Good morning! Today is Monday, March 29. Public health experts say they are racing to vaccinate to stay ahead of Covid virus variants. A cargo ship remains stuck in the Suez Canal after a week with a backup of hundreds of ships waiting to pass through. The pandemic is fueling a virtual reality travel boom.
And in mortgage and housing news …
NONBANK LENDING: Online payments specialist PayPal is now the biggest non-bank lender after experiencing a boom in demand for services through the Covid-19 pandemic.
BORROWER BREAK: A break for borrowers? Spiking mortgage rates may be stalling, experts say.
HOUSING HEAT INDEX: A new study finds that Utah is the hottest housing market in the country, with historically low inventory.
FLOOD INSURANCE: New York Senator Chuck Schumer is objecting to a plan that would raise costs for some of his constituents by bringing flood insurance rates in line with climate risks.
FHFA APPROACH: FHFA Director Mark Calabria discusses his approach to regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
NEW HOME SALES: Sales of newly built single-family homes plunged 18.2 percent in February, even as buyer demand remains unprecedentedly high.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING RETURNS: It is harder to secure credit and will require more equity in the current market for affordable housing, muting overall returns.
REFI FOREVER RATE: About seven million refinance candidates missed the “forever rate” boat.
FICO SCORES: Which FICO scores do lenders use most? It depends on the kind of loan you’re applying for.
PAYMENT DEFERRAL ENDS: Payment deferrals were a lifeline for millions during Covid. What happens when those end?