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Black Knight says its research is showing that the numbers of new forbearance plans for homeowners financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed to a trickle compared to the tidal wave in early April. Only 7,000 new plans were put in place during the week ended May 26 compared to a 325,000-net increase in the first week of May and 1.4 million in the first week of April. The most recent increase brings the total forbearance plans to 4.76 million or 9.0 percent of all active mortgages. These loans represent more than $1 trillion in unpaid principal balances. The largest number of loans in forbearance plans, 1.99 million, are those serviced for the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac....(read more)
Pending home sales cratered again in April, marking two straight months of declines that exceeded 20 percent. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) fell 21.8 percent to 69.0. The decline in March was 20.8 percent. The Index is down by 33.8 percent year-over-year. This is the largest decline in pending home sales number since NAR began tracking the transactions in January 2001. Every major region experienced a drop in both month-over-month and year-over-year pending home sales transactions. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said he expects that April will be the lowest point for pending sales and subsequently May will mark the bottom for closed sales of existing homes.
Freddie Mac reported this week that its total mortgage portfolio increased at an annualized rate of 14.3 percent in April, up from a 9.2 percent gain in March and the largest rate since December. The portfolio balance at the end of the period was $2.396 trillion compared to $2.368 trillion at the end of March and $2.216 trillion a year earlier. The growth rate for the year to date is 8.4 percent. Purchases and Issuances totaled $88,879 billion and Sales were ($0.770) billion. The March numbers were $58,830 billion and ($3,165) billion, respectively. Single-family refinance loan purchase and guarantee volume was $52.100 billion in April compared to $33.300 billion in March and representing a 69 percent share of total single-family mortgage portfolio purchases and issuances compared to 63 percent the previous month.