Good morning! Today is Wednesday, April 28. The CDC says fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear a mask outside, except in crowded settings. Health officials in India say the country has more than a half billion Covid cases. For the first time in 25 years, a gray horse is favored to win the Kentucky Derby.
And in mortgage and housing news …
FORBEARANCE REPORT: The Mortgage Note reports that the share of US mortgages in forbearance edged down ever so slightly last week, with 2.25 million American homeowners still in forbearance plans.
HOUSE PRICES: The Mortgage Note reports the nation’s house prices continued to climb in February across the nation and in every region, according to the latest House Price Index released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
STAYING PUT: Market analysts say homeowners are staying put because if they move and buy another home they will face a very competitive housing market as buyers, and they don’t need to sell to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates. They can just refinance their current home.
TO CRASH, OR NOT: Is the housing market about to crash? Here’s why experts say the answer is no.
REDLINING APPRAISALS: Legislation in Congress would try to solve for inconsistencies in appraisal underwriting, a lack of diversity in the profession, and the legacy of property valuation discrimination.
MILLENNIALS OVERSPEND: The average older millennial (ages 33 to 40) spends a median amount of $1,200 a month on housing costs. But workers in that age group only take home about $3,200 a month.
DOWNPAYMENTS: While low down-payment loans are available, lenders prefer to write loans with larger down payments.
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE RALLY: Covid-19 vaccines, higher foot traffic and a jump in sales are offering hope to a beleaguered commercial real estate segment: shopping malls.
DIVERSE MORTGAGE TALENT: Commitments from mortgage giants like Rocket to bring in more diverse talent are on the rise. Mortgage companies large and small are hiring chief diversity officers, and working hard to address the industry’s sometimes stark lack of diversity.