Morning Roundup (2/1/2024) — FOMC Under Pressure

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, February 1. The House passed a bill that would expand the child tax credit while cutting taxes for corporations. John Podesta will replace John Kerry as Joe Biden’s global climate representative. Tennessee and Virginia sued the N.C.A.A. for blocking wealthy boosters who pay to attract college athletic recruits.

The Mortgage Note Reports

Under Pressure: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell responded to legislative pressure to lower rates due to their impact on the housing market as they held them steady at their meeting. Writer Patrick Lavery has the story.

Window Shopping: Home tours are up in January as buyers are enticed back to the market by stabilizing rates, but that interest has yet to turn into actual sales.

AI Push At Rocket: Rocket Companies appointed Alex Rampell, serial fintech entrepreneur and AI advocate, to its Board of Directors.

In other mortgage and housing news…

Settling Down: The equity-rich portion of homes slipped in Q4 2023 while seriously underwater homes increased, meaning the days of “extended prosperity” may be ending.

Builder Surge: Nearly 32% of home sales in Q4 2023 were new construction, just shy of a record high, as existing home sales dwindled…

New Listings: …but reports that January 2024 brought a 2.8% YOY boost in new listings. Buyers face both higher prices and rates than last year, though.

Pushback: House members sent a letter to the CFPB, concerned about its procedures for establishing supervisory authority over nonbanks engaged in risky conduct.

“Broken Trust”: A mortgage broker was blamed by former Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, on trial for mortgage fraud, for bad counsel about purchasing property.