Good Morning! Today is Thursday, January 6. It’s the anniversary of the January 6 riot, and President Biden will speak today on steps to strengthen democracy in the US. A Philadelphia fire left at least thirteen dead and two hospitalized. The CDC recommended Pfizer boosters for children aged twelve and up.
And in mortgage and housing news…
Check Out The Photos!: These are the most expensive homes in 2022’s hottest housing markets.
Second Home Demand Stays High: December demand for vacation homes topped pre-pandemic levels by 77% as affluent Americans continue to take advantage of remote work and low-interest rates. But it’s so hard to get into the game, some people are comparing it to finding their way into an elite nightclub.
Rocket Leadership Changes: Rocket Companies made several leadership changes, including a title change for Jay Farner to CEO of Rocket Central.
FOMC Spooks Stockholders: The stock market sold off sharply due to the minutes from yesterday’s FOMC meeting suggesting the Fed could raise rates and sell its holdings sooner than anticipated.
Homebuyers Facing Record Shortage: Home prices are up 14% and listings down 27% heading into 2022, but Redfin agents predict listings will pick up soon.
FHFA Fee Increase: The Federal Housing Finance Agency is increasing guarantee fees for high balance and second home mortgages.
HomeSmart Acquisition: HomeSmart has acquired Houston-based brokerage Champions Real Estate Group, bringing its agent number up to nearly 25,000.
More Leader News: Waterstone Mortgage has named Catherine Mauldin as director of strategic growth.
Mortgage Influencer Joins NFM: NFM Lending announced it’s launching an Influencer Division led by TikTok’s “@thatmortgageguy”, Scott Betley.
“The Great Deceleration?”: Home price appreciation is set to decelerate, with the biggest jumps behind us as we enter 2022, Lance Lambert argues in Fortune.
Bankruptcy Improving: December overall bankruptcy filings were down 4.7% from November, and 2021 filings were down 24.2% from 2020.
Weird But Beautiful: Unusual homes that traditionally have been hard to sell have gained attention during the pandemic.