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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
After a brief stall in home sales at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, homebuyers came rushing back in — so fast that prices never even took a hit. In fact, the gains in prices accelerated quickly, causing home equity to soar even more.   Home equity for homeowners with a mortgage rose 6.6% annually in the second quarter, according to CoreLogic. Collectively, that adds up to a gain of $620 billion, or $9,800 per home. Home values have continued to rise and are now up 5.1% annually, according to Zillow. Price gains accelerated in 48 of the 50 largest metropolitan housing markets across the country. The reason is twofold: Demand is outpacing supply by a lot, and mortgage rates are sitting near record lows. The latter gives buyers more purchasing power. The total supply of homes for sale was just over 29% lower annually for the week ending Sept. 12, according to Zillow. Homes typically went under contract after just 14 days, which is 14 days faster than one year ago.   In addition, and perhaps even more important in these difficult economic times, the number of mortgaged properties in a negative equity position, where the mortgage is bigger than
Getty Images If you've thought about refinancing your mortgage, be aware that it may soon be a more expensive proposition. Due to a 0.5% "adverse market" fee, effective Dec. 1 and imposed on lenders by mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, many homeowners are expected to absorb at least some of the cost when they refinance (certain refis are exempt, including those for loan balances below $125,000). "If you assume it takes two months to close [on the refinance], anything applied for after early October could push to December," said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the Mortgage Bankers Association. For a $280,000 mortgage, the 0.5% fee would mean your lender is an extra $1,400 when your loan is sold to Fannie or Freddie. The expectation is that the extra cost will be passed on to the borrower in the form of higher interest rates. The adjustment could add an extra 0.125 to 0.25 percentage points, the association estimates. Right now, it's possible to get a 30-year conventional mortgage or refinance at a rate below 3%. A year ago, they were pushing 4%. The fee
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Jb Reed | Bloomberg | Getty Images The number of borrowers in government Covid-19-related mortgage bailout programs is shrinking, but those in private-label or bank bailouts is rising. This suggests that there is still pain ahead in the mortgage market, as some borrowers are simply not recovering enough financially to afford their home loans. The total number of mortgages in active forbearance programs, where borrowers delay their monthly payments for at least three months, declined by 26,000 last week or 0.7%, according to Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data firm. This marks four consecutive weeks of improvement, but the pace has been slowing for the past few weeks. As of Sept. 15, just under 3.7 million homeowners remain in these plans, representing 7% of all active mortgages. Together, these loans represent $781 billion in unpaid principal. The number of forbearance plans are now down more than 22% from the peak of over 4.7 million in late May. The government plan under the CARES Act, which includes borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and VA (the vast majority of all loans), is designed as an initial three-month plan with
Hmlet Listed is a new product that aims to help more real estate partners scale up their rental listings, and its launch came during a "fantastic time" during the coronavirus pandemic, says Yoan Kamalski, cofounder and CEO of the Singapore-based co-living startup, Hmlet. 02:55 a minute ago
US businessman and son of the US president Eric Trump. Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images Lawyers for Eric Trump said Thursday that he is willing to be deposed as part of the New York Attorney General's office's probe of the Trump Organization, but only after the 2020 presidential election. In a court filing in New York State Supreme Court, the lawyers for President Donald Trump's son said they were requesting the delay in part to "avoid the use of his deposition attendance for political purposes." The lawyers also denied that he had previously refused to comply with the subpoena for his testimony, as New York Attorney General Letitia James' office had alleged. James, in a statement to CNBC, said that "while we cannot comment on the particular steps we're taking on specific litigation, we won't allow any entity or individual to dictate how our investigation will proceed or allow anyone to evade a lawful subpoena." "No one is above the law, period," James said. The AG's office last month revealed a civil investigation into Trump and his company over how they valued multiple Trump assets on annual financial statements that were used
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Commercial real estate stocks are bouncing back this week after taking a big hit. Shares of SL Green, Manhattan's biggest office landlord, are up 14 percent. On Monday, SL Green unveiled a $3 billion, 77-story new office tower in midtown, showing the company is betting on a future that includes workers going back into the office. Andrew Mathias, president of SL Green, joins "Squawk Box" to discuss.