Home Builders More Confident Despite Continued Supply, Labor Shortages

Despite continuing supply chain issues and labor shortages, builder confidence rose in September thanks to falling lumber prices and high demand, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/ Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reported. Builder sentiment in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased to 76, one point higher than last month. The data broke a three-month streak of downward expectations. “Builder sentiment has been gradually cooling since the HMI hit an all-time high reading of 90 last November,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. Fowke builds custom homes in Tampa, Fla.  “The September data show stability as some building material cost challenges ease, particularly for softwood lumber. However, delivery times remain extended and the chronic construction labor shortage is…

Morning Roundup (9/10/2021)- Equity Up in Q2, Wells Fargo Fined

Good Morning! Today is Friday, September 10. Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. US unemployment hit a new pandemic low as it continues to trend down. President Biden announced a new plan to require vaccinations in workplaces of 100 employees or more or face weekly testing. The Taliban allowed 113 Americans and other Western passport holders to leave Kabul. And in mortgage and housing news… Tap That: American homeowners gained a record $1 trillion in tappable equity in the second quarter of 2021, a single-quarter record according to Black Knight. Speeding Like A Bullet: The national median monthly mortgage payment for homebuyers rose 67% faster than rents year-over-year in August, but mortgage hikes are starting to…

Wells Fargo CEO Apologizes For Diversity Comments

Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf apologized for telling employees that the banking giant was failing to meet diversity goals because there were not enough qualified minorities in the industry. “While it might sound like an excuse, the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of black talent to recruit from,” Scharf said in a memo in June, Reuters reported. After significant blowback, including from members of Congress, Wells Fargo publicly released a follow-up message Scharf sent to employees Wednesday. “Some of you may have seen media stories referencing a comment on diverse talent from my June “Our commitment to change” memo,” Scharf wrote. “I apologize for making an insensitive comment reflecting my own unconscious bias. There are many…

Wells Fargo Joins JPMorgan Chase In Exiting HELOCs

Wells Fargo will take a break from offering new home equity lines of credit beginning Friday as credit continues to tighten during the coronavirus pandemic, according to media reports. The San Francisco-based banking giant joins JPMorgan Chase in backing off the loans known as HELOCs, which allow homeowners to borrow money against the equity in their houses. “Wells Fargo Home Lending will temporarily stop accepting applications for Wells Fargo Home Lending will temporarily stop accepting applications for all new home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) after April 30,” the company said in a statement shared with The Mortgage Note. “The decision to temporarily suspend the origination of new HELOCs reflects careful consideration of current market conditions and the uncertainty around…