Mortgage Roundup (4/16/21) – Rates, Rent & Subsidies

Good morning! Today is Friday, April 16. Soaring retail sales and a sharp drop in jobless claims are the latest signs of a quickening economic recovery. Pfizer announced that due to variants of the coronavirus, people likely will need a booster shot within a year to suppress the pool of those individuals susceptible to Covid-19. Some states are being hammered by a spring wave of infections and hospitalizations even as others have seen the crisis begin to ease.

And in mortgage and housing news …

MORTGAGE RATES: The Mortgage Note reports that mortgage rates fell for the second week in a row, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average 3.04 percent.

PANICKED AND DEPRESSED: Housing experts at Zillow are calling for 2021 to be the hottest year for existing home sales since 2005, notching a more than 17 percent jump over what we saw happen last year in 2020.

SUPPLY/DEMAND: The U.S. housing market is 3.8 million single-family homes short of what is needed to meet the country’s demand, according to a new analysis by mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac. 

HOUSING SUBSIDIES: Public policy often uses housing subsidies not only to distribute resources, but also as a mechanism of discipline and control.

CONTINGENCY WAIVING: How do you compete with home buyers who can pay in all cash? Skip inspections and appraisals.

MORTGAGE PRIORITY: In times of financial duress, a new TransUnion study has found that consumers are prioritizing their mortgage loan payments over auto loans and credit cards.

BLACK FINANCING: Existing lending policies have kept Black Americans from owning homes. A new program wants to fix that.

RENT HIKE: The U.S. median rent increased 1.1 percent year over year in March after eight consecutive months of declines, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.  

GOOGLERS WANT TO KNOW: Google reported last week that the search “When is the housing market going to crash?” had spiked 2,450 percent in the past month.

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Many commercial properties are being converted into affordable housing as remote work trend continues.