January, 2024

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Housing demand rises as inventory falls

Housing Wire

Housing demand is up and it’s time to track the spring housing data and see what the selling season will bring. As I always stress, we are working from the lowest bar ever with demand, so let’s add historical context to the data. But, even with mortgage rates higher this year than last year, demand is rising. Purchase application data As we get closer to the end of the first month of 2024, forward-looking purchase application data looks good.

Inventory 523
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Homebuyer purchasing power rises by $40K since October rate surge

Inman

A buyer with a monthly budget of $3,000 can now purchase a home worth approximately $453,000 — up from $416,000 in October when mortgage rates reached a record of 7.8 percent, according to Redfin.

Buyers 184
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Watch Out: Accredited Investor Minimums Might Increase Soon—Here’s How That Impacts Investors

BiggerPockets

Every four years, the SEC weighs in on accredited investor requirements. After loosening the requirements in 2020, more than 18% of U.S. households now qualify, making the SEC worry that there might just be far too much access to accredited-only resources. Here's what you need to know about the possible changes coming.

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Is the worst over for the Canadian economy?

Mortgagebroker News

Rate cuts may be on the way – but it's premature to expect an immediate recovery, suggests top economist

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Builder Sentiment Surges on Falling Interest Rates

Eyes on Housing

Mortgage rates well under 7% over the past month have led to a sharp increase in builder confidence to begin the new year. Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes climbed seven points to 44 in January, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This second consecutive monthly increase in.

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Mortgage rates, inventory and demand rise as price cuts fall

Housing Wire

Housing inventory, new listing data and mortgage rates are all rising, but the price cut data percentages are falling. Traditionally at this time of year purchase apps rise and the number of price cuts fall. However, at the current trend, we will break below the lows in the price cut percentage data that we saw in 2023 in the spring of this year. I will watch for rising mortgage rates to see if they change the weekly data.

Inventory 541

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California commission suit alleges collusion in the City of Angels

Housing Wire

Lights, camera, lawsuit! A copycat commission lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles. The suit, known as Fierro, after its lead plaintiff Gael Fierro, a Californian home seller, accuses the real estate industry of colluding to artificially inflate real estate agent commissions. It was filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Patrick Thurber, a California home seller, is an additional named plaintiff in the suit.

Realtors 533
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Mortgage rates dip to 6.6% to mark the lowest level since May 2023

Housing Wire

Mortgage rates continued their descent this week to mark their lowest level since May 2023, welcome news for homebuyers who have been waiting on the sidelines for rates to drop. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.6% as of Jan. 11, a decrease from last week’s 6.66%, according to Freddie Mac ‘s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released on Thursday.

Mortgage 531
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Fewer homes will take a price cut in spring 2024

Housing Wire

Will the number of homes that take a price cut this year drop below 2023 levels? Yes! If the current trends continue into the strong seasonal pricing period, we will see fewer homes that are discounted before selling. I believe this was the most overlooked housing story of the last year because even as mortgage rates rose all the way to 8% , the home price cut percentage data was always about 4% lower year over year.

Inventory 542
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Number of price cuts drops as housing inventory rises

Housing Wire

Last week, housing inventory grew and the number of price cuts fell, which is expected at this time of the year. I hope the next thing we see is housing inventory grow at the level it typically does in January or February instead of being delayed until March or April. Last year at this time, inventory rose week to week and I was hopeful for a typical spring inventory year, but the seasonal bottom didn’t actually happen until April 14.

Inventory 534
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Many baby boomers live in “time capsules” that need renovations to age in place

Housing Wire

Fifty-five percent of surveyed baby boomers plan to remain in their existing homes as they age, but less than a quarter of those surveyed have any plans to renovate their homes to more safely and easily accommodate natural changes that come with aging. This is according to a new report from home improvement services company Leaf Home and market research firm Morning Consult , which enlisted responses from 1,001 baby boomer homeowners (aged 59–77) and 1,001 millennials (aged 27–42) in late Decemb

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New bill in Florida looks to help cut homeowner’s insurance premium costs

Housing Wire

Lawmakers in Florida are getting creative when it comes to trying to solve their state’s homeowner’s insurance challenges. Due to the recent uptick in the number and severity of hurricanes facing the Sunshine State, many insurers and reinsurers have made the decision to leave the state. According to the Insurance Information Institute , this exodus has resulted in Floridian homeowners paying an average of nearly $4,000 a year in insurance, which is nearly three times the U.S. average.

Insurance 525
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Reverse mortgages could be a long-term care option: Kiplinger

Housing Wire

Among the numerous issues that retirement preparation can present to those near the end of their careers, long-term care (LTC) provides an increasingly common discussion point. One potential product that could assist in paying for LTC and its insurance could be a reverse mortgage, according to personal finance publication Kiplinger. LTC is already an expensive prospect and is projected to become a more common necessity as the U.S. population grows older in the coming years.

Mortgage 516
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Cyberattack at loanDepot brings systems down

Housing Wire

Top-15 U.S. mortgage lender loanDepot confirmed Monday morning that it is the industry’s latest cyberattack victim. The incident has brought loanDepot’s systems down. The California-based lender, which originated roughly $17 billion in mortgage loans from January to September 2023, said it has launched an investigation with the support of cybersecurity experts.

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‘Silver tsunami’ could have a bigger impact on 2024’s housing market: analyst

Housing Wire

The “ silver tsunami ” — a colloquialism referring to aging Americans changing their housing arrangements to accommodate aging — could have more of an impact on the housing market this year, according to analyst Meredith Whitney in a conversation with Yahoo Finance. “[T]he other major demographic trend you see is the aging of America,” Whitney said.

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Inflation data still pointing toward rate cuts in 2024

Housing Wire

Inflation came in hotter than expected on Thursday, but we are still talking about rate cuts in 2024! The 10-year yield had a mild reaction to today’s data , increasing a few basis points early. It’s now at 3.98% , a far cry from 5.04% as we saw last year. This, while jobless claims data is still historically low. As I have stressed time and time again, when the market believes the Federal Reserve is done hiking rates, the markets make a big move lower with the 10-year yield and mortgage r

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Mortgage demand picks up again: MBA

Housing Wire

Despite an uptick in mortgage rates at the beginning of 2024, mortgage demand surged after adjusting for the holiday. Mortgage applications increased 9.9% for the week ending Jan. 5 compared to one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 6.62% as of Jan. 4, according to Freddie Mac ’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Mortgage 506
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Fannie Mae updates HomeReady, provides temporary $2,500 credit

Housing Wire

Fannie Mae has announced updates to its HomeReady product, including a temporary $2,500 credit for very low-income purchase borrowers to use for down payment and closing costs. Another step the government-sponsored enterprise took was to enhance the best efforts commitments on HomeReady loans. It allows lenders to lock in margins and reduce hedging costs.

Insurance 488
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Demand for mortgages picks up: MBA

Housing Wire

Mortgage demand continued to increase last week, as seen in an uptick in purchase activity. Mortgage applications rose by 3.7% in the week ending Jan. 19 compared to one week earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis, per the Mortgage Bankers Association ‘s (MBA) weekly mortgage applications survey. “Conventional and FHA purchase applications drove most of the increase last week as some buyers moved to act early this season,” Joel Kan , MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist, said in a st

Mortgage 488
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NAR “sets the record straight” on commissions

Housing Wire

After months of plaintiffs’ lawyers in commission lawsuits claiming that the National Association of Realtors sets real estate agent commissions, the trade group finally decided to, in its words, “set the record straight.” In a video posted on Wednesday, NAR interim CEO Nykia Wright told viewers that, “the notion that the National Association of Realtors controls what real estate professionals get paid is wholly untrue.

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Are we seeing cracks in the labor market?

Housing Wire

Slowing job growth doesn’t mean a recession, but today’s jobs report tells me that the significant job gains we were accustomed to in the early part of the COVID-19 recovery period are ending, which ties nicely to how I thought labor would recover after COVID. Even though the headline number on the report today beat estimates, we are entering a new phase of the economic cycle, which means you need to know where to look to get clues for a recession.

Marketing 506
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Another homeowners’ insurance carrier leaves California

Housing Wire

Homeowners in California now have even fewer choices in homeowners insurance carriers. The Hartford Financial Services Group , better known as The Hartford, announced Wednesday that it would no longer issue new homeowners insurance policies in California starting in February 2024. The firm noted that this change would also impact The Hartford’s joint homeowners insurance program with AARP.

Insurance 482
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After years of cutting costs, lenders are still not out of the woods: Stratmor

Housing Wire

The past three years in the mortgage industry were cutthroat, with origination volume shrinking, and while things are looking better for 2024 , lenders are still in a position where they must make bold moves to stem losses on the production side of the business, according to a report from Stratmor Group , a mortgage advisory firm. More than half of mortgage executives who participated in Stratmor’s recent survey indicated that they do not believe their companies have turned the corner to b

Mortgage 475
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Three in four baby boomers don’t use homebuyer resources

Housing Wire

Nearly three in four baby boomers aren’t using resources that would help them achieve or maintain homeownership status, according to survey data released Tuesday by nonprofit group NeighborWorks America. About 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day and all boomers will reach that milestone by 2030, according to census data. But a significant portion of this generation remain renters and are utilizing homeownership tools less frequently than younger age groups.

Clients 468
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High costs and emotions are driving aging-in-place preferences

Housing Wire

Data from research organizations and aging advocacy groups is clear: More older Americans want to age in place in their own homes, as opposed to living in dedicated care facilities. To get a better grasp on this preference, Chicago-based National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate station WBEZ recently featured a dedicated aging-in-place segment. WBEZ spoke with experts and community members about why more older Americans are opting to remain in their homes as they grow older.

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Opinion: More financing options for ADUs are needed

Housing Wire

In the ongoing struggle for attainable housing, one positive development has been the increased availability of funding options for homeowners seeking to incorporate Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) into their properties. A recent survey by Villa noted that some ~60% of rental tenants said that living in an ADU has allowed them to live in a neighborhood they would not otherwise be able to afford — that’s a big deal.

Finance 493
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Fannie Mae economists offer housing market outlook, potential timeline for interest rate cuts

Housing Wire

After nearly three years of doom and gloom in the mortgage industry, housing experts — including Fannie Mae economists — are expecting interest rates to ease. While Fannie Mae expects mortgage rates to drop to below 6% by the end of this year, the government-sponsored enterprise also forecasts that if there isn’t significant supply growth and buyer demographics remain strong, home prices will rise once again.

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Here are the top 10 reverse mortgage securities issuers for 2023

Housing Wire

Despite looking a bit different at the end of 2023, there were a lot of similarities in the full-year Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)-backed securities (HMBS) issuance tables when compared to recent years. One thing that is much different compared to 2022, however, is total issuance. Here are the top 10 HMBS issuers in 2023 as tabulated by New View Advisors , based on publicly available Ginnie Mae data and private sources the firm has access to.

Mortgage 467
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US Supreme Court to hear mortgage escrow case in February

Housing Wire

The U.S. Supreme Co urt last week scheduled oral arguments for seven pending cases to take place in February, including one that will decide whether “the National Bank Act preempts the application of state escrow-interest laws to national banks,” according to a publication of the argument schedule and reporting at SCOTUSblog. The court will decide whether or not national banks will be required to follow state-level laws governing escrow accounts’ accumulation of interest.

Law 488
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Mortgage apps uptick spreads optimism on a refi recovery

Housing Wire

Mortgage rates at their lowest level in three weeks led to an increase in borrowers’ demand for home loans last week, spreading some optimism in the industry in the first few weeks of 2024. To prove it, analysts are already discussing a potential refi recovery. Overall, mortgage applications rose by 10.4% in the week ending Jan. 12, compared to one week earlier, on a seasonally adjusted basis, per the Mortgage Bankers Association ‘s (MBA) weekly mortgage applications survey.

Mortgage 482
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Empty-nesters own twice as many large homes as millennials with children

Housing Wire

Empty-nester baby boomers own roughly twice as many of the nation’s three-bedroom-plus homes as millennials with children, according to a report from Redfin published on Tuesday. The report is based on a Redfin analysis of U.S. Census data from 2022, that breaks down the share of three-bedroom-plus homes owned and occupied by each generation, by household type and size.

Inventory 482
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Hackers accessed data of 16.6M customers in loanDepot cyberattack

Housing Wire

loanDepot’s latest update of its ongoing cyberattack shows that hackers gained access to the sensitive personal information of about 16.6 million individuals. The update, released Monday, does not reveal details of the data accessed by the unauthorized third party. “Unfortunately, we live in a world where these types of attacks are increasingly frequent and sophisticated, and our industry has not been spared.

Contracts 474
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Pending home sales surged in December: NAR

Housing Wire

Pending home sales rose 8.3% month over month in December, according to the newest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It was the largest monthly jump in pending home sales since 2020. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) increased to 77.3 in December, up from 71.6 in November. On a year-over-year basis, pending sales were up 1.3%.

Contracts 468
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NAR President Kasper resigns following blackmail threat

Housing Wire

National Association of Realtors President Tracy Kasper has resigned following a threat made against her, the trade group said Monday. “Kasper informed NAR’s Leadership Team that she recently received a threat to disclose a past personal, non-financial matter unless she compromised her position at NAR,” NAR said in a written statement. “She refused to do so and instead reported the threat to law enforcement.