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Blue Ridge Bank launches reverse mortgage division

Announces partnership with ReverseVision

North Carolina-based Blue Ridge Bank announced this week that it has partnered with HECM technology provider ReverseVision to launch a reverse mortgage division.

The bank, which said it has closed $25 billion in forward loans, is implementing ReverseVision’s RV Exchange loan origination system to support its launch.

“The creation of a reverse lending division led by industry veterans and powered by the industry’s leading reverse origination software is part of Blue Ridge Bank’s larger initiative to offer a comprehensive portfolio of home lending products capable of helping every customer attain their home ownership and financial goals,” said Foster Vaught, regional market sales manager at Blue Ridge Bank.

ReverseVision Vice President of Sales and Marketing Wendy Peel said Blue Ridge can employ a “generational lending” strategy with the new software in place, meaning that it can cater to older clients with different financing needs in the next stage of their lives.

ReverseVision, a 2017 and 2018 HW Tech00 winner, has been promoting this strategy to traditional mortgage lenders as a means to boost business in the tough climate.

“RVX’s HECM and senior lending platform will empower Blue Ridge Bank to execute on a Generational Lending strategy that serves their many decades-long customers at every stage in life,” said Peel. “With RVX, Blue Ridge Bank is well supported to extend an exceptional customer experience to borrowers of senior lending products.”

Source: By Jessica Guerin

Mortgage Competition Contributes to fall in Nationwide Profits

The building society saw a drop in profits despite its net mortgage lending rising to £8.6bn from £5.8bn the previous year. Intense competition has likely led to the fall in mortgage rates year-on-year, which consequently could have affected mortgage lending profits.

Along with Nationwide reporting a drop in profits, the competitive mortgage market is one factor that could have contributed to Tesco Bank and the AA leaving the sector altogether.

Increased mortgage competition

Competition in the mortgage sector has intensified over the last year, with data from showing that in the past 12 months alone, the number of mortgage products available has increased by 9% from 4,588 in May 2018 to 5,001 in May 2019. As a consequence, the average two-year fixed rate has fallen from 2.51% in May 2018 to 2.47% in May 2019 while the average five-year fixed rate dropped from 2.91% to 2.85%.

This fall in mortgage rates happened despite the Bank of England increasing the base rate to 0.75% in August 2018, which would normally see mortgage rates increase. data also reveals that rates among higher loan-to-value (LTV) tiers have fallen the most over the last year, which could be as a result of mortgage lenders looking to attract first-time buyers.

The average rate for a two-year fixed mortgage at 95% LTV decreased from 4.11% in May 2018 to 3.26% this month, while the average rate for a 90% LTV fell from 2.77% to 2.63%.

Meanwhile, average two-year fixed rates for lower LTVs increased over the past 12 months – albeit by a very small margin – which suggests that margins are so narrow in this area that rates are at the lowest lenders can afford.

The average rate at 75% LTV increased by 0.04% from 2.28% to 2.32%, while the average 60% LTV increased by just 0.02% from 1.88% to 1.90%.

With this intense competition likely contributing to Nationwide Building Society seeing a drop in profits, along with the narrow margins, means it is unlikely that lenders will make further reductions to mortgage rates, and instead may be hoping the Bank of England will opt to increase the base rate further to in turn increase mortgage rates. Borrowers could therefore consider locking their mortgage into a fixed term rate now to protect themselves against possible future rate increases.

Source: Derin Clark

New Mortgage Loans Slowed in Canada but Overall Value is Still Rising says CMHC

The number of mortgage loans in Canada grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter as housing activity cooled, according to a new report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, but the value of all mortgages is still rising.

There were 223,000 new mortgage loans in the last three months of 2018, which is 4.8 per cent lower than the same period a year ago, the CMHC said.

“While indebtedness of Canadian households remains elevated, growth in the volume of mortgage activity slowed in the last quarter of 2018, partly reflecting lower housing market activity,” said Geneviève Lapointe, senior market analyst at CHMC in the report.

“Despite high debt levels, delinquency rates remain low and the number of highly indebted and more vulnerable consumers has decreased.”

Borrowers with a low credit score accounted for less than one per cent of new mortgage loans, the CMHC said.

But, even as the number of loans fell, the average value of all mortgages in Canada reached $209,570 in the fourth quarter, which is more than three percent higher than a year ago.

The CMHC said the national trends mirror what happened in Toronto and Vancouver — the country’s largest and most expensive housing markets.

While the number of transactions for home sales fell last year on higher borrowing costs, slower economic growth and recent mortgage regulations, the average house price in Canada is still “historically elevated,” the CMHC said.

“This explains, in part, why the average balance of new loans remains higher than in the overall mortgage market.”

Mortgages accounted for about two-thirds of all debt held by Canadians, according to the government agency.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned policymakers in Canada not to ease mortgage stress test rules introduced last year, because household debt remains high.

Mortgage holders take on more debt

Added to that, the CMHC said household debt rose faster than income last year — leading the debt-to-income ratio to hit a record high of 178.5 per cent in the fourth quarter.

A big driver of this was Canadians with mortgages taking on more debt, the CMHC said.

“Their average outstanding balance in credit cards and lines of credit grew at a faster pace than in 2017, except for HELOCs (home equity line of credit) and auto loans, which increased at a slightly slower pace,” the report said.

“These trends were also observed among consumers without a mortgage.”

Canadians with a mortgage had an average balance of $9,054 in other debt, which rose 3.6 per cent from the same period in 2017. The average balance of debt for those without a mortgage was at $7,460, which was up five per cent from a year ago.

“Consumers kept increasing their other debt burden, and therefore, [increasing] their vulnerability to a shock in the longer run,” the report said.

Source: Cbc

How First-Time Buyers Drive the Mortgage Market

First time buyers make up 38 percent of single-family homebuyers and 57 percent of new purchase borrowers, according to the latest First-Time Homebuyer Market Report from Genworth Mortgage Insurance.

“First-time homebuyers are typically different from other homebuyers, having less income and savings, but also are more likely to buy because they are starting a family versus changing jobs, retiring, or upgrading their home,” said Genworth Chief Economist Tian Liu.

“For these reasons, the first-time homebuyer market and the rest of the housing market do not necessarily move together. Since 2014, home sales to first-time homebuyers have accounted for most of the growth while sales to repeat buyers have been largely flat.”

Genworth notes that since 2014, first-time buyers have been the biggest contributors to home sales growth, while sales to repeat buyers has remained relatively flat. According to the study, the steady surge in first time homebuyers is due to both cyclical and demographic forces.

“The cyclical force is the unwinding of the Housing Crisis, which resulted in over three million potential first-time homebuyers delaying home purchase,” Liu said. “Many of these delayed buyers are coming back into the market.

This trend is reflected in the rising homeownership rate over the past few years for households headed by people under 45, which has increased from 58 percent in Q1 2015 to 60 percent this quarter.”

The demographic force, on the other hand, is the maturing millennials. Liu notes that like the generations before, the millennials’ propensity to buy and own a home naturally increases as they come of age. The sharp increase in homeownership rate means that many millennials have been buying in the past few years, and more will come.

Young millennials are still reaching home buying age. Genworth notes that the average homeownership rate increases from 35 percent to 60 percent as the head of household age goes from under-35 to between 35 and 44. However, while this propensity will continue to rise later in life, the increase will be less dramatic.

Source: Themrepor

AfDB Approves EUR 90 million to support Kenya’s Mortgage Refinance Company

The Board of the African Development Bank has approved a EUR 90 million loan to support the establishment of the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC) to aid access to affordable mortgage loans by lower and middle income households.

The AfDB, which announced this in a statement, said the KMRC is a non-Bank financial institution designed to provide long-term funding and capital market access to local lenders, including commercial banks, and Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations to help consolidate the East African nation’s growing domestic mortgage finance market.

The Kenyan government, through the central bank, is setting up the KMRC as part of initiatives to overhaul and stimulate the demand and supply balance in the housing and mortgage finance market, according to the statement.

It said the Bank’s intervention is in line with its flagship High 5s agenda; specifically the objective of Improving the Quality of Life for the People of Africa. The loan will result in multiplier effects on industries related to the housing sector and creation of jobs in these value chains.

The investment will complement Kenya’s ‘Big 4’ affordable housing national goal, and its plans to develop a self-sustaining affordable mortgage market. It will also promote inclusive finance through KMRC, whilst also assisting in creating new employment opportunities.

Through the Loan, the Bank adds on its initiatives to support affordable housing and development of mortgage finance institutions on the continent. As one of its priority objectives, the Bank supports investments that contribute to the widening and deepening of financial systems in Africa and enabling the private sector to mobilise and access long term domestic currency funding locally.

Source: Thisdaylive

Aspen Bridging Announces Flexible Loan Extensions

Aspen Bridging has launched flexible loan extensions.

Customers will now be able to extend their loan for up to six months if serviced, and up to two months if non-serviced.

The decision is designed to protect a borrower’s equity in projects that have been subject to unforeseen delays, according to the firm.

Aspen Bridging director Jack Coombs comments: “There are two key considerations at play here. The sector is not working in the best interests of the client if penalties are added the moment a borrower goes over term, because ultimately how does this protect their equity and their ability to refinance.

“For a ‘flextension’ to be offered there has to be a good reason for the requirement and a credible exit must remain in place, and if these stipulations are met then it is in everyone’s best interests, including ours, to find a workable solution.

“The client always has to remain the foremost consideration in every transaction, that is how you retain repeat custom and protect the long-term reputation of your business.”

By Jake Carter

U.S. Mortgage Rates drop Slightly Amid Uncertainty

U.S. mortgage rates modestly fell this week, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 4.07 percent for the week ending May 16, down from 4.10 percent the previous week. A year ago, mortgage rates stood at 4.61 percent.

Low mortgage rates help propel U.S. home sales and the refinance market.

“Modestly weaker consumer spending and manufacturing data, along with continued jitters around trade policy, caused interest rates to decline throughout the yield curve,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“While signals from the financial markets are flashing caution signs, the real economy remains on solid ground with steady job growth and five-decade low unemployment rates, which will drive up home sales this summer.”

Favorable rates had been helping Dayton-area home sales. However, local home sales fell 8 percent in March, according to Dayton Realtors.

The historic low for 30-year rates was 3.31 percent in November 2012.

Source:  Bizjournals

China’s Mortgage Interest Rates Slide for First Time Since 2016

The interest rate for home mortgages in China declined in the first quarter of 2019 in a sign that easier credit policy has fed through to the housing market.

The weighted average rate for individual home loans dropped to 5.68% in March, down slightly from December 2018, according to the People’s Bank of China’s quarterly policy report released late Friday. The last decline was in the third quarter of 2016.

The moderation is in line with the central bank’s attempts to provide easier credit to certain sectors of the economy to prevent a sharp slowdown. The targeted actions are stimulating demand, with investment growth in real-estate development rising at the fastest pace since 2014 in the first four months of the year. That will in turn boost demand for products such as glass, cement, steel, white goods and other home appliances.

“Property-related credit has been growing steadily, and the Chinese economy continues to have a relatively heavy reliance on property and infrastructure investment” especially when manufacturing and private investment growth are slowing, said Wang Yifeng, chief banking analyst at Everbright Securities Co. in Shanghai.

More Chinese cities have seen rising home prices in the first three months of this year compared with late 2018, the PBOC’s report said. New home prices also accelerated in April, although the government recently told a number of cities to make sure that prices don’t rise too quickly.

In the politburo meeting last month, authorities repeated that they don’t want a speculative home market, while also hinting that they will give local authorities more autonomy on setting city-specific property policies.

Source: Bloomberg

FMBN Disburses N23.3bn Home Renovation Loans

Dangiwa stated that the amount was disbursed to 28, 363 beneficiaries across the country.

Speaking at a cheque presentation ceremony to members of the Lagos State Public Servant Housing Cooperative, where he was represented by the Executive Director, Loans and Mortgage Services, FMBN, Hajia Rahimatu Aminu-Aliyu, he stated that the bank remained committed to providing opportunities for Nigerian workers who contributed to the National Housing Fund.

Dangiwa said, “It is pertinent to note that a total sum of N23.3bn has so far been disbursed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to 28,363 beneficiaries across the country under the Home Renovation Loan window.

“Just recently, one of the most ambitious housing delivery programmes in this country, the National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme in collaboration with the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association was launched by the bank.

“It is a programme to deliver affordable houses to Nigerian workers in every state of the federation. As we speak, the pilot projects have commenced in earnest in five states. The pilot phase is to deliver 100 houses in each of two states across the six geo-political zones of the country.”

According to him, the Home Renovation Loan is one of the several products of the bank, aimed at ensuring contributors to the NHF benefit from the scheme.

He stated that the FMBN Home Renovation Loan was created for the purpose of renovating an existing structure, at six per cent for tenure of five years maximum.

Under the HRL window, on Friday, the bank gave out cheques worth N56.84m to members of the Lagos State Public Servant Housing Cooperative through the FMBN Ikeja office.

Dangiwa said the bank remained determined to provide affordable mortgages to Nigerian workers as part of its initiatives to complement President Muhammadu Buhari’s housing sector reforms.

“The over N56m released through FMBN Ikeja office, would assist beneficiaries to put their abode in a suitable manner,” he said.

He said the funds were sourced from 2.5 per cent of the basic income of Nigerian workers earning the minimum wage and who were 18 years and above.

He said, “The overall objective is to provide cheap source of loanable funds to nurture and sustain the mortgage industry and eventually facilitate affordable home-ownership for the low and medium income group in the country.

“Section 14 (2) of the National Housing Fund Act Cap N.45 of 1992 stipulates that a contributor to the Fund can access a loan from the Fund for the purpose of building, purchasing or renovating of existing houses. In order to achieve this, FMBN has developed concessionary loan windows to enable Nigerians access mortgages for homeownership.”

Dangiwa, however, stated that the realisation of the mandate had been hampered by several challenges which included lack of access to land.

“Some of these challenges are inadequate funding for the housing sector, inaccessibility of mortgage loans due to lack of proper title to landed properties. Others are low income of prospective borrowers which affects affordability, cumbersome procedures for obtaining Governor’s consent to land transactions which is also costly,” he said.

He, however, applauded the commitment and cooperation of members of Lagos State Public Servants Housing Cooperative.

The State Coordinator, FMBN Ikeja office, Mrs Margaret Sowande, said the cooperative was receiving the HRL for the third time and that the bank was ready to do more.

“Today’s N56.84m was released to 68 beneficiaries in the third batch,” she said

Sowande urged all Nigerians above 18 years, working in the public and private sectors to register with FMBN and subscribe to the National Housing Fund.

The President of the cooperative, Mr Samuel Okedara, said N132.52m had been disbursed to 157 members in the three batches as of May, 2019.

He added that in 2017, N28.50m was disbursed to 37 members of the cooperative, while N47.43m was disbursed to 52 beneficiaries in 2018.

Source: Punchng

Why Few Nigerians can Afford Mortgage Loans

The Managing Director/CEO of Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank, Mr. Banjo Obaleye, has said the number of Nigerians that can afford mortgage is very small because of a lot of challenges plaguing the mortgage sector.

Mr. Obaleye spoke when officials from Media Trust, publishers of the Daily Trust titles, paid a courtesy call on the bank in Abuja.

He said most investors were still investing in the sector not because it was profitable but because of the value chain opportunities the sector provided.

He said, “If enough attention is put on housing and all the value chain around it, a lot of jobs will be gotten and a lot of youths who are unemployed will find themselves busy. We have thousands and millions of youths who are out of school and cannot provide means of education for themselves, they will find work in housing construction.

If you visit a development site and see the chain of activities going on there, you will know that this is a sector that should be on the move every time. “Home ownership is personal to human heart. Apart from food, the next most important thing for humans is shelter.

Everybody deserves a decent home, and this is the spirit that makes most investors invest in this sector; not because of money, the money is not there now,” he said.

He said because of the specialist role of mortgage banks it was time to change the perception about the role of mortgage institutions. “If you look at the financials of many commercial banks this year, you will discover that many of them are declaring profits in billions of naira. Return on investment of many deposit money banks is over 20 per cent the industrial average, but for mortgage banks, it is less than three per cent; and why this is so is because we haven’t been looking at mortgage banks the way we should be looking at them,” he said.

Obaleye whose bank is listed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), identified high interest rate as one of the reasons only few Nigerians could afford mortgage.

Daily Trust reports that taking out a mortgage allows firms and individuals to purchase and own houses/real estates without the immediate need to make an outright payment of the full value of the property from their resources.

The impact of high interest on mortgage on the nation’s housing delivery has continued to be a source of worry for stakeholders because high mortgage rates impede demand for housing. Currently, interest rate on mortgage loans in Nigeria range between 15 per cent and 25 per cent per annum excluding fees and other charges.

While mortgage banks charge between 19 and 24 per cent commercial banks charge interest rate at 22 to 23 per cent because they categorised real estate as a high-risk investment. Mr. Obaleye said, “Interest rate is a very big problem because at 18/20 per cent interest rate, it is difficult to give somebody a mortgage for 15 years.

But what can we do? If government who today is the biggest borrower, borrows money from the public at 14 per cent, then where do you want to get low interest rate? We wish that government will look at this interest rate and see how to bring it down so that everybody will have access to it,” he said.

He added that the fees payable to government authorities further compounded the cost of mortgage thereby discouraging would-be loan seekers. He said, “You want a N15m loan but you have to pay like N2.5m to government for perfection (register the property), it compounds the cost of mortgage. Now we have to be doing what I refer to as selective lending. For us to break even, we have to be sensitive to our cost. We don’t have a big margin that is why we have to be sensitive of our cost,” he said.

Source: DailyTrustng

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