Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, September 12-19, 2019

Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, August 29 – September 5, 2019
September 5, 2019
Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, September 19-26, 2019
September 26, 2019
Show all

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

Rent is up; so are existing home sales…


US existing home sales rise to 17-month high in August (CNBC, Sept. 19)

U.S. home sales unexpectedly rose to a 17-month high in August for a second straight month of gains, the latest sign that lower mortgage rates are encouraging buyers off the sidelines.

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales increased 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million units last month.

A decline in mortgage rates throughout much of the summer has helped buyers.




Fed approves quarter-point rate cut but is divided on further action this year (CNBC, Sept. 18)

The Federal Reserve approved a much-anticipated quarter-point interest rate cut Wednesday but offered few indications that further reductions are ahead as members split on what to do next.

Following its two-day policy meeting, the central bank announced that it would take down its benchmark overnight lending rate to a target range of 1.75% to 2%. That comes nearly two months after the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee went ahead with its first cut in 11 years.

Major U.S. stock exchanges dropped after the decision was announced.




HIGHER Mortgage Rates Despite Fed Rate CUT. Here’s Why (Mortgage Daily News, Sept. 19)

One of the greatest potential sources of confusion for prospective mortgage borrowers is the relationship between the Fed and mortgage rates.  While the Fed’s policy changes absolutely have a big impact on all sorts of interest rates (including mortgages), a drop in the Fed’s policy rate DOES NOT result in lower mortgage rates.  In fact, the OPPOSITE was true today.




Last week’s jump in U.S. Treasury rates sends nation’s refinance activity into decline (HW, Sept. 18)

But purchase demand heats up, as the index rises for the third consecutive week




Here’s how long it takes to improve your credit score (CNBC, Sept. 14)

Generally speaking, the higher your credit score, the better off you are when seeking a loan.

But the recovery time from a missed payment or financial setback differs for everyone.

Here’s how to improve your score immediately.




Portland’s roster of million-dollar companies is among the country’s fastest-growing (HW, Sept. 16)

The city added 1,684 companies between 2014 and 2016 to its total number of firms with at least $1 million in revenue, according to LendingTree’s analysis. That made for a 11.5 percent increase over that period.




Co-living pioneer Common expanding nationwide, adding thousands of units (Curbed, Sept. 17)

So-called “adult dorms” are here to stay

Coliving company Common announced a significant expansion this morning, with a plan to grow from housing 1,000 to 10,000 residents in the next few years. The company’s flurry of new deals, including buildings in the new-to-Common markets of Denver, Boston, Baltimore, and Portland, Oregon, underscores the continued growth of this new category of residential real estate—smaller, furnished private rooms, shared common space, and flexible, month-by-month lease terms—amid widespread affordability challenges for many renters.



Average U.S. rent climbs to $1,472 in August (HW, Sept. 16)

Rents in 97% of the nation’s cities experienced a seasonal wind-down in August




Zillow Wants to Buy Your Home For Cash (And A Fee) (OPB, Sept. 16)

Zillow Offers lost more than $71 million last quarter, before taxes. Much of that loss came from costs the company is incurring as it ramps up in size, with plans to operate in more than 20 markets next year, including Los Angeles.

But Zillow Offers is also losing money when it buys and sells individual homes – a loss of about $3,000 per home in the second quarter of this year.

To help solve that problem, Zillow wants to become a one-stop real-estate shop. It recently bought a mortgage company. It plans to provide title and escrow services. Wacksman said profits will come through volume and efficiency.

At least one Zillow-watcher thinks it might not matter to the company whether or not it profits from buying and selling homes. Brad Erickson, a research analyst with the investment bank Needham and Company, said Zillow’s larger goal is different.

Zillow’s bread and butter – its truly profitable business – is selling ad space to real estate agents online. Erickson believes the website’s usefulness to those agents has peaked.

“So they’re trying to do what we in internet call going down the funnel,” he said. In other words, they’re trying to get closer to the customer. “The hope is if you get closer to the customer with things like offering mortgage originations, buying and selling homes, that more often than not, people will come directly to the site, which will give them greater leverage to sell advertising dollars to those realtors,” he said.




Japanese builder becomes fifth to bring homes to huge Hillsboro development (PBJ, Sept. 13)

A Japanese homebuilder will become the fifth builder to bring new homes to the massive Reed’s Crossing development in Hillsboro.

According to a release, the builder, Ichijo, is one of Japan’s largest. Its U.S. division, Ichijo USA, will bring a “unique mix of technologically sophisticated, eco-friendly homes” to Reed’s Crossing.

The builder plans to break ground this fall on 23 single-family homes with an option for more in the future. Ichijo is shooting for platinum level Earth Advantage certification for each of its homes. The first home should be ready by early 2020.




Just for Fun

What it’s like to live on the 123rd floor of the world’s tallest condo tower (CNBC)

At nearly 1,400 feet, looking down on the Empire State Building, you aren’t just above New York City — you lord over it. Cars become toys and people become dots. Central Park shrinks from a lush oasis of trees and playing fields to a small grass welcome mat to your private domain. Your head is truly in the clouds.



Thanks for reading!