In this Issue        

January 2020 Edition


Presidents Message

State News & Events

Legislative Update

WMBA 2020 Real Estate & Finance Conference

Chapter News & Events

Milwaukee Chapter  Duck Pin Bowling Social

Madison Chapter Lender's Down Payment Assistance Training

Madison Chapter 17th Annual Bowling Event

Upcoming Madison Chapter events

MBA Updates

Upcoming Educational Webinars


Dear WMBA Members,

2020 is off and running!  Mortgage rates are low, and the new construction/purchase season seems to start sooner every year.
We want you to know that the WMBA is engaged and ready to help you achieve success in 2020.  Our chapters have planned events to help you reach your goals.  Please visit our website get the dates on your calendar and take advantage of these great opportunities.
Our Madison Chapter has Lender Down Payment Assistance Training scheduled for February 20th, and the always well attended and fun Bowling event on March 12th.
In the Northeast we will be holding a Single Family Committee meeting in Appleton on March 5th.
The Milwaukee Chapter will be hosting  their Duckpin bowling event on March 11th.
On April 22nd and 23rd we will be hosting our largest event of the year, our annual Spring Real Estate & Finance Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee. The conference is shaping up to be a fantastic event with sessions focused on every sector of our industry.  Please take a minute and visit the website to see our lineup of Speakers and Breakout sessions  and reserve your spot!
I look forward to seeing you at many of these upcoming events and welcome the opportunity for you to contact me with ideas on ways to make our great organization even greater!

Best regards,

Leo Spanuello
WMBA President 2019-2020
Regional Mortgage Sales Manager
North Shore Bank


Legislative Update - Buddy Julius


The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions held an executive session on Online Notaries bill (SB 317) on January 29. The Firm Consulting team is now working with Senate leadership to make sure that the bill gets scheduled for a Senate floor vote in February . The Assembly companion bill (AB 293) received a floor vote late last year so if the Senate bill receives a majority support vote in February, the legislation will be sent to Governor Evers for his signature. 
The Firm Consulting team was able to secure 2020 DNC Host Committee President Liz Gilbert to speak at the WMBA spring conference in Milwaukee. 

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Upcoming Statewide Events

WMBA 2020 Real Estate & Finance Conference
April 22 - 23, 2020

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI

Registration & Sponsorships are now OPEN!

Get ready for the 46th Annual WMBA Real Estate & Finance Conference. We are returning to the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee for an Evening Reception on April 22 and a full day conference on April 23rd.

The Evening Reception will include our first annual BAGS TOURNAMENT along with food stations and a cash bar.

On Thursday, April 23rd, hear from our exceptional speakers, participate in breakout session and visit the Exhibitor Hall. Check out the AGENDA HERE.

All of the details for the conference can be found online at 46th Annual WMBA Real Estate & Finance Conference.

We are looking forward to seeing you at this event. Interested in Sponsoring or being an Exhibitor? Go to the Sponsorship page for costs and benefits.

Milwaukee Chapter Upcoming Events

Duck Pin Bowling Social
March 11, 2020

Join us on March 11th from 5:00 - 8:00pm at The Thirsty Duck for our March Duck Pin Bowling Social!

Enjoy networking with your peers, heavy appetizers and Duck Pin Bowling sponsored by Genworth Mortgage Insurance.
Location:   Thirsty Duck
11320 W Bluemound Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2020
5:00 - 5:30pm  Social/Networking
5:30 - 7:30pm   Duck Pin Bowling
7:30 - 8:00pm   Social/Networking

Note: The Milwaukee Chapter Board meeting for March will be at The Thirsty Duck at 4:00pm prior to this event.
Cost: FREE
Registration includes Duck Pin Bowling and heavy appetizers.
Parking: Parking lot available at The Thirsty Duck.
Event Sponsored by:

As always, our networking events are No Charge

Please register bt March 6, 2020 so we can be sure to have accurate food counts.

Madison Chapter Updates

Madison Chapter Lender's Down Payment Assistance Training
February 20, 2020

Limited seats still available!

The Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association and Home Buyers Round Table of Dane County are offering training for lenders to make you aware of the various products available for your buyers.

Sessions will cover down payment assistance options available in the City of Madison, Dane and surrounding counties and statewide.

Where: Dane County UW Extension Offices
5201 Fen Oak Court
Madison, WI 53718
Date: Thursday, February 20, 2020
Registration deadline February 7, 2020 for best rates.
Choose your Session!

AM Session:

 8:30 - 9:00 am     Registration and Networking
 9:00 - 11:30 am   Session

PM Session:
12:30 - 1:00 pm   Registration and Networking
 1:00 - 3:30 pm    Session 
 $15 per Attendee (Advanced Registration until February 7, 2020)

 $20 per Attendee (February 8, 2020 to On site Registration, based on space available).


     AM Session Registration                  PM Session Registration


Madison Chapter 17th Annual Bowling Event
March 12, 2020

Please join us for our annual St Paddy’s Day Themed Bowling Event. The format will be 5 person teams/8 pin tap.  Dress up and let’s all get our Irish on!


Village Lanes
208 Owen Road
Monona, WI



Thursday, March 12, 2020
Registration deadline March 6, 2020.



Registration: 10:30 am
Bowling Begins at 12:00 pm.



$150 per 5-person team
includes 3 games of bowling, shoes, 2 pitchers of beer per team and appetizers/networking after bowling.

$15 for non-bowlers
Not a bowler? Feel free to come mingle and join us for the fun.


Please call either Lori O at 608-234-0812 or Amy C at 608-220-2729 with questions or to donate a silent auction item.

Silent Auction Printable Form

Registration Deadline March 6, 2020


Beverage Sponsors:


Appetizer Sponsor:



March 12, 2020 - Annual Bowling event. 

March 23, 2020Madison Chapter is co-hosting Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, with RASCW and Women’s Council of Realtors on March 23rd.  He will discuss the recent developments in the US economy and their impact on the housing market.  He will also review housing trends as well as his expectations for 2020.​

May 20, 2020 - Annual Golf event. Save the Date!

MBA Update

 Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey 

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 557-2727

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 29, 2020) — Mortgage applications increased 7.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 24, 2020. This week’s results include an adjustment for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 7.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 8 percent from the previous week and was 146 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 17 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications continued their strong start to the year, as borrowers acted on the drop in mortgage rates last week. Rates were driven lower by investors’ increased concern about the economic impact from China’s coronavirus outbreak, in addition to existing concerns over trade and other geopolitical risks,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “With the 30-year fixed rate at its lowest level since November 2016, refinances jumped 7.5 percent. Purchase applications grew 2 percent and were 17 percent higher than the same week last year. Thanks to low rates and the healthy job market, purchase activity continues to run stronger than in 2019.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60.4 percent of total applications from 61.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 4.7 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.7 percent from 11.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.7 percent from 13.8 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.5 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) decreased to 3.81 percent from 3.87 percent, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) decreased to 3.78 percent from 3.87 percent, with points decreasing to 0.2 from 0.21 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.82 percent from 3.78 percent, with points increasing to 0.27 from 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.24 percent from 3.25 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.22 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.15 percent from 3.29 percent, with points decreasing to 0.12 from 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week. 

If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey, please visit, contact or click here.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry that employs more than 280,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation's residential and commercial real estate markets, to expand homeownership, and to extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and fosters professional excellence among real estate finance employees through a wide range of educational programs and a variety of publications. Its membership of over 2,300 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, REITs, Wall Street conduits, life insurance companies, and others in the mortgage lending field. For additional information, visit MBA's Web site:

Another Challenging Year For Retail Sector

January 16, 2020 |By Michael 

This year could be another challenging one for the retail sector, but retailers that survive should be well positioned for the future.

“Many of the challenges retailers faced in 2019 will likely continue into 2020,” said CoreSight Research Founder and CEO Deborah Weinswig. “E-commerce continues to take share from physical retail, while a host of direct-to-consumer brands are busy building relationships directly with consumers.”

Weinswig noted the retail sector could see one “silver lining” to the growth of e-commerce. “Old-school retail is adapting to e-commerce encroachment and getting more in tune with shifting consumer tastes, so the survivors should be better able to compete,” she said. “Consumers want e-commerce, buy online-pick up in store services and speedy free delivery, and retailers are working to meet these expectations. With established store footprints digital natives could never hope to match, traditional retailers that can successfully reinvent themselves as multichannel retailers stand to prosper amid the ongoing challenges.”

In addition, consumers are buying more than they used to. On Thursday the Commerce Department reported retail sales increased 0.3 percent in December over November. And overall retail spending was up 5.8 percent year-over-year in December, reaching a 16-month high , Wells Fargo Securities said.

But Barbara Byrne Denham, Senior Economist with Reis, New York, said the fourth quarter could have been the start of a declining retail market. “For more than two years we had remarked how the retail statistics were defying anecdotal reports of a ‘retail apocalypse’,” she said. “But recent data shows that the scales may have tipped as both the retail and the mall vacancy rate increased in the quarter.”

Byrne Denham said retail rents grew a “scant” 0.1 percent during the quarter while mall rents were flat. She noted restaurants added 292,000 jobs last year, fitness companies added 23,000 jobs and spas and salons added 25,400 jobs, however. “Thus, the retail climate is not as bleak as the store closures would lead one to believe, but it does continue to shift toward entertainment and services-oriented companies,” she said.

Net retail absorption equaled negative 175,000 square feet in the fourth quarter, largely due to the closing of Kmart stores in 13 metros including two stores in Philadelphia, two in central New Jersey and two in Norfolk, Va. that accounted for 585,000 square feet of new vacancy in those three markets alone. Construction equaled 543,000 square feet, the lowest quarterly completion total since 2011.

Upcoming Educational Webinars

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