Tampa Named The #1 U.S. City For Veterans

Tampa, Florida, is the number one U.S. city for veterans seeking affordability, comfort, and opportunity. That’s according to a new survey from Veterans United Home Loans,  which looked at the country’s 500 biggest metros to determine which offered the qualities most valued by veterans and their families. Behind Tampa were Rochester, MN.; Wichita Falls, TX; Fargo, ND.; Virginia Beach, VA.; Watertown, NY; Charleston, SC; Medford, OR; Altoona, PA, and Sioux Falls, SD. “Our in-depth analysis factors in feedback and priorities from hundreds of Veterans we surveyed, so we can really dig into what those who serve are looking for when it comes to planting roots and building communities,” said Chris Birk, vice president of mortgage insight at Veterans United.  “These…

Southern States Double Down On Affordable Inventory

The South has lost its sparkle for American movers in the post-pandemic world, but that could change as the region doubles down on producing affordable inventory. More than half of all available inventory in April 2024 was concentrated in Southern states, according to an analysis by Realtor.com.  They also boasted the most new listings at 19.7%. In contrast, inventory rose by just 7.5% in the West and 2.9% in the Northeast. The Midwest came in a close second at 18.4%. “Sellers continued to list homes at a greater rate than last year. This has led to a promising increase in more affordable homes for sale, especially in the South,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said. Florida metros saw the most…

Million-Dollar Cities Surge In The U.S.

“Million-Dollar Cities” took even more share in the U.S. as inventory keeps home prices moving up. There are 550 cities where the typical home value is $1 million or more, up from 491 last year, according to a new Zillow report. Home prices were depressed some last year as Americans adjusted to rising rates but have rebounded since the beginning of the year, with many metros clocking new record highs. Most of these affluent areas are in California, which boasts 210 cities, more than the next five states combined.  New York and New Jersey took second and third place, but the NYC metro area – which includes parts of Jersey and Pennsylvania – would take first for most additions. There…

Clarifire CEO Talks About Automation For Servicers

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of a workflow automation company says she is trying to help the mortgage industry modernize by making it easy for servicers to adopt technology they can manage from the front end. Jane Mason is the founder of Clarifire in St. Petersburg, Florida. The company uses a Software-as-a-Service model to reduce manual processes and increase efficiencies. Mason said in a recent interview with The Mortgage Note that there has been a seismic shift in the industry over the course of the last four years to accommodate the needs of borrowers but now that the Covid pandemic is over, market conditions point to the rising potential for mortgage delinquencies and defaults, leading to an increase in volume…

Americans Flocking To Florida Value Lifestyle Over Climate Risks

Americans are aware of the risks to coastal communities posed by climate change but keep flocking there anyway, proving lifestyle outweighs the future value of their homes — for now. In a survey of 2,000 consumers, 51% of homeowners said they are worried about how increasing global temperatures will impact their homes.  Though drought and fire concerned homeowners, the most distressing possibilities were water damage. Severe storms were the most common concern, followed by hurricanes and flooding. When it comes to coastal properties, a whopping 38% are convinced they will become uninhabitable. An additional 47% think they will be “liveable but less valuable.” But Americans are still moving to sunny, storm-prone Florida in droves, even though they claim to understand…

No Day At The Beach: Coastal Homes Are At Risk From Flooding

By CHUCK GREEN In upcoming decades, U.S. homeowners in areas along coastlines could be up the proverbial creek. Sea level rise, along with changing storm patterns, could result in flooding that severely damages homes in many coastal areas. Especially vulnerable, according to estimates, are the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Carolinas, and the Washington, DC, area. In 2018, the Union of Concerned Scientists hoisted warning flags when it released an interactive map that showed the estimated number of homes at risk for chronic flooding in the coming decades due to sea level rise. That year, the group reported that burgeoning sea level rise – fueled mainly by climate change – was projected to exacerbate tidal flooding in the country. Within…

Cheap Southern States Netted Migrants Post-Pandemic

Location influenced interstate migration after the pandemic, but price moved people the most. According to a new report from LendingTree, the states that netted the most new residents from 2021 to 2022 were cheaper Southern states. Florida and Texas led the pack, netting 249,000 and 174,000 new residents, respectively.  “Florida is an often affordable state where there’s typically a lot to do, plenty of places to eat, and year-round warm weather,” LendingTree senior economist Jacob Channel noted. He also noted that popular Southern states aren’t migration hotspots because they’re perfect. “Florida isn’t some sort of perfect utopia where everyone should live. The state has plenty of problems, and if it doesn’t start putting more effort toward supporting lower-wage workers and…

Delinquencies Rise But Loss Mitigation Efforts Prevent Foreclosure

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Distressed homeowners who get behind on their mortgage bills are avoiding foreclosure. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey was released last week and it showed that delinquencies increased in the third quarter to a rate of 3.62%, up 25 basis points from the second quarter and 17 basis points from a year ago. Marina Walsh, MBA’s vice president of industry analysis, said that despite the increase, later-stage delinquencies – those 90 days or more past due – declined to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2020. “The decline in later-stage delinquencies, along with a foreclosure starts rate of 0.14% – which is well below the historical quarterly average of 0.40% – suggest that distressed…

Guaranteed Rate Insurance Adds Flood Solution

Guaranteed Rate Insurance has developed a solution for homebuyers in high-flood risk areas, the company announced in a press release. Its new private flood insurance API connection allows agents to provide flood quotes in all zones from multiple providers, directly through its CRM platform. Agents need only confirm property details and coverages/deductibles, with the binding process taking just minutes, company leaders said. Flood quotes will be presented alongside homeowners quotes for properties in 48 states and Washington, D.C. “Any agent who does not provide a flood quote is doing a disservice to their customer. Our top priority is to equip our agents with the necessary tools to offer their customers a wide range of coverage options, empowering them to make…

Building For Families: These Cities Are Leading The Way

By ERIN FLYNN JAY As the housing crunch continues throughout the country, some cities are planning for growth when it comes to building homes for average families. Mark Buskuhl, owner of Ninebird Properties, a Texas-based investment firm, said Dallas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation and has been a top destination for families looking to relocate. “With its booming job market and affordable cost of living, it’s no surprise that Dallas is planning for growth when it comes to building housing for the average American family,” he said. Buskuhl said the city has implemented initiatives to increase housing options, such as the “GrowSouth” program which focuses on revitalizing and developing housing in southern Dallas. Additionally, the city…