October 2017: HMBS Market Sees a Ghost

November 12th, 2017

In a month where HECM lenders were haunted by the specter of lower Principal Limit Factors, the HMBS market froze with fright – again – at $55 billion in September. HMBS Prepayments topped $1 billion, the third highest monthly payoff ever. However, a record 15 issuers whistled past the graveyard with 107 new pools totaling over $913 million.

October issuance divided into 48 original pools and 59 tail pools. Two highly seasoned original new loan pools were issued. Production of original new loan pools was a healthy $615 million, a typical total for this year.

November issuance promises to be very interesting indeed, as pools are already being issued backed by some of the new lower PLF/lower interest rate loans.

Original pools are those HMBS pools backed by first participations in previously uncertificated HECM loans. Tail HMBS issuances are HMBS pools consisting of subsequent participations. In other words, tail pools are created from the Uncertificated Portions of HECMs that have already had their original HMBS issuance. October’s tail issuance was very strong: about $264 million, the third highest ever.

Last month, total outstanding HMBS grew by almost $40 million from September. We estimate that last month’s change in HMBS balance was composed of over $184.2 million in negative amortization, plus the $913 million in new issuance, minus $1.06 billion in payoffs. Last month’s payoffs were the third highest ever; payoffs have exceeded new issuance for fourteen months in a row.

Payoffs figure are still high, running above a 20% annual rate as more seasoned HECM loans liquidate or reach 98% of their Maximum Claim Amount (“MCA”). Our friends at RecursionCo crunched the numbers: the payoffs from 98% MCA puts again totaled approximately $614 million last month, the third highest total ever. According to Recursion, the 98% MCA puts were only $92 million, or 29.8% of payoffs in September 2013.

New View Advisors compiled this data from publicly available Ginnie Mae data as well as private sources.

Financial Assessment Is Working (Part IV)

November 1st, 2017

Financial Assessment is still working. FHA’s new policy of requiring a financial assessment (“FA”) of the borrower’s ability to pay has cut tax and insurance default by nearly three quarters and serious defaults by almost two-thirds. These results continue to validate the encouraging data we shared in previous quarters.

FHA’s objective for the new Financial Assessment regulations was to reduce the persistent defaults, especially Tax and Insurance defaults, plaguing the HECM program. As FHA put it, “… an increasing number of tax and hazard insurance defaults by mortgagors led FHA to establish … a requirement for a Financial Assessment of a potential mortgagor’s financial capacity and willingness to comply with mortgage provisions.” Financial Assessment requirements became effective for HECMs with case numbers issued on or after April 27, 2015. Since then, HECM lenders must make a financial assessment of the borrower’s ability to meet their obligations, including property taxes and home insurance. Tax and Insurance (T&I) and other defaults can lead to foreclosure and result in significant losses to FHA, HMBS issuers and other HECM investors. Defaults rose steadily during the financial crisis and have remained a thorn in the side of the program.

It’s been over two years since Financial Assessment began, so we can measure the effect of this policy by comparing the default rates of loans originated before and after the FA rule was implemented.

With this in mind, New View Advisors looked at a data set of just over 125,000 HECM loans, comparing loans originated in the immediate post-FA period from July 2015 through September 2017 to loans originated in the 27 month pre-FA period from January 2013 through March 2015. After July 2015, there were few (if any) loans originated under the pre-FA guidelines. As the guidelines took effect in April 2015, the second quarter of 2015 includes a mix of FA and pre-FA loans.

The data show a very strong reduction in Tax and Insurance Defaults in the post-FA period. After 27 months, the pre-FA data set shows a T&I default rate of 2.3%, and an overall serious default rate of 3.1%. By contrast, the post-FA data set shows a T&I default rate of about 0.6%, and an overall serious default rate of 1.2%. For the purposes of this analysis, we define serious defaults as T&I defaults plus foreclosures and other “Called Due” status loans.

Given this result, we once again give the Financial Assessment concept high marks for reducing defaults. However, this is another mid-term grade that needs to be tested further as the post-FA portfolio ages.

Average loan size and subsequent draws are also higher for the post-FA market. Average loan balances are about 12% higher for loans currently aged 27 months or less compared to the comparable HECM loan population as of March 2015. This is not surprising since homeowners of more expensive home generally have better credit and ability to pay. Also, FHA now limits the amount that can be lent in the first 12 months. As recent months of HMBS issuance show, subsequent draws and HMBS “tail” issuance are a driving force in the industry’s profits. Dollars lent, and not just at initial loan funding, is the true metric by which the industry should measure industry growth.

New View Advisors compiled this data from publicly available Ginnie Mae data as well as private sources.

HMBS September 2017: Slow Climb Up the Down Escalator

October 15th, 2017

The HMBS market remained stuck – again – at $55 billion in September. HMBS Prepayments topped $1 billion, but was balanced by 114 new pools from 14 different issuers totaling over $879 million.

September issuance divided into 49 original pools and 65 tail pools. No seasoned original new loan pools were issued. Production of original new loan pools was a healthy $627 million, a typical total for this year.

Original pools are those HMBS pools backed by first participations in previously uncertificated HECM loans. Tail HMBS issuances are HMBS pools consisting of subsequent participations. In other words, tail pools are created from the Uncertificated Portions of HECMs that have already had their original HMBS issuance. September’s tail issuance was strong: about $252 million.

Last month, total outstanding HMBS grew by only $12 million from August. We estimate that last month’s change in HMBS balance was composed of over $184 million in negative amortization, plus the $879 million in new issuance, minus $1.05 billion in payoffs. Last month’s payoffs were the third highest ever; payoffs have exceeded new issuance for thirteen months in a row.

Payoff figures are still high as more seasoned HECM loans liquidate or reach 98% of their Maximum Claim Amount (“MCA”). Our friends at RecursionCo show that payoffs from 98% MCA assignments totaled approximately $614 million last month, the second highest total ever. According to Recursion, the 98% MCA puts were only $92 million, or 29.8% of payoffs in September 2013.

New View Advisors compiled this data from publicly available Ginnie Mae data as well as private sources.

HREMIC Issuance 2017Q3: 100.3% Market Share

October 5th, 2017

HREMIC issuance for the first nine months of 2017 was $7.31 billion, about 5% behind 2016’s first nine months’ issuance total of $7.68 billion. Third quarter volume was $1.87 billion, off 26% from 2017’s second quarter issuance of $2.53 billion.

There were 19 transactions underwritten by three sponsors, Nomura, Citigroup, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Nomura remains the #1 issuer with $3.6 billion. Citigroup leapfrogged ahead to second with $2.0 billion, and Bank America Merrill Lynch was third with $1.6 billion. Life-to-date BAML has issued $19.4 billion of all HREMICs for a 37.6% market share, and Nomura has issued $13.8 billion for a 26.8% market share.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, more HREMICs ($7.31 billion) than HMBS ($7.29 billion) were issued, suggesting the vast majority of HMBS now find their way into HREMIC securitization. The stronger and broader bid for the Interest-Only HREMIC class that emerged in 2016 has made the HREMIC structure the most profitable option for broker dealers.

HREMIC collateral consists of HMBS, which are Ginnie Mae guaranteed pass-through securities. HMBS are backed by pools of participations of HECMs, which are FHA-insured reverse mortgages. This double layer of government guarantee, combined with the relatively high coupon and favorable prepayment patterns of the underlying loans, results in very favorable execution, even when compared to other Ginnie Mae “forward mortgage” securities.

New View Advisors compiled these rankings from publicly available Ginnie Mae data.

HMBS Issuer Rankings 2017Q3 – Active Issuer Count Hits New High Water Mark

October 4th, 2017

AAG remains the leading HMBS Issuer for the first nine months of 2017, issuing $1.718 billion of securities for a 23.6% market share, $407 million over #2 Finance America Reverse’s $1.311 billion and 18.0% market share. AAG’s market share dropped marginally over 2017Q2, and FAR narrowed the gap by 1.3%. Reverse Mortgage Funding stayed in third for the quarter with $1.181 billion issued and 16.2% market share. Ocwen Loan Servicing and Live Well Financial round out the top five issuers again. Ocwen issued $981.7 million for a 13.5% market share, and Live Well was fifth with $650.7 million issued for an 8.9% market share. There was no change in rankings from the second quarter, though Longbridge Financial entered the fray at #8 with $320.5 million issued. The top five issuers accounted for 80.1% of all issuance, down from last quarter’s 81.6%. There are now 16 active HMBS issuers in the industry, a new record.

Despite the much-reported slowdown in HECM endorsements, HMBS issuance remains robust, aided by growth in tail issuance and without highly seasoned pools. At this point, endorsement count has become a meaningless metric for gauging industry growth and health. Issuance volume totaled $7.292 billion for the first nine months of 2017, remaining on pace to surpass 2016’s full year production of $9.187 billion. 2010 was the record year for HMBS with $10.7 billion of securities issued.

New View Advisors compiled this data from publicly available Ginnie Mae data as well as private sources.

$55 Billion Speed Limit Slows HMBS Market Growth

September 17th, 2017

The HMBS market remained stuck at $55 billion in August. HMBS Prepayments topped $1 billion, but was balanced by 92 new pools totaling over $913 million. In its second month of issuance, Longbridge Financial led all issuers with nine pools totaling $215 million.

August issuance divided into 52 original pools and 40 tail pools. No seasoned original new loan pools were issued. Production of original new loan pools was a healthy $736 million, the highest total since last August, and up from $622 million last month.

Original pools are those HMBS pools backed by first participations in previously uncertificated HECM loans. Tail HMBS issuances are HMBS pools consisting of subsequent participations. In other words, tail pools are created from the Uncertificated Portions of HECMs that have already had their original HMBS issuance. July’s tail issuance was about $177 million.

Last month, total outstanding HMBS grew by $43 million from July. We estimate that last month’s change in HMBS balance was composed of over $188 million in negative amortization (a record), plus the $914 million in new issuance, minus $1.06 billion in payoffs. Last month’s payoffs were the third highest ever; payoffs have exceeded new issuance for twelve months in a row.

Payoff figures are still high as more seasoned HECM loans liquidate or reach 98% of their Maximum Claim Amount (“MCA”). Our friends at RecursionCo once again crunched the numbers: the payoffs from 98% MCA puts totaled approximately $590 million last month. According to Recursion, the 98% MCA puts were only $92 million, or 29.8% of payoffs in September 2013. This probably means further shrinkage in HMBS float throughout 2017.

New View Advisors compiled this data from publicly available Ginnie Mae data as well as private sources.

Financial Assessment Is Working (Part III)

August 16th, 2017

Financial Assessment is still working. FHA’s new policy of requiring the financial assessment (“FA”) of the borrower’s ability to pay has cut tax and insurance default by nearly three quarters and serious defaults by almost two-thirds. These results continue to validate the encouraging data we shared 3 months and 6 months ago.

FHA’s objective for the new Financial Assessment regulations was to reduce the persistent defaults, especially Tax and Insurance defaults, plaguing the HECM program. As FHA put it, “… an increasing number of tax and hazard insurance defaults by mortgagors led FHA to establish … a requirement for a Financial Assessment of a potential mortgagor’s financial capacity and willingness to comply with mortgage provisions.” Financial Assessment requirements became effective for HECMs with case numbers issued on or after April 27, 2015. Since then, HECM lenders must make a financial assessment of the borrower’s ability to meet their obligations, including property taxes and home insurance. Tax and Insurance (T&I) and other defaults can lead to foreclosure and result in significant losses to FHA, HMBS issuers, and other HECM investors. Defaults rose steadily during the financial crisis and have remained a thorn in the side of the program.

It’s been over two years since Financial Assessment began, so we can measure the effect of this policy by comparing the default rates of loans originated before and after the FA rule was implemented.

With this in mind, New View Advisors looked at a data set of just over 115,000 HECM loans, comparing loans originated in the immediate post-FA period from July 2015 through June 2017 to loans originated in the 24 month pre-FA period from April 2013 through March 2015. After July 2015, there were few (if any) loans originated under the pre-FA guidelines. As the guidelines took effect in April 2015, the second quarter of 2015 includes a mix of FA and pre-FA loans.

The data show a very strong reduction in Tax and Insurance Defaults in the post-FA period. After 24 months, the pre-FA data set shows a T&I default rate of 2.1%, and an overall serious default rate of 2.8%. By contrast, the post-FA data set shows a T&I default rate of only 0.6%, and an overall serious default rate of 1.0%. For the purpose of this analysis, we define serious defaults as T&I defaults plus foreclosures and other “Called Due” status loans.

Given this result, the Financial Assessment concept gets high marks for reducing defaults. The table below shows the improving portfolio trendline from pre-FA to post-FA at 18, 21, and 24 months. We will continue to monitor progress as the post-FA portfolio ages.

Average loan size and subsequent draws are also higher for the post-FA market. Average loan balances are about 11% higher for loans currently aged 24 months or less compared to the comparable HECM loan population as of March 2015. This is not surprising since homeowners of more expensive home generally have better credit and ability to pay. Also, FHA now limits the amount that can be lent in the first 12 months. As recent months of HMBS issuance show, subsequent draws and HMBS “tail” issuance are a driving force in the industry’s profits. Dollars lent, and not just at initial loan funding, is the true metric by which the industry should measure industry growth.

New View Advisors compiled this data from publicly available Ginnie Mae data as well as private sources.

 

HMBS Shrinkage Takes Summer Vacation; Issuer Beach Getting Crowded

August 14th, 2017

The HMBS market grew in July, featuring a new issuer and lower prepayments. HMBS prepayments fell below $1 billion as thirteen issuers created 109 pools in July totaling over $848 million. Longbridge Financial made its HMBS issuance debut with two pools totaling $54 million.

July issuance divided into 46 original pools and 63 tail pools. No seasoned original new loan pools were issued. Production of original new loan pools was a healthy $622 million, up from $571 million in the prior month.

Original pools are those HMBS pools backed by first participations in previously uncertificated HECM loans. Tail HMBS issuances are HMBS pools consisting of subsequent participations. In other words, tail pools are created from the Uncertificated Portions of HECMs that have already had their original HMBS issuance. July’s tail issuance was about $225 million, the highest total since January.

Last month, total outstanding HMBS grew by $63 million from June. We estimate that July’s change in HMBS balance was composed of over $186 million in negative amortization (a record), plus the $848 million in new issuance, minus $971 million in payoffs. July’s payoffs were the third highest ever; payoffs have exceeded new issuance for eleven months in a row.

Payoff figures are still high as more seasoned HECM loans liquidate or reach 98% of their Maximum Claim Amount (“MCA”). Our friends at RecursonCo once again crunched the numbers: the payoffs from 98% MCA puts totaled approximately $576 million last month. This amount is down from last month but the overall trend has been a steady rise. According to Recursion, the 98% MCA puts were only $92 million, or 29.8% of payoffs in September 2013. This probably means further shrinkage in HMBS float throughout 2017.

New View Advisors compiled this data from publicly available Ginnie Mae data as well as private sources.

HREMIC Issuance First Half 2017: A Familiar Pattern

July 18th, 2017

HREMIC issuance for the first half of 2017 was $5.44 billion, eclipsing 2016’s first half issuance total of $5.43 billion, and on pace to set a fourth consecutive annual record. Second quarter volume was $2.53 billion, off 13% from the near record quarterly issuance of $2.91 billion set in 2017Q1.

There were 14 transactions underwritten by three sponsors, Nomura, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup. Nomura remains the #1 issuer, with $3.2 billion, Bank of America Merrill Lynch was second with $1.4 billion, and Citigroup was third with $853 million. Life-to-date BAML has issued $19.2 billion of all HREMICs for a 39% market share, and Nomura has issued $13.3 billion for a 27% market share.

Approximately 90% of outstanding HMBS securities have been resecuritized into HREMICs, up from 85% at the end of 2017Q1. At this point, substantially all HMBS are finding their way into HREMIC securitization. A stronger and broader bid for the Interest-Only HREMIC classes emerged last year, and as a result the HREMIC structure, which allows issuers to create bond classes such as these “IO” securities, has become the most profitable option.

HREMIC collateral consists of HMBS, which are Ginnie Mae guaranteed pass-through securities. HMBS are backed by pools of participations of HECMs, which are FHA-insured reverse mortgages. This double layer of government guarantee, combined with the relatively high coupon and favorable prepayment patterns of the underlying loans, results in very favorable execution, even when compared to other Ginnie Mae “forward mortgage” securities.

New View Advisors compiled these rankings from publicly available Ginnie Mae data.

HMBS Blooms but June Swoon Lowers Boom: Payoffs Zoom as Shrinkage Looms

July 13th, 2017

The HMBS market shrank again in June, with another huge prepayment wave outweighing a strong month of new issuance. Nearly 2% of outstanding HMBS supply paid off as HMBS prepayments exceeded $1 billion for the second month in a row. Issuers created 101 pools in June totaling over $779 million. June issuance divided into 50 original pools and 51 tail pools. No seasoned original new loan pools were issued. Production of original new loan pools was a healthy $571 million, up from $543 million in the prior month.

Original pools are those HMBS pools backed by first participations in previously uncertificated HECM loans. Tail HMBS issuances are HMBS pools consisting of subsequent participations. In other words, tail pools are created from the Uncertificated Portions of HECMs that have already had their original HMBS issuance. June’s tail issuance was about $208 million, also consistent with recent production.

Last month, total outstanding HMBS shrank by a record $111 million from May. We estimate that last month’s change in HMBS balance was composed of over $181 million in negative amortization (a record), plus the $779 million in new issuance, minus the record $1.07 billion in payoffs. Payoffs have exceeded new issuance for ten months in a row.

Payoffs continue to climb as more seasoned HECM loans liquidate or reach 98% of their Maximum Claim Amount (“MCA”). Our friends at RecursionCo once again crunched the numbers: payoffs from 98% MCA assignments totaled a record of approximately $640 million last month. This amount has been rising steadily. According to Recursion, the 98% MCA puts were only $92 million, or 29.8% of payoffs in September 2013. This probably means further shrinkage in HMBS float throughout 2017.

New View Advisors compiled this data from publicly available Ginnie Mae data as well as private sources.