Author Joe Brady Talks About The Future Of Commercial Real Estate

By ERIN FLYNN JAY The author of a new book says commercial real estate owners need to be forward-thinking if they are going to remain relevant. Joe Brady is the former head of real estate for Walgreens and served as CEO of Americas at The Instant Group, a global leader in agile and flexible workspace, development, and consulting. His book, “Work Shop: The consumer-driven transformation of Commercial Real Estate,” was released in May. The Mortgage Note recently spoke with Brady about how shopping and work trends are shaping the future of CRE. He said malls nationwide have ceased to exist because of changes in shopping patterns as online retail sales have grown over the past 15 years. Pressure on stores…

Home Prices Soared To Another Record High In February

Annual home price appreciation continued its upward trend in February, accelerating on both an annual and monthly basis. Prices were up 6.4% YOY, an increase from January’s 6% gain and the fastest annual rate since November 2022, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price NSA Index.  Month-over-month data showed prices on an upswing for the first time since October 2024. The National Index, 20-City Composite, and the 10-City Composite registered gains of 0.6%, 0.9% and 1.0%, respectively. Monthly prices were cooling at the end of 2023 into 2024, but increased demand and still-tight inventory have turned that trend around. Home prices are now “at or near all-time highs,” according to Brian D. Luke, Head of Commodities, Real &…

St. Louis Is The Best City For First-Time Buyers

First-time homebuyers will find the best mix of affordability, low competition, and young homeowners in Midwestern metros, a new report says. Zillow named the best markets for first-timers in 2024, with St. Louis taking the number one spot. Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, and Austin rounded out the top five. These cities offer reasonable prices and a relatively full arsenal of starter homes to choose from. Low-priced properties have been hard to come by due to rate lock-in keeping many families from moving up and a tendency for builders to produce big homes. That trend is changing, with builders now prioritizing smaller homes with fewer amenities, but until the construction wave is complete, first-time buyers need to prioritize metros that offer affordable…

How Cities Can Help Increase Black American Homeownership

By ERIN FLYNN JAY Homeownership rates for Black Americans are lagging and leaders in some cities are taking action to turn that around. According to a report released by the National Association of Realtors last month, minority groups saw increased homeownership rates in 2022. While Asian and Hispanic homeownership rates registered all-time highs at 63.3% and 51.1%, the Black homeownership rate was 44.1%. The homeownership rate for white Americans was at 72.3% in 2022. Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president of research, said in a statement that the impacts of overall housing affordability affect minority buyers more than white buyers. Minority buyers often pay more of their monthly income in rent, making it harder to save for…

Ally, HouseCanary Offer $5K Grant To Homebuyers

Ally Home and HouseCanary are offering a $5,000 grant to homebuyers in three major metros. The grant can be used for a down payment, closing costs, or other expenses that arise during the homebuying process. Buyers within select markets in Charlotte, Detroit, and Philadelphia are eligible, though Ally may expand the program in the future. Eligible buyers must have an income less than or equal to 100% of the area median income and be purchasing a primary residence. Grantees can combine this award with other offerings like the Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage program, which lets buyers put as little as 3% down. As part of the rollout, HouseCanary, Ally’s portal partner since last year, now identifies grant-eligible properties in the…

Making Time To Give: Rocket’s Volunteers Go Above And Beyond

As the season of giving thanks begins, The Mortgage Note would like to recognize the people who contribute to their communities. In June, leaders at the Rock Family of Companies and Rocket Community Fund announced that team members had spent one million hours volunteering with community organizations and nonprofits, participating in more than 150,000 events with more than 4,800 organizations nationwide. The milestone was reached at an event with The Greening of Detroit at Lafayette Gardens in downtown Detroit. Rocket Companies is headquartered in the city. “Rocket Companies invests in Detroit through its business, philanthropy and workforce, along with the tens of thousands of team members who help mentor our youth, ensure our food banks are stocked, connect our residents…

Commutes Influencing Homebuyer Decisions

Scores of workers are being called back to their offices after more than three years of working remotely, influencing homebuyers’ choices as commutes are reintroduced to their lives. The typical American commute is 26.4 minutes long, according to a new analysis by LendingTree. Based on median hourly earnings of $30.80, commuting costs $27.10 a day in lost time — or $5,724.56 a year. Losses associated with commuting go beyond working time, according to LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz. Gas, parking, car maintenance, child care, and the toll on the mind and body add to the overall stresses of a workday involving travel. Price-wise, the typical commute costs nearly 50 cents a mile when total expenses are added together. “The…

The Future Of Build-For-Rent Single-Family Communities Is Bright

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Build-for-rent communities have been growing in popularity as the housing landscape changes in the United States. According to leaders at the National Association of Home Builders, developers are exploring new ways to meet continued housing demand and single-family build-for-rent properties provide a stepping stone between renting and buying for young families, as well as a good downsizing option for aging adults. They say many of the people who choose to live in these neighborhoods are renters by choice. The concept has been getting national attention as people want the flexibility of renting but the amenities that come with homeownership such as more privacy and backyards. It is estimated that hundreds of build-for-rent communities are coming to the…

UWM’s Ishbia Building Michigan’s Biggest House, Complete With Amusement Park

By SCOTT KIMBLER Mat Ishbia may only be 5’ 10”, but the CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage likes things big — including his house. Already the majority owner of the Phoenix Suns NBA team and the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team, the mortgage business billionaire is well on his way to building the largest lived-in residence in Michigan, complete with an amusement park. Ishbia will have to tear down five existing homes — including his current 22,000-square-foot house — to build his 63,000-square-foot mega-mansion on a 14-acre lot in Bloomfield Township. It took the township’s zoning board 18 months of negotiating over variances and changes before giving Ishbia’s palatial spread its unanimous approval. And it’s not just a mansion in the…

Rocket VP Of Public Policy: Goal Is To Reduce Barriers To Homeownership

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The new vice president of public policy at Rocket Central says his goal is to increase opportunities for people who have historically had difficulties achieving home ownership because of a host of barriers. Karan Kaul, a housing finance veteran who worked as a principal research associate in the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute prior to joining Rocket, said that means focusing on first-time homebuyers, people of color, and low- to moderate-income borrowers. In a recent interview with The Mortgage Note, Kaul said a well-documented hurdle to homeownership is a lack of an adequate down payment, especially with the increase in home prices over the last decade. “So what can we do to make sure…