Good Morning! Today is Wednesday, January 19. Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard in a $75 billion deal. Gilead Sciences is accusing suppliers and distributors of selling fake versions of its HIV medications. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot issued subpoenas to Rudy Giuliani and three other Trump allies involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
And in mortgage and housing news…
Finding A Place For Fido: As pet owners think about what their next move will be if they have to sell their homes due to the economic backlash of the pandemic, some organizations are advocating for increasing options for renters with dogs and cats.
Forbearances Down: The total number of loans now in forbearance fell to 1.41% of servicers’ portfolio volume, MBA reported.
NAHB HMI: Growing inflation concerns and ongoing supply chain disruptions caused builder confidence to drop even as consumer demand remains high.
Rent Rising: Single-family rent prices increased 11.5% YOY in November 2021, further eroding affordability, according to CoreLogic’s Single-Family Rent Index.
World’s First Crypto Mortgage: Fintech Milo Credit launched the world’s first crypto mortgage offering, allowing clients to pledge their Bitcoin to purchase property.
Bidding Wars Bump Up: Three in five home offers faced bidding wars in December despite a holiday cooldown, according to Redfin.
Mortgage LOs In Trouble: Financial regulatory agencies from 42 states reached settlements with 441 mortgage LOs nationwide who lied about completing required continuing education.
HALO: HALO announced HALO Mortgage Advisory Inc., a new full-service commercial mortgage brokerage.
Prospects Acquisition: CoreLogic has acquired Prospects Software, a leading provider of mobile MLS and CRM tools for real estate professionals.
Hedging Against Inflation: In a discussion for Yahoo Finance, Equity Strategist Matt Maley called housing “a great buying opportunity” because hard assets are solid hedges against inflation.