A Peek Inside Successful Lending Shops

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the latest ORIGINATION Renters are more convinced that buying is a better way to go. HARP Volume Turns Down in May Refinances decline as HARP volume hits a 2013 low. A s expected, refinance volume experienced a dip in May as mortgage rates started to climb. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) monthly Refinance Report, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together recorded 418,004 refinances in May, a drop from 463,587 in April but still well above May 2012's 341,185. Out of that number, 84,648 refinances—about 20 percent— were completed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Since the program's inception, the GSEs have reported more than 2.65 million HARP refinances. Year-to-date through May, HARP refinances made up 60 percent of total refinances in Nevada and 51 percent of total refinances in Florida. Nationally, HARP refinances made up 21 percent of total refinances year-todate as of May 31. Other states reporting high HARP share from January through May include Georgia (45 percent of total refinances), Michigan (40 percent), and Arizona (39 percent). In May alone, 39.9 percent of HARP volume came from underwater borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios higher than 105 percent. Deeply underwater borrowers (those with LTV ratios greater than 125 percent) accounted for 18.5 percent of May's HARP refinances. Year-to-date through May, approximately 2.3 million HARP refinances were for primary residences, while 84,889 were for secondary residences. An estimated 288,958 HARP refinances were for investment properties, FHFA reported. The M Report | 33 se c on da r y m a r k e t As expected, refinance volume experienced a dip in May as mortgage rates started to climb. a na ly t ic s thinking about buying, up from 25 percent in 2011, while 51 percent of renters also said that owning in the future is one of their highest personal priorities. Overall, 79 percent of renters said owning is a priority in general. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who say they prefer to rent over buying dropped 6 points since 2011 to 25 percent. Americans also perceive their market as being stronger, with 38 percent stating they believe activity in their local market has increased in the past year, up sharply from 11 percent in 2011. numbers were influenced by partisanship, with 84 percent of Republicans holding the view compared to 36 percent of Democrats. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents also shared concerns over the high prices for homes and rent, little changed from 62 percent in 2011. Also, 69 percent said they are concerned about people in their area falling behind on their mortgages. Despite the increase in prices the housing market has recently witnessed, respondents were completely invulnerable. More than half (58 percent) said they are very or somewhat concerned about the drop in overall home values, though the concern has decreased from 70 percent in 2011. Also, 44 percent of homeowners said they do not think they could sell their house for what they paid for it. The survey was conducted by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services. s e r v ic i ng A mericans hold a more positive view of the housing market, while an increasing share of renters plan to own, according to the 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Of those surveyed, 80 percent said they believe buying a home is a good financial decision, up by 8 points from 2011. During the last two years, the market has also seen an increase in renters who are interested in owning. In the recent survey, 36 percent of renters said they are Another 49 percent believe prices in their neighborhood are more expensive than they were a year ago. This view was especially strong in the West, with 62 percent of respondent in the Pacific West stating this and 60 percent in the Mountain West region. Not only are attitudes toward housing improving, but Americans are also less concerned when it comes to job security. The share of respondents who expressed concern over job layoffs and unemployment decreased from 61 percent in 2011 to 48 percent in the most recent survey. Concern over home foreclosures eased as well. In 2013, 29 percent said foreclosures are a "very" or "fairly" big problem, down from 47 percent in 2011. However, Americans did express concern over the direction of the nation, with 58 percent stating the country is on the wrong track, barely changed from 57 percent two years ago. According to the survey, the Or ig i nat ion More Americans View Homeownership as a Sound Financial Choice

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