Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, August 6-13, 2020

Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, July 30 – August 6, 2020
August 6, 2020
Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, August 13-20, 2020
August 20, 2020
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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories

Peak Homebuying Season Arrives Late (The M Report, August 10)

Realtor.com predicted the peak of home buying season will be in August this year as opposed to the usual May.

“Real estate activity in the U.S. has regained its strength and continues on an upward trajectory as we enter the middle of the summer,” said Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for Realtor.com. “However, a sustained seller comeback still hinges on back-to-school plans and extended lockdowns. The housing market will need to remain above pre-COVID levels for at least another 10 weeks to make up for the lost activity in the second quarter of the year. As we head into fall, an anticipated resurgence in COVID cases and economic aftershocks are likely to create an uphill battle for home buyers and sellers.”

This week’s data shows growth in pace of sales, demand and prices have surpassed last year levels, while inventory continues to lag seasonal normals.

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Portland Will Allow Four Homes on Nearly Any Residential Property in the City (Willamette Week, Aug 12)

City Hall has, at long last, overhauled its residential neighborhood zoning.

After nearly six years of debate and delays, the Portland City Council on Wednesday approved a broad rezoning of the city’s neighborhoods—a policy that will encourage the construction of garden apartments and triplexes among single-family homes.

The policy will allow up to four homes on nearly every residential lot, and six units if three of them are affordable to low-income families.

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Median home prices grew in 96% of metros during Q2 (HW, August 12)

Silicon Valley area remains most expensive

A new quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that median single-family home prices rose year over year in 96% of its measured markets in the second quarter. The national median existing single-family home price in Q2 was $291,300 — up 4.2% year over year.

“Home prices have held up well, largely due to the combination of very strong demand for housing and a limited supply of homes for sale,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Historically low inventory continues to reinforce and even increase prices in some areas.”

There were 15 metro areas that saw double-digit price growth, NAR said, including Huntsville, Alabama, 13.5%; Memphis, Tennessee, 13.4%; Boise, Idaho, 12.6%; Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington, 11.8%; Indianapolis, 10.8%; and Phoenix, 10.2%.

Yun said he doesn’t see home prices decreasing anytime soon, as low mortgage rates are attracting new buyers while there is record-low inventory. In Q2, 1.57 million existing homes were available for sale, 18.2% lower than total inventory at the end of Q2 2019.

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In a hot housing market, gap between purchase price and appraiser condition ratings causes headaches (HW, August 11)

Historical data may be less apparent as market accelerates

Last week, HousingWire reported surging mortgage volume and record low interest rates are putting excess pressure on appraisal turn times. This week, appraisal experts said those same variables are having a profound impact on an age-old conflict of appraisal reports versus what the market believes the home is worth.

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Fannie Mae survey confirms: It’s a seller’s market (HW, August 7)

First-time homebuyers face particular obstacles

According to the report, 53% of Americans now believe it is a good time to buy a home – an 8% decrease from June’s 61%. On the flip side, the percentage of people who believe it is a good time to sell increased 4% last month to 45% as July reports reflected a seller’s market.

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Intercontinental Exchange to acquire Ellie Mae from Thoma Bravo for $11 billion (HW, August 6)

Thoma Bravo acquired the company for $3.7 billion 15 months ago

Ellie Mae announced Thursday it entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by Intercontinental Exchange for approximately $11 billion. The move comes 15 months after Thoma Bravo, a private equity investment firm, announced it would acquire Ellie Mae in an all-cash transaction of $3.7 billion.

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How did brokerage giants RE/MAX and Keller Williams fare in the second quarter? (HW, August 7)

Both brokerages had to adapt to the pandemic

Brokerage giants RE/MAX and Keller Williams announced second-quarter numbers Friday, reflecting a business environment that had its share of ups and downs as a result of COVID-19. RE/MAX, a public company, released earnings, while Keller Williams reported agent numbers and other stats.

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Foreign Buyers Purchased Fewer U.S. Properties (HW, August 6)

There’s a surprising amount of competition in the housing market this summer—even as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. But buyers aren’t likely to find themselves sparring with foreign shoppers and investors.

The number of purchases from international buyers dropped 16% compared with last year, as they closed on just 3% of existing homes (previously lived-in residences), according to a recent National Association of Realtors® report. They spent about $74 billion in total on their purchases, down 5% from the previous year.

“Foreign buyers stepping back a bit is good news for domestic buyers, who have a better chance of getting the property [they want,]” says NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun.

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