Good morning! Today is Friday, December 18. Members of Congress are rushing to complete a $900 billion Covid-relief package. California is the latest coronavirus epicenter, setting back-to-back nationwide records for new cases and running out of hospital beds. More than three million internet users are believed to have installed 15 Chrome and 13 Edge extensions that contain malicious code.
And in mortgage and housing news …
TOO SLOW: Homebuyers surveyed said the closing process in homebuying is frustratingly long.
HOME DEPOT: Home Depot will pay $20.75 million under a proposed settlement after its contractors in states across the country allegedly failed to take proper steps to reduce the spread of lead dust and paint chips during renovations.
GSE LIQUIDITY: The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a proposed rule on liquidity requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including reporting rules and minimum liquidity and funding.
LUXURY REAL ESTATE: The coronavirus is turning Miami into a hot spot real estate destination.
MORTGAGE RATES: Could mortgage interest rates stay this low until 2023?
FINANCIAL RESOLUTIONS: 15 “fin-influencers” share their financial resolutions for the new year.
HOUSING STARTS: Builders’ struggle meeting demand for single-family homes persisted in November.
TRUMP LEGACY: President Trump swept into office on the strength of his image as a real estate developer. Four years later, Trump leaves a housing record that includes the end of a contentious tax break for homeowners and a new direction for the federal agency overseeing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
CRITICAL DEFECT RATE: Critical defects found in closed mortgage loan files were at their highest since 2018 in the second quarter, due to conditions created by the pandemic, a review conducted by Aces Quality Management found.
RENT PRICES: This is the first time since the start of the pandemic that national rent prices have outpaced their previous-year growth rate.
SELLER PROSPECTS: Why you should (and shouldn’t) sell your home in 2021.