- Mortgage News Headlines

    5th 3rd Earnings and Servicing Up, Home Lending Off
    Quarterly earnings at Fifth Third Bancorp, including mortgage revenues, strengthened. While residential loan originations have slowed, the servicing portfolio expanded.

    In its first-quarter earnings report, Fifth Third disclosed $836 million in income before taxes during the three months that concluded on March 31.

    Earnings at the Cincinnati-based bank-holding company more than doubled versus $396 million in the first-three months of last year and $393 million in the final-three months of last year.

    West to Continue Leading Home Price Gains
    Home prices in western areas have led national home values higher. Over the next year, the West is expected to be out front of national gains -- which are predicted to weaken.

    The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Composite-20 Index, a closely watched barometer of U.S. home values, was 206.67 as of February 2018.

    Compared to the previous month, the index indicates that home prices have ascended 0.7 percent. The increase was 6.8 percent versus the same month last year.

    Refi Share of Apps Down Further as Rates Rise
    As interest rates on home loans have climbed to the highest level in more than four years, the share of applications for refinances has fallen to a decade-low. Government share was diminished again.

    In the seven-day period that ended on April 20, the Market Composite Index dipped less than 1 percent from the preceding week on a seasonally adjusted basis.

    Without factoring in seasonal data, however, the index -- a measure of retail residential loan application volume -- increased 1 percent from the week ended April 13.

    Genworth Lowers Mortgage Insurance Premiums
    Premiums are being reduced by the mortgage insurance subsidiary of Genworth Financial. Also taking place is the implementation of rate adjustors.

    Genworth Mortgage Insurance said Tuesday that it is cutting it national rates for borrower-paid monthly premiums and single premiums.

    In addition, the Richmond, Virginia-based company is introducing two rate adjustors for its borrower-paid mortgage insurance rate plans.

    West Drives New Home Sales to Post-Crisis High
    Fueled by the West, the number of new homes sold last month was more than during any month since the financial crisis. Sales in the Northeast, however, suffered.

    Sales of new U.S. single-family homes came to 68,000 units in March -- the single biggest month for new home sales since July 2008, when the total was also 68,000.

    The data, jointly reported Tuesday by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, indicate so far this year, 172,000 new homes have been sold.