Mortgage Roundup (5/20/20) – GSEs, Housing Starts & Rental Demand

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, May 20. American women had babies at record-low rates last year. Thousands are evacuated after two Michigan dams fail. A government report predicts a 38 percent drop in GDP. 

And in mortgage and housing news …

FHFA GUIDANCE: Borrowers are eligible to refinance or buy a new home three months after their forbearance ends and they have made three straight payments under their repayment plan, according to new temporary guidance issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

GSE CONSERVATORSHIP: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are looking for financial advisors to help them emerge from conservatorship.

HOUSING STARTS: Residential housing starts in the United States in April were way down, according to a report released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

FORBEARANCE NECESSITY: According to a new study from LendingTree, almost 70 percent of homeowners now in forbearance say the relief wasn’t necessary.

TOP BANKING REGULATOR: Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting will announce this week that he’s stepping down from his position as one of the country’s top bank regulators after his agency finalizes the overhaul of a landmark anti-redlining law.

CALIFORNIA TAX BREAK: A proposal to cap the tax break for California homeowners to raise money for homelessness programs died in the state legislature without receiving a vote.

PENNSYLVANIA REALTORS: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that real estate companies can resume in-person operations.

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Most real estate investment trusts are still getting their rent, except in the retail sector.

RENTAL DEMAND: Following three consecutive months of upward momentum, numbers for rental demand plunged in March—applications decreased by 44 percent. Prices could be next. 

CITY LIFE: The coronavirus pandemic may forever change life in the world’s largest cities