Morning Roundup (3/17/2022)– Rate Hikes, Fannie’s ESR

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, March 17. An earthquake lasting more than two minutes shook the Fukushima region of Japan, killing at least three people. Starbucks’s C.E.O. will retire next month. Russia attacked a theater in southern Ukraine where civilians were hiding.

The Mortgage Note Reports

Rate Hike Reactions: Analysts react to the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point.

Fannie’s ESR: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is rippling through the economy, prompting Fannie Mae’s ESR Group to downgrade its prediction for full-year 2022 real GDP growth from 2.8% to 2.3%.

And in other mortgage and housing news…

FOMC Meeting: The Federal Reserve lifted rates by a quarter-point on Wednesday, and signaled six more rate increases this year.

Taking Its Toll: Fannie Mae’s ESR Group projects full-year 2022 real GDP growth of 2.3%, down from last month’s projected 2.8%, due to the impact of inflation and Ukraine.

Buy Downs: Demand for rate buy-downs has soared in 2022, as borrowers reached for a little extra, knowing even a 25-basis point difference could add up to tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the loan.

Builder Confidence: Supply constraints, rising costs, and rising interest rates continue to negatively affect builder sentiment despite solid homebuyer demand.

Looking Back: Zillow looks at the ways the housing market has changed since the pandemic began.

New Tools: In the hot housing market, investors are turning to new housing flipping tech that helps them quickly buy, repair, and rent out large portfolios of homes.

BOA’s Prediction: Bank of America predicts that home prices will finish 2022 up 10%, nearly double the average annual home price growth (4.6%) posted since 1989.

Knock News: Knock, a New York City-based company that makes cash offers on behalf of prospective homebuyers, is laying off 46% of its workforce after raising $220 million.