Editor’s Note: The Mortgage Mix is RISMedia’s weekly highlight reel of need-to-know mortgage-industry happenings. Watch for it each Friday afternoon.
–A potentially landmark Supreme Court case is scheduled for oral arguments later this month, focused on a requirement that lenders pay interest on homeowner escrow accounts. A ruling in the case, which won’t be for several months, will likely have ripple effects across—and beyond—the mortgage industry.
-The Federal Reserve held rates steady last week, but investors and economists are now parsing out when they believe the first rate cut will be, with comments by Chair Jerome Powell casting doubt on whether the central bank will chop rates in March.
-Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan tweaked his forecast for 2024 last week, describing a “slow growth scenario” and predicting four rate cuts by the end of the year. He added that a recession is looking unlikely at this point, according to National Mortgage Professional.
–Mortgage rates held essentially steady this week, according to Freddie Mac, with the 30-year fixed at 6.63%, down from 6.69%. Economists are split on whether rates will fall significantly in the coming months, with much still depending on the Fed.
-At the same time, mortgage applications actually fell a modest amount, although refinance activity actually rose slightly this week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
-New American Funding (NAF) announced that it has acquired the mortgage elements of Draper and Kramer, and has already begun transitioning the new asset and employees under its umbrella. NAF CEO Rick Arvielo said the acquisition is meant to expand the company’s footprint in the Midwest and along the East Coast, according to Mortgage Professional America.