2021

Ex-MBA prez Ronald McCord to pay $52M mortgage fraud penalty

Housing Wire

A federal judge ordered Ronald McCord, the founder of Oklahoma City-based lender and servicer First Mortgage Company , who was also once the president of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), to pay $51.8 million in restitution for mortgage fraud.

Random Thoughts of an Appraiser – Part 6

Appraisal Buzz

Matt Simmons has been busy with his sixth edition of “Random Thoughts of an Appraiser!” There are plenty of times where appraisers have collectively had thoughts or concepts that can be communicated and/or questioned in a sentence and don’t need a dedicated article.

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Will Omicron variant stop first Fed rate hike?

Housing Wire

Life comes at you fast. During this Thanksgiving week, we went from higher yields and the first Fed rate hike storyline to a big drop in bond yields and scary headlines on a new COVID variant, Omicron. How do we make sense of all this?

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Pending home sales shock 2021 housing crash bears

Housing Wire

Today, pending home sales came in as a big beat of estimates — up 7.5% in October — and since we are days away from December, we can officially label the 2021 housing crash bears as even worse than the 2020 housing crash bears.

Existing home sales now outperforming

Housing Wire

The National Association of Realtors ‘ existing home sales report for October came in at a solid beat of estimates at 6.34 million. This number is above my trend sales peak of 6.2 million and that means we have had back-to-back existing home sales prints of over 6.2 million.

FHFA: Government to back mortgages up to $970,800 in 2022

Housing Wire

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced the baseline conforming loan limit for 2022 will be $647,200, an increase of 18%.

Single-family rents soar in tight housing market

Housing Wire

You could buy a top-of-the-line laptop and a new cell phone to match, or you could pay one month’s rent for a single-family home in Los Angeles. It’s not much better for prospective single-family renters across California, a study by HouseCanary found.

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Housing inventory has never been lower

Housing Wire

It’s official – housing inventory in America is at a crisis level. The number of active listings hit an all-time low during the week ending November 28, according to a Redfin report published on Wednesday.

Waiting for a big drop in home prices? It could be a while

Housing Wire

With mortgage rates falling during the COVID-19 crisis, many households were able to refinance to lower payments.

Investors are buying more, but spending less

Housing Wire

Real estate investors are buying more properties, but paying less for them, according to a report from RealtyTrac released Thursday based on ATTOM Data Solutions home sales data. In the second quarter of 2021, investor purchases accounted for 15.4%

Housing affordability improves for second straight month

Housing Wire

For the second month in a row, national housing affordability improved in August, according to the latest National Association of Realtors housing affordability index report. This improvement came as monthly mortgage payments fell by 1.1% while median family income fell by 0.7%.

Existing home sales crush the housing bears — again

Housing Wire

The National Association of Realtors ‘ existing home sales report for September came in at an excellent beat of estimates at 6.29 million. Now that we are just 10 days away from Halloween in 2021, we can all chuckle a bit at how wrong the housing bears of 2020-2021 have been.

Better.com forecasts another rough quarter

Housing Wire

Vishal Garg, founder and CEO, Better.com.

Americans’ mortgage debt looks great again

Housing Wire

One of the most unloved American economic success stories has been how spectacular American households with mortgage debt look today. Let’s take a look at the New York Federal Reserve’s Household Debt and Credit Report for the third quarter, released today.

Study: 24% of sellers received four or more offers in 2021

Housing Wire

Nearly one quarter of U.S. home sellers received four or more offers on their home in 2021, according to Zillow’s latest consumer housing trends report. The rise in the number of homes that received multiple offers is reflected in the increased frequency of bidding wars in 2021.

What Omicron, bond market and jobs mean for housing

Housing Wire

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 210,000 jobs were created in November — a miss from estimates. They also reported 82,000 in positive revisions to the previous jobs report. The unemployment rate is currently at 4.2%. For men and women age 20 and over, it stands at 4.0%.

Mortgage rates climb back up, to 3.10%

Housing Wire

Mortgage rates strongly increased above 3% in the week ending November 18, according to the latest Freddie Mac PMMS mortgage report. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 3.10%, up 12 basis points from 2.98% the week prior.

Homebuilders growing very concerned about affordability

Housing Wire

Homebuilder confidence continued to rise in October despite increasing affordability issues due to rising material prices and ongoing shortages, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) report released on Monday.

Construction worker shortage has reached “crisis” levels

Housing Wire

For career switchers looking for a new path that doesn’t necessarily require a college degree, they could do worse than the building trades.

Top markets for affordable renovated housing inventory

Housing Wire

Skyrocketing U.S. home prices are quickly shifting the affordability calculus for prospective homebuyers in 2021 — even though mortgage rates have remained near record lows. The median home price nationwide in August increased 14.9%

Inside Zillow’s misadventures in iBuying

Housing Wire

Zillow CEO Rich Barton. Antonio Pellegrini was stunned. In May the real estate agent listed a two-bedroom home in Fountain Hills, Arizona, 30 miles north of Phoenix, for $342,000.

More fintech M&A: SimpleNexus acquires LBA Ware

Housing Wire

Homeownership platform provider SimpleNexus acquired LBA Ware , a software firm that offers incentive compensation management and business intelligence software for the mortgage industry, the companies announced Friday.

Why are builders happy despite new homes sales miss?

Housing Wire

Today the Census Bureau new home sales report came in as a miss of estimates at 745,000. In addition, revisions were all negative and the monthly supply of new homes rose.

Homeowners gain $2.9 trillion in equity in Q2 2021

Housing Wire

Homeowners with mortgages gained $2.9 trillion in equity in the second quarter of 2021, a 29.3% year-over-year increase, according to a new report by CoreLogic released Wednesday. This marks an average gain of $51,500(!) per borrower since the second quarter of 2020.

Millennials struggle to compete with boomers for homes

Housing Wire

Young people make up a smaller share of recent homebuyers than in previous years most likely due to the increased market activity of baby boomers, a new Zillow report published on Thursday found.

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When will we see the next housing recession?

Housing Wire

Economic cycles are like serial killers on a Netflix show: they leave clues to get caught. Interpreting these clues gives you the ability to see when the economy is in recovery and when things are about to go into recession.

The biggest risk to the housing market right now

Housing Wire

Now that we are heading toward the end of 2021, what can we say about the U.S. housing market this year? No question it has been another year of ups and downs with seemingly conflicting data, which could indicate a coming boom or a bust depending on how you decide to parse it.

Mortgage rates remain flat as Omicron fears spread

Housing Wire

Mortgage rates increased one basis point to 3.11% in the week ending Dec. 2, ignoring the volatility in the financial markets caused by the Omicron Covid variant , according to the latest Freddie Mac PMMS mortgage report.

FHFA to make desktop appraisals permanent

Housing Wire

Desktop appraisals, a temporary flexibility implemented in March 2020 to keep the mortgage industry afloat amid lockdowns and social distancing, will become permanent, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today.

FHFA puts kibosh on CSS issuing non-GSE securities

Housing Wire

Former banker Matthew Feldman has been named chairman of the board of managers at the Federal Housing Finance Agency – controlled Common Securitization Solutions , where he will lead a transition to better align the organization’s “corporate governance structure with its core mission,” FHFA announced today.

Mortgage delinquency rate continues to shrink

Housing Wire

Mortgage delinquency rates hit the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic in August, according to the most recent CoreLogic Loan Performance Report. However, some borrowers are still facing severe financial challenges.

Homebuyers flock to Florida real estate

Housing Wire

The Sunshine State seems to be getting a lot more foot traffic these days, with the number of homebuyers moving to Miami tripling year-over-year, a new analysis found.

More borrowers are getting forbearance modifications

Housing Wire

Forbearance predictably declined across the board last week as exits accelerated, but more borrowers are going into plan modifications because they are still struggling to recover their pre-pandemic income. The total number of loans in forbearance decreased by nine basis points to 2.06% as of Oct.

Goldman Sachs: Home prices will rise another 16% in ’22

Housing Wire

Home prices are currently up 20% year-over-year, but according to a new Goldman Sachs market forecast, they may not have reached their peak yet. Not even close. Goldman Sachs economists predict that home prices will grow another 16% by the end of 2022.

End of forbearance programs won’t result in housing crash

Housing Wire

One year ago this month, I coined the term forbearance crash bros , an updated name for the housing bubble boys who never got their housing crash in 2020 so they moved the collapse of housing to 2021.

How Zillow’s model crushed its iBuying business

Housing Wire

On Tuesday Zillow announced it will be shutting down its Offers business, which wasn’t too much of a shock considering how their stock had been performing for some time. The news was that they had been overpaying for homes and their losses on those purchases were getting larger and larger.

Here’s where the oldest and youngest homeowners live

Housing Wire

Have you ever considered the median age of homeowners in your area? According to a study conducted by LendingTree, homeowners gravitate towards specific parts of the country depending on their age.