Good morning! Today is Friday, July 31. NASA sent a helicopter to Mars to explore the planet’s minerals and look for signs of life. Tennis world No. 1 Ash Barty of Australia pulled out of the US Open, saying she wasn’t comfortable traveling during a pandemic. Hurricane Isaias dumps heavy rain on Bahamas, continues to track toward North Carolina.
And in mortgage and housing news …
GSE EARNINGS: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported financial results for the second quarter, with Fannie notching net income of $2.5 billion and Freddie recording $1.9 billion. Both companies reported significantly higher net worth as of June 30.
BELOW 3 PERCENT: After a week above 3 percent, mortgage rates in the United States dropped below that line for the second time in history as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.99 percent, Freddie Mac announced.
HOME PRICE BREAKDOWN: The list price may be the first thing that catches your eye when house hunting, but the actual cost of buying and owning a home is much greater. If you’re buying a home, here are all of the costs to consider.
GSE LIQUIDITY STANDARDS: The Federal Housing Finance Agency quietly imposed new liquidity requirements on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in June that will require the mortgage giants to hold more liquid assets to cover sudden funding shortfalls, but that the companies say may result in lower net interest income. The bank-like liquidity standards start Sept. 1.
BANK RESULTS/STOCKS: Bank share prices have trailed the market and have been particularly hard hit in recent months. But some investors are betting the pandemic is setting the stage for a rally.
HOUSING HARDSHIP INDEX: As the fast-changing coronavirus contagion evolves, the pandemic’s economic effects are shifting. New Jersey and New York were the two hardest-hit state economies, according to the Bankrate Housing Hardship Index for June.
AUGUST FORECAST: Will mortgage rates move up or down in August?
STIMULUS COMPARISONS: HEALS vs. CARES vs. Heroes acts: What’s the difference between the stimulus packages?
CREDIT ADVICE: How to best prime your credit before applying for a mortgage.
LANDLORDS, BE PREPARED: There are some rules that tenants in rental properties are likely to ignore.
PENDING HOME SALES: The recent flare-up in COVID cases hasn’t slowed the U.S. housing markets, according to the latest Pending Home Sales Index. Pending home sales increased 16.6 percent, marking the second consecutive month of increasing contract activity.