Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, March 25-April 1, 2021

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

5 Changes Loom for a Post-Pandemic Housing Market (M Report, March 31)

The five primary changes include:

  1. Home values will grow as the economy recovers, but at a slower pace as higher mortgage rates may temper demand
  2. More will list their homes for sale
  3. There will be great interest in the condo market
  4. The suburbs will start to feel more like cities
  5. Rents will rise quickly, especially for short-term rentals

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Nearly 40% of Homes Selling Above Listing Price (M Report, March 29)

For the four-week period ending March 21, Redfin has found that as the median home-sale price increased 16% year-over-year to an all-time high of $331,590, 39% of homes sold above their list price, also an all-time high and 15 percentage points higher than the same period a year earlier. Pending home sales were up 28% year-over-year, as well, with new listings of homes for sale down 12% from just one year ago.

“It’s concerning how much home prices have risen during the pandemic,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “When the pandemic is over, purchasing a home is going to cost much more than ever before, putting homeownership much further out of reach for many Americans…

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Housing Market Update: A Record 39% of Homes Sold Above List Price (Redfin, March 26)

Key housing market takeaways for 400+ U.S. metro areas during the 4-week period ending March 21

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House Prices Are Inflating Around the World (WSJ, March 28)

Pandemic-related stimulus, ultralow rates and changes in buyer behavior are turbocharging markets from Europe to Asia

As the U.S. housing market booms, a parallel rise in residential real-estate prices across the world from Amsterdam to Auckland is raising fears of possible bubbles and prompting some governments to intervene to prevent their markets from overheating.

Policy makers were already worried about high property prices in parts of Europe, Asia and Canada before the pandemic, especially as years of low interest rates kept demand strong.

But now the trillions of dollars of stimulus deployed world-wide to fight the effects of Covid-19, along with changes in buying patterns as more people work from home, are turbocharging markets further.

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CFPB reverses pandemic flexibilities, vowing enforcement (HW, March 31)

Bureau to exercise “full scope of its supervisory and enforcement authority” on HMDA, appraisals and more

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Wednesday it is rescinding seven of its temporary policies put in place to protect consumers during the pandemic. The seven rescissions will be effective Thursday, April 1, with the government agency noting that it intends to exercise the full scope of its supervisory and enforcement authority provided under the Dodd-Frank Act.

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Mortgage Rates Back Near Long-Term Highs (Mortgage News Daily, March 31)

Mortgage rates moved moderately higher today after failing to capitalize on a hopeful move in bond markets yesterday.  Bonds–particularly mortgage-backed bonds–are directly responsible for most of the day-to-day movement in mortgage rates, and they’ve been losing ground all year.

Like several days in the past few weeks, yesterday saw a promising bounce in the bond market.  This created some hope that rates had found their ceiling when they hit the highest levels in more than a year 3 weeks ago.  After today’s moderate increase, however, they’re dangerously close to those highs.

As of early February, we’d spent nearly 2.5 months with the average 30yr fixed rate near 2.75% for top tier, conventional refis (2.625% or lower for purchases).  Today, that rate is in the 3.375%-3.5% range for refinances and 3.25-3.375% for purchases.  That makes this one of only a few moves of this size in decades.

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How the U.S. Housing Market Was Rocked by COVID-19—and Where We Go From Here (Realtor.com, March 22)

Even as COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available and more homes go up for sale, buyers on a tight budget may not get much of a break this year. Those basement-scraping mortgage rates, which put more expensive properties within reach, are beginning to rise again. And while higher rates are expected to slow the out-of-control, double-digit price growth the nation has experienced over the past year, home prices are predicted to continue rising in most metros—albeit at a slower pace.

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