Mortgage Roundup (10/28/20) – Cocoons, Prices & Covid

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, October 28. Early voting has surpassed half of all ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election with less than a week left until Election Day. CEOs from the largest social media companies will answer Senate Commerce Committee questions today about the platforms’ role in shaping political discourse. New York City is telling residents not to travel for Thanksgiving to help stop the spread of Covid-19. 

And in mortgage and housing news …

HOME PRICES: The Federal Housing Finance Agency reports that home prices increased 1.5 percent in August from the previous month – and a whopping 8 percent from August 2019 amid historically low interest rates and a shortage of homes on the market during the Covid-19 pandemic.

POLITICAL COCOONS: In another sign of the political divide in the United States, 42 percent of Americans say they would be hesitant to move to an area where a majority of people have different political views from their own.

BANKRUPTCY REFORM: Americans’ debts are mounting, putting a new focus on Biden’s role opposing bankruptcy protections.

SILVER LINING: With few avenues for spending and big purchases on hold, many Americans are saving more and paying off debts, helped by loan deferrals and relief aid.

POST-CONSERVATORSHIP: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released an updated strategic plan that envisioned a path for ending the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that have been in place since September 2008.

ESCALATION CLAUSE: Builders say a shortage of supplies, including appliances, hardware, flooring products, and lumber, is affecting the timelines and costs of their projects, and they’ve had to find ways to pass those costs on to customers.

COVID MORTGAGES: If you’re one of the many Americans lining up to apply for a new mortgage or refinance an existing mortgage, you can expect a few changes to the traditional process.

FREDDIE PORTFOLIO: Freddie Mac reported this week that its total mortgage portfolio increased at an annualized rate of 17.5 percent in September compared to a 27.7 percent gain in August. Delinquencies are beginning to slow.

SELLING SUBURBS: How real estate agents are helping city-loving buyers embrace the suburbs.  

HOME INHERITANCE: What happens when you inherit a mortgage?

RENTAL MARKET: A housing crisis centered on the vast apartment and home-rental markets is emerging in the U.S., threatening to send millions of renters into eviction and leave landlords short billions of dollars.