Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, September 19-26, 2019

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

Top 25 places to buy a vacation home; The Nation’s top real estate markets;  How first-time homebuyers really feel and more…


Two Oregon and two Hawaii spots land on Vacasa’s list of top vacation home locales  (PBJ, Sept. 23)

Seaside and Rhododendron

An Oregon Coast favorite and a hideaway village on Mount Hood are, according to Vacasa, among the best places in the country to buy vacation homes.

The Portland-based vacation rental company recently put out its annual “Top 25 places to buy a vacation home,” including two popular Oregon getaways.

According to a release, Vacasa analyzed home sales data in vacation destinations around the U.S. and overlaid it with performance data for thousands of rental properties. The ranking lists the top cities based on median sales price and cap rate, the latter of which is the ratio between the operating income produced by a property and the price paid to buy it.



Study: Most first-time homebuyers feel overwhelmed and underprepared (HW, Sept. 25)

47% said they think the homebuying system is “rigged” for first-time buyers

The study found that only 41% of first-time homebuyers felt they were well prepared for the homebuying process, while 55% said they felt they wished they had an independent advocate to coach them through the process of homebuying and homeownership.



Redfin: It’s becoming even more of a seller’s market (HW, Sept. 23)

August’s home sales spiked 10.8% from last year, climbing to a 17-month high

“Although home-price gains remained relatively modest in August, supply and demand are now heading back toward sellers’ favor,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said. “Home sales are accelerating as buyers eat into a diminishing number of homes for sale.”

While these trends are to be expected given that mortgage rates have been declining since late last year, global economic uncertainty and talk of a looming recession in the U.S. are staving off many aspects of hot seller’s market, Fairweather said.



Median-priced homes aren’t affordable in 74% of U.S. housing markets (HW, Sept. 25)

61% were less affordable than their historic average



FHFA formally ends mortgage volume discounts from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (HW, Sept. 24)

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria recently issued a formal directive to end guarantee fee discounts for high-volume lenders from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The FHFA explained that it is attempting to “level the playing field” for smaller lenders, and is making this a priority in housing finance reform.



More Americans are house rich, but they’re leaving that cash in the house (CNBC, Sept. 23)

Rising home prices and conservative borrowing have today’s homeowners sitting on a record amount of potential cash.

Today’s mortgage holders saw their home equity increase by 4.8% annually at the end of the second quarter. This is a collective gain of nearly $428 billion, according to CoreLogic. Break it down by borrower, and the average homeowner with a mortgage gained $4,900 in home equity in just one year.



Home equity reaches an all time high in Q2 (Mortgage Daily News, Sept. 20)

Total home equity, not surprisingly, increased again in the second quarter of the year. CoreLogic’s quarterly Homeowner Equity Insights report, which looks only at properties with one or more mortgages, puts the aggregate increase at $428 billion year-over-year, a 4.8 percent gain. The company says that 63 percent of residential properties have a mortgage.

“Home values have continued to rise in most parts of the country this year and we are seeing the benefit in higher home equity levels. The western half of the U.S. has experienced particularly strong gains in home equity recently,” according to CoreLogic CEO and President Frank Martell.



Hold That Recession: U.S. Indicators Are Trouncing Forecasts (Bloomberg, Sept. 20)

The U.S. economy is outperforming expectations by the most this year, offering a fresh rebuttal to last month’s resurgent recession fears fueled by the trade war and a manufacturing slump.

The Bloomberg Economic Surprise Index has reached an 11-month high after four indicators released Thursday, including existing home sales and jobless claims, each surpassed expectations. The gauge continued to advance after swinging to positive from negative on Tuesday for the first time this year. The data also pushed a similar measure produced by Citigroup Inc. to the highest level since April 2018.



Here are the nation’s top real estate markets for 2020 (HW, Sept. 19)

The Urban Land Institutes annual look at the year ahead cited Austin, Texas, as the top U.S. real estate market for 2020. Here’s the full list of the top 10 markets for real estate in 2020:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
  3. Nashville, Tennessee
  4. Charlotte, North Carolina
  5. Boston
  6. Dallas/Fort Worth
  7. Orlando, Florida
  8. Atlanta
  9. Los Angeles
  10. Seattle



The 10 trends that will shape real estate in 2020 (Curbed, September 19)

The Urban Land Institute’s annual look at the year ahead finds some direction within a fog of uncertainty



Should homebuyers consider schools even if they’re empty nesters? (HW, September 19)

26% of homebuyers said they consider schools when searching for a home



Here’s what one website says are Portland’s best ‘burbs  (Portland Business Journal, Sept. 25)

Want strong schools? Try West Linn. Looking for a neighborhood that supports families? Come to Camas. Seeking diversity? Find it in Beaverton.

City life is not for everyone, and Portland’s and Vancouver’s surrounding suburbs offer the qualities families look for when looking outside the city center: good schools, plentiful housing and space for families.



Just For Fun

Dive into this $11.8 million Kansas megamansion with subterranean scuba tunnels (



Thanks for reading!