Mortgage Roundup (2/22/21) – Airbnb, Brokers & Lulls

Good morning! Today is Monday, February 22. Airlines were told to stop flying Boeing’s wide-body 777 aircraft equipped with a type of engine that broke apart during a flight over the weekend. The pace of U.S. Covid-19 vaccinations has drastically slowed, hampered by snow and power outages. A Chicago restaurant owner bought out street vendors’ tamales so they could come in from record low temperatures.

And in mortgage and housing news …

AIRBNB TENSIONS: Hurt by refunds, some are trying to cut Airbnb out of bookings or taking legal action. The company says it is working to reduce tensions.

BROKER COMMISSIONS: Online home buyers do much of the work involved in acquiring a house. So why are brokers’ fees still calculated under the old system?

RETIREMENT CRISIS: A retirement crisis is hitting Black Americans particularly hard, accelerated by low incomes, savings and home ownership. 

ECONOMICALLY INTEGRATED: Washington, D.C. and Seattle have relatively large proportions of households located in neighborhoods with about equal numbers of high-end and affordable homes—a dynamic that can promote distribution of wealth and economic mobility, but can also be a sign of gentrification. 

SEASONAL LULL: The U.S. Census Bureau report on new residential construction showed a somewhat-expected slow in the pace of housing starts for January, falling 6 percent after December’s 8.2 percent growth.

REFINANCE OPTIONS: Should you refinance to a 30- or 15-year mortgage during the pandemic? 

HOUSEHOLD DEBT: U.S. household debt hit a record $1.4 trillion.  

PANDEMIC PARADOX: Americans’ credit scores continue to rise as the nation’s economy struggles. Here’s why

DIGITAL REAL ESTATE: Online homebuying continues to pick up speed during COVID-19 pandemic.