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Housing Liquidity Crisis Coming: Debt Deflation Follows

A liquidity crisis in housing is on the way. Non-banks are at the center of the storm.

The Brookings Institute says a Liquidity Crises in the Mortgage Market is on the way.

This is in guest post format. What follows are key snips from a 68-page Brookings PDF.

This article isn’t very long. My comments follow.

Abstract

Nonbanks originated about half of all mortgages in 2016, and 75% of mortgages insured by the FHA or VA. Both shares are much higher than those observed at any point in the 2000s. We describe in this paper how nonbank mortgage companies are vulnerable to liquidity pressures in both their loan origination and servicing activities, and we document that this sector in aggregate appears to have minimal resources to bring to bear in a stress scenario. We show how these exact same liquidity issues unfolded during the financial crisis, leading to the failure of many nonbank companies, requests for government assistance, and harm to consumers. The extremely high share of nonbank lenders in FHA and VA lending suggests that nonbank failures could be quite costly to the government, but this issue has received very little attention in the housing-reform debate.

Nonbank Stress

There is now considerable stress on Ginnie Mae operations from their nonbank counterparties:

“. . .Today almost two thirds of Ginnie Mae guaranteed securities are issued by independent mortgage banks. And independent mortgage bankers are using some of the most sophisticated financial engineering that this industry has ever seen. We are also seeing greater dependence on credit lines, securitization involving multiple players, and more frequent trading of servicing rights and all of these things have created a new and challenging environment for Ginnie Mae. . . . In other words, the risk is a lot higher and business models of our issuers are a lot more complex.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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