Good morning! Today is Wednesday, March 24. The suspected gunman in the Boulder shooting has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. The U.S. Postal Service will unveil the largest rollback of consumer mail services in a generation, including longer mail delivery times, reduced post office hours and higher prices. Prince Harry will start a job at a Silicon Valley startup.
And in mortgage and housing news …
8-MINUTE APPROVAL: The Mortgage Note reports that the personal finance app Mint and Rocket Mortgage announced an expansion of their partnership that allows Mint users to get approved to purchase home entirely digitally in as few as eight minutes.
IMBs: The Mortgage Note reports that independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of charter banks again saw strong business in the fourth quarter of 2020.
HOME SALES: Existing home sales fell sharply in February, as supply dropped by the largest amount on record.
RENEWED SCRUTINY: Biden’s CFPB head Rohit Chopra is expected to be tougher than Trump’s appointees on banks.
ABILITY TO PAY: New research from Freddie Mac finds that Americans are still uncertain about the ability to repay their mortgage and/or rent.
BUILDING SLOWDOWN: Construction pros report that increases in material costs—lumber, most notably—continue to challenge builder’s output.
CONVENTIONAL LOANS: FHA mortgages are losing popularity with homebuyers.
TOLLING MORTGAGE INTEREST: The Indiana Supreme Court denied a petition by federal mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac asking the court to clarify its emergency orders tolling mortgage interest in certain cases in Indiana trial courts.
MORTGAGE INSURANCE: The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy makes mortgage insurance more important.
EQUITY BOOST: The red-hot U.S. housing market is paying off for many homeowners, even those who aren’t looking to sell their home.
INVENTORY SOLUTION: Manufactured homes get a boost as the inventory shortage continues.