Working From Home Could Lead People To Relocate

With the potential for remote working to become more the norm, the pandemic has Americans considering packing up and move to a new city or state. A survey conducted by Morning Consult found that more than one in four workers say they would consider moving to a new state if their employer allows them to work remotely going forward. The survey found: 12 percent said it is very likely they would move to a new state.16 percent said it is somewhat likely.36 percent said it is very unlikely.17 percent said it is somewhat unlikely.19 percent said they didn’t know or don’t have an opinion. This is a phenomenon some are noticing and others are openly musing about: I live in…

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Low

Mortgage rates just hit another record low. Freddie Mac announced that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.07 percent for the week ending Thursday, the lowest rate in the surveys history dating back nearly 50 years. “Mortgage rates continue to slowly drift downward with a distinct possibility that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage could dip below 3 percent later this year,” Freddie’s Chief Economist Sam Khater said. “On the economic front, incoming data suggest the rebound in economic activity has paused in the last couple of weeks with modest declines in consumer spending and a pullback in purchase activity.” The survey found:  The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.07 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from 3.13 percent and last years…

Report: Minorities Hard Hit In Housing Market

By Jessica R. Towhey A new survey from Redfin points to demographic differences in the housing market as furthering the divide between the “haves” and the “have nots.”  The study , which the real estate brokerage said highlights the “wealth divide” in the United States, looked at unemployment rates, demographic housing sales data, and racial breakdowns among industries hit hard by the economic shutdown versus those that appear to have weathered the storm. “The housing market has mostly been driven by white households with higher incomes—households less likely to have been severely affected economically by the coronavirus shutdowns,” Redfin said, adding that this exacerbates inequality trends in the housing market over the past decade. “The great injustice of this recession is…

Mortgage Applications Fall As Inventory Tightens

Mortgage applications for home purchases and refinances dipped slightly last week, according to a report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Total applications decreased 1.8 percent for the week ending June 26, the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey found. The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent from the previous week, though remained 74 percent higher than a year ago. The Purchase Index dropped 2 percent for the week but was 15 percent higher than the same week a year ago. “After two months of strong growth, purchase applications declined for the second week in a row,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The weakening in activity is potentially a signal that pent-up demand is starting…

Multifamily Mortgage Debt Rises By $28B In Q1

Total commercial and multifamily mortgage debt increased by $61 billion to $3.72 trillion in the first quarter of the year, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The latest Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Debt Outstanding quarterly report showed that multifamily mortgage debt increased by $28 billion to $1.6 trillion from the fourth quarter of 2019. “The rise in commercial and multifamily mortgage debt in the first three months of the year carried forward the strong level of activity during 2019. Rising property values, strong incomes and low interest rates supported increased borrowing and lending,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research. “With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, borrowing and lending has slowed,…

Mixed Reports On Forbearance Increases, Decreases

By Jim Perskie The number of mortgage loans in forbearance decreased slightly in the latest Mortgage Bankers Association weekly report – though there are other indications that the number may begin to climb again. The MBA report released Monday found that 8.47 percent of mortgages in the United States were in forbearance as of June 21, down from 8.48 percent the week before. That works out to about 4.2 million homeowners in forbearance – the third weekly drop in a row. “The overall share of loans in forbearance declined for the second week in a row, led by the third straight drop in GSE loans,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Many borrowers initially received a three-month…

Pending Home Sales Rebound In May

After the largest drop in history in April, pending home sales mounted a record comeback in May. Funny how that works. The Pending Home Sales Index increased by 44.3 percent to 99.6 in May, the highest month-over-month gain since the National Association of Realtors started the index in 2001. That comes a month after back-to-back decreases, including a 21.8 percent drop in April. “This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.” NAR said every major region recorded an increase…

Lowest Black Homeownership Rate: Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Salt Lake City have the lowest Black homeownership rates of any major metropolitan areas in the United States, according to an analysis released Monday by Redin. Overall, 44 percent of Black families owned the home they live in at the end of the first quarter – up from 41.1 percent a year earlier. By contract, the national homeownership rate for white families is 73.7 percent. That gap is even more pronounced in Minneapolis, where 25 percent of Black families own their own – compared to 76 percent of white families. Grand Rapids, Michigan, has the second biggest gap (78 percent to 33 percent), followed by Salt Lake City (72 percent to 28 percent) and Milwaukee (70 percent…

Houston Realtors Ban “Master” From Home Listings

Houston homes will no longer have master bedrooms or master bathrooms. Instead, the Houston Association of Realtors will use the phrases “primary bedroom” and “primary bathrooms,” the Houston Chronicle reported. The change comes after some realtors said the word “master” has a stigma associated with it. The Chronicle reported that HAR agreed to change the phrases on its Multiple Listing Service and its website on June 15. “This topic is currently being debated across the real estate industry, and the national standards organization for MLSs will be considering a similar change that could make ‘primary’ the new standard nationally,” HAR said in a statement shared with the Chronicle. Don’t expect the changes to go nationwide just yet. The National Association…

Prices Increasing Quickly For Most Affordable Homes

Affordable homes are getting a less affordable. A report released Friday by Redfin found that the most affordable third of homes in the United States were 5.5 percent more expensive at the end of May than they were a year ago – while the price of the most expensive third of homes increased just 2 percent. “The severe shortage of affordable homes that we’ve been grappling with for years is now being exacerbated by an increase in the number of  buyers who are in search of lower-cost houses,” Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr said. “Many Americans—especially millennials—were already toying with the idea of buying their first house before the pandemic. Now they’re actually taking the plunge because mortgage rates are so…