Good morning! Today is Thursday, December 3. The number of daily Covid-19-related deaths in the U.S. passed 3,000, while hospitalizations topped 100,000 for the first time. Democratic leaders conceded demands for coronavirus relief, fueling hopes that an agreement could be reached with Republicans by year’s end. Hawaii just created a long-term-stay program for U.S. residents, paying for airfare to 50 out-of-staters willing to spend at least a month in Hawaii volunteering with nonprofits.
And in mortgage and housing news …
MORTGAGE APPS: Mortgage applications decreased slightly Thanksgiving week, once adjustments are made for the long holiday weekend.
FORBEARANCE UP: The share of mortgages in forbearance in the United States increased for the secondweek in a row before Thanksgiving
GSE REDO: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is in talks with FHFA Director Mark Calabria about GSE conservatorship changes, raising the possibility that Fannie and Freddie could be released before they are fully capitalized.
LOAN LIMIT: FHA is increasing its 2021 loan limit in most of the U.S. to $356,362, an increase of nearly $25,000 over 2020’s loan limit.
LOAN AMOUNTS: Mortgage demand from homebuyers spikes 28 percent, and the average loan amount sets a record high.
$1B ORIGINATIONS: Private lender CIVIC will top $1 billion in real estate originations for 2020.
BUILD TO RENT: Subdivisions featuring single-family rental homes are emerging as a more affordable option for those seeking extra space in the suburbs.
2008 LESSONS: Certain technologies, which weren’t around 12 years ago, have played a huge role in maintaining a healthy residential real estate market while much of the country sheltered-in-place.
CREDIT CARD DEBT: Outstanding credit card debt in the U.S. totals $756 billion. That’s the lowest dollar amount since 2017.
BOSTON RECOVERY: Daily life in Boston’s Financial District used to be characterized by the buzz of office workers, lunch meetings, industry events and afterwork get-togethers. But in a pandemic world its commercial real estate is changing.