Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, February 25-March 4, 2021

Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, February 18-25, 2021
February 25, 2021
Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, March 4-11, 2021
March 11, 2021
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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories

For the first time since July, mortgage rates pass 3% (HW, March 4)

The average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose 5 basis points last week to 3.02%, marking the first time since July that the industry has seen rates break above 3%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Since reaching a low point in January, mortgage rates have risen by more than 30 basis points as the economy works to recover, and according to Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, the impact on purchase demand has been noticeable.

“While purchase activity remains high, it has cooled off over the last few weeks and is currently on par with early March, prior to the pandemic,” Khater said. “However, the rise in mortgage rates over the next couple of months is likely to be more muted in comparison to the last few weeks, and we expect a strong spring sales season.”

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UWM to block brokers working with Fairway and Quicken (HW, March 4)

United Wholesale Mortgage, the top wholesale lender in the nation, announced on a Facebook live Thursday afternoon that it will no longer partner with brokers who work with Rocket Mortgage and Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.

According to the announcement, the decision comes in response to Rocket and Fairway participating in actions including soliciting loan officers away from brokers and working directly with real estate agents to cut brokers out of the entire process.

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Home Price Appreciation Broke an 8-Year Record in January (Mortgage News Daily, March 2)

CoreLogic says home prices in January were 10 percent higher than a year earlier. It was the first double digit increase in the company’s Home Price Index (HPI) since November 2013. The company had reported a 9.2 percent annual increase in December. The month-over-month increase in home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, was 0.9 percent.

Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic said, “Record-low mortgage rates were a significant driving force behind last year’s rebound in housing market activity. However, heavy competition for the few houses on the market drove home prices to historic highs, and mortgage rates are no longer enough to sway the affordability challenges for consumers. While new construction may help balance home prices towards the end of 2021, we may expect to see demand slow in the medium-term.”

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Fed Chairman Powell says economic reopening could cause inflation to pick up temporarily (CNBC, March 4)

-Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said inflation is likely to rise as the economy recovers, but he thinks it will be temporary.

-Without more durable inflation and a return to full employment, he said the central bank is unlikely to raise interest rates.

-Bond yields climbed as Powell spoke as the market looked for more commentary on future policy.

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