Morning Roundup (9/21/2021)– August New Home Purchases Down, Real-Estate Commissions Under Investigation

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, September 21. The U.S. is easing travel bans, but will require foreign nationals to show proof of vaccination before entering the country. The Biden administration is raising the cap on refugee admissions to 125,000. A doctor who publicly admitted to performing an abortion after six weeks is being sued, the first case filed under Texas’ controversial abortion law.

And in mortgage and housing news…

New Home Purchases Down: MBA’s Builder Application Survey data for August 2021 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased from July but fell year-over-year.

Commissions Under Investigation: Home sale commissions are under investigation by the Biden administration, which has asked the Federal Trade Commission to adopt rules to address any unfair practices it sees in the real estate industry.

Builder Confidence Up:  The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index found builder confidence increased in September as material and labor shortages eased up slightly.

Forbearances Down: Forbearances fell again this week, continuing to trend down as relief plans expire, MBA’s latest survey found.

ESR Lowering Their Expectations: Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group lowered their 2021 real GDP growth projections to 5.4%, citing inflation and supply constraints.

FOMC Meeting: The FOMC’s two-day meeting starts today. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the Fed to start tapering Treasury and securities-backed mortgages.

Black Homeowners Get Lower Appraisals: Freddie Mac study found that appraisers’ opinions of value are more likely to fall below the contract price in Black and Latino neighborhoods.

“Building Generational Wealth”: The MBA announced a new policy initiative aimed at reducing the racial homeownership hap and supporting communities of color.

New CA Housing Rules: California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills easing zoning and environmental regulations to promote affordable housing.

Titlegenius Expanding: Radian group is expanding its title insurance and closing services platform, titlegenius.