Good morning! Today is Monday, February 1. Winter Storm Orlena is pummeling the East Coast with heavy snow and strong winds. The job of vaccinating much of the American public is about to fall largely on retail pharmacies, with chains like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Kroger saying they are ready to give tens of millions of shots a month. Chicago teachers are threatening a strike over reopening schools to in-person learning.
And in mortgage and housing news …
NEW ADMINISTRATION: The Biden administration is bringing a new focus on housing policies.
YEAR OF THE SELLER: Why 2021 is the year to sell your home.
BIDEN/HARRIS REAL ESTATE: The president and vice president both maintain multiple homes throughout the country—but not as many as you might think.
SIGHT-UNSEEN LIABILITY: It’s important for real estate pros to know the risks in “sight unseen” sales that can lead to liability—and take steps to mitigate those risks.
SHOPPING MALL WINNERS: Shares of two beleaguered shopping-center owners soared this week, joining a broader rally among stocks that individual investors have powered higher in their battle with professional money managers.
GREEN HOMES: Will green homes perform better in mortgage-backed securities?
LOAN VOLUME: Loan officers made insane money in the fourth quarter of 2020.
BUILDING COSTS: While the market remains solid, median home prices are increasing due to higher building material costs, most notably softwood lumber, and a shift to larger homes.
RATE PREDICTIONS: Will Joe Biden cause mortgage rates to rise? See what experts say.
SQUEEZED LANDLORDS: Biden’s eviction moratorium is hurting America’s rental market comprised mostly of middle-class mom-and-pop ventures.
PRE-APPROVAL CREDIT: How can mortgage pre-approval affect your credit score?