Provident and Condos; Startling Utah Stats; Promising Signs for US Economy – Will Rates Creep Up?

Yes, Wells
Fargo’s CEO’s was on CNBC this morning talking about the mortgage markets. Investor
news is rarely “headline grabbing,” but also this morning Provident Funding, often the nation’s
leading wholesale operation, turned some heads and notified brokers this
morning ahead of this three day weekend, “Effective immediately for new
locks, condominiums are now unacceptable properties except for high rise
condominiums located in Chicago, Honolulu, San Francisco and Seattle. Existing
locks will be honored and allowed lock extensions. Please refer to the updated
Program Guidelines for complete details.” (Editor’s note: I received it
from a few folks – I hope it is not some kind of prank.)

The land
of Alta & Snowbird, the Bonneville Salt Flats, mountain bike riding in
Moab, and… Nearly 1 in 10 borrowers delinquent or in default? Utah, where the
first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant opened in 1952, has some startling
stats
.

Mortgage
folks don’t know whether to hope the Greek and European problems are solved.
Fiscal soundness is a great goal, especially for a nation. But the problems
over there nudge investors to buy U.S. securities, keeping demand and prices
high and thus rates low. And now we have this headline: “Japan’s debt levels
have ballooned to a level that makes Greece look like a steward of capital.
Wall Street has noticed, and it’s placing its bets”. Uh oh.

“The GSEs are exercising their near-monopoly power in harmful ways: Freddie Mac
and Fannie Mae have reduced lending and increased fees. They have continued to
sue banks and taken steps to reduce competition in originating mortgages.” Say it
ain’t so
!

For commercial real estate fans,
Wells Fargo sent out some mixed news…

…(read more)

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