Atlanta Commercial Property Market Adjusting To New Economy

By SCOTT KIMBLER As business models in major cities have changed in the post-Covid economy, Atlanta is holding its own as companies and commercial property owners rethink the modern workplace. Many companies in the metro Atlanta area have altered the workplace to a hybrid model, a work-from-home model, or even a don’t come in at all model, and that is beginning to affect those in the business of commercial real estate ownership. “There have been some delinquencies in the commercial mortgage industry,” said Sergio Garate, assistant professor in the practice of finance and director of the real estate program and Emory University’s Goizeta Business School. “Especially in the Atlanta area, there have been loan delinquents to levels we haven’t seen…

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…

Atlanta On The Front Line Of Build-To-Rent Trend

By SCOTT KIMBLER Metropolitan Atlanta is the largest housing market in the Southeast and the city is leading the country in the trend of neighborhoods being built solely for the purpose of renting out single-family homes. This trend appears to be new as corporate investing in real estate has grown exponentially in recent years, but it has roots dating back to the 2008 housing crisis, according to Assistant Professor Rohan Ganduri of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. “There were a lot of properties that were foreclosed upon,” Ganduri said. “That is when a large number of institutional investors stepped in and started to buy up a large number of single-family properties at very cheap prices. What they ended up doing…

Taking A Closer Look At Home Appraisal Reforms

By SCOTT KIMBLER As officials work to address racial bias in home valuations, leaders at a public policy think tank in Washington, DC, are saying recent recommendations made by a federal task force miss the mark. The Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity, or PAVE for short, was created in June of 2021 to tackle the problem of racial and ethnic bias in home valuations. Comprised of 13 federal agencies and offices, it is co-led by officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the White House Domestic Policy Council. In March of 2022, the PAVE Action Plan was released, and this past June the Biden-Harris administration announced a set of actions to deliver…

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…

Wells Fargo Bouncing Back

By SCOTT KIMBLER There are signs that Wells Fargo is recovering and will continue to be a key player in the banking industry. Formerly the nation’s largest mortgage lender, leaders there announced in January strategic plans to create a more focused home lending business aimed at serving bank customers and minority communities. Those plans included exiting the correspondent business and reducing the size of the company’s servicing portfolio. That news came just days before the company released their Q4 2022 results. Net earnings had fallen to $2.86 billion, or 67 cents a share. Leaders at Wells Fargo noted that the decline was driven by the fall-off in mortgage demand as home lending was down 57% from Q4 2021. Now, Wells…

Focused On Housing Crisis, HUD Unveils 2024 Fiscal Year Proposed Budget

By SCOTT KIMBLER Leaders at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have unveiled their proposed budget for FY 2024 and say funds will be directed at solving the nation’s housing crisis. Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement that the proposed budget will help ensure every American has access to housing. “The budget invests in Americans at every station in life – from those seeking to purchase a home to those who receive HUD rental assistance – and will ensure families across the country can live in communities that are safe, affordable, and resilient,” Fudge said. HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman said during a press call that the budget reflects the Biden administration’s values and provides a blueprint…

Research Provides Mixed Projections For Mortgage Market

By SCOTT KIMBLER It’s a mixed bag when it comes to predictions for the mortgage market as the economy continues to balance out after the pandemic. ATTOM recently held a conference where research performed by their company, Altos Research, and others were compiled to provide a more complete picture of what the remainder of 2023 may look like in terms of new home construction, home sales, and mortgage rates. Inflation, the job market, supply and demand, as well as the steady rising of rates by the Federal Reserve, along with other factors, were taken into account. Unlike some predictions of 2023 that paint a picture of a distraught housing market, this research shows the year as having mortgage challenges, but…

Lenders May Have To Scale Back To Survive

By SCOTT KIMBLER Since early 2022 officials at the Federal Reserve have been raising interest rates as a means of combatting inflation but the trickle-down effect is making life hard for the lending industry. More specifically for non-bank lenders. This is according to financial experts and industry observers such as Dr. Rohan Ganduri of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Ganduri says there are really only two types of lenders, bank and non-bank lenders. In the current mortgage climate the smaller, non-bank lenders have a landscape that is changing rapidly and not in the favor of those employed by such lenders, he told The Mortgage Note. “A non-bank lender differs from a bank lender in several ways,” says Ganduri. “The biggest…

The Hangover: Staffing Cuts And Enhanced Efficiencies Are On The Docket For Lenders In 2023

By SCOTT KIMBLER Three leaders in the mortgage industry recently got together to discuss the challenges for lenders in 2023. A webinar was hosted by Augie Del Rio, founder and CEO of Gallus Insights. It included Rob Chrisman, capital markets consultant and founder of the Chrisman Commentary, as well as Tammy Richards, CEO of LendArch. All three lending veterans had various thoughts on what mortgage lenders need to do to not only survive in the current volatile mortgage market but also thrive in the down economy. “We are experiencing one of the most significant downturns in decades,” Del Rio said. “We are kind of all at the crossroads of the perfect storm. We are experiencing the fastest rising rate environment…