Pending Home Sales Rise, Breaking Six Month Spiral

Pending home sales rose for the first time since May, breaking a six-month streak of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index increased by 2.5% between November and December. Year-over-year it dropped by 33.8%, an improvement over November’s 37%. All four regions saw pending sales fall YOY, but the South and West saw gains month-over-month. “This recent low point in home sales activity is likely over,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Mortgage rates are the dominant factor driving home sales, and recent declines in rates are clearly helping to stabilize the market.” Mortgage rates fell again last week to 6.13%, drawing some buyers back to the market. Purchase loan applications increased again as…

Loan Apps Rise Again, Buoyed By Refis

Mortgage loan application volume increased again last week, continuing a trend of rising demand as mortgage rates slip. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey showed the adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose by 7%. The results included an adjustment for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Refinances drove the increase, up 15% from the week prior as mortgage rates fell to 6.2%, their lowest level since September. They remain 77% lower than the same time last year, however, comprising only 31.9% of total applications. In the past decade, refis averaged 58% of total activity. Purchase demand saw a boost as well, though not as drastic. Applications increased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 3%, but…

Bank Of America Working To Improve The Health Of Children

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Bank of America has granted the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Health Equity $1 million to launch a program that promises to improve children’s overall health in West Philadelphia. Tyra Bryant-Stephens, MD, Chief Health Equity Officer of the Center for Health Equity and Medical Director of the Community Asthma Prevention Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, talked in an interview with The Mortgage Note about how residential segregation and economic inequality have left some neighborhoods so run down they are unhealthy for children to grow up in. In West and Southwest Philadelphia, more than one-third of children live below the poverty line, according to a press release. “Because of systematic practices there have been homes that…

Existing-Home Sales Slip For 3rd Month Straight

April’s existing-home sales slipped for the third consecutive month, falling 2.4% from March to a seasonally adjusted rate of  5.61 million, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. Sales were down 5.9% year-over-year, with each of the four major regions seeing declines. The median price for existing homes of all types was $391,200, up 14.8% YOY. This is the 122nd consecutive month of YOY price growth, the longest-running streak on record. “Higher home prices and sharply higher mortgage rates have reduced buyer activity. It looks like more declines are imminent in the upcoming months, and we’ll likely return to the pre-pandemic home sales activity after the remarkable surge over the past two years,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Housing…

FinLocker Names Andria Thomas SVP, Product

Fintech company FinLocker has named Andria Thomas as Senior Vice President, Product. “As FinLocker continues to build market traction and looks ahead to the next three to five years, we recognize the need to add more consumer understanding and leadership to our team,” said Prabhakar Bhogaraju, FinLocker Executive Vice-President, Head of Strategy and Product Development. “Andria Thomas brings a wealth of experience in product management in a direct-to-consumer setting and in management consulting. She is also a passionate advocate for financial health, equity, and inclusion. I am excited to have Andria join us and lead all things product here at FinLocker.” In the role, which is a new position within FinLocker leadership, Thomas will lead innovations in the FinLocker app.…

Morning Roundup (11/30/2021)– Your Company’s Favorite Charity Could Receive $1,000!

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, November 30. The W.H.O called the Omicron variant a “very high” risk to global health. Jack Dorsey stepped down as Twitter’s chief executive. Barbados swore in its first president, officially becoming a republic and cutting ties with England. And in mortgage and housing news… Your Company’s Favorite Charity Could Receive $1,000: Across the country this December, mortgage professionals will be stepping up to help people in need, support community charities, and generally help make the season a little brighter. The Mortgage Note wants to celebrate those efforts by highlighting them in an upcoming edition of this newsletter. One office’s favorite charity will receive a $1,000 donation from The Morgage Note! Details here. SFRhub Teams Up With…

Economist: Build Back Better Will Put Downward Pressure on Housing Prices

By SCOTT KIMBLER The House version of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan includes about $170 billion for affordable housing and people are asking what that means. Biden’s spending plan includes $65 billion to preserve and rebuild public housing and another $15 billion to help build or preserve more than 150,000 rental properties for lower-income families. It’s part of the administration’s goal to build or preserve 1 million affordable homes. The bill is almost certain to change drastically in the U.S. Senate. But if the housing policies remain unchanged, what would this spending splurge mean for the overall housing market, at a time when prices are high and supply is low? The Mortgage Note spoke with Tom Smith, Ph.D. of…

Lawsuit Claims Zillow Purposely Mislead Investors With Public Statements

Zillow and some of its top executives are being sued for allegedly making misleading claims in advance of the closure of its iBuying arm, Zillow Offers. Zillow shareholder Dibikar Barua filed a class-action lawsuit against the company in federal court in Seattle alleging that Zillow failed to tell shareholders it was struggling to accurately predict home prices. “Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects,” the suit reads. It claims that Zillow did not disclose the “significant unpredictability in forecasting home prices” the company was struggling to overcome or its inventory backlog, both of which would have signaled to investors that…

Freddie Mac: New Tenant Protections For MHCs

As part of its efforts to protect affordable housing, Freddie Mac announced new tenant protections for Manufactured Housing Communities (MHC). The protections include renewable lease terms, written notice of rent increases, grace periods for late rental payments, and rights governing the sale of manufactured homes at MHCs. They are intended to protect people who own manufactured homes but pay rent on the property beneath them. “Manufactured housing communities often represent the most affordable multifamily housing option available in many areas, particularly rural areas,” said Debby Jenkins, executive vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily.  “We have been ramping up our tenant protections offering since 2018, and today we’re making these protections a requirement for all future transactions.” Restrictive zoning ordinances and…

Rent.com Releases Eviction Information Tracker

In an effort to better represent the housing crisis as it affects renters and homeowners across America, Rent.com has created an interactive tracking dashboard for eviction and foreclosure information in the U.S. The pandemic has exacerbated financial pressure and housing security for millions of Americans, a problem that has come to a head since the Supreme Court ruled the national eviction moratorium imposed by the Biden administration was unconstitutional. At least 11 million renters are considered seriously behind on payments, and an estimated 3.6 million households could be evicted in the next few months. “While affordable housing has been debated for years, housing insecurity, wealth gaps and eviction trends have become more prominent during the pandemic,” the website reads. “As…