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The future of the taper, Prospect Mortgage settlement and inflatable space houses

A major lender gets dinged for interest-rate violations, a Fed honcho prognosticates on the taper, and inflatable space houses are apparently a thing now. Check out MPA's review of the stories that shape our industry.

Video transcript below:
Happy Friday everyone, I'm Ryan Smith and this is MPA's weekend review.  One of the nation's biggest independent lenders will have to fork out more than three million dollars for violating California lending regulations.  Prospect Mortgage have reached a settlement with the California Department of Business Oversight in which the lender will issue refunds to more than 12,000 customers for overcharging them in violation of the State's per diem interest rules and pay $1.8 million in administrative fees.  This isn't the first time Prospect has been under the legal microscope.  In October New

York State fined the lender three million dollars for misleading customers about interest rates.  
The Federal Reserve will probably end its bond-buying program by the fourth quarter.  That's according to Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, who said he expects the taper to continue borrowing a serious economic reversal.  The Fed started tapering its bond buys in December, it’s next opportunity to reduce bond purchases is at its meeting March 18 and 19 so save the date. 

January saw a big jump in the annual rate of new single-family home sales according to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.  New home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted rate of 543,000 units in January, up 35% from December's piece of 402,000 units.  Mortgage applications for New York homes were also up, rising 27 percent in January from the previous month.  

And in other housing news Hotel mogul Robert Bigelow is designing inflatable housing for use in space.  Bigelow suggests that a company could rent out one-third of an inflatable space house at a price of $25 million dollars for 60 days.  A small Bigelow habitat will be tested at the International Space Station next year, while two larger inflatable housing units will be ready to launch in 2016.  So make sure to check back for our follow up story in 2016 over inflated space house explodes.  

Mortgage rates picked up again this week for the second week in a row.  The 30 year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.33% this week up from last week's 4.28 percent.  Five-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.08 up from last week’s 3.05% and the 1-year ARM averaged 2.57% up from last week's 2.55 percent.  

For MPA I'm Ryan Smith.