What’s The Buzz About Portsmouth, New Hampshire?

By CHUCK GREEN Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Is it the place to be? Why not? Portsmouth’s a medium size coastal city with 22,277 residents as of July 1, 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The city’s rife with attractions including a new jazz club, theaters, restaurants, overall safety, outdoor living, and the school district has 6 schools with 2,531 students. Here’s the scene from Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club on New Year’s Eve: Happy New Year’s Eve from Portsmouth, NH! pic.twitter.com/5wwd4JU4sJ— Kimberley Haas (@KimberleyHaas) January 1, 2022 The Seacoast region has and will continue to benefit from market demand that is generated by people looking for a higher quality of life within an urban setting, Jim Goldenberg, principal of Cathartes,…

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Cracks Down On Redlining, Hacking Customers

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are cracking down on a mortgage company that allegedly discriminated against minority families and a bank that is accused of pressuring employees into unlawfully accessing the credit reports of customers. With the aid of the U.S. Department of Justice, CFPB officials took action to end Trident Mortgage Company’s alleged discrimination against families in minority neighborhoods in the greater Philadelphia area. It is alleged that Trident violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Act. DOJ officials also claim Trident violated the Fair Housing Act. In Philadelphia neighborhoods that were more than 80% minority, more than half of the applications Trident generated were from white applicants, according to…

Getting A Mortgage These Days May Boil Down To Education

By SCOTT KIMBLER Times have changed when it comes to the home buying process. The age-old way of buying a first-time home, or even a larger home was to save to have 20% down and sign on to a 30-year-mortgage. Other parts of the equation included maintaining a high credit score and paying off debts so you could get a good rate.   But now some people are finding they need to be re-educated about the process of home buying in their search for the best home and the best price. Elizabeth Rose is with Mortgage 300 in Dallas, TX and says even though interest rates have gone up and will continue to, home ownership is still something to strive…

US Enters Recession As GDP Falls For Second Quarter

Gross domestic product declined for a second quarter, down 0.2% on the heels of Q1’s 0.4% dip, the Commerce Department said. By a common definition, this means that the U.S. has entered into a recession. The National Bureau of Economics, a non-profit that determines when the U.S. is officially in recession, defines it as a “significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and that lasts more than a few months.” Many economists say they don’t believe the economy has fully entered recession, pointing out that falling GDP is only one measure of many. Fed chairman Jerome Powell said the data should be taken with “a grain of salt.” But formal definitions notwithstanding, a majority of Americans…

The Value Of Appraisal Modernization

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As 94% of surveyed lenders agree that appraisal modernization efforts are valuable, two leaders who have witnessed the industry changing say new technology is making things possible that could have only been imagined in the past. Dean Kelker, Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer at SingleSource Property Solutions, and Todd Rasmussen, President of Equity Valuation Partners, recently sat down for interviews with The Mortgage Note, and this is what they had to say. “The lending process itself has changed quite a bit. It is certainly much faster than it was years ago largely because of the technology that’s been driving it,” Kelker said. “Most recently, largely due to the low interest rates, we have had a…

Brady: Housing Inflation Crushing American Dream

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A U.S. Congressman serving the 8th district of Texas says housing inflation is crushing the American dream for families. During a hearing, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady said American families and workers are finding that President Joe Biden’s economy is “cruel.” “Working women haven’t had it this bad in decades. The dangerous baby formula shortage, rising crime, and inflation, and now housing they can barely afford to live in. Just as with crushing gas prices, Democrats in Washington are blaming everyone under the sun for the cruel rise in housing costs: builders, local investors and developers who make the construction of new homes and neighborhoods a reality,” Brady said. He added, “Republicans have held…

Inflation Up 9.1% YOY, Largest Gain Since 1981

Inflation jumped by 9.1% YOY in June, more than analysts predicted and the largest gain since 1981, according to data released by the Labor Department today. The Consumer Price Index showed inflation rising 1.3% month-over-month, its largest jump since 2005. Predictions ahead of the data’s release forecast a 1.1% rise from May and an 8.8% increase YOY. This is the fourth consecutive month that analyst predictions fell short. Another month of skyrocketing inflation suggests that officials will be forced to continue aggressively raising interest rates.  But rate hikes have stoked fears of a recession. Strategists at Goldman Sachs recently upgraded their recession probability to 30% from 15%. “We now see recession risk as higher and more front-loaded,” Goldman Sachs Chief…

Most Consumers Think The Economy Is On The “Wrong Track”

Most consumers think the economy is on the “wrong track,” growing frustrated as they struggle against inflation and a slowing economy. Fannie Mae’s most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) fell 3.4 points in June to its lowest reading in ten years, while a survey-high 81% of consumers reported they believe the economy is on “the wrong track.” The full index is down 14.9 points YOY. Four of its six components fell from the month prior. More Americans reported they are worried about losing their jobs in the next twelve months (+5%) and fewer reported their income has significantly increased in the past year (-1%.) For the first time in almost seven years, a plurality of respondents said they would…

Rate Cuts Could Come This Year If Fed Can’t Get Inflation Under Control, Analysts Suggest

With the July Federal Open Markets Committee meeting fast approaching, speculation about another substantial rate hike is running rampant. After June’s historic 0.75 percentage point interest rate hike, the third hike this year and the largest since 1994, analysts are watching the Fed closely. Recession fears are rapidly growing, with 70% of economists expecting it by 2023. But Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he was more concerned about high inflation continuing than about the possibility of rising interest rates causing a recession. “Is there a risk we would go too far? Certainly there’s a risk,” Powell said this week. “The bigger mistake to make, let’s put it that way, would be to fail to restore price stability.” Some experts…

American Buyers Are Flocking To Regions With High Climate Risk For Homes

Americans are paying top dollar to live in areas prone to devastating environmental disasters, with home prices soaring in these locations. A new report from real estate publication Home Bay found that home prices are increasing at a higher rate than the national median in the areas most impacted by climate change. Home sales prices are up 167% in metros within states that have had at least 50 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster declarations since 2012. By comparison, the national median increase is only 113%. FEMA ranks California, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina as the states with the highest risk for homeowners– that is, the states that are most likely to have disasters that threaten buildings, people, and…