MReport March 2017

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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42 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T DEPARTMENT ORIGINATION Winter Is a Good Time for Homebuying Winter homebuyers encounter lower prices and less competition. E arly 2017 was primed to be a good time for buy- ers and, as a result, for mortgage lenders ready to serve them, according to a report from NerdWallet. "While winter homebuyers generally encounter a lower inven - tory, a September 2016 NerdWallet study found that they have the advantage of less competition," stated the report's writers, Daniel Tonkovich and Emily Starbuck Crone. "Additionally, the study showed that home prices in January are typically the lowest they'll be all year." NerdWallet analyzed two years of data for 50 of the nation's most populated metros. It found home sales prices were 8.45 percent lower in January and February than in the more popular buying months of June, July, and August. Add in the expected rise in interest rates, and buyers may be even more motivated to buy early. "After hitting historic lows, mortgage rates started rising in fall 2016," Tonkovich and Crone wrote. "This year, economists expect additional rate increases, which means higher monthly payments for future homeowners." According to Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke, a better-than-average fall 2016 market also lends itself to lower prices than normal in the coming months. "[Home] prices are likely to increase even more than you typi - cally see in spring because of low levels of inventory and because we didn't see the normal weak- ness we see in fall," Smoke said. Smoke said the inventory-to- sales ratio should also make win- ter a great time to buy–especially when compared to the summer season. "You basically face almost half of the competition with almost the same amount of inventory in the market," Smoke said. "This potentially means fewer homes with multiple bidders and more room for negotiating with sellers. NerdWallet's analysis backed this up too. In January 2015 and 2016, actual sales price came in at around $7,000 less than the initial listing price, indicating more negotiating and more flexibility on the part of sellers. Relief May Be on the Way for Credit Unions A bipartisan bill awaiting congressional support could allow credit unions to lend an additional $11 billion to small businesses. C redit unions across the nation are rejoicing after the reintroduction of H.R. 389, also known as the Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act. Reps. Ed Royce (R-California), Jared Huffman (D-California), Don Young (R-Alaska), and Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) were responsible for bringing the bill to Congress on January 10. The Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act will provide credit union relief and affirms that loans being used to finance the purchase of small apartment buildings from both credit unions and banks will be recognized as residential real estate loans, according to the press release. "Credit unions should not be constrained by arbitrary regulations that impair their ability to serve members who wish to invest in small residential properties," DeFazio said. "The Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act puts credit unions on equal footing with banks and allows members additional choices when shopping for investment capital." The Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act would remove loans made for the purchase of nonowner-occupied, 1-4 unit dwellings from the calculation of the member business lending (MBL) cap currently imposed on credit unions. If enacted, the Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act would enable credit unions to lend an additional $11 billion to small businesses, which will release private sector financing for commercial businesses and rental housing. Huffman said the passing of the bill will heavily impact the housing industry. "Credit unions are vital to local communities and their economies on the North Coast and across America," he said. "The Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act is a common-sense, bipartisan fix that ensures credit unions are able to do their job and assist small businesses in accessing capital and making investments in local economies, while boosting the construction and housing sectors." H.R. 389 maintains the ability of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to apply stringent underwriting and servicing requirements to these loans, which often depend on rent as a chief contributor toward repayment. National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) President and CEO Dan Berger praised the introduction of the legislation, stating, "We strongly urge other members of Congress to support and cosponsor the bill, which would provide credit unions with more flexibility within their lending cap and help them better serve small business owners' critical capital needs." NAFCU is a trade association that focuses on federal issues affecting federally- insured credit unions across the nation.

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