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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories 

Homebuying sentiment is up; rates are down; and other housing industry news…

Homebuying Sentiment Up Sharply from 2018 (Mortgage News Daily, Jan. 7)


Mortgage rates likely to remain low as geo-political tension mounts (HW, Jan. 6)

NerdWallet says rates may drop lower as investors flock to mortgage-backed securities


Zumper: Rental prices in the nation’s top housing markets rise in January (HW, Jan. 7)

San Francisco is now home to the nation’s highest rent prices


Here’s where rent prices surged – and where they didn’t – in 2019 (HW, Jan. 3)

Nationally, cost of rent went up 4.1% for one-bedroom units


FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac are all now backing larger loans (HW, Jan. 2)

Higher loan limits for 2020 are now in effect

higher loan limits took effect on Jan. 1, 2020, meaning the FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac are all now backing larger loans.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now backing loans that exceed $510,000, while the FHA is backing loans of just above $331,000.


Inventory Woes Don’t Stop Pending Home Sales Uptick (The M Report, Jan. 2)

Across the nation, various regions experienced different rates of growth. Specifically, the Western part of the United States experienced the most impressive rate of growth, followed by the remaining trio of major regions, which only experienced slight differences in month-over-month contract activity. However, each of these regions’ pending home sales did experience an uptick.

Pending home sales in the West grew 5.5% in the month are 14% higher than November 2018.


Online Homebuyer Course Could Help Borrowers Qualify (Mortgage Daily News, Jan. 6)

Freddie Mac is announcing it has put a critical homebuyer education course online. The new tutorial, called CreditSmart® Homebuyer U is free and its successful completion satisfies the HomeOneSM or Home Possible® mortgage homeownership education requirement.

CreditSmart Homebuyer U offers six educational modules, each focused on a key learning principle relating to money management, credit, getting a mortgage, the homebuying process and preserving homeownership. It is the latest addition to the CreditSmart “suite” of financial and homeownership education curricula that have been in place for the last 18 years.



Liked 2019’s mortgage rates? 2020 will be lower (HW, Dec. 23)

The year that’s passing was marked by the Fed’s refusal to bend to the president’s will

The year that’s winding down will be remembered, in the real estate world, for its mortgage rates that persistently and unexpectedly declined.

While rates aren’t going to plunge another percentage point – November’s average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.7%, compared with 4.87% in the year-ago month, according to Freddie Mac data – they’re going to set some new lows, Fannie Mae said in a forecast.

The average fixed rate probably will be 3.6% in 2020, which would be the lowest annual average ever recorded in Freddie Mac records going back to 1973. It compares with 3.9% in 2019 and 4.5% in 2018, according to Fannie Mae. The current record was set in 2016 when the annual average fell to 3.65%.


Economy to dodge recession with 1.8% GDP growth in 2020 (HW, Dec. 26)

SIFMA economists put the chance of a 2020 recession at 25%, unchanged from the June survey.

Workers will see a 3.2% increase in average hourly earnings in 2020, on the heels of a 3.1% gain in 2019, according to the median estimate in the survey.

Inflation should remain muted in 2020, according to the survey, with a gain of 2.2% in the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge known as “core PCE.” That’s the government’s measure of Personal Consumption Expenditures minus volatile food and energy prices.


Just For Fun

$11.75M Jaw-Dropping Jackson Hole Retreat Is This Week’s Most Expensive Listing (, Jan. 3)


Thanks for reading!