Good morning! Today is Thursday, March 4. Google will stop using browsing histories to sell ads. A Senate bill will narrow income eligibility for Covid $1,400 stimulus checks. Amazon is in talks to carry many NFL games exclusively on Amazon Prime.
And in mortgage and housing news …
PREDICTED SURGE: Interest rates jumped to 2.97 percent last week, the highest they’ve been in six months. On its own, the increase is not significant—but it may actually be monumental if it is the beginning of a rate surge that has been long predicted.
MORTGAGE APPS: Total mortgage application volume was essentially flat for the week, rising just 0.5 percent.
CFPB NOMINEE: President Biden’s CFPB nominee puts loan servicers, and credit bureaus on notice.
COVID-DEFERRAL TRENDS: Who is taking advantage of recently extended COVID-related forbearance options for federally backed mortgage loans?
ANXIOUS MILLENNIALS: While millennials are keen on purchasing homes that are more spacious and comfortable, they are also anxious about homebuying, because they’re still unable to afford a traditional 20 percent down payment.
PENDING HOME SALES: The Pending Home Sales Index declined 2.8 percent from the previous month to 122.8, but was up 13 percent from the year before and marked an all-time high for January.
UWM SHARE SPIKE: Shares of United Wholesale Mortgage shot up by as much as 16 percent at one point in the early hours of trading. The company announced it will likely join new indexes in the near future.
CLASS-ACTION SUIT: Thirty-three state attorneys general blasted a proposal to allow a mortgage servicer based in West Palm Beach to continue charging its borrowers fees to make payments online or by phone.
UNDERWRITING INNOVATION: Doma, a firm that looks to disrupt the real estate title insurance market, has agreed to combine with Capitol Investment Corp. V, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company.
SAVINGS CRISIS?: Did the Federal Reserve make economic inequality worse?