Rates Drop Slightly

Mortgage rates dropped slightly to an average of 5.25% last week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.25%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3%. “Economic uncertainty is causing mortgage rate volatility,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “As a result, purchase demand is waning, and homebuilder sentiment has dropped to the lowest level in nearly two years. Builders are also dealing with rising costs, meaning this posture is likely to continue.” The latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index found that only 56.9% of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and the end of March were…

Morning Roundup (5/10/2022) – Bank Merger Framework Discussed, Glimmer Of Hope For Homebuyers

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, May 10. Indonesian sailors seized cocaine valued at $82 million after finding plastic packages of drugs floating at sea. Russia fired three hypersonic missiles at Odesa as part of their attack on the Black Sea port city. Quarterback Tom Brady will join Fox Sports as its lead NFL analyst after he finishes playing football. The Mortgage Note Reports Bank Mergers: The Acting Comptroller of the Currency says there is a need to update the framework used to analyze bank merger applications. Glimmer Of Hope: There are pockets of the country where more homes are being listed than there were before the housing market exploded in 2020. And in other mortgage and housing news… Housing Bubble: The ongoing housing boom has more people concerned about a…

Housing Bubble: Clickbait Or Is There A Bumpy Ride Ahead?

By CHUCK GREEN Trouble could be percolating in the U.S. housing market. In a blog post last month, researchers and economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas wrote of indications that real-time market monitoring is picking up signs of a “brewing U.S. housing bubble.” They added: “Our evidence points to abnormal U.S. housing market behavior for the first time since the boom of the early 2000s. Certain economic factors, especially including the price to rent ratio, and the price-to-income ratio—which show signs that 2021 house prices appear increasingly out of step with fundamentals, raise red flags.” Researchers and economists also cited growing concern that U.S. house prices are again becoming “unhinged from fundamentals.” Moe Zulfiqar, Editor of Lombardi Letter,…

Digital Real Estate: What Is It And Who Is Interested?

By TYRONE TOWNSEND Millions of dollars are being spent on digital real estate as investors take their money to the land of the Metaverse.  Since Facebook renamed its company to Meta Platforms in October, plot prices have skyrocketed by 500 percent. Meta and other businesses have a long-term ambition of creating 360-degree immersive worlds that people will access through virtual reality goggles. Users may now access these worlds using a standard computer screen. Real individuals engage in these virtual worlds as cartoon-like characters known as avatars, akin to a real-time multiplayer video game.  Journalists from the Wall Street Journal recently spoke with companies investing in digital real estate to understand the economic model, and why investors are spending so much…

Unfair Discrimination In Consumer Finance Targeted

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is targeting discrimination and officials there plan to closely examine financial institutions’ decision-making practices to ensure companies are appropriately testing for and eliminating potential harm to customers. On Wednesday, an updated exam manual was published for evaluating unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices. Officials said in a press release that discrimination can occur in cases where the conduct may be covered by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act – a fair lending law that covers extensions of credit – as well as instances where it does not. The example of being denied a checking account due to race was used as an example of a discriminatory practice. “When a person is denied…

America’s MoneyLine CEO Fights Back, Calls Out Mat Ishbia And Files Counter-Complaint Against UWM

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of California-based America’s MoneyLine is fighting back after being slapped with a $2.8 million lawsuit from lending giant United Wholesale Mortgage. In a statement released on Friday morning, Shawn Nevin claimed that UWM uses illegal, anti-competitive practices. At issue is the “All In” policy implemented by UWM CEO Mat Ishbia. Ishbia said in a Facebook Live message last March that brokers who work with Fairway Independent or Rocket Mortgage could no longer work with UWM. “Mat Ishbia’s ‘ultimatum’ is a blatant and desperate attempt to maintain his company’s grip on the throat of mortgage brokers across the country,” Nevin said. “As he works tirelessly to craft a false narrative around being champions of brokers, his…

Despite Changes, Office Spaces Are Not A Thing Of The Past

By DOUG OHLEMEIER Despite many employees working from home and companies adopting hybrid work models, investors are still attracted to the land of cubicles. While office suites aren’t as packed with workers as before the pandemic, the commercial market remains strong. “There is investor interest in office properties,” said Stephen Newbold, National Director in the U.S. office of research for Colliers International, a Toronto, Ontario-based global real estate services and investment management company. “We are at a stage where we can fairly confidently say that we’re not going back to those (2020) levels. It may fluctuate a little, but my overarching view is we are stabilizing on vacancies and space on the market.” Observers aren’t sure how the new work…

New Jersey Homeowners Can Apply For Up To $35K In Mortgage Assistance

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Eligible homeowners in New Jersey can receive up to $35,000 to help protect themselves against foreclosures. Officials at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency have opened an application portal for the Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance program. The money, which comes in the form of a three-year forgivable loan with no interest or payments due, can be used for the following: -Mortgage reinstatement -Escrow shortages -Delinquent property taxes -Municipal or property tax liens -Mortgage payments, including principal, interest, taxes, and homeowner’s insurance To qualify for assistance, a homeowner must: -Own and occupy an eligible one- to four-unit primary residence -Have been current on mortgage and property taxes as of January 2020 -Have experienced a COVID-19 related…

Falling In Love With Homes To Have Your Heart Broken? Here’s Some Advice

By KIMBERLEY HAAS This Valentine’s Day, if your heart is broken because you keep falling in love with homes to lose them to other buyers, you are not alone. Cindy Flynn, Director of Corporate Services at Comey & Shepherd in Cincinnati, Ohio, said buyers in her market are currently submitting an average of eight offers before landing a home. Although buyers are getting a thicker skin, Flynn said, the process is still an emotional one. She suggests keeping an open mind, a positive attitude, and faith that this spring there will be more inventory available. “I hold true to the idea that everything happens for a reason,” Flynn told The Mortgage Note in an interview. “There are other fish in…

Rocket Preps Fans For Super Bowl With Previews Of Homes They Could Win, Teaser Of Big Ad

By KIMBERLEY HAAS With the big football game coming up this weekend, leaders at Rocket are inviting people to take a peek at the homes they could buy if they win the world’s largest official game of Super Bowl Squares and have revealed which stars will appear in their ad. Rocket Mortgage will give two grand prize winners $500,000 each for a home purchase during the game. $50,000 will be awarded every time the score changes. Rocket Homes, their sister company, has published an article highlighting what type of home a potential winner could select in various parts of the country. According to the article, the median sale price of a house in America is $335,212. The average house has…