pamela Perry

Freddie Mac appointed Pamela Perry as vice president of single-family equitable housing, and Amanda Nunnink as vice president of equity in multifamily housing.

Perry will lead a newly formed team responsible for creating solutions to help minority families across the income spectrum achieve homeownership.

“With this new position, we are bringing a dedicated and distinct focus to address some of the most systemic issues we face in homeownership and wealth in communities of color,” said Donna Corley, Freddie Mac executive vice president and head of single-family business. “Pam brings the experience, passion and strategic leadership required to deliver on Freddie Mac’s mission to make home possible for all Americans.”

Perry brings 25 years of legal experience in the financial services industry, with expertise in fair housing and community development. Perry joined Freddie Mac in 2011 to oversee the company’s fair lending program. She previously advised on solutions for complex corporate finance transactions with firms such as JPMorgan Chase.

“I’m humbled to have the opportunity to bring an even greater focus to the solutions that address the complex issues communities of color face in attaining and sustaining homeownership,” Perry said. “Black Americans face a significant number of barriers to owning a home, many of which can be traced to discrimination and disparities in access to credit. These challenges ultimately contribute to the widening wealth gap we see today. I am proud to be part of a company committed to taking on these important issues and I’m excited to get to work.”

Nunnink_Amanda_preferred
Amanda Nunnink

Nunnink will lead efforts to create improvements for renters and the rental housing industry and work across multifamily to elevate diversity, equity and inclusion principles throughout the division. The company said Nunnink, who brings nearly a decade of experience working with Freddie Mac’s Optigo network, will leverage her relationships with investors, lenders and borrowers to drive industry-wide outcomes.

“At Freddie Mac, we are taking active steps to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in every corner of our business,” said Debby Jenkins, Freddie Mac executive vice president and head of multifamily business. “Amanda’s new role demonstrates Freddie Mac’s clear commitment to support sustainable improvements for the multifamily industry and for renters in the broader financial and housing system.”

Nunnink joined Freddie Mac in 2012 in production and sales where she led the development of several of Freddie Mac Multifamily’s more innovative offerings. Before that, Nunnink held various production roles for banks and investment groups. While she assumes her new role, Nunnink will also continue most of her duties as vice president of multifamily investor relations.

“From investors and lenders to borrowers and renters, we are developing a comprehensive and actionable strategy to foster equitable outcomes for renters from all communities,” Nunnink said. “I am honored to serve in this capacity, which will allow us to look deeper into our mission and use our platform to create change.”

Although the pandemic has created many uncertainties when it comes to homeownership and the economy overall, in its latest forecast, Freddie Mac forecasted that the current low mortgage interest rate environment is projected to continue with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging below 3% through the end of 2021.

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Freddie Mac announced Wednesday the creation of new leadership roles in order to address housing equality in single- and multifamily housing businesses.

Pamela_Perry headshot
Pamela Perry

Freddie Mac appointed Pamela Perry as vice president of single-family equitable housing, and Amanda Nunnink as vice president of equity in multifamily housing.

Perry will lead a newly formed team responsible for creating solutions to help minority families across the income spectrum achieve homeownership.

“With this new position, we are bringing a dedicated and distinct focus to address some of the most systemic issues we face in homeownership and wealth in communities of color,” said Donna Corley, Freddie Mac executive vice president and head of single-family business. “Pam brings the experience, passion and strategic leadership required to deliver on Freddie Mac’s mission to make home possible for all Americans.”

Perry brings 25 years of legal experience in the financial services industry, with expertise in fair housing and community development. Perry joined Freddie Mac in 2011 to oversee the company’s fair lending program. She previously advised on solutions for complex corporate finance transactions with firms such as JPMorgan Chase.

“I’m humbled to have the opportunity to bring an even greater focus to the solutions that address the complex issues communities of color face in attaining and sustaining homeownership,” Perry said. “Black Americans face a significant number of barriers to owning a home, many of which can be traced to discrimination and disparities in access to credit. These challenges ultimately contribute to the widening wealth gap we see today. I am proud to be part of a company committed to taking on these important issues and I’m excited to get to work.”

Nunnink_Amanda_preferred
Amanda Nunnink

Nunnink will lead efforts to create improvements for renters and the rental housing industry and work across multifamily to elevate diversity, equity and inclusion principles throughout the division. The company said Nunnink, who brings nearly a decade of experience working with Freddie Mac’s Optigo network, will leverage her relationships with investors, lenders and borrowers to drive industry-wide outcomes.

“At Freddie Mac, we are taking active steps to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in every corner of our business,” said Debby Jenkins, Freddie Mac executive vice president and head of multifamily business. “Amanda’s new role demonstrates Freddie Mac’s clear commitment to support sustainable improvements for the multifamily industry and for renters in the broader financial and housing system.”

Nunnink joined Freddie Mac in 2012 in production and sales where she led the development of several of Freddie Mac Multifamily’s more innovative offerings. Before that, Nunnink held various production roles for banks and investment groups. While she assumes her new role, Nunnink will also continue most of her duties as vice president of multifamily investor relations.

“From investors and lenders to borrowers and renters, we are developing a comprehensive and actionable strategy to foster equitable outcomes for renters from all communities,” Nunnink said. “I am honored to serve in this capacity, which will allow us to look deeper into our mission and use our platform to create change.”

Although the pandemic has created many uncertainties when it comes to homeownership and the economy overall, in its latest forecast, Freddie Mac forecasted that the current low mortgage interest rate environment is projected to continue with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging below 3% through the end of 2021.

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The seesaw nature of mortgage applications continued for the week ending Feb. 5, as applications decreased 4.1% from the prior week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Applications were up 8.5% the week ending Jan. 29 – breaking a two-week stretch of decreases – before falling again last week.

Mortgage rates have increased in four of the six weeks of 2021, according to Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, which could be causing the dip in applications.

“Jumbo rates [were] the only loan type that saw a decline last week,” Kan said. “Despite some weekly volatility, Treasury rates have been driven higher by expectations of faster economic growth as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues.”

The refinance index decreased 4% from the previous week but was still 46% higher year-over-year. The seasonally adjusted purchase index also decreased from one week earlier – down 5% – though the unadjusted purchase Index increased 2% compared with the prior week and was 17% higher than the same week in 2020.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 2.96% – a high not seen since November 2020, Kan said. This has led to an uptick in refinancing, he said.

“Government refinance applications did buck the trend and increase, and overall activity was still 46% higher than a year ago,” he said. “Demand for refinances is still very strong this winter. Homebuyers are still very active.”

The higher-priced segment of the market continues to perform well, Kan said, with the average purchase loan sizes increasing to a survey-high of $402,200.

The FHA share of total mortgage applications increased to 9.5% from 9.1% the week prior. The VA share of total mortgage applications increased to 13.3% 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 ($548,250 or less) increased to 2.96% from 2.92%
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) decreased to 3.11% from 3.12% – the third week in a row of decreases
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.97% from 2.94%
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.50% from 2.44%
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.92% from 2.88%

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When you go to buy a home, your mortgage lender will almost always order a home appraisal.

The purpose? They want to verify the home’s worth. Specifically, they want to be sure it’s worth the money they’re lending you and, most importantly, that they’ll recoup their investment if you default on the loan. Put simply, it’s a risk-mitigating measure.

But what does it mean for you as the buyer? Well, there are two scenarios you could find yourself in.

Scenario 1: Your home appraises at your full offer price

Many times, the home appraisal goes off without a hitch. You make an offer on your dream home, and the appraiser verifies the property is worth what you offered (or more). 

In this situation, your lender approves your loan amount without much hassle.

Scenario 2: Your home appraisal comes in low

Other times, the appraisal may come in low, and you could end up with a home appraisal gap — a discrepancy between your offer on the home and what the property is actually worth. 

When this happens, your lender will only loan you up to the appraised value.

This leaves you with three options if you want to move forward with the sale. First, you can make up the difference in cash. If it’s only a few thousand dollars and you’ve got a flush savings account, this might be doable. If not, you have two other options.

Your next move would be to renegotiate with the seller. There’s a chance they may be willing to accept a lower offer on the home — especially if they’ve already moved out, bought another property or it’s a buyer’s market and there’s little demand for the property. Your real estate agent can help if you decide to go this route. You can also:

  1. Offer to split the difference.
  2. Ask for seller concessions to make up for the increased price.
  3. Offer free lease-back, letting them stay in the home while they find their new place.
  4. Change your closing date to a more convenient one for the seller.

Finally, you can also back out of the deal entirely. If you had an appraisal contingency in your sales contract, you could do this without any sort of penalty. If you didn’t have the contingency, you’d have to forfeit your earnest money deposit in order to back out.

One more option

If you have an appraisal gap, there is a fourth, typically less successful path you can take, too. In this one, you’ll either challenge the home appraisal or request a new one.

To challenge the home appraisal, you’d need at least a handful of comparable sales from the area — ones that prove local homes are selling for about what you offered. Your agent can help pull these for you. Just remember, the closer the comps are to your home’s size, style, condition, and offer price, the better.

You can also request a new appraisal from your lender, but you’ll need to pay for it out of pocket. These usually cost upward of $300. Some lenders may not grant this request, so make sure you have a back-up option.

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Venture capital-backed real estate technology firm Matterport will merge with a blank-check company and go public in a deal that values the startup at $2.3 billion.

Matterport, a spatial data firm that makes software for virtual property tours, will merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by billionaire investor Alec Gores.

“We believe the proposed transaction with Gores Holdings VI unlocks the potential of our platform and accelerates our mission to make every building and every space more valuable and accessible,” Matterport CEO RJ Pittman said in a statement.

“Our deep industry experience and proven track record have made Matterport the platform of choice to digitize millions of buildings across diverse industries and markets,” Pittman added. “Building on this momentum, we are scaling all aspects of our business to transform the $230 trillion built world.”

The companies will raise roughly $295 million from investors including Tiger Global Management, Senator Investment Group, Dragoneer Investment Group and Fidelity Management & Research Co. and accounts managed by Blackstone Group. The blank-check company Gores VI will also provide Matterport with $345 million in cash it previously raised.

In all, the combined firm will have an equity value of $2.9 billion and an enterprise value of $2.3 billion. The merger and listing is slated for the second quarter of 2021. The company will trade on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “MTTR.”

Bloomberg first reported the news.

Matterport, which has raised $114 million in venture-capital money since its founding in 2011, has seen a dramatic rise in usage since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm reported a 500% increase in its subscriber base in 2020. It claims to have more than 10 billion square feet of space in its spatial data library across millions of buildings in over 150 countries.

Matterport stockholders will roll all their equity over and the existing management team will remain in charge.

The statement indicates stockholders will hold roughly 75% of the combined company. Matterport had revenue of $85.9 million in 2020, up 87% year over year, according to the statement.

The Matterport deal represents the seventh SPAC merger for Gores, and second real estate-related independent public offering.

Last month, his Gores Group IV merged with United Wholesale Mortgage in a deal that valued the wholesale mortgage lender at $16.1 billion.

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Mega Capital Funding just became the latest company to re-enter the non-Qualified Mortgage space with the launch of several new product lines.

Its new “Mega Elite” non-QM and debt service coverage ratio product lineup includes alternative income documentation products such as its three- and 12-month bank statement products, CPA and borrower prepared P&L and asset utilization, and its investment properties debt service coverage ratio with 1:1 and no ratio options.

According to the rate sheets, through its “Elite Non-QM” product, Mega Capital has loans between $250,000 and $2 million, with a max debt-to-income ration of 50%. The max LTV is 70% for purchase and 65% for refi.

The offering team will be led by Mega Captial Funding CEO Brian Na as well as non-QM veterans Rikki Danganan and Will Fisher.

“With our initial proprietary product offering we’ve set out to focus on a specific segment of non-QM, that will allow our brokers to provide enhanced solutions and our capital partners to achieve their yield goals,” Na said.


Non-QM lending is poised for growth in 2021

HousingWire recently spoke with Mike Fierman, managing partner and co-CEO of Angel Oak, about the non-QM lending outlook for 2021 and how Angel Oak’s “originate to hold” model benefits originators.

Presented by: Angel Oak

Back in March, Mega Capital Funding became one of many mortgage lenders that ceased all non-QM operations.

The company sent out a message to brokers that stated: “Due to retractions in the financial markets as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the uncertainty in the non-QM space, MCDI will suspend funding on any and all of our non-QM and non-QM related products. This includes registering, locking or pre-locking loans. Any loan with docs signed, we will fund. Any loan without signed docs will be suspended for the foreseeable future or until market stability returns.”

Now, many investors are once again returning to the non-QM space. Mike Fierman, Angel Oak managing partner and co-CEO, recently told HousingWire he expects the non-QM market in 2021 to grow quickly as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

He noted that, in a normal year, a healthy non-QM market should report approximately $300 billion in originations per annum. In 2020, Fierman said, non-QM origination totaled around $18 billion, so there is plenty of room for growth.

And in addition to an apparent increase in appetite for non-QM on the investor front, there is also room for significantly more risk in the market overall.

The Housing Finance Policy Center’s latest credit availability index shows that mortgage credit availability was just under 5% in the third quarter of 2020, down from 5.1% in the second quarter of 2020 and the lowest it has been since the introduction of the index.

Overall, credit availability in the mortgage market continues to loosen. Mortgage credit availability increased in January, according to the Mortgage Credit Availability index from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MCAI increased by 2% to 124.6 in January. 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 growth in credit availability in January coincides with a housing market that is poised for a strong start to the year,” said Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Improvements were driven by the conventional segment of the mortgage market, as lenders added ARM loans with lower credit score and higher LTV requirements. Despite ARM loans accounting for a very small share of loan applications in recent months, lenders are likely looking ahead to a strong home buying season by expanding their product offerings.”

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Demand for second and vacation homes has risen 84% year over year – more than double the demand for a primary home, according to a new report from Redfin.

That follows a startling trend of high vacation home demand, continuing an eight-month streak of more than 80% and includes a peak of 118% year-over-year in September 2020.

Redfin Economist Taylor Marr said the popularity of vacation homes is indicative of the rise in remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic. More families are spending time outdoors, and those that can afford it are opting to move to less-crowded parts of the country.

Others, Marr said, are choosing to spend as much time as possible during the pandemic at vacation destinations, or “seasonal towns” – even for work.

“The popularity of vacation towns is not a fad,” Marr said. “Many Americans have realized remote work is here to stay, allowing some fortunate people to work from a lakefront cabin or ski condo indefinitely.


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A seasonal town is defined by Redin as an area where more than 30% of housing is used for seasonal or recreational purposes. The median sale price for homes in seasonal towns rose 19% year over year in December to $408,000.

Agents began reporting bidding wars for luxury and second homes as early as last summer. July showings in Summit County, Colorado, for example, were up 92% year-over-year. Summit County includes popular tourist and vacation destinations Breckenridge and Keystone. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, became a popular summer destination as well, with 46% of homes listed above $1.5 million receiving bids in the summer.

Seasonal town popularity continued into the third quarter of 2020, when some of the country’s popular vacation areas began reporting staggeringly high year-over-year increases in population. Home sales in the Hamptons shot up 51% in the third quarter; contracts for homes in Palm Beach rose 62%; and skiing destinations like Aspen, Colorado saw an uptick in children’s school enrollments.

But the exodus to vacation towns and second homes by affluent Americans has, however, shined a light on the hardships being felt by lower-income families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these families continue to suffer financially while many high earners benefit from skyrocketing home values and well-performing stock portfolios, Marr said.

“It’s representative of the K-shaped economic recovery from the pandemic-driven recession,” Marr said. “Many well-off remote workers are able to follow their dreams and purchase second homes, but it has become even more difficult for many lower-income people to buy a primary residence as home values rise and the recession disproportionately impacts employees in the service sector.”

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After pushing back its initial public offering a week, loanDepot looks poised to tap the public markets at a $6.2 billion valuation later this week.

The multi-channel mortgage lender hopes to raise $300 million by pricing its shares between $19 and $21. If all goes according to plan, loanDepot would command a valuation of $6.2 billion.

Though $6.2 billion is a healthy number, it’s a far cry from the figure loanDepot floated when it first made noise about an IPO in the fall. At the time, loanDepot was seeking a valuation of between $12 billion and $15 billion, Bloomberg previously reported.

Its founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh in September even compared loanDepot to Rocket Companies, which went public in August at a market cap of roughly $36 billion.

”We are the Lyft to their Uber,” Hsieh said. “The momentum for non-bank lending is here to stay. We’re here to fuel the American dream.”


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According to figures from Inside Mortgage Finance, California-based loanDepot originated about $100 billion worth of residential mortgages in 2020. That production made loanDepot the seventh-largest lender in America last year.

The company generated $1.47 billion in net income in the nine months through September 30, blowing away any prior record many times over.

“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 11 years ago. But, from my vantage point, much feels the same.”

LoanDepot, backed by private equity firm Parthenon Capital Partners, first announced plans to go public in September 2015, but canceled the IPO hours before pricing due to what the company called adverse “market conditions.” At the time, LoanDepot had sought a valuation of $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion. In 2017, the company revived plans for an IPO but didn’t take the plunge.

Its foray into the public markets follows that of several rivals, including the aforementioned Rocket Companies as well as wholesale-only lenders United Wholesale Mortgage and Homepoint.

“While the company is fast growing and profitable, [loanDepot] operates in a highly cyclical industry, and recent IPOs of mortgage lenders have had lackluster receptions,” Renaissance Capital said of loanDepot.

In terms of channel mix, loanDepot most closely resembles Rocket. In its S-1, loanDepot touts its entrepreneurial ethos and its technology platform, called “mello.” And like Rocket, loanDepot has spent over $1.2 billion in marketing and promotion of its brand.

In its prospectus, loanDepot talks at length about its partner business, which includes third-party-originations via mortgage brokers and real estate agents, as well as joint-ventures with builders and other referral partners. But it concedes that its retail strategy is more fully baked. LoanDepot originated 72% of the company’s loans in 2019 via its 2,000-member strong retail channel, and 28% through its partner network.

“We are a data-driven company. We utilize data from lead acquisition, digital marketing, in-market relationships, and our servicing portfolio to identify and acquire new customers and retain our existing customers,” the firm said in its S-1.

“During the last 12 months, we have analyzed, enriched, and optimized more than 9 million customer leads with a deep understanding of each potential customer’s financial profile and needs. We also maintain mello DataMart, an extensive proprietary data warehouse of over 38 million contacts generated over our ten-year history. Our predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence drive optimized lead performance,” the S-1 stated.

The data-driven approach has led to big direct-to-consumer conversions, the company said in its prospectus.

“We have nearly doubled our consumer direct conversion rates year-over-year for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and our customer acquisition cost declined by 52% to $767 for the three months ended September 30, 2020 from $1,585 for the year ended December 31, 2017. Additionally, our customer acquisition cost declined by 33% to $890 for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 from $1,323 for the nine months ended September 30, 2019.”

LoanDepot, which now has over 10,000 employees, could begin trading on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “LDI,” according to Renaissance Capital.

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In 2021, a lingering symptom of the economic sickness we suffered in 2020 is forbearance. Not the forbearance plans themselves, which allowed mortgage holders to delay their payments for many months, but the fact that 2.72 million homes remain in forbearance and can therefore be considered at risk.

Forbearance will have to end at some point, and when it does, couldn’t all these homes flood the marketplace at once, driving prices down and scaring would-be homeowners away from purchasing? 

We know the current status of the housing market in America is vigorous, if not hot. The MBA purchase application data is growing at a trend of 12% year over year. This growth is 1% higher than the peak of what I forecasted for 2021, up until March 18.

So while the housing bubble bears predicted a crash in the market due to the COVID crisis, the exact opposite is happening. Home price growth is accelerating above my comfort zone for nominal home price growth, which is 4.6% or lower. As I have written many times, the housing market’s current strength is not because of COVID-19, but despite it.  Demographics plus low mortgage rates serve as the one-two punch that knocked out COVID-19.

In 2018/2019, when mortgage rates got to 5%, all it did was cool down price gains in the existing home market. Real home prices went negative year over year, which I wrote back then was very healthy and what the housing market needed.


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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.

Presented by: PropStream

Today, inventory levels are at all-time lows, and the purchase application data index is above 300. This means home price growth is getting too hot! Just look at the difference 2020 brought into the data lines.

The question remains: will all this strength in the housing market dampen or erase the risk of having all those homes in forbearance once forbearance ends? Here are three reasons you don’t have to worry.

First, the latest chart from BlackKnight shows us that the number of homes in forbearance has been decreasing. We are well off the peak. I expect this number to decline as our employment picture improves; however, there will be a lag period for this data line to show more improvement. 

Second, and this is critical to the story, homeowners’ credit profiles, when they originated their loans, were excellent. The previous expansion had the best loan profiles I have seen in my life. These buyers, especially those who purchased from 2010-2017, have fixed low debt costs due to low mortgage rates, with rising wages and nested equity. As home prices continue to grow beyond expectations, these homeowners have added another year of gains to their nested equity.

In this way, the current housing backdrop is unlike the housing credit bubble years when loan profiles weren’t healthy, and we had a debt leverage speculative market. Last year, I wrote about the forbearance crash bros to outline their problems with their crash thesis. Here is a link to one of those articles.

And the third reason we don’t have to worry about a crash when forbearance ends is J.O.B.S.!

The primary reason I believe the crash thesis of the housing bubble boys turned forbearance crash bros will fail is that jobs are coming back. The employment gains started last year and have continued.  We have gained 12,470,000 jobs – and that was not in the forecast of the housing bubble boys.

The February 2020 nonfarm payroll data, which accounts for most workers, had roughly 152,523,000 employed workers. We got as low as 130,161,000 employed workers during the Covid crisis peak and are now back to 142,631,000. We are still short 9,892,000 jobs, which is more than the jobs lost during the great financial crisis.

Sadly, but to be expected, the last two jobs report combined were negative. We will not get back to the employment level we had in February 2020 while COVID-19 is with us, which prevents some sectors from operating at full capacity.  So job growth remains limited until we get more Americans vaccinated.    

Think of this period as the calm before the job storm

And the job storm is coming. We are vaccinating people faster every week that goes by. We just need time, and then all the lost jobs will come back and then some. Even those 3.5 million permanent jobs lost will be replaced.

This isn’t 2008 all over again. That recovery was slow, but today our demographics are better, and our household balance sheets are healthier. The fiscal and monetary assistance now is hugely improved from what we saw after 2008. We have everything we need to get America back to February 2020 jobs levels; we just need time.

I am convinced that the number of homes under forbearance will fall as more people gain employment. Expect the forbearance data to lag the jobs data, but they will eventually coincide. 

Disaster relief is coming, and then when we can walk the earth freely, look for the government to do a stimulus package to push the economy along. By Aug. 31, 2021, we will have a much different conversation about the state of U.S. economics. Hopefully, by then, the 10-year yield will have hit 1.33% and higher. Wait for it!

If the jobs data continues to worsen and we decide it is too expensive to help our American citizens in this crisis, we will likely see an uptick in distress sales and forced selling, but we still would not see a bubble crash in home prices. It may suppress home price growth, but that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing since my most significant concern in housing is that home prices are growing too fast.  I recently talked about it on Bloomberg Financial. 

If we are battling COVID-19 as war, would we leave any American behind? Imagine during wartime if we were told to build our tanks, rifles, and gear to fight the war without government assistance. The government can do certain things that the private sector can’t. Without COVID-19, we would still be enjoying the most prolonged economic and jobs expansion in history and have debates about what constitutes full employment. But it happened, and we have the power to leave no American behind once again.

Think about that next time you see someone hawking a housing bubble crash thesis. All the jobs will come back in time, and we will all be walking in the sun again without a mask. Until then, we need to support government programs, like disaster relief and programs that help homeowners in forbearance get out of it, and help renters too. Let’s not leave any American behind in this war against COVID-19.

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HW+ Mat Ishbia

Weeks before United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) went public in a SPAC deal that valued the lender at $16.1 billion, its president and CEO Mat Ishbia said observers shouldn’t expect a different United Wholesale Mortgage or a different Mat. He proved it in his first earnings call.

On Thursday morning, Ishbia, in his characteristic fast-talking bravado, bragged about the wholesaler’s position as the biggest purchase lender in the market, cautioned that they’ve prioritized the long game over short-term profits, teased new technology offerings to come in 2021, outlined scenarios in which UWM dominates when interest rates rise, laughed about how other lenders take 54 days to close a loan when he does it in 18, and repeatedly told investors that his company’s strategy was far superior to that of its arch-rival, Rocket Mortgage.

The numbers for the fourth quarter were indeed impressive – $54.7 billion in originations, $1.33 billion in income, margins at a very healthy 305 basis points. In fact, UWM originated more than $182 billion in mortgages in 2020, generating about $3.37 billion in profits. Incredible numbers.

Ishbia told analysts that the company doesn’t see originations or margins normalizing in 2021, giving the firm another year of big profits and further investment in technology.

And yet, despite those eye-popping numbers and proclamations to reinvest in the company, UWM’s stock fell about 10%.

HousingWire took a closer look at how UWM plans to grow market share, who it intends to steal it from, the larger question of mortgage cyclicality, and why Ishbia thinks Rocket Mortgage’s strategy is ultimately flawed.

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