Mortgage Roundup (10/16/20) – Rates, Forecast & Trends

Good morning! Today is Friday, October 16. President Trump and Joe Biden participated in dueling town halls on separate networks. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has recovered from Covid-19 and says he was wrong not to wear a face mask at a White House event where he contracted the virus. A new study finds that watching nature programming reduces feelings of boredom and sadness.

And in mortgage and housing news …

RECORD LOW, AGAIN: Mortgage rates dropped to 2.81 percent this week, another new record and the 12th straight week rates have stayed under 3 percent, Freddie Mac reported in its weekly mortgage market survey.

FREDDIE FORECAST: Mortgage rates are expected to remain near record lows through next year and home prices are expected to climb, though not as quickly as this year, according to Freddie Mac’s quarterly housing forecast.

REAL ESTATE TRENDS: Covid-19 has caused some industry trends to accelerate and others to grind to a halt, with new opportunities expected to pop up in the year ahead.

GSE CLIMATE TRENDS: New research compiled by U.S. government-backed mortgage companies recently shows housing markets are beginning to respond to damages from climate change-fueled floods, storms and disasters.

GSE REFORM: No matter who wins the Presidential election, the path out of GSE conservatorship is uncertain. 

LIBOR-SOFOR TRANSITION: Freddie Mac has purchased its first multifamily loan indexed to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate.

COVIDNOMICS: While some improvement in payment behavior has been seen, some of that positive view may be artificial due to residue of stimulus and forbearance efforts. Consumer research indicates that things may be worse than indicated and small business owners have been hit especially hard.

HOME-BUYING FITNESS: Six ways to improve your finances before buying a home.

SCAM ALERT: Make sure that letters received from a new mortgage loan servicer are not part of a scam.

FANNIE MAE LEADERSHIP: Mortgage giant Fannie Mae is shaking up leadership in its largest business, with two top executives leaving.

RENT PRICES: Rent prices are plummeting as urban landlords try to attract tenants moving to cheaper, quieter suburbs during the coronavirus pandemic.