November, 2023

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Mr. Cooper hit with consumer class-action lawsuits over cyberattack 

Housing Wire

Mr. Cooper Group became the target of at least four consumer class-action lawsuits after disclosing a cyberattack at the end of October when customer information was compromised and the company shut down certain systems. On Oct. 31, the Dallas-based servicer and lender said it had experienced a cybersecurity incident with an unauthorized third party accessing certain portions of its technology systems and customer data.

Legal 544
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Nation’s biggest title insurer hit by ransomware attack, reports say

Inman

Fidelity National Financial acknowledges that a "cybersecurity incident" disrupted the provision of title and escrow services and other technology and mortgage services.

Insurance 211
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10 Costs of Buying a Home You Need To Know About

Realtor

iStock The costs of buying a home go well beyond the actual purchase price. If you’re a first-time home buyer , you might get a little queasy when the last line of your good-faith estimate comes in at several thousand dollars. And after the color returns to your face, you might also be a little more than perplexed by some of those fees. Knowing what you’re paying for when you’re buying a home—like these 10 costs of buying a home—can ease that check-writing pain.

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Home Prices Continue to Rise in September

Eyes on Housing

National home prices continued to increase in September. Despite rising mortgage rates, limited inventory and solid but weakened demand provided solid support for home prices. Locally, all of 20 metro areas had positive home price appreciation in September. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth.

Inventory 180
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Biden Administration Plans to Repurpose Commercial Properties Into Residential Units to Improve Affordability—Will It Work?

BiggerPockets

Last month, the Biden administration announced a series of actions designed to facilitate the conversion of specific properties to improve affordability in several metros. Here are the details.

Design 84
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Builder calls on lower rates to spur homebuilding investment

Mortgagebroker News

While the federal government can work on removing the roadblocks to building more supply, builder says assistance from housing investors would be a welcome development

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3 essential tips for estate planning with real estate

Inman

Estate planning is of prime importance for homeowners and their heirs. Properties are among the largest and most complex assets to be distributed — particularly when they’re luxury homes worth millions of dollars.

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Why Desktop Appraisals Matter and How Agents Can Help

National Association of Realtors

These types of assignments don’t require appraisers to inspect the interior or exterior of a property. Your care can make such valuations more reliable.

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Square Foot Prices More than Double Inflation in 2022

Eyes on Housing

Median square foot prices (excluding record-high improved lot values) for new for-sale single-family detached (SFD) homes started in 2022 increased 18%, according to NAHB’s analysis of the latest Survey of Construction data. Increases for square foot prices in new custom SFD homes were similarly high, averaging 19%, more than double the US inflation of 8% registered by the CPI the.

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How to Build Wealth With Real Estate

BiggerPockets

Real estate investing is a pathway for building wealth, distinct from other asset classes due to its tangible nature. This form of investment usually appreciates over time, providing long-term value growth. Real estate also offers the potential for rental income, transforming properties into sources of continuous revenue.

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Brightpath VP on important role company is playing in Canada’s private space

Mortgagebroker News

A variety of product types and exceptional service levels are proving a winning combination for the private lender, says executive

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FHFA conforming loan limits increase to $766,550 in 2024

Housing Wire

The baseline conforming loan limit for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2024 will be $766,550, up 5.5% compared to the current limit of $726,200 , the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Tuesday. Conforming loan limits are increasing at a slower pace, mirroring home prices, overall. That’s because the FHFA’s conforming loan limit increase is based on a formula related to home-price data in the third quarter of each year.

Finance 534
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Big drop in mortgage rates as unemployment hints at recession

Inman

After breaching 8 percent in mid-October, 30-year fixed mortgage rates have plummeted to levels not seen since September as more investors expect Fed policymakers to lower rates in the spring.

Mortgage 205
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13 video marketing best practices for your real estate business

Housing Wire

When it comes to marketing your real estate business, video is king. Global statistics from 2023 show that people watch videos an average of 100 minutes a day, with millennials — the largest share of homebuyers in the U.S. — spending 10 to 20 hours a week watching videos. From short Instagram reels to longer videos on YouTube , video is here to stay.

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Mortgage rates fall to levels not seen since September

Housing Wire

Mortgage rates headed lower this week as the 10-year Treasury yield dropped below 4.3% for the first time since September, according to new data from Freddie Mac. The 30-year, fixed mortgage rate averaged 7.22% for the week ending Nov. 30, according to Freddie Mac ‘s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That’s down significantly from last week ’s 7.29% and up from 6.49% the same week a year ago.

Mortgage 516
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Department of Veterans Affairs pauses VA loan foreclosures for 6 months

Housing Wire

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is pausing foreclosures on homes financed with VA loans for six months to help military borrowers in danger of losing their homes, a department spokesperson said in a statement to HousingWire on Monday. The Veterans Assistance Partial Claim Payment program — which began July 2021 — allowed military borrowers to skip six or 12 mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic if they had a financial hardship.

Law 516
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14 real estate trends Gen Z buyers are looking for

Housing Wire

Baby boomers and millennials have dominated the home-buying conversation in recent decades, but a new generation of homeowners is browsing online listings, heading to open houses and planning their home-buying budget. Gen Z — born between 1997 and 2012 — is making waves in the market with their approach to homebuying. Here are 14 real estate trends Gen Z buyers won’t pass up. 1.

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Gary Keller accused of embezzlement in updated racketeering lawsuit complaint

Housing Wire

Nearly three months after filing an initial complaint accusing Gary Keller and Keller Williams of inflating key profitability metrics including company sales and profits to convince individuals to purchase Keller Williams Regions and Market Centers, John Davis has made tweaks to his lawsuit. In his initial filing, in addition to Keller and Keller Williams, Davis also names former KW president Josh Team, Business MAPS Ltd. and Business MAPS Management LLC as defendants.

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Have mortgage rates peaked for this cycle?

Housing Wire

After mortgage rates spiked to 8% in October, causing a riot in the real estate industry, we had an epic move lower in mortgage rates last week. Does this mean we’ve hit the peak in mortgage rates for this economic cycle? The history of economic cycles and mortgage rates would say yes, but only if the market believes the Federal Reserve is done hiking rates and being hawkish and the labor data gets softer from here.

Mortgage 506
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Have lower mortgage rates already boosted housing demand?

Housing Wire

Did the recent move lower in mortgage rates turn the housing market positive? With mortgage rates moving almost 75 basis points lower from the highs, does the data show that demand has improved? Let’s take a dive in the weekly tracker to see. Purchase application data Last year, when mortgage rates fell from 7.37% to 5.99% , we got three good months of positive purchase application data until the first week of February before mortgage rates started to run higher from 6%-8%.

Mortgage 498
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At last: Softer labor data sends mortgage rates lower

Housing Wire

The jobs report today which should move mortgage rates lower, demonstrates why it’s time for the Federal Reserve to land the plane. The labor market doesn’t show wages spiraling out of control as it did in the 1970s because the inflation data doesn’t look like anything in the 1970s. We had a solid job openings print this week and jobless claims are still near historic lows.

Mortgage 502
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Here’s what you can expect from the 2024 housing market

Housing Wire

Going more in-depth than a Fed meeting, our virtual Housing Market Update event provides you with the strategy-building insights needed to operate in 2024. It’s a savagely unhealthy housing market out there, and these economists unpack what that means for you. Register for the virtual event on Dec. 11 here. In a typical year, there are about 5.2 million sales of existing homes nationally and home prices rise by about 4%.

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Housing inventory growth slows to a halt

Housing Wire

Total housing inventory growth has been slow in 2023, but with rising mortgage rates over the last few months, inventory has grown a bit faster than average. The question now is: Have we hit the seasonal peak in inventory for 2023? The housing inventory growth rate has decelerated for three weeks, and we were barely positive last week, with an increase of only 59 homes.

Inventory 498
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Pending home sales fall to their lowest level in two decades

Housing Wire

Pending home sales in October fell to their lowest level since 2001. As mortgage rates edged near multi-decade highs, pending home sales declined 1.5% in October on a month-over-month basis, according to data released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As a result, NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index fell to a reading of 71.4, down from 72.6 in September.

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Bob Goldberg out as NAR CEO

Housing Wire

The National Association of Realtors’ longtime CEO Bob Goldberg is leaving the trade association, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation have confirmed to HousingWire Thursday morning. “We are immensely grateful for Bob’s leadership and decades-long service to NAR,” Tracy Kasper, current NAR president, said in a statement. “It has been a privilege to work with him in expanding and strengthening our organization, and we congratulate him on his well-deserved retirement.

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Buyers will have more options in 2024, but affordability woes will persist: Bright MLS

Housing Wire

Bright MLS released its National Housing Market Outlook on Wednesday, which shows that affordability will remain the biggest challenge for homebuyers next year. Homebuyer traffic will increase in 2024, fueled by lower mortgage rates and more existing-home inventory. Home sales are expected to rise, as homebuyers will have more options to choose from.

Buyers 482
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Low inventory drives U.S. home prices up 5.5% year over year in Q3: FHFA

Housing Wire

U.S. house prices rallied again in the third quarter of 2023. In fact, home prices rose 2.1% quarter over quarter and 5.5% year over year in Q3, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index. Month over month, the FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index ticked up 0.6% in September. “U.S. house price growth continued to accelerate in the third quarter, appreciating more than in each of the previous four quarters,” Anju Vajja, principal associate director in FHFA ’s div

Inventory 482
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Banks report tighter lending standards for mortgages, HELOCs in Q3

Housing Wire

Banks have tightened lending standards for most categories of residential real estate (RRE) loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) over the third quarter of 2023. The tightening came amid elevated interest rates and uncertainty in economic conditions. A survey taken by the Federal Reserve showed that a 20%-plus share of banks reported having tightened standards on non-qualified-mortgage (non-QM) jumbo residential loans (23.9%), QM jumbo loans (26%), non-QM non-jumbo (20.4%) and HELOCs (2

Lending 487
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Brokers prepare for changes after Sitzer/Burnett commission lawsuit verdict

Housing Wire

The real estate industry as agents and brokers know it has been turned upside down. It remains to be seen exactly what the guilty verdict in the Sitzer/Burnett commission lawsuit means for agents and brokers, as the industry waits for Judge Stephen Bough’s injunction. However, real estate brokers across the country have already begun preparing themselves, their firms and their agents for the worst.

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Zillow acquires CRM platform Follow Up Boss

Housing Wire

Zillow Group has entered into an agreement to acquire CRM system , Follow Up Boss , according to an announcement on Wednesday. The acquisition purchase price includes $400 million of initial cash consideration and up to $100 million in potential cash earnout. “Follow Up Boss is beloved by agents across the industry, including many Zillow Premier Agent partners and ShowingTime+ clients.

Agents 488
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Commission lawsuits spread to Manhattan

Housing Wire

It appears that no real estate brokerage firm in the U.S. is safe from a commission lawsuit. On Wednesday, Manhattan home seller Monty March filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Real Estate Board of New York rules governing the multiple listing service in Manhattan kept commissions high and violated state and federal antitrust laws.

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Mortgage applications surge to highest level in six weeks: MBA

Housing Wire

Mortgage applications rose to their highest level in six weeks after the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 7.44% last week. Total home loan applications increased 3% for the week ending Nov. 17 compared to the previous week , according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Mortgage rates for the 30-year fixed loan averaged 7.44%, falling 6 basis points in one week, according to Freddie Mac ‘s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Mortgage 475
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DataDigest: How and where homebuilders are closing deals

Housing Wire

For the fourth consecutive month , homebuilder confidence sank in November, according to the National Association of Home Builders /Wells Fargo Housing Market Index published last week. The pessimistic streak is especially notable given that the fall months have recently been lucrative for builders. The index fell to 34 in November, well below the 50 mark that divides bullish and bearish sentiments.

Inventory 475
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Mortgage rates stabilize after Fed meeting

Housing Wire

Mortgage rates stabilized this week as the Federal Reserve decided to keep its rates unchanged Wednesday. However, mortgage rates still remain at a 23-year high. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.76% as of Nov. 2, according to Freddie Mac ‘s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That’s was down slightly from last week ’s 7.79% and up from 6.95% the same week one year ago.

Mortgage 482