THE BASIS POINT

New Home Sales Up 11% In June, IPO For Distressed Debt REIT, Lender Advances On $8k Tax Credit

Q: In these busy market times, how can you get the attention of your broker?
A: Say, “Hey, waiter!”

To tell us how the economy is doing, should we really look at the stock market? Probably not, as many experts believe that prices are more impacted by psychology than by fundamental items such as earnings – in spite of what reporters say. So although the markets have been rallying, and the majority of company’s earnings reports beating expectations, they are still paying a price. Companies are beating estimates due to cost cutting measures instead of growing revenue. In fact, of the companies recently reporting earnings, almost 75% reported year-over-year declines in revenue which does not bode well for economic fundamentals such as employment and ultimately for consumer spending.

IPO For Distressed Debt REIT
Have you ever heard of Bayview Mortgage Capital? Me neither, until I read a report saying that they are a “newly formed” mortgage company, with their parent (Bayview, out of Florida) being owned by the Blackstone Group, and that they filed for a $500 million IPO (initial public offering). Per the report, they will be using the money to possibly qualify as a REIT and/or to use the money to buy distressed real estate loans from banks and other lenders and investors. “According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the new company plans to use the real estate investment trust (REIT) tax structure…The company plans to buy and manage residential and commercial mortgage loans, mortgage-backed securities, real estate-related securities, real estate, and various other forms of real estate investment it believes are undervalued.”

Correction
Reading glasses required? I apologize for mis-typing the phone number of BOM for scratched and dented loans. It should be 877-307-2662, not 307-2664.

WSFS Discontinuing Reverse Mortgages
WSFS Financial, out of Delaware, is backing out of its joint venture in the reverse mortgage field. Early last year WSFS acquired a majority interest in 1st Reverse Financial Services, but in their press release believe that it is unlikely that they will make a profit, and are therefore withdrawing from the venture. On the other hand, Security One Bank and Texas Capital Bank have agreed to double the size of its existing warehousing facility for reverse mortgages. In fact, according to the statement, Security One Lending has doubled its business since early March after it acquired OMNI Reverse Mortgage.

Lender Advances On $8k Tax Credit
What is Flagstar’s current stance on the “government-offered, investor-disinterested” $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers? (ARRA provides a tax credit of up to $8000.00 to first-time homebuyers who purchase a home on or before November 30, 2009. Government entities and FHA-approved non-profit agencies that are considered instrumentalities of government may provide tax credit advances with a second lien. The tax credit advance may be used to make the down payment and pay closing costs, discount points and pre-paid expenses.) Flagstar will allow tax credit advances with second liens from eligible governmental agencies and instrumentalities of government as long as the organization is also on Flagstar’s list of eligible community second programs.” Check out this website to make certain a non-profit agency is both FHA-approved and an instrumentality of government, refer to the appropriate homeownership center’s list of approved non-profit agencies.

Freddie Mac Refi Guidelines
Freddie Mac sent out a bulletin:

“providing detailed requirements for recently previewed and new changes for Relief Refinance Mortgages with LTV ratios greater than 105 percent and less than or equal to 125 percent, including expanding the reduced term incentive to cover a broader range of shorter term mortgages, expanding sale options for Relief Refinance Mortgages – Same Servicer with LTV ratios less than or equal to 105 percent to provide added flexibility for Seller/Servicers that traditionally sell mortgages through our servicing-released sales process, and expanding the Number of Units delivery fee grid and adding new delivery fee rates for eligible mortgages secured by 3- to 4-unit properties to reflect the higher LTV ratios permitted for Relief Refinance Mortgages.”

Any originator interested in funding these loans had best refer to Freddie’s updated guidelines for accurate delivery instructions, since one wouldn’t want to make a mistake with a 125% LTV loan!

New Home Sales Up 11% In June
How about that New Home Sales number yesterday: up 11% in June, the biggest jump in eight years. Don’t worry about the fact that the median price decreased 12% in the last year, and that sales are down 21% from last June. Midwest sales were up 43%, but here in the South (I am in the Carolinas, GA, and AL for the next several days) sales were down 5%. Nationwide, it would take 8.8 months to sell all homes at the current sales pace, the lowest level since October 2007. We also had Deutsche Deutsche Bank post a better-than-forecast rise in net profit, although it sharply increased their provisions for bad loans. Deutsche is Germany’s largest bank by market capitalization, and their net profit shot up 68% versus their numbers a year ago.

Treasury Auction Effects On Rates
We got through the 20-yr TIPS auction yesterday, but today have $42 billion of 2-yr notes to sell later today. Obviously this supply pressure is not helping mortgage rates & prices, and yesterday things got a little worse. For news today we’ll see Consumer Confidence and the Case/Shiller Home Price Index, and of course the auction. From what I have heard, no one expects rates to move up too much or down too much, so aside from a little intra-week volatility, perhaps mortgage rates will be at these levels for quite some time. Currently the yield on the 10-yr is around 3.68%, and mortgage security prices are a tad better.

Daily Humor
[Warning: R-rated.]
Herb decided to propose to Sandy, but prior to her acceptance Sandy felt she had to confess to her man about her childhood illness. She informed Herb that she suffered a disease that left her breasts at the maturity of a 12 year old. He stated that it was OK, because he loved her so much. However, Herb felt this was also the time for him to open up and admit that he had a deformity too.

Herb looked Sandy in the eyes and said, “I too have a problem. My ‘winky’ is the same size as an infant and I hope you can deal with that once we are married.”

She said, “Yes, I will marry you and learn to live with your infant-sized ‘winky’.”

Sandy and Herb got married and they could not wait for the honeymoon. Herb whisked Sandy off to their hotel suite and they started touching, teasing, and holding one another.

As Sandy put her hands in Herb’s pants, she began to scream and ran out of the room!

Herb ran after her to find out what was wrong. She said, “You told me your ‘winky’ was the size of an infant!”

“Yes, it is … 7 pounds, 8 ounces, 19 inches long.”