Morning Roundup (4/5/2024) — Luxury Homes For Cash

Good Morning! Today is Friday, April 5. Israel agreed to open a crossing to increase humanitarian aid to northern Gaza. A shipping channel to the Port of Baltimore will partially reopen by the end of April. A deadly snowstorm caused major power outages in the Northeast.   The Mortgage Note Reports Living Large: Luxury home prices are at an all-time high as a record share of rich buyers pay cash for homes in the country’s most exclusive areas. Writer Chuck Green has the story. Major Sacrifices: Average Americans are making sacrifices ranging from fewer vacations to skipping meals to afford their housing costs. Rates Rise Slightly: Mortgage rates were stagnant last week, moving up a tiny bit but staying put…

Morning Roundup (4/4/2024) — Best Of 2024

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, April 4. The judge overseeing Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial denied his request to postpone the start date. Disney shareholders rejected an activist investor’s bid to win two board seats. Severe storms stretching from Maine to Florida have killed at least two people.   The Mortgage Note Reports Best Of 2024: First-time homebuyers will find the best mix of affordability, inventory, and young homeowners in Midwestern metros, with St. Louis taking the #1 spot. Split View: Housing experts disagree on the impact of the Biden administration’s move to cap rent increases for affordable housing units under LIHTC. Listen Up: Spring is here and the home selling season is getting underway. Writer Nicole Murray spoke with real…

Morning Roundup (4/3/2024) — Explosive UWM Accusation

Good Morning! Today is Wednesday, April 3. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake killed nine people and injured hundreds in Taiwan. A fire at an Istanbul nightclub killed 29 people. Prisoners in New York sued the state for trying to prevent inmates from viewing the eclipse.   The Mortgage Note Reports Explosive Accusation: A scathing new report claims that at least $39 billion in mortgages were referred to UWM by brokers who send most of their business to the lender, throwing their status as “independent” brokers into question. Apps Down: Mortgage applications slipped again as rates stayed put in the high 6% range, keeping affordability at the forefront of buyers’ minds. Listen Up: Spring is here and the home selling season is…

Morning Roundup (4/2/2024) — Atlantic Trust Denies Signing “All In” Ultimatum

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, April 2. At least one person in Texas has been diagnosed with bird flu after having contact with dairy cows. Israel says it unintentionally killed seven aid workers in Gaza. Iran accused Israel of bombing its embassy in Syria.   The Mortgage Note Reports “Never Signed”: Leaders at Atlantic Trust Mortgage, wrapped up in a lawsuit over UWM’s “All In” ultimatum, say they never agreed to be in an exclusive relationship with the company. Reporter Jared Whitley has the story. Quiet Spring: Inventory and rate pressures are creating conditions for a “quieter” spring homebuying season, with depressed sales possible through the coming months. Gold Standard: “Million-Dollar Cities” are soaring as inventory keeps home prices moving…

Morning Roundup (3/29/2024) — NAR Reaction Report

Good Morning! Today is Friday, March 29. FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison for stealing $8 billion from customers. The World Court ordered Israel to stop the spread of famine in Gaza. A judge is expected to rule on whether the U.S. government must provide shelter and food to migrant children.   The Mortgage Note Reports Reaction Report: People who make their living helping homebuyers and sellers have spent the last two weeks figuring out what the National Association of Realtors settlement means for them and their clients. Here’s what five industry leaders had to say. Rates Down: Mortgage rates fell last week, sliding to 6.79%, offering little relief to buyers as markets watch for signs…

Morning Roundup (3/28/2024) — Serving Servicers

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, March 28. Divers recovered the bodies of two workers after the Baltimore bridge collapse, but four others remain missing. Former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman died at 82. Disney ended its legal battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over resort development.   The Mortgage Note Reports Serving Servicers: The CEO of workflow automation company Clarifire says she is trying to help the mortgage industry modernize by making it easy for servicers to adopt technology they can manage from the front end. Leadership Change: Regions Bank promoted Katie Such to Head of Affordable Housing as Rob Chiles is set to retire. Pending Home Sales: Pending home sales increased in February as inventory loosened up and job gains…

Morning Roundup (3/27/2024) — Check Out Our Spring Podcast

Good Morning! Today is Wednesday, March 27. The Federal Trade Commission accused big retailers of artificially inflating grocery prices. NBC News cut ties with Ronna McDaniel, the former Republican Party chairwoman, after facing criticism. Trump’s social media company surged on its first day of trading on the Nasdaq.   The Mortgage Note Reports Listen To Our Podcast: Spring is here and the home selling season is getting underway. Writer Nicole Murray spoke with real estate professionals and recent buyers to see what they think about the current market for our latest podcast. Application Dip: Mortgage applications are down for a second week even as rates fell slightly to 6.93%, still too high to encourage borrower demand. Brooks At Meridian: Troubled…

Morning Roundup (3/26/2024) — Helping Neighbors

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, March 26. A search is underway after a container ship lost power and destroyed a Baltimore bridge, sending cars into the water. The Supreme Court is hearing a case that could decide the availability of an abortion pill and protesters have been arrested nearby. The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.   The Mortgage Note Reports Helping Neighbors: Homeownership rates for Black Americans are lagging and leaders in some cities are taking action to turn that around. Writer Erin Flynn Jay has the story. DPA Program: Atlanta-based Citizens Trust Bank announced a new down payment assistance program for borrowers purchasing affordable homes. Home Prices: Annual home price appreciation …

Morning Roundup (3/25/2024) — Blinded By Lifestyle

Good Morning! Today is Monday, March 25. Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun will step down at the end of the year. Russia charged four men from Tajikistan with terrorism after at least 137 people were killed in an attack at a concert hall. ISIS claimed responsibility. Concerns about Pope Francis’s health are spreading after he skipped his Palm Sunday homily.   The Mortgage Note Reports Blinded By Lifestyle: Americans are aware of climate risks and the high cost of homeowners insurance, but keep moving to Florida anyway. What gives? Surprising Results: New home sales declined in February as existing sales surged, suggesting buyers still prefer affordable, older stock over new when it becomes available. Crowdfunding Campaign: The CEO of a real…

Morning Roundup (3/22/2024) — Birkmeier Retiring

Good Morning! Today is Friday, March 22. Congress will attempt to pass a bill today to fund the government through September. Reddit shares ended their first day of trading in New York up 48%. Trump could get $3.5 billion in a Truth Social merger.   The Mortgage Note Reports Birkmeier Retiring: Tim Birkmeier, Rocket Mortgage president, is retiring from the company and the industry after nearly three decades. Heading Back Up: Rates took a turn for the worse last week, rising back towards 7%, as economic data soured analysts’ moods. Financial Literacy: Can better financial education help to prevent foreclosures? Editor Kimberley Haas has the story. In other mortgage and housing news…   New Normal: The yield gap between mortgage…