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…

Can Better Financial Education Help Prevent Foreclosures?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Foreclosure starts are up nationally and some industry leaders say that better financial literacy could help prevent homeowners from becoming distressed. Lenders started the foreclosure process on 22,575 properties last month. That’s up 11% from a year ago, according to the February 2024 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report by ATTOM. There were a total of 32,938 properties with foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions – according to the report, and lenders repossessed 3,397 properties through completed foreclosures last month. Donna Schmidt, managing director and owner of DLS Servicing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said in a recent interview with The Mortgage Note that the people most likely to be foreclosed on this year are people…

The Spotlight Is On Buffalo, NY

By ERIN FLYNN JAY In recent years, cities in warmer weather states have boasted the nation’s hottest housing markets but now the spotlight is on one of the snowiest places in the country. Last month, Zillow released its annual predictions for the hottest housing markets of 2024. Buffalo, NY, took spot number one based on its affordability. The predictions are based on an analysis of home value growth, recent housing market activity, projected changes in the labor market, home construction activity, and the number of homeowner households in the top 50 metropolitan areas according to population. Buffalo makes homeownership a real possibility, especially for younger generations looking to purchase their first home. The average home price came in at $248,445,…

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…

Overcoming Objections And Winning Business With Ron Vaimberg

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As the end of the year nears, mortgage professionals are hustling, and although it may seem like it takes a lot more to get consumers to say “yes” in 2023, a leading real estate trainer and coach says it’s all about preparing for positive interactions with borrowers. Ron Vaimberg started in the real estate business in 1983 and founded The New York Mortgage Institute in 1997. Today, he is the president of Ron Vaimberg International in Jefferson Valley, NY, working with professionals in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Vaimberg said market frustrations – whether they be over a lack of inventory or the fact that borrowers are qualifying for less due to high interest rates –…

Holiday Listings Are More Common Than You Think – Here’s How To Stand Out

By NICOLE MURRAY The holiday season can be a tricky time of year in the real estate industry. For many agents, business slows down because people generally don’t want to sell, buy, or move during peak celebrations.    But whether it be a new job or a life update, buying and selling during the holiday season happens more than one would think.    The Mortgage Note spoke with real estate industry professionals across the country to discuss the pros and cons of listing during the holiday season and what to know if you do.    To start, there is less inventory on the market and therefore less competition for those who decide to sell. Shant Banosian, EVP of sales at Guaranteed Rate, said…

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…

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…

Atlantans Adjusting To Post-Pandemic Work Environment

By SCOTT KIMBLER As the debate about returning to the office continues nationwide, people in the city of Atlanta and its surrounding communities are adapting to the reality that hybrid and remote work are likely here to stay. Over six million people live in the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has long been a hot market for housing for a variety of reasons, including job opportunities with companies such as Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, and UPS. When the pandemic hit in 2020, a lot of changes happened as the region was introduced to shelter-in-place, which morphed into a work-from-home model. Now in the post-pandemic period, many companies have adopted a hybrid work schedule, with employees driving into the city about three…

KeyBank, Operation HOPE Provide Homebuyer Education

KeyBank and non-profit Operation HOPE have teamed up to empower underserved Americans who want to own homes, the companies announced in a press release. An Operation HOPE financial coach will be placed in KeyBank’s East Delavan branch in Buffalo, NY, to provide education and programming to anyone at no cost. “By joining forces with Keybank, we can expand Operation HOPE’s reach and impact, bringing financial education and resiliency to those who need it the most. Together, we are creating a pathway to financial success and homeownership, empowering individuals and families to build a better future for themselves and their communities,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. Through this partnership, anyone in Buffalo can access personalized…