Rocket Mortgage offers refi link via Mint  

Rocket Companies initiated an integration partnership with the Mint app, developed by Intuit Inc., “to foster the next generation of financial empowerment.” According to a joint statement, the collaboration marks the first time the Rocket Mortgage lending experience integrated directly into a personal finance platform.

The partnership reportedly brings Rocket’s digital mortgage experience to the Mint app via an application programming interface (API) that permits app users to make better mortgage decisions, and by creating a fast and simplified refinancing experience for homeowners.

The integration allows Mint app users to pre-fill key current mortgage loan information into their Mint profile before they start to search for, apply and lock-in the lowest mortgage refinance rates with Rocket “in as few as eight minutes, instead of days or weeks.” 

“Partnering with Intuit to offer the Rocket Mortgage experience right inside the Mint app is a monumental step for our Rocket Mortgage-as-a-service technology and, more importantly, a great opportunity to vastly improve users’ finances,” said Tim Birkmeier, chief revenue officer of Rocket Mortgage. “Mint users are financially savvy and keenly aware of their finances. These are the consumers who will realize they could free up much needed monthly cash flow with a refinance to today’s low mortgage rates.” 

By allowing users to pre-fill data from Mint, the new feature avoids the need for homeowners to create an additional account, expediting the time it takes to apply for a refinance. Using Rocket’s streamlined process and the direct connection to Mint’s user information, homeowners now can seamlessly access Rocket’s digital refinance application through the easy-to-navigate Mint interface combined with the powerful Rocket Mortgage API. 

“For too long, the refinance process has been an annoyingly tedious and overwhelming experience for all of us to find the right lender and loan for our situation. We’re excited to help simplify the process for Mint users with this integration of Rocket Mortgage and give our customers some peace of mind during this already stressful time,” said Varun Krishna, SVP & head of consumer finance at Intuit. “As interest rates are near an all-time low, now is an ideal time for many to consider refinancing their mortgages and save thousands.” 

This new feature is currently available exclusively to Mint users who are seeking to refinance their mortgage. Rocket reportedly also plans to add purchase mortgage experience integration in the near future.   

Mobility MI offers agent & LO data portal

Mobility Market Intelligence, a real estate fintech headquartered in Salt Lake City, announced the launch of a solution that aims to arm “lenders and their loan officers with X-ray vision” on actionable market information. 

The company’s Mobility MI software marries real estate production information with mortgage data on properties “in the vast majority of the country,” accessible with the click of a button. Users instantly see details about lenders, loan officers, real estate agents, even individual transactions from various angles, according to the company website. 

For LOs, Mobility MI provides a mobile friendly market intelligence dashboard. For lenders, Mobility MI features three distinctive portals:

  • Market Intelligence provides easy, instant access to real estate agent and lender production data on a national, state, county, or local level
  • Agent Wallet Share breaks down transaction data by lender, branch, and LOs including from which real estate agents LOs get business and other lenders those agents work with
  • Property Monitor keeps tabs on past clients and notifies LOs if clients list their home for sale
  • CRM Push identifies real estate agent partners or LO recruits found using Mobility MI and pushes them to start contact campaigns.

Lenders can retrieve instantly detailed information about real estate agents, so they know who is generating more business, on a part-time or full time basis, including who are the top real estate agents at the county level and stars of Million Dollar Listing reality television shows. 

Agent Wallet Share gives lenders access to sales data on every local agent and their lender partners; sends notifications when an agent gets a new listing or a client lists their house for sale. It also delivers lists of local real estate brokerages plus their volume, all their agents and all their agents’ sales data, all directly from a mobile phone, the fintech said.

Similarly, lenders have access to detailed information about a loan officer, the company they work for, the real estate transactions they closed and with which real estate agent. Mobility MI helps lenders recruit top producers based on loan volume, loan types, geography, and relationships with agents and/or builders.

“Mobility MI gives lenders power,” said Rick Arvielo, CEO of New American Funding, one of the lenders that already has market tested the platform. 

“There is so much information about who is doing what business with whom in both real estate and lending. It allows you to get forensic with, both your recruiting for new LOs, and for the LOs themselves, when it comes to targeting the most appropriate real estate partners.”

C.A.R. releases fairly optimistic 2021 forecast

In California, as with elsewhere in the country, the availability of a broadly accessible and effective COVID-19 vaccine remains key to the housing market and overall recovery.

“2021 California Housing Market Forecast” published by The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), which represents more than 200,000 members, finds “low mortgage interest rates and pent-up demand from a desire for homeownership will bolster California home sales in 2021.”

At the same time, “economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic” and supply shortages will limit sales growth leading to “a modest increase” in existing single-family home sales of 3.3% next year, to 392,510 units. Yet, albeit higher than the projected 2020 sales figure of 380,060, the report notes, the 2020 figure is 4.5% lower compared with the pace of 397,960 homes sold in 2019.

The California median home price is also forecast to edge up 1.3% to $648,760 in 2021, but is quite lower than the projected 8.1% increase, to $640,330 in 2020, from $592,450 in 2019.

Extremely favorable lending conditions combined with a strong interest in homeownership will motivate financially eligible buyers to enter the market, said Jeanne Radsick, president of C.A.R., and second-generation realtor from Bakersfield, California. “While the economy is expected to improve and interest rates will stay near historical lows, housing supply constraints will continue to be an issue next year and may put a cap on sales growth in 2021.”

The average 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rate projection is 3.1% in 2021, slightly down from 3.2% in 2020 and down from 3.9% in 2019, “remaining low by historical standards.”

Inventory shortages that boost demand and prices will continue to challenge affordability. The Housing Affordability Index, which measures the percentage of households that can afford a median-priced home, projected at 32% in 2020, up from 31% in 2019, but forecasted to slide back to 31% in 2021.

“While home prices rose sharply in 2020, driven by strong sales of higher-priced properties and a limited inventory of homes for sale, the pace of price growth will be more moderate in the coming year,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R. senior vice president and chief economist.

“The uncertainty about the pandemic, sluggish economic growth, a rise in foreclosures, and the volatility of the stock market are all unknown factors that could keep prices in check and prevent the statewide median price from rising too fast in the upcoming year.” 

C.A.R.’s forecast also projects growth in the U.S. gross domestic product of 4.2% in 2021, after a projected loss of 5% in 2020 and expects the state’s unemployment rate will decrease to 9% in 2021, down from the 2020, projected rate of 10.8%.

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