Good morning! Today is Tuesday, January 26. Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was confirmed by the Senate to serve as first woman Treasury Secretary. Vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are slightly less effective against a variant found in South Africa. A judge has approved a $17 million settlement plan for sexual misconduct victims of Harvey Weinstein. And in mortgage and housing news …
HOME VALUES: Fueled by record-low interest rates and scarce inventory, home value growth surged in December by 3.2 percent over the previous quarter – the largest increase in at least a quarter century.
FORBEARANCE REPORT: The number of mortgages in forbearance in the United States held steady at about 2.7 million.
MORTGAGE CRITERIA: Qualifying for a mortgage in 2021 may be a different process from years past. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many lenders to change home loan requirements and alter the evaluation process for borrowers.
CHEAPEST MONTH: What’s the cheapest month for mortgage rates?
INSTA REAL ESTATE: These seven real estate-related Instagram accounts offer up eye candy, inspiration, and more than a few practical tips.
FANNIE MAE CRO: Fannie Mae has announced the addition of key executive Ryan Zanin to its Chief Risk Officer position.
BANK BRANCH CLOSURES: Between 2008-2020, over 13,000 branches closed in the U.S., representing 14 percent of all branches.
HOME PURCHASE SENTIMENT: Only 50 percent surveyed think it’s a good time to sell a home, according to a Fannie Mae poll.
DON’T GIVE UP: Mortgage rates could stay low for a bit longer. The average millennial would be wise to consider homeownership.
HOME AND STUDENT LOANS: Why mortgage lenders should get into college loans.