Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Poised To Make A Comeback?

By SCOTT KIMBLER It is being reported that the typical homebuyer could save an estimated $15,582 over five years if they take out an adjustable-rate mortgage and some borrowers are wondering if the risks are worth the rewards. On Friday, Redfin published an article by Lily Katz and Taylor Marr which stated that demand for adjustable-rate mortgages is on the rise because they typically have lower interest rates than 30-year fixed loans. The Redfin analysis used the estimated monthly mortgage payment on a median asking price home during the four weeks ending May 12. The amount used for calculations was $410,700. The analysis found that the monthly payment for buyers who took out a 5/1 ARM was an estimated $2,164…

Housing Market Cooling In Some Parts Of The Country After A Wild Pandemic Ride

By TYRONE TOWNSEND As the spring selling season continues, those in the industry are noticing that the housing market in parts of the country is beginning to cool after a wild ride during the pandemic. Bidding wars and all-cash bids were prevalent due to rising housing prices and low availability. As more investors invaded the market, millions of average Americans were left on the sidelines, unable to compete. The housing market is already beginning to cool but despite this fact, respite for homeowners – particularly first-time purchasers – is unlikely as the Federal Reserve continues to boost interest rates to battle inflation, driving up mortgage rates. According to Realtor.com’s Monthly Home Trends Report, housing inventory in the United States was…

Settlement Secured In Sexual Harassment Suit Against Landlord

By KIMBERLEY HAAS An agreement to resolve a lawsuit against a landlord who allegedly touched female tenants and entered their apartments without consent has been reached. Officials at the United States Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that Davenport, Iowa, landlord Juan Goitia will be prohibited from managing rental housing and is required to retain an independent property manager to oversee any rental properties he has now or in the future because he violated the Fair Housing Act. “Sexual harassment by housing providers is an illegal and egregious abuse of power that deprives tenants of their right to be safe and secure in their homes,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Clarke said…

Commercial And Industrial Real Estate Doing Well

By CHUCK GREEN While climbing interest rates are throwing a monkey wrench in the U.S. economy, commercial real estate – at least in the short term – seems to be looking up. In a recent address to the 2022 REALTORS Legislative Meetings’ Commercial Economic Issues and Trends Forum, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said regardless of burgeoning rates, the commercial real estate market is expected to prosper. “Outside of the office sector, which is lagging behind as employers allow increased remote work flexibility to keep and attract talent, commercial real estate continues to strengthen,” Yun said. Apparently shucking aside setbacks in light of the 2020 and 2021 pandemic, heading into this year conditions were looking up for the commercial real…

Fannie Mae Commits $5M To 2022 Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge

Fannie Mae has committed $5 million to its second annual Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge (IC22), the GSE announced. The challenge seeks to “attract innovative ideas that will help advance racial equity in housing,” according to the press release. Fannie Mae will receive proposals from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, as well as from individuals and teams.  Proposals should address supply, funding, and credit barriers. IC22 is part of the GSE’s Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation Initiative, which helps to develop collaborative, cross-sector approaches to advancing sustainable communities. “Fannie Mae is proud to launch the next iteration of the Innovation Challenge and support innovative projects that promote racial equity in housing in the United States,” said Maria Evans, Vice President…

New Program Helps Buyers Get Energy-Efficient Appliances With Their Home Loan

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Guild Mortgage has partnered with The Home Depot to help buyers save on utility costs and manage multiple payments by bundling the cost of new energy-efficient appliances into their home loan. The GreenSmart Advantage program offers options to finance energy or water-efficient improvements up to 5% of a home’s appraised value by consolidating the costs into a mortgage. Refrigerators, dishwashers, smart thermostats, washing machines, and dryers are examples of what can be included. Primary FHA purchase transactions are eligible. A 3.5% down payment and a credit score above 580 are required to qualify. Mary Ann McGarry is CEO of Guild Mortgage, which is headquartered in San Diego. She said in a statement that the company is always…

American Equity Shoots Up In Q1 2022

Just under half of all mortgaged residential properties in the U.S. were considered equity-rich in Q1 2022, up to 44.9% from 41.9% in Q4 2021 and 31.9% in Q1 2021, according to a new report from ATTOM. ATTOM’s U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report shows that only one in 31 homes (3.2%) were considered seriously underwater in Q1 2022, about the same from last quarter but down significantly from 4.7% the year prior. “Homeowners continue to benefit from rising home prices,” said Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President of Market Intelligence for ATTOM.  “Record levels of home equity provide financial security for millions of families, and minimize the chance of another housing market crash like the one we saw in 2008.…

Inventory Rebound May Be On The Horizon

Active listings were down only 12.2% in April, its smallest YOY decline since December 2019, according to Realtor.com’s Monthly Housing Trends Report. This suggests that inventory may be about to bounce back up after the crippling shortage of the last year. Though new listings declined, the number of homes under contract saw a YOY decrease as well, closing some of the distance between supply and demand. Pending listings were down 9.5% YOY. Improvements were seen in the share of mid-sized homes, adding to listings for families upgrading from starter homes and possibly easing the way for first-time homebuyers who have struggled to find affordable entry homes during the pandemic. “April data suggests a positive turn of events is on the…

A Glimmer Of Hope For Homebuyers?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS There are pockets of the country where more homes are being listed than there were before the housing market exploded in 2020 which is a good sign for buyers in those metro areas. According to an article by Margaret Heidenry for Realtor.com, metros that saw the most new homes hit the market include Riverside, CA (+23.3%), Austin, TX (+16.5%), and Sacramento, CA (+11.8%). Metros include the main city and surrounding suburbs, towns, and smaller urban communities, according to the article. Compass Agent Paul Reddam in Austin told Heidenry it is hard to nail down what is causing inventory to loosen, but this is typically the peak of their real estate cycle. The bad news is that the number of homes for sale…

Acting Comptroller Discusses Bank Mergers

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The Acting Comptroller of the Currency says there is a need to update the frameworks used to analyze bank merger applications. In a speech before the Brookings Institution on Monday, Michael Hsu discussed proposed mergers in the context of bank competition, financial stability, and facilitating the needs of communities. “Bank mergers have received significant attention this past year. Concerns about the negative effects of bank mergers on competition, communities, and financial stability have prompted some to call for a moratorium on merger activity,” Hsu said. “In response, others have defended the benefits of mergers. They note that the U.S. financial services market is highly competitive, and mergers allow institutions to achieve needed economies of scale and to…