Mortgage Roundup (4/3/20) – Rates, Refinance & 2008 Lessons

Good morning! Today is Friday, April 3. Coronavirus infections across the globe surpassed 1 million. Google is offering user location data to help health officials track people’s movements amid the coronavirus pandemic. A 104-year-old veteran from Oregon recovered from coronavirus just in time to celebrate his birthday.

And in mortgage and housing news …

RATES DROP: Mortgage rates dropped for the second week in a row – and almost reached the nearly historic lows from before the coronavirus fully hit the United States. What will that mean for mortgage applications? 

SAVING DETROIT: Detroit billionaire and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert is marshaling his businesses to help after a surge in coronavirus cases has the city girding itself for the possibility of becoming the latest hot spot in the fast-moving pandemic.

REFINANCE BOOM: Millennials are driving the surge in refinancing, comprising 34 percent of refinanced loans in February,  which is tied for the highest share since Ellie Mae began tracking this data in 2016.

MORTGAGE SERVICERS: U.S. regulators are holding off on helping mortgage servicing firms that could be hit with a surge of missed payments from borrowers hurt by the coronavirus crisis. Watchdogs say the federal stimulus will address liquidity. 

SLOW DOWN SIGNAL: Sellers appear to be holding off on listing their homes for sale in anticipation of less buyer traffic during the normally busy spring home-buying season.

FIX THE FIX: The Federal Reserve and Congress took quick action to protect lenders and homeowners from market turmoil and keep it from upending other markets. But the side effects of those actions are now causing headaches within the mortgage universe and potentially for home buyers and sellers.

HELP FOR BUILDERS: The National Association of Home Builders is working to moderate the impact of the coronavirus on the housing industry and help members understand and respond to the evolving economic slowdown.

2008 LESSONS: Banks may be the industry that helps keep the economy afloat after the COVID-19 pandemic causes a cascade of damage.