Builder Confidence Dips As Costs Rise

Builder confidence dropped slightly in January, disrupting a four-month trend of rising builder sentiment despite high consumer demand, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder confidence in the markets for newly-built, single-family homes dropped one point to 83. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. Notably, the HMI has remained at 83 or 84 for the past three months, the same level as the spring of 2021. The drop was attributed to inflation concerns and ongoing supply chain disruptions. “Higher material costs and lack of availability are adding weeks to typical single-family construction times,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa,…

Study: Americans Moving To Be Closer To Family

A new study from United Van Lines found Americans moved to lower-density areas to be closer to their families in 2021. The study, which uses data from the migration patterns of United Van Lines customers, found Vermont and South Dakota had the highest inbound migration, at 74% and 69%, respectively. South Carolina (63%), West Virginia (63%), and Florida (62%) also had high inbound migration rates. New Jersey had the highest number of people moving out of the state, at 71%, for the fourth year in a row. Illinois (67%), New York (63%), Connecticut (60%), and California (59%) also saw high outbound migration. Kentucky and Wyoming were among several “balanced” states that saw similar numbers of people moving in and out.…

Bidding Wars Reach Lowest Point Since December 2020

Bidding wars on home offers from Redfin fell to 59.5% in November, their lowest level in eleven months, the company reported. It’s the first time it’s fallen below 60% since December 2020. Month-over-month, bidding wars fell 2.3%, dropping from 61.8% in October. However, they were up slightly year-over-year, from 57.3% in November 2020. They reached a pandemic peak in April when 74.6% of home offers written by Redfin agents faced competition. The top three cities for bidding wars were Richmond, VA, at 80%, Salt Lake City at 73.8%, and San Diego at 72%. Honolulu followed up at 71.1% and Dallas just made the top five at 70.6%. “Bidding wars are still happening, but buyers are starting to get more breathing…

MBA: Loan Application Volume Falls 4%

Mortgage loan application volume dropped 4% last week, overwhelming a 2% increase from the week prior, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey reported. The seasonally adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose 4%. The seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 1%, while the unadjusted purchase index fell 4% and was 9% lower YOY. The refinance index fell 6% and was down 41% YOY. Refinances made up 63.3% of total applications. The report noted that refinances fell even though rates remained steady week to week. Interest rates are 40 basis points higher year-over-year, however, in line with the 41% drop in refinances from the same period in 2020. “Fewer homeowners have a strong incentive to refinance…

CT Town Will Pay $350,000 To Settle Discrimination Lawsuit as Biden Admin Promotes Housing for Disabled

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice have announced a settlement in a lawsuit against a Connecticut town that refused to allow the operation of a group home for people with mental health disabilities. The DOJ lawsuit alleges officials in Wolcott, Conn. violated the Fair Housing Act when they denied a special use permit to L&R Realty and SELF, Inc. to open a residence for 13 geriatric adults with mental health disabilities. Lawyers at the Justice Department filed suit last December. “Local governments do not have the right to use zoning laws and restrictions as a vehicle to discriminate against people with disabilities,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in…

MBA: Mortgage Applications Fall

Mortgage loan application volume fell 7.2% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey reports. The seasonally adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell 7.2%. The seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 5%, while the unadjusted purchase index dropped 30% and was 8% lower YOY. The share of refinance applications dropped 15% and was 41% lower YOY. Refinances made up 59.4% of total applications, down from 63.1% the previous week. The report noted that mortgage rates– which rose to their highest point since April, hitting 3.31%– contributed to the significant decline in refinance applications. “Over the past three weeks, rates are up 15 basis points and refinance activity has declined over 18 percent,” said Joel…

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…

Homebuyer Demand Hits Highest Level Since 2017

Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index hit an all-time high since at least 2017 as the number of listed homes remains seasonally elevated compared to past years. The report shows the market speeding up, with an increasing number of homes selling in two weeks or less and demand increasing even as listings trend down.  “The economy is recovering strongly and mortgage rates are still near all-time lows. Those two forces combined have caused homebuying demand to hit a record high,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.  For homes sold in the four-week period ending November 14, the median sale price rose 13% year-over-year (YOY) to $357,881, up 30% from 2019 and 2.1% from October. Asking prices were also up 13% YOY, and…

nCino Acquires SimpleNexus For $1.2B

Fintech company nCino, Inc. is expanding its mortgage market reach by acquiring SimpleNexus for $1.2 billion in stocks and cash. SimpleNexus, a digital mortgage platform, was involved in more than one in seven mortgage originations in the US during the first nine months of 2021. It provides services for more than 300 mortgage companies and 41,000 loan originators across the country. “Just as nCino has transformed the process for commercial, small business and retail lending, treasury management and account opening, SimpleNexus has streamlined the many stages of the homeownership process into a single, seamless journey,” said Pierre Naudé, Chief Executive Officer of nCino. “Their innovative solution and deep subject matter expertise in consumer front-end technology will extend our capabilities to…