Insurers Lobby For Federal Pandemic Insurance Program

iLeads Mortgage Market Minute

Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Berkshire Hathaway Fires Back In COVID-19 Coverage Dispute. This week we’re bringing you:

 

QBE reveals forecast of first half results*

QBE Insurance Group, which will be officially releasing its first half financial results in August, has published its expected numbers – and the forecast isn’t rosy. In a July 22 update, the Sydney-headquartered global insurer said it expects a net statutory loss after tax of approximately $750 million for the period.

According to QBE, the preliminary figure largely reflects the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, catastrophe experience and prior accident year claims development, as well as a $125 million net investment loss due to extreme investment market volatility.

“While the landscape remains highly uncertain, at this stage QBE currently estimates total COVID-19 related costs to be around $600 million pre-tax,” stated the insurance group. Read more in-depth here.

 

W.R. Berkley reports lower profit as pandemic takes toll*

W.R. Berkley Corp.’s profit plummeted in the second quarter of 2020 as coronavirus-related losses hit the insurer and investment income fell.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based company reported second-quarter net income of $71.3 million on Tuesday, compared with $216.7 million in the same period in 2019.

Berkley previously reported that its results would be hurt by $145 million in catastrophe losses, including $85 million in losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, second-quarter net investment income fell to $85.4 million, compared with $188.3 million in the same period last year.

“Net investment income was adversely impacted by a $58 million loss from investment funds, which are reported on a one-quarter lag. The loss was driven by the first quarter downturn in the financial markets resulting from the COVID-19 related economic shutdown,” a Berkley statement said.

Gross premiums written increased 2% to $2.13 billion. Read more in-depth here.

 

Insurers lobby for federal pandemic insurance program*

One look at the numbers, and the problem is clear.

U.S. businesses are losing an estimated $1 trillion a month as businesses are disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. Yet, insurers collect only $4.5 billion a month for all commercial property policies.

This month, the groups representing the underwriters, the brokers and the agents are lobbying members of the House Financial Services Committee on a proposal to provide a type of pandemic coverage for the future.

The proposed Business Continuity Protection Program or BCPP would offer, in part, government-subsidized revenue replacement and protection for up to 80% of specific losses, like payroll expense or operational losses for up to three months.

The program would function something like the Federal Flood Insurance Program – with the government as the underwriter and insurers administering the policies. Read more in-depth here.

 

Featured iLeads Solution:

Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads insurance leads might be the answer. Learn more…

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Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

You can also schedule a call here.

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    What Would It Take To Trigger a Housing Downturn In The...

    iLeads Mortgage Market Minute

    Welcome back to iLeads Mortgage Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the mortgage market. We hope you enjoyed last week’s edition where we talked about Mortgage Rates Just Got Even Lower. This week we’re bringing you:

     

    5 things mortgage pros must know about Quicken Loans’ Rocket Companies IPO*

    How the Rocket brand might also fuel fintech valuation and more

    This week a Quicken Loans SEC filing confirmed the company will IPO with Rocket branding, as I predicted in HousingWire last month. Below, I explain why this is important, what it means for consumers and key things all mortgage pros must know about this milestone event in our industry.

    1. Rocket Brand Power Is Real For Consumers
    The Quicken Loans/Rocket Mortgage machine had 20.2 million interactions with prospective clients in 2019, which is 80% more than it had in 2014. You’ll recall Rocket Mortgage was launched as the company’s digital mortgage brand in October 2015, and that’s when it began an aggressive brand push. From 2015 to 2016 alone, that brand push increased prospective client interactions from 11.7 million to 16 million.

    Interacting with this many leads led to becoming America’s top retail mortgage lender two years ago – and the company held that slot – funding $145 billion in originations in 2019 and $51.7 billion Q1 2020. Read more in-depth here.

     

    Mortgage Rates Fight The Urge To Move Higher*

    Mortgage rates recovered to some extent today, after moving slightly higher on Friday and yesterday. The bond market (which underlies rate movement) was surprisingly resilient (good for rates) even as stock prices moved up roughly 1%. Rising stock prices frequently coincide with rising bond yields in the shortest of terms. In other words, it’s more common to see rates move higher on a day like today. Read more in-depth here.

     

    Redfin: Over half of home offers were in a bidding war in June*

    Less inventory and low mortgage rates fueling competition for homes

    More than half of Redfin offers were part of bidding wars for the second month in a row in June, according to new data from the brokerage.

    More homebuyers are entering the market while mortgage rates continue to hit record lows, and as a result, 53.7% of Redfin offers faced competition last month. This is up from a revised rate of 51.8% in May and 44.4% in April, Redfin said.

    Redfin noted that more than half of all offers faced bidding wars in 12 of the 24 metros included in its analysis.

    “Bidding wars continue to be fueled by historically low mortgage rates and fewer homes up for sale than almost any time in the last two decades,” said Redfin Economist Taylor Marr in a written statement.

    Renters and move-up buyers alike are competing for the small number of single-family homes on the market “as they realize they need more space for their families,” Marr added.

    The most competitive markets? Boston, San Diego and Salt Lake City. Read more in-depth here.

     

    Forecasters See Surprisingly Strong Housing Rebound, But There Are Risks*

    The reopening of the economy in several states from the COVID-19 shutdowns has moved Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group to raise its estimate for the 2020 full year GDP from the 5.4 percent decline it predicted in June to a 4.2 percent downturn. The economists say this improvement is almost entirely due to a stronger pace of recovery than they had anticipated. They caution that the current surge of cases in many areas will drag on growth in the future, however, they expect any future shutdowns and behavioral changes will be less severe than in the first round. Furthermore, given that consumer spending is still down, future behavioral responses will likely translate into only a drag on growth rather than a sharp decline, as occurred in the early spring.

    They also revised their Q2 GDP forecast from a 37.0 percent annualized decline to 34.8 percent and raised their Q3 estimate by 7.9 percentage points to 27.4 percent annualized.

    The risks to their forecast are balanced between upside and downside risks and revolve around the pandemic. The downside is the current resurgence in cases which could lead to regional shutdowns and self-imposed quarantines by consumers and businesses. To the upside, if the current wave doesn’t translate into severe cases, then consumer spending made be more robust than currently expected. There is also uncertainty about the extension of unemployment benefits and the passage of additional stimulus packages. Read more in-depth here.

     

    What would it take to trigger a housing downturn in the second half of 2020?*

    Plus, how likely –or unlikely– any of these events happen

    At its beginning, the COVID-19 crisis had many consumers and housing professionals alike bracing for a housing crash. And with good reason: We were, and are, facing the biggest health and economic shock in recent modern-day history.

    But what many didn’t account for was that the U.S. housing market was somewhat inoculated against the economic turmoil of the COVID-19 crisis by having great demographics for housing along with long-standing low mortgage rates. 

    U.S. demographics in the years 2008-2019 were too young and too old to generate strong demand for home purchases, and this was one of the reasons we had the weakest housing recovery ever recorded in history, even with low mortgage rates. In fact, MBA purchase applications, adjusted to population, were lowest in 2014, five years into the last expansion with mortgage rates under 5% for most of the cycle.

    Today, the rate of growth in purchase applications is faster on a year-over-year basis than before the COVID-19 crisis, and at a higher level than in 2018 and 2019. For the last four weeks, the rate of growth in purchase applications was +21%, +18%, +15% and +33%, compared to the same weeks last year. This high, double-digit rate of growth is so impressive that it is unlikely to be sustained in the second half of 2020. Read more in-depth here.

     

    Featured iLeads Solution:

    Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads credit-based leads might be the answer. Learn more…

    We are ready to help you navigate through the COVID-19 mortgage environment.

     

    Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

    At iLeads, we have many great solutions for mortgage LO’s at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

    We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

    You can also schedule a call here.

    Get Started

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      Berkshire Hathaway Fires Back In COVID-19 Coverage Dispute

      iLeads Mortgage Market Minute

      Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Newcomers See Chance To Step Into Insurance Market Amid Pandemic. This week we’re bringing you:

       

      AHT Insurance acquires Mason & Mason*

      AHT Insurance, a Virginia-based property and casualty brokerage and consulting firm, has today announced its acquisition of Mason & Mason Insurance (Mason).

      Mason, which has offices in Whitman, MA, and North Conway, NH, has been in business for more than 40 years, delivering P&C insurance programs to fit the needs of businesses and individuals. The brokerage has a focus on niche businesses and is recognized as a specialist service provider for venture capital, technology and life science firms. It is also one of the largest providers of insurance to custom home builders and remodelers in Massachusetts and is the managing agent for Builders and Remodelers Association of Massachusetts sponsored insurance program.

      AHT and Mason are well-known to each other and they share similar strategies and areas of focus. They are two of the founding agencies of TechAssure, a non-profit association dedicated to advancing corporate insurance and risk management for technology, life science and venture capital related risks. AHT president and CEO David Schaefer expressed his excitement about the synergies to come. Read more in-depth here.

       

      Property data expert launches integrated insurance technology*

      Global insurance industries in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe can now benefit from CoreLogic’s new insurance technology, as the property insights and solutions provider rolls out its first fully-integrated proposition designed to seamlessly engage and protect policyholders and portfolios.

      Features include virtual workflow platforms for both underwriting and claims; what was described as unique data-driven insights that will help in decision-making; as well as portfolio management and risk monitoring services.

      According to CoreLogic, the new offering makes it easy for clients to connect to a host of innovative third-party insurtech solutions, thanks to its open architecture and “industry-leading” application programming interface framework. Read more in-depth here.

       

      Berkshire Hathaway fires back in COVID-19 coverage dispute*

      Berkshire Hathaway Inc. asked a federal court on Monday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a policyholder of one of its insurance units that sought business interruption coverage for losses related to the coronavirus.

      In a motion to dismiss, Berkshire Hathaway said the National Fire & Marine Insurance Co. policy included a virus exclusion barring coverage, and other terms of the policy included a requirement for direct physical loss or damage to trigger business interruption coverage.

      In the original proposed class-action suit filed last month in federal court in Pittsburgh, 1 S.A.N.T. Inc. d/b/a Town & Country and d/b/a Gatherings Banquet & Event Center v. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a New Castle, Pennsylvania, restaurant and tavern argued that Berkshire Hathaway wrongly denied its claim for business interruption coverage for income lost during the COVID-19 lockdown. Read more in-depth here.

       

      Featured iLeads Solution:

      Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads insurance leads might be the answer. Learn more…

      We are ready to help you navigate through the COVID-19 insurance environment.

       

      Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

      At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

      We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

      You can also schedule a call here.

      Get Started

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        Mortgage Rates Just Got Even Lower

        iLeads Mortgage Market Minute

        Welcome back to iLeads Mortgage Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the mortgage market. We hope you enjoyed last week’s edition where we talked about U.S. Pending Home Sales Surged a Record 44% in May. This week we’re bringing you:

         

        2021 Could See First Decline in Home Prices in 9 Years*

        Did the housing happy talk just get a little less so?

        CoreLogic’s Housing Price Index Forecast (HPI) over the May 2020 to May 2021 window is seeing more rapid price deceleration in the face of the COVID-19 situation than did their previous 12-month forecast that ended in April of next year.

        In its report last month CoreLogic said it expected that “the housing market may be equipped to lead the broader economy through the recovery” but that home prices increases would slow and that the gain from April to May would be only 0.3 percent. They went on to predict that 2021 would bring the first decline in nine years, and by April 2021 the national price gain would turn negative, down 1.3 percent. Read more in-depth here.

         

        Tappable home equity rises to record $6.5 trillion*

        More than 75% of homeowners with tappable equity have mortgage rates above 3.5%, Black Knight says

        Tappable home equity, meaning the equity homeowners could borrow against while leaving a 20% buffer, rose to a record $6.5 trillion in the first quarter, Black Knight said in a report on Monday.

        More than 75% of homeowners with tappable equity have interest rates above 3.5%, the report said. With rates currently near 3%, the amount they would save each monthly likely would outweigh the cost of the transaction, the report said.

        While cash-out refis might provide support to the economy in the future, as people tap equity to renovate homes or pay down credit cards, the levels have fallen this year, the report said.

        “Driven by record-low 30-year mortgage rates, the first quarter saw overall refinance lending climb to a 7-year high,” the report said. “At the same time, the number of cash-out refinances, as well as the dollar value of equity withdrawn via refinance, fell for the first time since early 2019.”

        Cash-outs accounted for 42% of refinance loans in the first quarter, the lowest share in four years, the report said. The $38.7 billion in equity withdrawn via cash-out refis was down 8% from the prior quarter. Read more in-depth here.

         

        Quicken Loans drops S-1 under the name Rocket Companies*

        The Detroit-based company revealed a proposed maximum offering price of $100 million under the symbol “RKT”

        Quicken Loans on Tuesday filed an S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the name Rocket Companies.

        Last month, we reported that the largest online mortgage lender in the U.S. had confidentially filed for its prospectus for an IPO.

        Today, the Detroit-based company revealed that it will list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “RKT.” The company lists a figure of $100 million for the initial public offering, but the form notes that number is “estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee.”

        Founded in 1985, Quicken Loans/Rocket Companies has been seeing record numbers of refinance and purchase applications in recent months in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        The corporate structure for the newly public entity is sophisticated, and notably, Dan Gilbert will still retain significant control over the public company. Specifically, he will control approximately 79% of the combined voting power of Rocket Companies’ outstanding common stock. Read more in-depth here.

         

        Is now a good time to buy a home? Over 60% of surveyed Americans say yes*

        That’s a 9-point climb in Fannie Mae’s HPSI measurement

        Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, a composite index designed to track consumers’ housing-related attitudes, intentions and perceptions, increased nine points in June to 76.5. Although the HPSI is down 15 points year-over-year, June’s gain marked the second rise in HPSI since April’s almost record low.

        According to the report, 61% of Americans now believe it is a good time to buy a home – an increase of 9 percentage points from May’s 52%. The share of respondents who say it is a good time to sell also increased to 41% from 32% the month prior.

        “The share of renters who say it’s a good time to buy a home is now at its highest level in five years, suggesting favorable conditions for first-time home buying, consistent with the recent rebound in home purchase activity,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae.

        Despite predictions by CoreLogic that home prices will decline 6.6% by May 2021, the number of HPSI respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased in June from 26% to 34%, whereas the percentage who said home prices will go down decreased from 35% to 25%. Read more in-depth here.

         

        Mortgage Rates Just Got Even Lower*

        Mortgage rates were already at all-time lows yesterday, and had been holding at those levels for at least 3 business days for the average lender. I normally tell people that mortgage lenders are hesitant to drop rates very aggressively when they’re already at all-time lows, and that’s always been the case. At least it had been the case before coronavirus.

        Even then, the past 3 business days were making a similar case. Rates had bottomed out and the broader bond market (which ultimately drives mortgage rates) looked like it preferred a flat trajectory to one that continued to even deeper all-time lows.

        The bonds that specifically underlie the mortgage market had other ideas. So far this week, they’ve improved much more noticeably than the bond market’s poster child the 10yr Treasury yield. 10yr yields aren’t even back to last week’s best levels. Mortgage bonds, on the other hand have blown right past theirs.

        There are several reasons for this–all of them relatively confusing. Read more in-depth here.

         

        Featured iLeads Solution:

        Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads credit-based leads might be the answer. Learn more…

        We are ready to help you navigate through the COVID-19 mortgage environment.

         

        Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

        At iLeads, we have many great solutions for mortgage LO’s at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

        We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

        You can also schedule a call here.

        Get Started

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          Newcomers See Chance To Step Into Insurance Market Amid Pandemic

          iLeads Mortgage Market Minute

          Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Insurance Industry Is Incredibly Well Capitalized, Lloyd’s of London CEO says. This week we’re bringing you:

           

          Who are the industry’s up-and-coming talents?*

          Standing out amid a pool of immense talent can be a challenge, and, year after year, Insurance Business America makes it a point to recognize professionals who are rising above the pack, despite their young age.

          Once again, IBA is on the look-out for individuals, aged 35 or younger, who are emerging leaders in their companies and are quickly rising to influential roles. If you know someone who fits the bill, take a few minutes to complete this short nomination form. Self-nominations are also accepted. Read more in-depth here.

           

          Excess liability capacity shrinks as rates shoot up*

          Buyers of excess liability and umbrella coverage faced the one-two punch of soaring rates and a capacity crunch at July 1 renewals, market sources say.

          Some policyholders paid more for coverage and some bought less, while others were unable to achieve their past or desired levels of protection, they say.

          In addition, insurers introduced more exclusions as they tried to limit their exposures, particularly for historic sexual abuse and molestation claims.

          Commercial auto rates are also seeing rate hikes, after several years of increases, and primary general liability rates are rising but at a lower rate, sources say.

          Excess and umbrella insurance markets have seen the exodus of some $500 million in capacity, said Anthony DeFelice, managing director, national casualty in New York for Aon PLC’s risk services division. The largest coverage tower achievable is roughly $500 million to $600 million in limits, down from about $1.2 billion last year, he said.

          Policyholders that “buy the market” could previously have built $1.2 billion, but now can access only $600 million in total capacity, agreed Jon Drummond, New York-based head of casualty broking, North America, for Willis Towers Watson PLC. Read more in-depth here.

           

          Newcomers see chance to step into insurance market amid pandemic*

          (Reuters) — Commercial insurers are facing hefty claims from the coronavirus crisis but are also seeing a steep rise in premiums — tempting companies and industry veterans to raise capital, launch new businesses or expand into new lines.

          New insurance ventures sprang up after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The industry is hoping to replicate that process as premiums increase because of the fallout from the pandemic.

          Convex, a Bermuda and London-based insurer, for example, is launching cover for one of the areas worst hit by the current crisis — event cancellation.

          Many firms are reducing the amounts of business they do in certain types of insurance, creating space for new entrants, said Convex Deputy Chief Executive Paul Brand.

          John Cavanagh, former head of broker Willis Re and a founder of insurance venture capital firm Beat Capital, is seeking to raise funds in the “low hundreds of millions of pounds” from long-term investors for new insurance projects. Read more in-depth here.

           

          Featured iLeads Solution:

          Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads insurance leads might be the answer. Learn more…

          We are ready to help you navigate through the COVID-19 insurance environment.

           

          Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

          At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

          We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

          You can also schedule a call here.

          Get Started

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            Insurance Industry Is Incredibly Well Capitalized, Lloyd’s of London CEO says

            iLeads Mortgage Market Minute

            Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Insurers Will See Cyber Coverage Rise In Wake of COVID-19. This week we’re bringing you:

             

            Rent is the new buy: an opportunity for brokers and agents*

            There are more than 43 million renters in the United States, with over half of those being under the age of 30, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC). Millennials, along with older members of Generation Z, are choosing to rent instead of buying condos or houses for a number of reasons, including affordability, flexibility and a greater focus on careers and education. As rentals and multi-family properties continue to be a growing part of society, brokers and agents have an opportunity to tap into the emerging market of renters’ insurance.

            “More renters translates into bigger liabilities for landlords, particularly when the renter is a young person generally focused more on their careers, social lives and fun with less of a focus on the condition of their apartments,” said Nelson Townes III, vice president of national sales at QBE North America. Read more in-depth here.

             

            2020 workplace safety index: the top 10 causes of disabling workplace injuries*

            The 2020 Workplace Safety Index (WSI) shows that the total cost of serious workplace injuries has exceeded $59 billion per year, or more than $1 billion per week.

            The good news is, the vast majority of workplace injuries could be reduced or prevented through thoughtful, proactive risk control measures. And the first step is understanding how these accidents happen. Read more in-depth here.

             

            Insurance industry is incredibly well capitalized, Lloyd’s of London CEO says*

             

            Featured iLeads Solution:

            Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads insurance leads might be the answer. Learn more…

            We are ready to help you navigate through the COVID-19 insurance environment.

             

            Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

            At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

            We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

            You can also schedule a call here.

            Get Started

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              U.S. Pending Home Sales Surged a Record 44% in May

              iLeads Mortgage Market Minute

              Welcome back to iLeads Mortgage Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the mortgage market. We hope you enjoyed last week’s edition where we talked about Mortgage Lending Will Surge To a 14-Year High This Year, MBA Says. This week we’re bringing you:

               

              Best Month Ever For Mortgage Rates*

              Mortgage rates managed another slight improvement today, which means the average lender is offering new all-time low rates for the 4th time this month. Even if rates had lurched unexpectedly higher today, June still would have gone down as the best month in the history of the mortgage market with many lenders now offering conventional 30yr fixed rates under 3% on top tier scenarios.

              The low rate environment has been made possible first and foremost by the economic contraction resulting from coronavirus. In and of itself, however, that still likely wouldn’t be sufficient to get rates as low as they are. The rest of the heavy lifting has been done by the Federal Reserve, which stepped in when markets were experiencing the height of their recent volatility in early March 2020. The Fed helped restore liquidity by buying Treasuries and mortgage-backed bonds directly. This helps push interest rates down not only for mortgages, but also for the US government (which needs to borrower more heavily than ever before in order to finance the fiscal response to coronavirus). Read more in-depth here.

               

              How the housing market’s V-shaped recovery could slip into a W-shape*

              And four key points to keep us from falling into one

              Life comes at you fast and you better be ready to handle any curveball that gets thrown your way.

              The curveball I’m talking about is the increase in COVID-19 cases we are seeing in many states, including my state of California. The significant uptick in many areas following the relaxation of stay-at-home orders forced some governors to scale back the reopening of the economy.

              Previously, I wrote that the first hurdle we as society would need to conquer in order to get the economy back on track was to flatten the curve of new infections. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is the first of many steps required to revitalize the economy.

              In April and May we were on the verge of success, then some of us –– in fact, way too many of us –– got sloppy. The relaxation of stay at home orders was accompanied by relaxation of common sense. In Texas, Arizona, Florida and California, we weren’t careful, and now virus infection rates are rising.

              Prior to this setback, the U.S. economy wasn’t exactly in full swing, but we were making some progress. Most notably, the U.S. housing market made a full V-shaped recovery. This is based on four straight weeks of the highest levels of double-digit growth in purchase applications in 2020. Now with higher infection rates back in play in many areas, we need to entertain the possibility that our victorious V-shaped recovery in housing may turn into a “W-shaped” recovery. Read more in-depth here.

               

              Home Prices “Remarkably Stable” in April*

              Some said they worry about losing their home

              Home prices continued to hold up on a national basis in April. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 4.7 percent annual gain in April, up from 4.6 percent in March. The National Index posted a 1.1 percent month-over-month increase before seasonal adjustment and an 0.5 percent gain after it.

              The 10-City Composite appreciated at an annual rate of 3.4 percent, unchanged from the March rate while the 20-City Composite’s annual increase rose to 4.0 percent from 3.9 percent the previous month. The 10-City and 20-City measures had monthly increases of 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent respectively before seasonal adjustment and both posted 0.3 percent increases after adjustment.

              In April, all 19 cities (excluding Detroit for which sufficient data was not available due to a county recording office shutdown) reported increases before seasonal adjustment. Sixteen of the 19 cities reported them afterward.

              Phoenix, Seattle, and Minneapolis had the highest year-over-year appreciation among the 19 cities reporting with annual increases of 8.8 percent, 7.3 percent increase and 6.4 percent, respectively. Twelve of the 19 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending April 2020 versus the year ending March 2020. Cleveland, which has long lagged all other cities on the index, posted a 6 percent increase in April. Read more in-depth here.

               

              Here are the top 10 mortgage lenders of 2019*

              HMDA data shows which lenders originated the largest number of loans

              The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its annual report on Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data on June 24 with reports from 5,496 financial institutions.

              The report stated banks collectively originated 32.4% of all reported originations in 2019 with 2.6 million loans. Credit unions followed with 714,000 loans making up 8.8% of originations. Independent mortgage companies took the lion’s share in 2019, originating 4.4 million loans. That accounts for 54.5% of all reported loans.

              Overall, the top 25 lenders accounted for 37.2% of all loan originations in 2019, a slight increase from 33.8% in 2018’s report.

              “These same firms also provided additional funding by purchasing approximately 922,000 loans from other lending institutions during 2019 (these loans could have been originated prior to 2019), equal to 44.5% of total purchased loans,” the CFPB said.

              Here is a breakdown of the top 10 originators from 2019 by total amount of home purchase and refinance loans: Read more in-depth here.

               

              U.S. pending home sales surged a record 44% in May*

              Despite the increase, contract signings remained 5% below a year ago, NAR says

              U.S. pending home sales surged 44% in May, the biggest gain on record, as Americans emerging from lockdowns went home shopping, according to a report on Monday from the National Association of Realtors.

              The spike in signed contracts to buy homes came as the average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a record low of 3.15% at the end of May, as measured by Freddie Mac. Since then, rates in the last two weeks have set a new all-time low of 3.13%.

              “This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings, and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This bounce-back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.”

              Despite the surge, contract signings remained 5% below the year-ago month, the report said.

              Among the nation’s largest metro areas, active listings were up by more than 10% in May compared to April in Honolulu, San Francisco, San Jose, California, Denver, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, according to the report.

              In tandem with the pending sales report, Yun released his latest forecast for the housing market, showing sales of existing homes in 2020 probably will drop 7.7% and sales of new homes likely will rise 1%. Read more in-depth here.

               

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                Mortgage Lending Will Surge To a 14-Year High This Year, MBA...

                 

                iLeads Mortgage Market Minute
                Welcome back to iLeads Mortgage Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the mortgage market. We hope you enjoyed last week’s edition where we talked about The Real Estate Market Heats Up: Housing Demand is 25% Above Pre-Pandemic Levels. This week we’re bringing you:

                 

                April New Home Sales Surge, Rising Over 16%*

                After its pandemic-related plunge in April, the rapid recovery of the Housing Market Index, a measure of builder confidence, seems justified by today’s Census Bureau report on new home sales.

                For the second month in a row, sales of newly constructed homes outdistanced expectations, rising by 16.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000 units. However, the original April estimate of 623,000 units was revised down drastically to 580,000. This month’s surge did exceed last May’s 580,000 unit rate by 12.7 percent, but it seems that this data is more susceptible to revision in the current environment than in more normal times.

                Sales exceeded the upper limits of analysts predictions, which in the case of those polled by Econoday ranged from 600,000 to 670,000 units. The consensus was a rate of 630,000-units. Read more in-depth here.

                 

                We will get stronger existing home sales moving forward, says Moody’s Mark Zandi*

                 

                Even with mortgage assistance, 47% of homeowners have considered selling their home due to pandemic*

                Some said they worry about losing their home

                Because of the pandemic, 52% of people said they are routinely concerned about making their mortgage payments and 47% said they have considered selling their home because they are unable to afford their mortgage payments, a new poll from 72Point and the National Association of Realtors revealed.

                The poll also said that 35% of homeowners either skipped or missed a mortgage payment during the period from the beginning of the pandemic in March through June.

                Out of those who said they were financially insecure, 35% said they were worried about losing their homes. Unexpected financial distress as a result of the pandemic was experienced by 81% of homeowners, according to the survey.

                Cutting back on expenses to be able to afford their mortgage is what 56% said they had to do as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic began, 47% of homeowners said they have sought out alternative ways to make money – 64% said they started a side project and 53% said they sold personal items. Read more in-depth here.

                 

                Jumbo mortgage rates are near record lows, but can you get one?*

                It hasn’t been this tough to get a jumbo in four years as risk-averse lenders pull back

                Jumbo mortgage rates are near record lows, but there’s a catch for borrowers looking for home loans above the amount Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will guarantee: It hasn’t been this tough to get a jumbo in four years.

                Jumbo lenders like Chase and Wells Fargo beefed-up their standards when the economy began crumbling in mid-March and some stopped funding the home loans that exceed the amount the government will back, usually those above $510,400.

                That currently leaves smaller players in the market like Sprout and Luxury Mortgage, and some portfolio lenders like Union Bank in West Coast states, though they typically are only lending to borrowers who meet stricter standards, like having extra cash reserves on hand, said Mark Goldman, a loan officer with C2 Financial.

                “There’s a lot more risk for lenders when it comes to jumbo mortgages,” said Goldman. “If you have a $300,000 loan go bad on you, that’s a terrible thing, but if you have a $600,000 mortgage go into default, that’s twice as bad.” Read more in-depth here. (HW+ Membership Required)

                 

                Mortgage lending will surge to a 14-year high this year, MBA says*

                Low rates should push lending to $2.65 trillion in 2020, Fratantoni says

                If you’re in the mortgage business, expect to have your busiest year in 2020 since the height of the housing bubble in 2006.

                Combined lending for home purchases and mortgage refinancings probably will total $2.65 trillion this year, the most since the $2.74 trillion seen 14 years ago, as low rates spur demand, according to Michael Fratantoni, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

                The home-financing volume will be almost evenly split between purchases and refis, he said. About $1.3 trillion will be to finance home purchases and $1.35 trillion likely will be refinancings, Fratantoni said on Monday, speaking on a video conference sponsored by Moody’s.

                While the jump in refis was expected after the Federal Reserve‘s bond-buying shrank yields on mortgage-backed securities, the spike in demand for purchase loans was a surprise, Fratantoni said.

                “Purchase is a trickier forecasting exercise because many more variables come into play,” Fratantoni said during the conference.

                When the pandemic first hit, purchase applications dropped as low as 35% below the year-ago level, he said. When the real estate market reopened, Fratanoni said demand began to rebound at a pace that far surpassed his expectations. Read more in-depth here.

                 

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                We are ready to help you navigate through the COVID-19 mortgage environment.

                 

                Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

                At iLeads, we have many great solutions for mortgage LO’s at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

                We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

                You can also schedule a call here.

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                  Insurers Will See Cyber Coverage Rise In Wake of COVID-19

                  iLeads Mortgage Market Minute
                  Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Survey: Insurers Not So Confident About the Pandemic Ending This Year. This week we’re bringing you:

                   

                  The future of insurtech*

                  Insurtech investment is at an all-time high. In 2019, the insurtech sector hit a record $6.37 billion, according to Willis Tower Watson, up considerably from $4.17 billion the year before. It’s not slowing down either; an NTT survey found that investment in IT is set to double in the next three years, with two in three business leaders saying they were concerned about being left behind by modernization.

                  In the Special Report: Insurtech 2020, Insurance Business spoke to some of the leaders in the space to discuss what the future holds for insurtech and how agents and brokers can take advantage of the technology that’s transforming the industry. The report takes an in-depth look at all aspects of the dynamic industry, providing valuable insights for any industry player, including the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

                  “If the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated anything, it’s that almost anything can be done online, including insurance transactions,” the report stated. Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  COVID-19: Business continuity and workers’ compensation considerations*

                  Business continuity planning as it relates to workers’ compensation is critical, especially during the current coronavirus outbreak.

                  Safety National’s Matt McDonough discusses what risk managers should focus on in a business continuity plan, how businesses can ensure they’re not introducing new exposures as they adjust operations, what key components to include in a business continuity plan, and more, giving businesses a 360-degree view on planning for crises. Listen to the 14-minute podcast here.

                   

                  Insurer launches overseas and domestic road trip coverage for pandemic-era travelers*

                  Travel insurer Seven Corners has started two new products tailored to vacations in the age of coronavirus: one policy specifically covers medical expenses incurred due to Covid-19 infection while traveling overseas, and another helps motorists as road trips replace flights and cruises as the preferred means of summer and fall travel.

                  “Travel trends, in general, have changed,” said Jeremy Murchland, president of the Indianapolis-based company, which sells both comprehensive travel insurance policies and medical coverage-only plans.

                  “A lot of people are electing to take road trips for the summer as opposed to air travel,” he added. “We also took the opportunity [of the pandemic] to develop a ‘plus’ line of travel insurance that provides a specific coverage for Covid-19.”

                  When pandemic lockdowns brought worldwide travel largely to a halt this spring, many travelers who had purchased trip insurance — whether itinerary cancellation coverage, a medical plan or a policy including both — found themselves unable get paid on Covid-19 claims. Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  Insurers will see cyber coverage rise in wake of COVID-19 – report*

                  The rise in remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic will increase the risk of cyberattacks, giving insurers an opportunity to improve their cyber insurance penetration rate, according to analytics firm GlobalData.

                  The company said that cyber uptake had been on the rise even prior to the outbreak.

                  “Cyber insurance uptake has been most impactful among micro-businesses, which saw a 300% increase between 2016 and 2019, reaching 17.8%,” said Jazmin Chong, GlobalData analyst. “This huge increase is due to the very low proportion of micro-businesses that held cyber insurance in the past. However, small and medium businesses have also recorded notable rises. More than 50% of medium enterprises now hold cyber insurance, highlighting the growing awareness around the importance of protection against cyber incidents among larger-sized businesses. Meanwhile, 40% of small enterprises held cyber insurance as of 2019.” Read more in-depth here.

                   

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                  We are ready to help you navigate through the COVID-19 insurance environment.

                   

                  Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

                  At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

                  We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

                  You can also schedule a call here.

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                    The Real Estate Market Heats Up: Housing Demand is 25% Above...

                     

                    iLeads Mortgage Market Minute
                    Welcome back to iLeads Mortgage Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the mortgage market. We hope you enjoyed last week’s edition where we talked about Mortgage Applications Jump 13% as Refinancings Make a Comback. This week we’re bringing you:

                     

                    Purchase Applications Hit 11yr High, Refi Boom Continues*

                    Mortgage Application volumes continued to grow during the week ended June 12 as mortgage rates reached new lows and states allowed more businesses to reopen. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, increased 8.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index was up 7 percent compared with the previous week.

                    The volume of refinancing applications moved higher for the second straight week. That index increased 10 percent compared to the week ended June 5 and was 106 percent higher than the same week one year ago. Refinancing accounted for 63.2 percent of application activity, up from 61.3 percent the prior week.

                    The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index rose for the ninth time, a gain of 4 percent. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 21 percent higher than the same week one year ago. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Fannie Mae sees record-low mortgage rates through 2021*

                    The 2020 and 2021 annual averages will be lowest on record, according to the forecast

                    The cheapest mortgage rates on the record are heading lower, Fannie Mae said in a forecast on Monday.

                    According to Fannie Mae, the annual average rate for 2020 will be 3.2%, down from 2019’s 3.9%. This would beat the record of 3.65% set in 2016, according to Freddie Mac data. Fannie Mae expects rates to drop to 2.9% in 2021.

                    The mortgage-rate forecast bodes well for housing demand and for refinancing volume, said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist.

                    “While housing took a big hit this quarter, we believe the further reduction of mortgage rates, persistently low levels of supply, and strong buyer sentiment compared to seller sentiment should continue to provide support to home prices and new construction,” Duncan said.

                    The low rates probably will boost refi volume to $1.78 trillion this year, according to the forecast, which would be the highest level since 2003, when it was $2.5 trillion. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Refi Surge Boosts Lender Sentiment*

                    The continued high volume of refinancing kept mortgage lenders’ outlook for profits relatively high during the second quarter, although it was down slightly from the first quarter of the year. Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Lender Sentiment survey found that more than half (52 percent) of lenders who responded believed that their profit margins would be higher than the prior quarter, while the remainder were almost equally divided between those who expected lower profits or that they would remain unchanged. The survey of senior mortgage executives was conducted between May 5, 2020 and May 18, 2020.

                    The lender optimism was based largely on the demand for refinancing, which outweighed a perceived decline in mortgage demand. The net share of lenders reporting demand growth for refis over the prior three months remained strong for all loans types (GSE-eligible, non-GSE-eligible, and government) and reached a survey high for GSE-eligible loans. Demand growth expectations on net for the next three months fell from last quarter but remained high across all loan types. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Builder Confidence Crushes Expectations*

                    The COVID-19 outbreak struck a major blow to builder confidence in April. The prospect of widespread shutdowns of businesses and prolonged shelter at home orders sent the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) spiraling down 42 points, its largest monthly change in a more than 30 year history, to a reading of 30. The index, a measure of home builder confidence in the market for new homes, recovered slightly in May, rising 7 points.

                    This morning NAHB said, in a sign that housing stands poised to lead a post-pandemic economic recovery, its index soared 21 points to 58, now only 14 points below where it finished in March. Any reading above 50 indicates a positive market.

                    NAHB’s leadership is clearly upbeat. Chairman Dean Mon said, “As the nation reopens, housing is well-positioned to lead the economy forward. Inventory is tight, mortgage applications are increasing, interest rates are low and confidence is rising. And buyer traffic more than doubled in one month even as builders report growing online and phone inquiries stemming from the outbreak.”

                    Analysts polled by Econoday had expected a much slower return of optimism in the sector. The consensus was for another 7-point increase in June, to 44. The highest estimate was only 50. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    The real estate market heats up: Housing demand is 25% above pre-pandemic levels*

                    Housing inventory is starting to improve but still not keeping pace with demand

                    Demand for houses continues to skyrocket, according to a report from Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. Seasonally adjusted demand for houses during the week of June 1 through June 7 was 25% above pre-pandemic levels.

                    Kelman said that bidding wars have caused listings to move quickly, and sales prices are up 3.1% year over year. The percentage of newly listed homes to accept an offer within 14 days increased from 42% in May to 47% in June.

                    “Our abiding concern in May was about the number of homes for sale, but that’s improving too,” Kelman said. “After falling to 21% below last year’s level the week of May 25-31, new listings last week continued their recovery; last week’s new listings were 15% below last year’s level.” Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Featured iLeads Solution:

                    Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads credit-based leads might be the answer. Learn more…

                    We are ready to help you navigate through the COVID-19 mortgage environment.

                     

                    Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

                    At iLeads, we have many great solutions for mortgage LO’s at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

                    We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

                    You can also schedule a call here.

                    Get Started

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