Good morning! Today is Wednesday, October 21. White House and Democratic negotiators said they would press ahead with efforts to reach a coronavirus relief deal. The Department of Justice antitrust suit against Google will mark the most aggressive U.S. legal challenge to a company’s dominance in the tech sector in more than two decades. Minnesota’s snowfall this week is the earliest on record and the second-largest amount of snow with 9 inches recorded in one town.
And in mortgage and housing news …
BIDDING WARS: Bidding wars are still common in the U.S. housing market.
CFPB EXTENDS QM: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has indefinitely extended a provision that allows loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to count as qualified mortgages as it reshapes the standards for those safer home loans.
LOAN ORIGINATION FLEXIBILITIES: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac extend several loan origination flexibilities that were set to expire at the end of the month.
MORTGAGE AI: Google Cloud announced the launch of Lending DocAI to help mortgage companies speed up the process of evaluating a borrower’s income and asset documents, using specialized machine learning models to automate routine document reviews.
BUILDER CONFIDENCE: Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes has risen by two points to an all-time high of 85 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index in October, up from the previous all-time high of 83 recorded in September.
HOW MUCH MORTGAGE: Two rules to consider when deciding how much mortgage you can afford.
CALI BALLOT MEASURES: California voters will decide again on rent control and big changes to property taxes in three state ballot measures this election.
REDUCING LENDING BIAS: A new company aims to help banks, credit unions and specialty lenders eliminate biases in identifying borrowers by taking into account more than credit scores.
HOUSING STARTS: Single-family housing starts soared in September, a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows, despite an overall rate that was dragged down by a decline in multifamily starts.
BORROW LIKE BUFFETT: Warren Buffett wants you to refinance your mortgage — here’s why.