Mortgage Roundup (1/26/21) – Value, Rates & Closures

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