Good morning! Today is Tuesday, May 19. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will testify today on how they are handling $500 billion in emergency lending programs. A small COVID-19 vaccine trial is showing promise. The return of car traffic is causing oil prices to make a comeback.
And in mortgage and housing news …
HOMEBUYERS READY: As states across the country slowly begin to reopen for business, realtor.com released a survey that may suggest that homebuyers are ready to jumpstart shopping for a new house in the coming weeks and months.
FORBEARANCE REPORT: The share of mortgage loans in forbearance climbed slightly last week to 8.16 percent, a second straight week of relatively small increases in the number of borrowers who have paused their payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
ZILLOW RESTART: Nearly two months after shutting down its iBuyer program across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, Zillow announced it is resuming home purchases in four markets.
HOME SALES/LISTINGS: A new report released by Redfin found that sales and listings experienced historic declines from a year ago.
BUILDER CONFIDENCE: Builder confidence is rebounding as the nation slowly begins to emerge from economic shutdowns enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
LENGTHY REFINANCING: A refinancing process that once required just three or four weeks, during a pandemic can now drag on for eight or nine weeks.
NEW BORROWER RULES: New pandemic rules for borrowers make it easier to navigate mortgage closings.
REVERSE MORTGAGES: While originators are reporting a spike in borrower interest over the last 10 weeks, they’re also noticing a few other unexpected side effects due to the pandemic — and some positive surprisesstemming from the crisis.
PENNSYLVANIA: Pennsylvania is the only state where real estate business is still on a coronavirus-induced hold.
INVESTORS: How to invest in real estate during the coronavirus pandemic.
SIGNS OF HOPE: Despite financial hardships, there are signs of hope in the real estate market.