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September 19th, 2014 - RPM Mortgage Inc. Acquires New England-based Regency Mortgage Corp.

 Bay Area-Based Private Mortgage Lender Expands to East Coast

 ALAMO, Calif. – September 19, 2014 RPM Mortgage Inc. (RPM), a leading private mortgage lender, today announced that it has acquired Regency Mortgage Corporation, a fast-growing, 14-branch private mortgage lender with operations in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Florida.

The Regency acquisition expands RPM’s regional footprint to the East Coast. RPM’s strength and stability will provide Regency loan originators with access to a larger menu of loan products, in addition to robust technology and compliance support.  The combination of the two independent lenders will provide both RPM and Regency loan originators with attractive pricing options for their customers. In 2013 RPM funded $5.9 billion and Regency funded $505 million in residential home loans. Regency will continue to operate under its current brand and its operations will remain local.

RPM CEO Rob Hirt comments on the acquisition. “Higher compliance costs are an unfortunate reality of today’s mortgage lending environment. This creates a challenge for independent mortgage lenders to remain price-competitive and provide quality loan products. The combination of RPM and Regency will enable us to service our respective markets and provide the best possible loans for our customers,” said Hirt.  “Regency is a natural fit for the RPM family, and we look forward to helping homeowners on both the East and West Coasts to meet their financial and real estate goals.”

Other similarities of the two independent lenders include the fact that they are both led by their founders. RPM is owned and operated by founders Rob and Tracey Hirt, and Regency is owned and operated by founders Quentin Keefe and Maureen Lemay. Keefe and Lemay will continue in their present positions.

Both organizations place a high level of priority on their employees and their company cultures. Quentin Keefe, CEO of Regency said, “RPM believes as we do, that if you hire great people and create an environment that empowers and respects them, good things will follow. RPM’s financial strength will afford us the opportunity to continue to grow our brand throughout New England and provide a quality place of employment for our employees.”

Regency Mortgage Corporation was founded in February 1996 and is headquartered in Hooksett, New Hampshire.  Business New Hampshire Magazine named Regency as the third fastest growing company in 2014. Regency offers a particularly vast array of mortgage products including conventional loans, jumbo loans, FHA, VA and RD (Rural Development) financing, rehabilitation loans, construction loans and portfolio loans.

To continue on this growth trajectory, RPM’s primary strategy is to continue to seek out like-minded, retail only, independent mortgage companies where they feel that they can best serve homeowners, such as the Northeast, Southeast, Texas and Chicago.

About RPM Mortgage Inc. 

Based in Alamo, California, RPM Mortgage Inc. is a private mortgage lender. Since 1986, trust, knowledge and community focus have been the core values upon which RPM has built a reputation as a trusted mortgage lender.  Scotsman Guide ranked RPM as the No. 5 mortgage lender in Top Retail Volume and No. 14 in Top Overall Volume for 2013. In addition, RPM is the only privately owned U.S. mortgage originator to have earned Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Above Average ranking in all ratings categories and was also named one of S&P’s Select Servicers in 2014. RPM services more than $3 billion in loans and their footprint of nearly 60 branches serves communities across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Washington. For more information, please visit www.rpm-mtg.com, call 925-295-9300, or follow @RPMMortgage.

RPM Mortgage, Inc. | 3236 Stone Valley Road West, Alamo, CA  94507 | NMLS #9472 | AZ – Arizona Mortgage Banker License #0924551. CA – California Bureau of Real Estate, Real Estate Broker License #01818035. CO – Regulated by the Division of Real Estate #9472. NV – Nevada Mortgage Broker License #1232. OR – Oregon Mortgage Lending License #ML-4876. TX – Regulated by the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending #9472. WA – Washington Consumer Loan Company License #CL-9472. | Equal Housing Opportunity.

September 18th, 2014 - 3rd Fastest Growing Company in New Hampshire

We have some exciting news to share with our Realtor Partners! We have moved upon Business NH Magazine’s, Five Fastest Growing Companies list! Last year we were pleased to be the Fifth Fastest Growing Company for 2013, however this year we are happy to announce we have moved up to the Third Fastest! We are the ONLY company to make a second appearance among the Fast Five this year!

On top of that we landed at #4 on the NH Top 100 Private Companies list! We have been moving up on this prestigious list as well, in 2012 we were #9 and 2013 we moved up to #6! So we could not be happier to be at #4 for 2014!

This could not have been accomplished without the help from our preferred Realtor Partners, so thank you for helping us achieve such an incredible accomplishment!

March 28th, 2014 - Welcome Paul Amatucci

Regency Mortgage Corporation is pleased to announce that Paul Amatucci has joined the company as Vice President, Renovation Lending.

Paul’s experience, expertise, knowledge and success in renovation lending will enhance this product offering for our borrower clients while reinforcing our strength with our referral partners. Working hand in hand with Regency mortgage planners, realtors, contractors and valued added partners, we look forward to strong growth in FHA 203k, Fannie Mae Homestyle and USDA plus rehab loans.

Paul comes to us from nine years with M&T Bank covering the northern New England area and is well versed in our market and its unique needs. He has strong credentials in both construction and renovation lending as well as a significant senior management career in financial services.

Please welcome Paul as a valued member of our Regency family.

March 25th, 2014 - Quentin’s Weekly Review

The following is a day by day summary of the news affecting the financial markets this past week.

Monday: There wasn’t much reaction in financial markets to the news that Crimean residents voted to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia.  Russia ignored Western nations’ complaints that the referendum was illegal.  Close to 97% of Crimeans voted to rejoin Russia.  U.S. economic news was modestly better than expected and this helped to drive the stock market higher.  The Empire State Manufacturing Survey, which measures manufacturing in the NY region, came in at 5.61, which was lower than estimates of 6.50, but higher than last month’s weak reading of 4.48.  Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization were both reported slightly higher than expectations.  Capacity Utilization came in at 78.%, which was stronger than the 78.6% expected.  The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index for March came in at 47, which was a little better than last month’s 46, but still quite a ways below 50.  This figure, which is almost in real time, tracks builders’ sentiment.  Sales increased one point to 52, while future sales fell 1 point to 53.  Traffic did jump 2 points to 33, but this figure is still well below 50.  This part of the report is most likely to be affected by weather conditions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 181.55 points to close at 16,247.22; the S&P 500 climbed 17.70 points to finish at 1,858.83; and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 34.55 points to close at 4,279.95.  In the bond market, interest rates rose slightly with the yield on the 10-year Treasury rising by almost four basis points to 2.6938%.

Tuesday: Favorable U.S. economic news continued to have a positive influence on the stock market.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was released and as has been the story for a long time, inflation was virtually nonexistent.  The headline and core numbers were both up 0.1%, which was in line with expectations.  ON a year over year basis, headline inflation was up 1.1%, while Core was up 1.6%.  Housing Starts for the month of February came in right around expectations at 907,000.  But the previous month’s numbers were revised higher to 909,000.  Building permits jumped over the 1 Million mark and were stronger than expected.  Overall this was a good report on the present state of the new construction market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 88.97 points to 16,336.19, the S&P 500 Index added 13.42 points to 1,872.25, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 53.36 points to 4,333.31.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell two basis points to 2.6722%.

Wednesday: The financial markets reacted negatively to Janet Yellen’s first meeting as Chair of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).  Yellen announced some unexpected revisions to the “guidance” relating to what to expect from the Fed in the future.  Immediately following the release of the Fed statement. The S&P 500 dove 10 points.  Yellen dropped the 6.5 percent unemployment rate “threshold” that, up to this point, had been viewed as the trigger that would cause the Fed to begin making changes to monetary policy.  Instead, Yellen said the FOMC would now be watching what is being referred to as the “Yellen dashboard,” a set of indicators that will include data on employment, inflation, and overall financial conditions.  When asked how long it would be before the Fed would begin to the raise the Fed Funds Rate after QE ended.  Her response was “probably something on the order of around six months, that type of thing.”  Both the Stock and Bond markets continued to sell off on the comment.  So when will the Fed hike rates?  At the current rate and schedule of reduction, the Fed could hike rates anytime between April and June of 2015.

In housing news, the Mortgage Bankers Association released their weekly Mortgage Application data for the week ending March 14th, and the index was reported down 1.2%.  The Purchase Index, which fell by 1% last week, was down another 1%.  Purchases are still down 15% from this time last year.  Interest rates decreased 2bp to 4.50% with 0.26 points paid.  This did not help Refinances, which dropped 1%.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 114.02 points to close at 16,222.17, the S&P 500 dropped 11.48 point to finish at 1,860.77, and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 25.71 points to finish at 4,307.60.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury jumped 10 basis points to 2.7716%.

Thursday: Favorable economic news pushed the broader stock market indices higher today.  Initial Jobless Claims were released for the week ending March 15th, and Claims increased 5,000 to 320,000 and another very good reading.  Claims results for the week of the 12th are factored into the models for employment figures next month.  It remains to be seen whether these low Claims figures will translate into real job growth.

The index of Leading Economic Indicators and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey both came in stronger than expected.  This helped the Stock market turn positive and push Mortgage Bonds lower.  Existing Home Sales for February were reported down 0.4%.  This was in line with expectations and a decent report.  All of the regions did better, expect for the Northeast, where weather was a problem.  Median Home Prices were reported at $189,000, up 9.1% year over year.  The supply of homes increased to a 5.5 month supply.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 108.88 points to close at 16,331.05; the S&P 500 added 11.24 points to 1,872.01 and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 11.69 points to reach 4,319.29.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury increased by just one half of a basis point to 2.7771%.

Friday:After achieving early gains, including a new intraday high for the S&P 500 Index, the stock market battled to a dismal finish during a quarterly quadruple

“witching day” that led to a significant increase in market volatility.  This is a day when contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire at the same time.  Traders sold momentum stocks to lock in gains ahead of the weekend, and sold the biotech stocks in particular after Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and two other Democratic lawmakers asked Gilead Sciences, Inc. Chief Executive John C. Martin to explain the rationale for selling their new drug for hepatitis C (Sovaldi) for $1,000 per pill.  The NASDAQ biotech index (^NBI) fell 119.18 points or 4.4 percent on the day.  Mortgage bonds finished the day 14 basis points higher with the 10-year US Treasury yield falling by three basis points to 2.74%.

For the week, the FNMA 4% bond lost 58 basis points to close at 103.83, and the GNMA 30-year 4.0% coupon bond lost 63 basis points to end at 104.90.  The 10-year Treasury yield increased 9 basis points for the week to close at 2.74 percent.  The national average 30-year mortgage rate rose from 4.39% to 4.53% while 15-year mortgage rates increased from 3.42% to 3.52%.  FHA 30-year rates held steady at 4.00% and Jumbo 30-year rates increased from 4.24% to 4.33%.

For stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded 232.83 points to close at 16,298.50; the S&P 500 rose 24.76 points to close at 1,865.89; and the NASDAQ Composite climbed 28.31 points to close at 4,273.71.  Year to date for 2014, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 1.65%, the S&P 500 has gained 0.98%, and the NASDAQ Composite has gained 2.40%.

Mortgage Rate Forecast with Chart

The chart of the FNMA 30-year 4.0% Coupon Bond ($103.83) shows the price lying between the 38.2% and 50% Fibonacci retracement levels that define nearest support ($103.75) and resistance ($104.11) respectively.  The technical signals are currently “mixed” with the slow stochastic oscillator showing a sell signal but “oversold” condition while a candle pattern over the past three sessions shows a variant of a Morning Star Candle Pattern, a buy signal.  The technical picture favors a move higher toward resistance, and should this happen, mortgage rates would improve slightly.

Chart: FNMA 30-Year 4.01% Coupon Bond

Economic Calendar – for the Week of March 24

The economic calendar features a variety of housing reports throughout the week along with Consumer Confidence for March on Tuesday; Durable Goods for February on Wednesday; weekly Jobless Claims on Thursday; and February Personal Income and Spending with PCE Core inflation on Friday.  Economic reports having the greatest potential impact on the financial markets this week are highlighted in bold.

Date

Time (ET)

Event /Report /Statistic

 

Report For

Market

Expects

Prior

Mar 25 09:00 Case-Shiller 20-city Index Jan 13.3% 13.4%
Mar 25 09:00 FHFA Housing Price Index Jan NA 0.8%
Mar 25 10:00 Consumer   Confidence Mar 78.2 78.1
Mar 25 10:00 New Home Sales Feb 445K 468K
Mar 26 07:00 MBA Mortgage Index 03/22 NA -1.2%
Mar 26 08:30 Durable   Goods Orders Feb 1.0% -1.0%
Mar 26 08:30 Durable   Goods –ex transport. Feb 0.3% -1.1%
Mar 27 08:30 Initial   Jobless Claims 03/22 330K NA
Mar 27 08:30 Continuing   Jobless Claims 03/15 2900K NA
Mar 27 08:30 GDP – Third Estimate Q4 2.6% 2.4%
Mar 27 08:30 GDP Deflator – Third Estimate Q4 1.6% 1.6%
Mar 27 10:00 Pending Home Sales Feb -0.2% 0.1%
Mar 28 08:30 Personal   Income Feb 0.2% 0.3%
Mar 28 08:30 Personal   Spending Feb 0.3% 0.4%
Mar 28 08:30 PCE   Prices – Core Feb 0.1% 0.1%
Mar 28 09:55 Mich. Consumer Sentiment – Final Mar 80.0 79.9

The 2014 Federal Reserve FOMC Meeting Schedule

January 28-29
March 18-19*
April 29-30
June 17-18*
July 29-30
September 16-17*
October 28-29
December 16-17*

* Meeting associated with a Summary of Economic Projections and a press conference by the Chairman.

February 25th, 2014 - Quentin’s Weekly Review

Disappointing economic data this past week resulted in a mixed stock market, a largely flat bond market, and slightly higher mortgage rates.  The weakness seen in the data was mostly blamed on the unusually cold winter weather that has gripped most of our nation.

Last Tuesday, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index for February was reported at a shockingly low 46 points, which represents a drop of 10 points from last month’s 56.  This is the largest one month decline in the history of the report, which began in 2006.  Additionally, this is the first negative reading (below 50) since last May.  This figure, which is almost in real time, tracks builders’ sentiment.  Builders attributed the weakness in the report to a shortage of buildable lots, labor concerns, and weather.

On Wednesday, the Census Bureau released Housing Starts for January at 880,000.  This was a pretty large miss with the market looking for 950,000 starts.  This was a drop of almost 16% from last month’s figure, which was revised much higher to 1.048 million.  Permits were only marginally lower, down 5.4% to 937,000.  Weather may have played a big factor because you cannot start new construction in bad weather conditions, but you can still sign a permit.  Additionally, the numbers for November and December, when weather was better, were very strong.

On Thursday, Initial Jobless Claims were released for the week ending February 15th, and the number was pretty much in line with expectations at 336,000.  This was a decrease of 3,000 from last week’s unrevised 339,000.  Jobless Claims, which have been extremely volatile, seem to be settling in at around 330,000 range.

On Friday, Existing Home Sales for January were reported below market expectations at a minus 5.1%, the softest number seen in 18 months.  The Existing Home Sales report is based on closings, so it measures activity in advance of those closings.  When we take into consideration, we can’t blame the weather for this slowdown.  The report cites tighter affordability and credit, and weakness amongst first time homebuyers.  Sales on the lower end of the price spectrum were predominantly the cause for the weaker report.  Medium and higher price range categories held up well.  Year over year price appreciation was still strong at 10.7%.  I expect home price appreciation to slow, but not turn negative.  It’s likely that then next couple of Existing Home Sales reports will also be soft as effects of the weather will begin to show up in the numbers.

For the week, the FNMA 4% bond added one basis point to close at 104.17, and the GNMA 30-year 4.0% coupon bond gained five basis points to end at 105.48.  The 10-year Treasury yield lost one basis point on the week to close at 2.73 percent.  The average 30-year mortgage rate increased from 4.43% to 4.49% while 15-year mortgage rates moved from 3.44% to 3.50%.  FHA 30-year rates rose from 4.00% to 4.25% and Jumbo 30-year rates climbed from 4.32% to 4.36%.

For stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 51.09 points, to close at 16,103.30; the S&P 500 dropped 2.38 points to close at 1,836.25; and the NASDAQ Composite gained 19.38 points to close at 4,263.41.  Year to date for 2014, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.86%, the S&P 500 has lost 0.66%, and the NASDAQ Composite has gained 2.08%

Mortgage Rate Forecast with Chart

The chart of the FNMA 30-year 4.0% Coupon Bond shows it is once again at a critical juncture.  Last week the bond fell below a critical area of support at the convergence of the 50% Fibonacci retracement level and the 200-day moving average.  This level now becomes overhead resistance.  A break above this resistance level could result in a move toward the next higher resistance level at the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level near 104.50 producing a slight improvement in mortgage rates.  However, a failure to move above this level could foreshadow a continued move lower toward the next support level at the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at 103.75 resulting in slightly higher mortgage rates.  Unfortunately, the slow stochastic oscillator is not yet “oversold” so the probabilities favor lower mortgage bond prices and a slight worsening in rates this week.

Chart 1: FNMA 30-Year 4.0% Coupon Bond

Economic Calendar – for the Week of February 24

The economic calendar this coming week features a mixture of reports on housing, consumer confidence, manufacturing, and jobless claims.  Reports having the greatest potential impact on the financial markets are highlighted in bold.

Date    Time (ET)    Event /Report /Statistic    Market
Expects    Prior
Feb 25    09:00    Case-Shiller 20-city Index    12.0%    13.7%
Feb 25    09:00    FHFA Housing Price Index    NA    0.1%
Feb 25    10:00    Consumer Confidence    81.0    80.7
Feb 26    07:00    MBA Mortgage Index    NA    -4.1%
Feb 26    10:00    New Home Sales    400K    414K
Feb 27    08:30    Initial Jobless Claims    335K    336K
Feb 27    08:30    Continuing Jobless Claims    2975K    2981K
Feb 27    08:30    Durable Goods Orders    -0.2%    -4.2%
Feb 27    08:30    Durable Goods –ex transportation    -0.6%    -1.3%
Feb 28    08:30    GDP – Second Estimate    2.4%    3.2%
Feb 28    08:30    GDP Deflator – Second Estimate    1.3%    1.3%
Feb 28    09:45    Chicago PMI    55.0    59.6
Feb 28    09:55    Michigan Consumer Sentiment – Final    82.0    81.2
Feb 28    10:00    Pending Home Sales    -1.0%    -8.7%

The 2014 Federal Reserve FOMC Meeting Schedule
January    28-29
March    18-19*
April    29-30
June    17-18*
July    29-30
September    16-17*
October    28-29
December    16-17*

*Meeting associated with a Summary of Economic Projections and a press conference by the Chairman.

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