Category Archives: Mortgage Banking

Discounting Your Mortgage Rates ? BEWARE

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The Many Ways to Be Relieved of Your Timeshare Obligations While it is true that a timeshare contract is a binding legal document, it is often mistakenly thought that such a contract cannot only be cancelled. In fact, most timeshare companies maintain that their contracts are non – cancellable. This misconception is perpetuated by timeshare companies and user groups that are funded, maintained and controlled by the timeshare industry.

Straight Up with Jocelyn Predovich: The Truth about FHA 203k Loans The FHA 203k loan program provides home buyers the opportunity to buy and fix up a property, without exhausting their personal savings.

Citigroup may face sanctions after it failed to offer mortgage discounts to minority customers despite offering the discounts to many other borrowers, a possible breach of fair-lending standards, according to a report by Reuters.

Three people familiar with the regulatory examination told Reuters that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is mulling a penalty against the company. In case of a finding of wrongdoing, the OCC may impose a fine or place the company under tighter oversight, among other sanctions.

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According to the sources, Citigroup self-reported the “relationship pricing” issues to the OCC after it was uncovered in the company’s review of its compliance with fair-lending standards. Citigroup’s program allows a half-percentage point off the interest rates for customers with $1 million in deposits or investments. Some minority borrowers were not offered those discounts.

Citigroup told the regulator that the pricing discrepancies were inadvertent and that it had acted to resolve the problem, according to Reuters’ sources.

Drew Benson, a spokesman for the company, acknowledged the pricing issues. However, he said Citigroup believes it did not engage in discrimination or violate fair-lending laws.

“In 2014, Citi self-identified errors implementing its relationship pricing program which affected a small percentage of our mortgage customers,” Benson said in a statement provided to Reuters. “We conducted a comprehensive review, reimbursed affected customers, and have strengthened our processes and controls to help ensure correct implementation going forward.”

Source:https://www.mpamag.com/news/regulator-weighs-fairlending-sanctions-against-citigroup-over-mortgage-discounts–sources-113720.aspx

The Latest Developments on the Loan Originator Compensation Rules

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The Many Ways to Be Relieved of Your Timeshare Obligations While it is true that a timeshare contract is a binding legal document, it is often mistakenly thought that such a contract cannot only be cancelled. In fact, most timeshare companies maintain that their contracts are non – cancellable. This misconception is perpetuated by timeshare companies and user groups that are funded, maintained and controlled by the timeshare industry.

Straight Up with Jocelyn Predovich: The Truth about FHA 203k Loans The FHA 203k loan program provides home buyers the opportunity to buy and fix up a property, without exhausting their personal savings.

Trade associations and cooperatives in the mortgage industry have called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to update its Loan Originator Compensation rule, saying changes to the rule should be prioritized to help consumers and reduce regulatory burden.

The rule seeks to protect consumers from harms associated with “steering,” such as when borrowers agree to a loan they do not understand and cannot repay. However, trade groups say steering is now less likely given regulations since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. The groups cited the Qualified Mortgage rule and, more recently, the bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule.

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“While these regulatory developments have reduced the risk of steering, the LO Comp rule places strict limits on certain practices that actually would result in lower consumer costs or greater product availability. After more than five years under the rule, a rebalancing is needed,” the groups said in a letter to CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

To address problems related to the rule, the groups proposed the following changes:

The bureau should allow loan originators to voluntarily lower their compensation in response to demonstrable competition in order to pass along the savings to the consumer.

he bureau should allow lenders to reduce a loan originator’s compensation when the originator makes an error.

Lenders should be allowed to alter loan compensation in order to offer loans made under state and local housing finance agency (HFA) programs.

The groups further called on the bureau to explore ways to generally simplify the rule.

“The bureau should add clarity to the regulation, including specifying a clear ‘bright line’ list of impermissible compensation factors rather than the current approach of providing a short list of permissible factors and a vague and complicated ‘proxy for a term’ analysis that serves to discourage everything else,” the group said.

The letter was signed by American Bankers Association, America’s Mortgage Cooperative, Capital Markets Cooperative, Community Home Lenders Association, Community Mortgage Lenders of America, Consumer Mortgage Coalition, Independent Community Bankers of America, Mortgage Bankers Association, The Mortgage Collaborative, National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions, The Realty Alliance, and Real Estate Service Providers Council.

Source: https://www.mpamag.com/news/trade-groups-call-on-cfpb-to-update-loan-originator-compensation-rule-112855.aspx

Loan Pricing and Compliance Considerations

If there’s one issue that can slip you up, it’s loan pricing discretion unmanaged, which naturally increases fair lending risk. In 2011, the Truth in Lending Act was amended with the MLO compensation rule, which prohibits financial institutions from providing financial incentives to an MLO based on the terms and conditions of a loan.

In July 2018, the Federal Reserve issued a new publication, Consumer Compliance Supervision Bulletin. In this publication, the issue of mortgage target pricing was briefly discussed. While the publication acknowledges that the MLO compensation rule has reduced fair lending risk, it has done so only at the mortgage loan originator level, and that risk still exists for mortgage pricing.

According to the publication, some financial institutions “that originate mortgage loans for the secondary market now set a “target price” for each mortgage loan originator. This means that the bank sets a specific profit margin target for the mortgage loan originator. This target price can be achieved with any combination of a higher interest rate and/or discretionary fees charged to the borrower. These target prices are based solely on discretion and not on the risk-related credit characteristics of the borrower. This arrangement may comply with Regulation Z as long as the bank does not vary the loan originator’s compensation based on different prices for borrowers. That is, the bank still complies with Regulation Z if it sets one compensation arrangement with one target price for each loan originator.”

Where the fair lending risk increases is when a financial institution’s MLOs have different target prices and the MLOs that have higher target prices serve minority areas. The publication mentions two such cases which were referred to the Department of Justice; one resulted in an enforcement action.

So, even though your financial institution may have a loan pricing policy, now might be a good time to review fair lending risks. The publication provides key steps in managing risk:

Check for compliance with Regulation Z with respect to financial incentives

Implement policies and procedures to control the risk that discretion could lead to a fair lending violation

Evaluate and managing the risk when the mortgage loan originators with the higher target prices tend to serve minority neighborhoods

Monitor pricing by race/ethnicity across mortgage loan originators, including the APR, interest rate, fees, and overages, using statistical analysis if there is sufficient volume

Consider mapping loans by target price

In addition, keep in mind that prudential regulators also provide clues as to how they will assess and measure fair lending and its risks. For instance, the FDIC in its Compliance Manual, covers pricing. Here are some of the questions asked:

Does the bank have a written loan policy that addresses pricing?

Does a review of the bank’s policies raise any overt or other potential fair lending concerns with respect to pricing?

Does the bank provide loan officers with a rate sheet, matrix, or written guidance for pricing loans?

Does the bank allow discretion in the setting of loan terms and conditions (including interest rates or fees) for residential real estate lending?

Does the bank track and monitor loan and pricing exceptions?

Are loan officers compensated based on pricing of loans?

Are controls in place to ensure consistency in pricing practices?

Do credit pricing systems or processes vary by product or lending channel?

Does the bank’s pricing vary by region, office, or branch?

Has the pricing process for any loan product changed since the previous compliance examination?

Or, if the FDIC is not your prudential regulator, do you know where to look online for examination procedures or guidance regarding pricing discretion? Take the time to review your financial institution’s policies and procedures, monitoring, documentation, range of discretion, and board of director/senior management oversight.

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Around the Industry:

Effective Now

The Office of National Drug Control Policy announced the designation of ten new areas across Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and West Virginia as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs). This designation enables the 10 areas to receive Federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts among Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement officers, and allows local agencies to benefit from ongoing HIDTA initiatives that are working to reduce drug trafficking across the U.S.

MCM Q&A

Wanting to learn more about utilizing blockchain effectively and maintain compliance? Check out this article from the March issue.

Source:http://www.mortgagecompliancemagazine.com/weekly-newsline/loan-pricing-discretion-assess-your-compliance/

State Compliance Updates for the Mortgage Industry

California

Military Families Financial Relief Act – The state of California amended its provisions relating to deferment of financial obligations for reservists by removing the requirement under the Military Families Financial Relief Act to provide a signed letter, under penalty of perjury, and instead require a written request. These provisions are effective on January 1, 2019 (AB 2521).

Connecticut

Consumer Credit Licenses – Connecticut has modified provisions under its Banking Law concerning consumer credit licenses. The new provisions expand the authority granted to the Banking Commissioner in various circumstances. The effective dates for these provisions range from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 (HB 5490).

Indiana

Consumer Credit Fees – The Indiana Department of Financial Institutions published its annual consumer credit fees schedule. These fees are effective from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 (schedule).

Georgia

Anti-Money Laundering – Effective July 17, 2018 the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance adopted multiple provisions relating to mortgage lenders, brokers and servicers that include lenders and brokers that satisfy the definition of “loan or finance company” under the Bank Secrecy Act must have an anti-money laundering program; and various updates to its mortgage servicing standards (80-11-6).

Michigan

Notary Provisions – The state of Michigan amended its provisions relating to notaries that include performance of notarial acts; remote electronic notarization; and signature of notary public. These provisions are effective immediately and this act takes effect on September 30, 2018 (HB 5811).

Pennsylvania

Foreclosure Provisions – Effective December 17, 2018, Pennsylvania has enacted provisions regarding the foreclosure of vacant and abandoned properties (PA HB 653).

Rhode Island

Mediation Conference – The state of Rhode Island modified its provisions relating to mediation conference prior to mortgage foreclosure by extending certain sunset provisions as well as limiting the amounts a HUD-approved agency may receive for a mediation and filing fee. These provisions are effective immediately (HB 7385).

Electronic Recording Act – Effective July 1, 2019, the state of Rhode Island enacted provisions relating to its Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (HB 7080).

Source: http://www.mortgagecompliancemagazine.com/regulatory/state-regulatory-updates/monthly-state-regulatory-update-august-2018/

TRID 2.0 Talking Points

Introduction to TRID 2.0

An explanation of what to expect with our video series, the purpose of TRID 2.0, and a quick overview of major clarifications of TRID 2.0 as well as how to test them inside DocMagic.

Rounding and Truncation on LE & CD

Friday, September 7th, 2018
In episode 2 we review the original TRID rule for disclosing precentages, DocMagic’s rule for disclosing decimal places, and we address rounding and truncating trailing zeroes.

Seller Credits

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018
In episode 3 of TRID Talks we will be going over seller credits: how to send in XML & enter into DocMagic Online as well as the impact and changes on forms when Seller Credit.

Trusts and Non-borrowers

Thursday, September 13th, 2018
TRID Talks episode 4 will be about Trusts. Topics covered in this episode include: rescindable transactions – borrower title owner no longer to appear on pg. 1, and borrowers as ‘individuals’.

Closing Costs Expiration Date

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
TRID Talks episode 5 will cover Closing Costs Expiration Date (CCED) over ten days – how to get plan feature set and CCED on redisclosed LE when ‘Intent to Proceed Date’ is present.

Simultaneous, Subordinate Lien Loans

Thursday, September 20th, 2018
TRID Talks episode 6 addresses simultaneous, subordinate lien loans. We will explain the new flag and the consequence of the flag which equals true.

Construction/CTP Changes

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
In episode 7 we’ll discuss after consummation contruction inspection and fees including: the integration update and the impact on LE & CD as well as all other construction/CTP changes.

Principal Reduction

Thursday, September 27th, 2018
In our final episode of TRID Talks we’ll discuss how to indicate principal reduction is specifically for a tolerance cure. Also, the impact on display of items on the LE & CD.

Source: https://www.docmagic.com/trid-talks?utm_campaign=TRID%20Talks&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=65734978&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8xa1B8fjYfZsguFKeMqn_sRNm9YT0oblZO62mmgsMLll6-CCYSmaliplDJFLyqhTqpygzlGyr45fgvc0rnLh0Tv9o8yg&_hsmi=65734978

TRID 2.0 Subordinated Liens – What You Need to Know

As I have discussed in previous articles, the October 1st mandatory compliance date for the 2017 TRID Rule is quickly approaching. I hope you have taken some time to review these requirements during this “Optional Compliance Period.” If not, you still have approximately three months to ensure your policies and procedures are up to standard with the new requirements before they become the new law of the land.

With this new wave of requirements comes a slew of technical revisions and clarifications that I like to describe as a “reboot” of the existing TRID Rule. Since the implementation of the original rule in October 2015, the industry has faced certain challenges with the disclosures for certain types of transactions such as construction loans and simultaneous subordinate lien loan closings in connection with a first lien purchase loan.

These simultaneous subordinate lien loans are commonly referred to as “piggyback” loans, as they are typically originated in order to assist with the down payment of the 1st lien purchase loan. Per the clarifications by the new 2017 Rule, in a purchase transaction that involves a subordinate lien loan, if the Closing Disclosure for the first lien loan has all of the required disclosures related to the seller, then the settlement agent, or the financial institution acting as settlement agent, may provide the seller with only the first lien CD instead of both the 1st and subordinate lien CDs. As such, the Seller’s Summaries of Transactions table does not have to be included, or can be left blank, for the subordinate lien loan disclosure.

You are also permitted to use the alternative disclosures for the subordinate lien transaction since the seller’s information is not necessary to be included on the subordinate lien disclosures. Keep in mind, if you use the alternative disclosure on the Loan Estimate, then you must also use the alternative disclosure tables for the Closing Disclosure. Prior to this clarification in the Final Rule, the alternative disclosures were optional only when a seller wasn’t involved. In this case, a seller is involved, but not specifically in connection with the subordinate lien transaction. This means you may also omit the seller’s name and address for the subordinate lien disclosures as it will already be reflected on the 1st lien purchase disclosures.

However, there are some additional things to note as clarified by the 2017 Rule –

The disbursement date on the Closing Disclosure for a simultaneous subordinate lien transaction is the date that some or all of the loan amount is expected to be paid to the consumer or a third party other than the settlement agent

The simultaneous subordinate lien will also be disclosed as a purchase purpose even though you are not required to reflect seller information on the subordinate lien disclosures as previously mentioned

Funds from the subordinate lien transaction are included in the Adjustments and Other Credits Section of the Loan estimate for the 1st lien disclosure, and are then disclosed under the Borrower’s Summaries of Transactions Table on page three of the 1st lien Closing Disclosure

Additionally, if you’re using the standard disclosure, the sales price is not disclosed under the Borrower’s Summaries of Transactions table on the CD for simultaneous subordinate lien loan. Therefore, the sales price is also not included in the Calculating Cash to Close calculations on the Loan Estimate or Closing Disclosure for the simultaneous subordinate lien loan transaction.

As a result of the many technical clarifications and amended provisions imposed by the 2017 TRID Rule, it will be important for you to perform a review of your loan operating system to ensure your software is up-to-date with these revisions. As the creditor, you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of the disclosures. It will be you, and not your third party software vendor, that will be held responsible for compliance with the new rules. So, take these last couple of months of the “Optional Compliance Period” to test your system and ensure it is compliant.
Source:https://www.temenos.com/en/blog/2018/july/trid-2-0-the-reboot/

TRID 2.0 Beware of These Common Issues

Karl Dahlgren is managing director of BAI, Chicago, a nonprofit independent organization that delivers actionable insights for the financial services industry.

In October 2015, the first iteration of TRID took effect, which integrated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosures and regulations, under the Know Before You Owe (KBYO) Mortgage Initiative.

Two years later, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued amendments to TRID that will go into effect this year, impacting loan applications received on or after October 1. While this updated regulation will have a significant impact on the industry, it will not require massive adjustments to processes and procedures, new training models or changes in vendors or suppliers.

Yet, even a few years after the initial ruling has gone into effect, many lenders and service providers still experience confusion about compliance with the rule. The CFPB continues to publish additional amendments and clarifications in an attempt to address much of the industry’s confusion about unique situations requiring disclosures. The main issue the industry struggles with is that the ruling, despite its staggering length, cannot possibly address all of the different scenarios that lenders continue to encounter.

When facing the upcoming regulations, many lenders have been concerned or confused about the following frequently asked questions.

Title and Escrow Fees
Can all fees associated with title and all fees associated with escrow be combined into one line each?
On the loan estimate form, all fees associated with title costs and closing can be rolled into one line if the lender prefers to do so. It is important to note, however, that this is not mandatory; it is an optional way of disclosing.

Appraisal Costs Changed Because Property Type Changed
If a borrower did not describe the property type correctly, such as confusing a condo and a duplex, and the appraisal charge must be increased as a result, is this considered a change of circumstances? Would this require a change in circumstance form for the higher cost of the appraisal?

The TRID amendments and clarifications have not altered the current definition of a change in circumstance. The regulation implies that you have three days to send the loan estimate. That time is intended to allow the creditor to perform the necessary investigations and due diligence to gather the necessary information to make the loan estimate in good faith. If a situation such as the one described occurred after the loan estimate was prepared, this would be considered a change in circumstances. The lender would need to issue a revised loan estimate in this scenario.

Defining Draw Fees
What is considered a “draw fee” under the new updates? Draw fees would also be synonymous with inspection fees if the lender requires an inspection before advancing more funds. There are several different terminologies for this fee used in different parts of the country. The small entity guides use “inspection and handling fees.”

Lender Paid Loans
How are most lenders disclosing a lender-paid loan? Does any lender-paid credit have to be disclosed at the time of the loan estimate?

Lenders may show the lender credit on the loan estimate and the item purchased by the loan credit, or they may decide not to disclose the cost of an item the lender-paid credit will pay for in the loan disclosure. The charge and the specific lender credit would need to be shown on the closing disclosure.
Source:https://www.mba.org/publications/insights/archive/mba-insights-archive/2018/trid-faqs-how-to-deal-with-most-common-concerns-about-upcoming-regulatory-update

TRID 2.0 Quick Overview

The latest version of TRID provided the industry with much-needed clarification on a number of issues and practices facing lenders as they react and operationalize workflow to be in compliance with the revised rules of engagement. As a private-label fulfillment resource, my company has had the opportunity to speak with our clients in depth about our joint interpretation of the revised regulation and its impact on the origination process. As we all know, the original rule had many clear mandates, but left certain areas very gray.

From our viewpoint, the 2017 rule (TRID 2.0) broadly contained seven major changes and clarifications and five areas where the rule fell short of what the industry requested to be addressed.

Major Changes and Clarifications

TOP (Total of Payments) Calculation

Under TRID 1.0, there were different opinions on how the TOP calculation should be calculated. The 2017 rule provides clarification that TOP can exclude charges for principal, interest, mortgage insurance, or loan costs that are offset by another party through a specific credit. However, general credits,  may not be used to offset amounts for the purpose of TOP.

Tolerance Guidance in Conjunction with Good Faith Requirements

TRID 2.0 validates that the best information reasonably available standards apply to fees subject to 10 percent tolerance and allowable variations. The 2017 rule explains that if a charge subject to the 10 percent cumulative tolerance standards was omitted from the loan estimate (LE) but charged at consummation, it’s allowable if the sum of all charges subject to the tolerance is in good faith. For example, the lender must disclose the fee for services the lender requires. However, the lender is not required to provide a detailed breakdown of all related fees that are not explicitly required by the creditor, but may be charged to the consumer that are needed to perform the settlement services required by the creditor.

TRID 2.0 also explains that this standard applies to property taxes, property insurance (including homeowner’s insurance), amounts placed in escrow, impound, reserve or similar accounts, prepaid interest, and third-party services not required by the creditor, so long as the charges (or omission of charges) were estimated on the best information reasonably available.

Settlement Service Provider List (SSPL) Modifications and Good Faith Requirements

The 2017 rule provides that whether a consumer is permitted to shop is determined by the relevant facts and circumstances. It also identifies the tolerance standard for when the lender permits shopping for settlement services, but fails to provide the written SSPL. If a creditor fails to provide the written list to the consumer, but the facts and circumstances indicate the consumer was permitted to shop for the settlement service, the charges for which the consumer is permitted to shop are subject to 10 percent cumulative tolerance standard. However, if those charges are paid to the creditor or an affiliate, they are subject to 0 percent tolerance. Errors or omissions on the written list or untimely delivery of the written list may also impact tolerance standards. If the error or omission does not prevent the consumer from shopping, the charges are not to the creditor or an affiliate, and the consumer is otherwise considered to have shopped, the charges are subject to the 10 percent cumulative tolerance. If the error or omission does prevent the consumer from shopping, the charges are subject to the 0 percent tolerance standard.
Source:http://www.mortgagecompliancemagazine.com/regulatory/sizing-new-trid-rule-changed-didnt-remains-air/

Do You Know the Predicatble Patterns in Your Housing Market ?

We’re starting to see rising supply & flat/declining prices.

Our good friend John Rubino over at DollarCollapse.com just released an analysis titled US Housing Bubble Enters Stage Two: Suddenly Motivated Sellers.

He reminds us that housing bubbles follow a predictable progression:

Stage One: Mania – Prices rise at an accelerating rate as factors like excess central bank liquidity/loose credit/hot foreign money drive a virtuous bidding cycle well above sustainably affordable levels.

Stage Two: Peak – Increasingly jittery owners attempt to sell out before the party ends. Supply jumps as prices stagnate.

Stage Three: Bust – As inventory builds, sellers start having to lower prices. This begins a vicious cycle: buyers go on strike not wanting to catch a falling knife, causing sellers to drop prices further.

Rubino cites recent statistics that may indicate the US national housing market is finally entering Stage Two after a rip-roaring decade of recovery since the bursting of the 2007 housing bubble:

the supply of homes for sale during the “all important” spring market rose at 3x last year’s rate,

30 of America’s 100 largest cities now have more inventory than they did a year ago, and

mortgage applications for new homes dropped 9% YoY.

Taken together, these suggest that residential housing supply is increasing as sales slow, exactly what you’d expect to see in the transition from Stage One to Stage Two.

If that’s indeed what’s happening, Rubino warns the following comes next:

Stage Two’s deluge of supply sets the table for US housing bubble Stage Three by soaking up the remaining demand and changing the tenor of the market. Deals get done at the asking price instead of way above, then at a little below, then a lot below. Instead of being snapped up the day they’re listed, houses begin to languish on the market for weeks, then months. Would-be sellers, who have already mentally cashed their monster peak-bubble-price checks, start to panic. They cut their asking prices preemptively, trying to get ahead of the decline, which causes “comps” to plunge, forcing subsequent sellers to cut even further.

Sales volumes contract, mortgage bankers and realtors get laid off. Then the last year’s (in retrospect) really crappy mortgages start defaulting, the mortgage-backed bonds that contain their paper plunge in price, et voila, we’re back in 2008.

Source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4187673-trouble-ahead-housing-market

Are Prices Actually Crashing in California ?

Southern California home sales hit the brakes in June, falling to the lowest reading for the month in four years. Sales of both new and existing houses and condominiums dropped 11.8 percent year over year, as prices shot up to a record high, according to CoreLogic. The report covers Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties.

Sales fell 1.1 percent compared with May, but the average change from May to June, going back to 1988, is a 6 percent gain.

The weakness was especially apparent in sales of newly built homes, which were 47 percent below the June average. Part of that is that builders are putting up fewer homes, so there is simply less to sell.

“A portion of last month’s year-over-year sales decline reflects one less business day for deals to be recorded compared with June 2017,” noted Andrew LePage, a CoreLogic analyst. “But affordability and inventory constraints are likely the main culprits in last month’s sales slowdown, which applied to all six of the region’s counties and across most of the major price categories.”

Fewer affordable homes

The median price paid for all Southern California homes sold in June was a record $536,250, according to CoreLogic, a 7.3 percent increase compared with June 2017. While part of that is due to a mix shift, since there are fewer lower-priced homes for sale, it is becoming increasingly clear that fewer buyers are able to play in the higher price ranges.

“Sales below $500,000 dropped 21 percent on a year-over-year basis, while deals of $500,000 or more fell about 3 percent, marking the first annual decline for that price category in nearly two years,” said LePage. “Home sales of $1 million or more last month rose just a tad – less than 1 percent – from a year earlier following annual gains of between 5 percent and 21 percent over the prior year.”

LePage points to the rise in mortgage rates over the past six months, increasing significantly a borrower’s monthly payment. Rates haven’t moved much in the past month, but are suddenly going higher again this week, pointing to even further weakness in affordability.

In the past, California, one of the largest housing markets in the nation, has been a predictor for the rest of the country. Home prices have been rising everywhere, amid a critical housing shortage. Prices usually lag sales by several months, and sales are beginning to crumble, even as more inventory comes on the market. The supply of homes for sale increased annually in June for the first time in three years, according to the National Association of Realtors, but sales fell for the third straight month.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/24/southern-california-home-sales-crash-a-warning-sign-to-the-nation.html

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