Good morning! Today is Wednesday, May 26. After the Colonial Pipeline hack, the U.S. will require operators to report cyberattacks. Amnesty International reports that there is a “high probability” that Roman Protasevich, the journalist detained in Belarus after a plane diversion, is being tortured. A new study based on blood samples from hundreds of thousands of people in the United States and United Kingdom finds that human lifespan could double.
And in mortgage and housing news …
HOME PRICES: The Mortgage Note reports that home prices posted record gains, and over half of the homes that went under contract in February wound up being subject to bidding wars.
DOWN PAYMENT AID: A fight in Congress is looming over down payment aid to close the racial wealth gap. The eligibility requirements are making some lenders uneasy.
PRIME JUMBO: Four mortgage wholesalers recently introduced or loosened terms on their prime jumbo products, and a pair of them are taking the unusual step of offering these loans as qualified mortgages.
RECORD MEMBERSHIP: The National Association of Realtors credited the boom in membership in 2020 to a robust housing market and Americans’ career shifts during the pandemic.
SAVINGS RATES: As the economy reopens, what happens to the savings rates behind housing boom?
FIRE ZONES: A proposed California bill would prohibit new development on the state’s most fire-prone lands.
LAID-BACK BIDDER: To buy a home in today’s red-hot market, it helps to be a laid-back bidder.
TIMBER PRICES: Pandemic-fueled housing demand is finally beginning to catch up with years of oversupply in the timber industry that resulted from the 2008 financial crisis.
NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION: The White House aims to renovate 500,000 single-family homes in low-income neighborhoods -a plan tied to President Biden’s infrastructure proposal.
INVESTOR PRESSURE: Mortgage lenders like Rocket now must brace for lower housing and mortgage demand. The competition will heat up faster than expected. Rocket, who thought its software would give it an edge on margins over Wells Fargo, may face lower profitability.