Mortgage Bankers Association

The 50 Altered States Of American Housing

“I think we can let go of the idea that if builders build more homes, then somehow homes overall will be more affordable... We have a permanent housing inflation problem that started four decades ago and will not be easily cured by dithering with the inventory of larger homes.”

So You Didn't Get Rich...

Waa! It’s not fair! We baby boomers were told that if we worked hard and saved, we could spend the last quarter of our lives living comfortably and free from financial worries. Our parents told us. Our employers told us. Even the government told us. But now that we are reaching retirement age, the promise is beginning to feel like a fraud.

Frontrunning: March 1

  • Trump, Clinton poised for big wins on Super Tuesday (Reuters)
  • U.S. Index Futures Signal Equities to Rebound After Monthly Drop (BBG)
  • Barclays Plummets as Bank Slashes Dividend in Plan to Shrink (BBG)
  • Glencore Tumbles to Loss, Promises Accelerated Debt Reduction (WSJ)
  • The Angry Americans: Trump, Sanders and the Aftershocks of 2008 (BBG)

There Is Officially No Difference Between Jeb And Hillary, Whose Biggest Donors Are The Same

What many have tacitly known for a long time was finally confirmed overnight when an analysis of Federal Election Commission data by Vocativ and The Daily Beast found that of the 60 or so ultra-rich Americans - aka the mega-donors - who have contributed to both Jeb Bush’s and Hillary Clinton’s federal campaigns, seventeen of those contributors have gone one step further and opened their wallets to fund both Bush’s and Clinton’s 2016 ambitions.

Forget First-Time Homebuyers, It's A Million-Dollar Mortgage World

As home sales drop and home prices surge, the shifting sands of the housing market are accelerating in a seemingly inequality-expanding manner. As first-time homebuyers struggle to qualify for mortgages in a market that’s shrinking after the housing collapse, Bloomberg reports that lenders are providing more multi-million dollar loans to Americans who (in their opinion) pose less risk. Home loans from $1-5 million were the fastest growing part of the jumbo market in January with the number of loans surging to the highest since 2007.

Daughter Of Mortgage Bankers Association CEO Has Lost Faith In American Homeownership Dream

"The world has changed," explains the 27-year old daughter of David Stevens - CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Despite her father's constant 30-year pitch of the merits of homeownership - and knowing full well that rates are low, rents are high, and owning a home 'builds wealth' - Sara Stevens is not buying. After watching "cousins and other family members go through pretty tough situations in 2008 and 2009," her skepticism is broad-based as Bloomberg reports, t’s more than the weight of student loans, an iffy job market and tight credit -- even those who can buy are hesitant. As Bloomberg so eloquently concludes, when even the cheerleader-in-chief for housing can’t get a rah-rah out of his daughter, you know this time is different.

Mortgage Companies Face "Tremendously Difficult" Year As Housing Recovery Crumbles

The topic of the false recovery in the US housing market has seldom been far from these pages but it seems both the mainstream media and the actual businesses on the ground are seeing that extrapolating dead-cat-bounces and easy-money bubbles (once again) ends in tears. As WSJ reports, mortgage lending declined to the lowest level in 14 years in the first quarter as homeowners pulled back sharply from refinancing and house hunters showed little appetite for new loans, the latest sign of how rising interest rates have dented the housing recovery. The decline shows how the mortgage market is experiencing its largest shift in more than a decade as an era of generally falling interest rates that began in 2000 appears to have run its course... and the marginal potential refinancer has hit their limit.

"Are The Bubbles Back?" - Live Feed

"Either way you look at it, it's time for the Fed to stop inflating housing assets, and stop buying mortgages" is how Alex Pollock introduces the following live streamed event by AEI. With speakers such as Chris Whalen we suspect, as the moderator explains, they will explain why "financial markets never seem to grow smarter when it comes to real estate."

The Housing Recovery Myth In New York And New Jersey Ends With A Bang As Foreclosures Surge

It was about a year ago when we noted a core component of the US housing non-recovery: the time to sell foreclosed homes had just hit a record of 400 days across the nation. Fast forward to today when even the last traces of the lie that sustained the housing recovery myth are being swept away, and we get the following article from Bloomberg titled "Foreclosures Surging in New York-New Jersey Market."  The good news (according to some): thousands of people could live mortgage free for years until the bank delays obtaining the keys to the foreclosed property. This was money which instead of going to the mortgage owner, would instead go to buy Made in China trinkets and gizmos and otherwise keep the US retail party humming. Which brings us to the bad news: the party - retail and otherwise - is ending, as courts and banks finally catch up with inventory levels on both sides of the foreclosure pipeline, and those who lived for years without spending a dollar for the roof above their head are suddenly forced to move out and allocated the major portion of their disposable income toward rent.

Citi Warns "Housing Sentiment Got Carried Away"

The divergence between the NAHB index and other housing indicators has continued to suggest that sentiment was “getting ahead of itself" and as Citi's Tom Fitzpatrick warns would suggest that the qualitative nature of the overall housing recovery is less robust than one would like.  Housing should pause/consolidate possibly even for most of this year as the weather argument that is trotted out by so many commentators does not seem to hold up to even a basic examination with the worst data coming from the West Coast. Simply put, Citi warns, we think housing sentiment got carried away as it did into 1994 and 1998 post the housing/savings and loan crisis of 1989-1991.