Remote Work In Lending: Are UWM Employees Being Unreasonable?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS United Wholesale Mortgage turned heads in the industry last week when it was reported that health officials are investigating the company after receiving complaints about how they are handling COVID, which lead some people to ask why employees in lending are expected to be in their offices to begin with. Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration Director Bart Pickelman confirmed to The Mortgage Note Wednesday that his agency has received 50 complaints against UWM since November 1, 2021.  “MIOSHA currently has one open investigation and other investigations that are currently progressing through the appeals process. MIOSHA cannot provide information on an open investigation,” Pickelman said. A former employee told Fox 2 in Detroit that people who work…

UWM Under Investigation in Wake of COVID Complaints

Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage is under scrutiny from both state and county health officials in the wake of complaints about the company’s handling of COVID-19, a Detroit TV station is reporting. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) Director Bart Pickelman confirmed to The Mortgage Note Wednesday that his agency has received 50 complaints against UWM since November 1, 2021.  “MIOSHA currently has one open investigation and other investigations that are currently progressing through the appeals process. MIOSHA cannot provide information on an open investigation,” Pickelman said. And the Oakland County Health Department has also received numerous complaints about UWM, leaving health officials concerned amid the county’s soaring infection rate.“The test positivity rate in Oakland County is 25.5%. It’s the highest it’s ever…

Could A Drop In Chinese Interest Rates Spark A Bond Rally In The U.S.?

By SCOTT KIMBLER Prices of single-family homes and rental costs continue to rise in the United States. But officials in China have been lowering interest rates and over the last few months, the Asian county has seen a drop in property price tags as well. Here in the U.S., many companies—including Bloomberg—are reacting by predicting a possible rally in 2022. Especially in the bond market. Bond prices have an inverse relationship with mortgage interest rates. As bond prices go up, mortgage interest rates go down and vice versa, according to an article on Rocket Mortgage’s website. “These sorts of events cause uncertainty,” said Elizabeth Rose of Mortgage 300 in Dallas, Texas. “Their (China) money is going to seek a better return, so we’ll potentially have more buying in the…

Reality Check: COVID Deaths Will Lead To Increase In Housing Inventory

By KIMBERLEY HAAS It may be a harsh reality to face, but the data is clear: There will be more houses on the market in 2022 because of the number of people who have died due to COVID-19 and its variants. This sobering fact was highlighted during the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Miami, Fla., last week. As of Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 793,937 COVID deaths of Americans. More of those deaths have occurred since the first vaccines became available than before. Approximately 77% of people over the age of five have had at least one vaccination, according to their website. Community transmission is high in many parts of the country…

A New Gold Rush For Lenders? Benefitting From The Great Resignation

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and workers reevaluate their commitment to metropolitan life, lenders in smaller cities stand to benefit from what is being termed the “Great Resignation.” It is estimated that about 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September after months of dramatic departure numbers, which means those employees are looking for and taking new jobs, often choosing to live in a different location if they have the option of working remotely. Since 87% of employees say they would like to work remotely at least one day a week, and one in three workers would not want to work for an employer that required them to be onsite full time, potential homebuyers are taking these…

RPT: Median Home Spent Just One Week on Market, Setting New Record

A typical home spent just one week on the market before going under contract, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors. Their annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers — “real estate’s definitive guide on home buyer and seller trends” — reported on the pace of home sales between July 2020 and June 2021. By comparison, the average in 2012 was eleven weeks. “Buyers moving quickly during the pandemic, coupled with all-time-low inventory, led to a decline in time on market to the shortest ever recorded, which was just one week,” said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR. “Only a quarter of home sellers offered incentives to entice potential buyers, down from…

ATTOM: Some Markets Still Vulnerable To Covid-19 Economic Pressures

Despite the pandemic receding and a housing market cooldown, some housing markets at the county level are still susceptible to damage from the pandemic, according to a new report from ATTOM. The Q3 2021 Special Coronavirus Report showed that New Jersey, Illinois, and Delaware had the highest concentrations of at-risk markets, totaling 26 of the 50 counties whose housing markets might be most impacted by Covid-19. To determine risk to the market, the report looked at the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with mortgage balances exceeding property values, and the percentage of average local wages required to pay for homeownership expenses on median-priced houses or condos. Included on the list are eight counties in the Chicago metro…

Loan Origination Flexibilities Set To End

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Wednesday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend some temporary loan origination flexibilities through May 31, while allowing some to expire at the end of April. Originally enacted early in the Covid-19 pandemic, alternative appraisals on purchase and rate-term refinance loans are among the flexibilities that will now be extended through May 31, FHFA said. Flexibilities related to employment verification, condominium project reviews, and expanded power of attorney are being allowed to expire as scheduled on April 30. Additionally, FHFA expects to retire all temporary selling flexibilities on May 31, 2021. …

Pay Reduced For 1/3 Of US Workers

With the Covid pandemic stretching into its 10th month in the United States, more than a third of full-time America workers report having their pay cut, according to a survey released Monday. The survey of 1,000 workers by MagnifyMoney found: 34 percent of full-time workers had their pay cut, with 52 percent of men and 44 percent saying pay levels had been restored.54 percent of workers received a pay raise in the past year, down from 59 percent in last year’s survey.39 percent of Americans expect to get a raise next year, down from 47 percent in last year’s survey. The survey also found that 38 percent of millennials had their pay cut – the most of any generation. “It’s definitely…

Covid Policies Drive Housing Decisions For Some

Is the grass greener in another town during the Covid-19 pandemic? Americans increasingly think so, as 26 percent say their local government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has made them want to move away from where they currently live or change where they want to move, according to a new survey released Thursday by Redfin. At the same time, 21 percent of respondents to the October survey said their local governments’ pandemic response has made them like where they live more. “2020 has made Americans realize just how much power their local governments have over their way of life,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said. “If residents of a certain area feel their local rules are too lax or too…