HOT or NOT July: What’s trending in housing right now

FICO scores are scorching


Americans are seeing higher credit scores than ever before as the average national FICO score reached an all-time high, hitting 700 for the first time in July. Average credit scores bottomed out at 686 during the housing crisis after a sharp increase in foreclosures, FICO vice president for scores and analytics Ethan Dornhelm explained. A score of 700 is considered very good credit, and “Consumers will likely qualify for the credit they want at favorable terms,” he said. However, credit card balances and delinquencies are also climbing steadily higher.


The number of Americans who say now is a good time to sell hit a new record high for the second consecutive month in June, increasing seven percentage points to 39%, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment index. This outpaced the three percentage-point increase of those who said it was a good time to buy, which increased to 30%. The gap between those saying now is a good time to sell and those saying it is a good time to buy widened as the housing scene continues to shift to a seller’s market.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officially released the finalized updates to the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, also known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, after industry calls asked for greater clarity and certainty. The CFPB released the proposed updates in July and gave the industry three months to submit comments on the proposal. The bureau explained that the new amendments are intended to formalize guidance in the rule, and provide greater clarity and certainty. 



Usually, RealtyTrac's morning tweet includes a link to the latest RealtyTrac Daily, but on July 10, the company's tweet featured a wildly not safe for work image and link to an equally NSFW adult entertainment website. The apparently inadvertant post highlights the complexities mortgage finance companies face while navigating social media — and using automation to help. The tweet remained posted on RealtyTrac’s feed for a few hours before RealtyTrac deleted it. The company said future tweets will be reviewed by real people. 


Freddie Mac is lowering the demand for appraisers by cutting them out of the picture for some mortgages. The company’s Automated Collateral Evaluation became available on June 19, and allows borrowers to get a conventional loan without an appraisal. United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia explained this option will be available for borrowers who meet certain criteria, such as those doing refinances, who have at least 80% loan-to-value ratio, primary residences and one-unit properties.


Tenants, homeowners and activists gathered in more than 15 cities across the U.S. on July 7 to protest the proposed budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Some protesters gathered at rallies at local HUD offices as others delivered letters and petitions to their members of Congress, demanding they vote against President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts. Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters, D-Calif., spoke at one rally, saying it was time to “sound the alarm.”

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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