Good morning! Today is Friday, January 8. U.S airlines and law enforcement agencies bolstered security at Washington-area airports following a Capitol siege that left four dead. Scientists report that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine works against a key mutation found in new, fast-spreading coronavirus variants. A disruption in the polar vortex will likely allow colder air to spill out of the Arctic, creating a colder 2021.
And in mortgage and housing news …
SHRINKING INVENTORY: The number of houses for sale in the United States reached a record low in December, realtor.com reported in its Monthly Housing Trends Report. There were fewer than 700,000 homes for sale in the US for the first time in the report’s history.
HUD RESIGNATION: Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, stepped down on the same day Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced their resignations, a day after a mob took over the Capitol.
NEW YEAR, NEW RECORD: Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage plunged to their lowest levels in the survey’s history, dating back to 1971.
HOME SHOWINGS: Nationally, SentriLock home showings were up 24 percent year-over-year. Showings rose in the South, West, and Northeast regions, but declined in the Midwest region.
EVICTION MORATORIUM: States like New York have halted evictions, but back rent is building up and will still be due when the eviction moratorium ends.
TITLE INSURANCE: Why you need title insurance when buying a home.
MODERNIZED APPRAISALS: Federal regulators want to ‘modernize’ home appraisals — that could put some consumers at a disadvantage.
REFINANCE: What are the hidden costs of refinancing a mortgage?
NY RECOVERY: New York real estate begins to recover after a grim year.
INVESTORS: How many mortgages can an investor have?
HOUSING STRENGTH: Why does the housing market continue to boom during a down economy?
CONSOLIDATION: Could 2021 be the year of consolidation in mortgage lending?
SEILA LAW: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in favor of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s actions taken against Seila Law.
CONDO BUYING: Seven tips for buying a condo in 2021.