Black Knight, Inc. reports the following “first look” at August 2018 month-end mortgage performance statistics derived from its loan-level database representing the majority of the national mortgage market.
– Mortgage delinquencies fell again in August and are now down 5.75 over the past two months
– This marks the strongest such decline during July-August on record, since before 2000
– Foreclosure starts also eased in August and are now more than 125 below last year’s level
– Delinquencies resulting from 2017’s hurricanes continue to decline – just 25,100 remain in the mainland US
– Some 391,000 homeowners with mortgages were located in Hurricane
– Florence’s evacuation area, with an estimated 283,000 in the 18 North Carolina counties declared disaster areas so far by FEMA
– If homeowners face similar per capita impacts to those seen from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma last year, it could result in thousands of mortgage holders falling behind on payments
OPEC, allies agree not to further increase oil production
A meeting of OPEC and its allies ended without any decision to further increase oil output despite President Donald Trump’s call for lower prices. Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries met on Sunday in Algiers with non-members including Russia. The committee said in a statement that it was satisfied “regarding the current oil market outlook, with an overall healthy balance between supply and demand.” It also urged “countries with spare capacity to work with customers to meet their demand during the remaining month of 2018.” Trump has been calling publicly for OPEC to help lower prices by producing more. “We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices!” he tweeted on Thursday. The price rise is notably caused by a recent drop in Iran’s supply because of US sanctions. OPEC and Russia have capped production since January 2017 to bolster prices. Output fell below those targets this year, and in June the same countries agreed to boost the oil supply. Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters that participating countries have provided over the last three months “a lot of supply to offset decreases” in Iran, Venezuela and Mexico. “Markets are quite balanced today, there’s plenty of supply to meet any customer that needs it.”
Driverless cars set to disrupt real estate
Emerging tech is going to disrupt the mortgage market for years to come. Whether its blockchain or bitcoin, just about everywhere you look there are predictions that show change will be coming fast. One popular narrative is the question of whether or not robots will replace those who work in the mortgage finance space. But forget about humanless loan officers for a second and consider this question: what about driverless cars? The data and analytics team at CB Insights examined the emerging role of driverless cars and the impact on 33 industries. While the changing role of parking garages and the corner gas station will be resulting evolution of driverless cars, will this mean home prices will rise in suburban areas? They suggest so in their article: Faster and easier commutes will shift residential property value from properties in urban centers to those in suburban areas. In commercial real estate, spaces currently predicated on human drivers will be converted to other uses.
JPMorgan Chase to open 50 branches in Philadelphia area
JPMorgan Chase will open 50 branches in the Philadelphia area over the next five years, the bank said Monday. The bank’s plan, part of its announced strategy of opening 400 branches nationally, marks one of the more striking exceptions to the financial community’s exit from Philadelphia. While some banks in the metropolitan area have added branches in recent years, others like Wells Fargo, PNC, TD, Citizens and Bank of America, have closed 330 branches in the last 10 years. “The Delaware Valley is a critically important market to our branch expansion and growth as a firm,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement, citing “more than one million” credit card, home loan and other consumer clients, plus 30,000 business clients, in the area. JPMorgan said it expects to hire about 300 people in Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware. It also said it will invest $3 billion for regional home and small business lending. The bank, which has assets of $2.6 trillion and employees about 11,000 people in the broader Philadelphia area, said it will invest $50 billion in 400 new offices, loans and other projects in several areas, including Philadelphia. JPMorgan, which has nearly 5,100 branches in 23 states, also said the expansion will add to the firm’s current base of more than 1 million consumers and over 30,000 business clients in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley region.