Good morning! Today is Tuesday, December 1. Today is Giving Tuesday, a global celebration of philanthropy and the work of nonprofits. Moderna is seeking approval for its Covid-19 vaccine after it was shown to be 94.1 percent effective, keeping the shot on track for use in the U.S. by year’s end. National Covid-19 hospitalizations are nearing 100,000 and expected to get worse following holiday travel.
And in mortgage and housing news …
HOME SALES: Pending home sales dipped slightly in the United States last month, though were significantly higher than in October 2019.
HOME PRICES: The pandemic paused the housing market for a few months, but it has been on a rebound that has pushed the median price over $700,000.
ADVERSE MARKET FEE: The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s 0.5 percent “adverse market” fee on most mortgage refinances officially begins today.
REFINANCING: Mortgage refinance rates drop to 54-day low after Thanksgiving weekend.
CLIMATE RISKS: Taxpayers are backing more than a trillion dollars in home mortgages, but the agencies buying them are neglecting to consider climate risks.
PAWN SHOP ECONOMY: Loans are at the core of the pawn business – a microcosm of the economy that flies under the radar for many.
WAIVING INSPECTIONS: Home inspections have become a bargaining chip in Philadelphia’s hot housing market.
DOJ-NAR LAWSUIT: Real estate agents expect a shakeup from the DOJ-NAR lawsuit that will potentially produce lower commissions.
COMMERCIAL TRENDS: The National Association of Realtors published its November trends report, looking across the commercial property markets (multifamily, office, industrial, and retail) and features two pieces on apartment rent trends and how financial volatility impacts commercial sales and prices.
LOSS MITIGATION: Right now, with millions of Americans out of work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, loss mitigation can be a viable solution that helps lenders and borrowers find a temporary or long-term resolution while avoiding foreclosure.