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Home appraisal’s ugly history and uncertain future

This is Part I of a deep dive into the home appraisal industry. Today we explore the origins of the appraisal industry and its current lack of diversity.

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The curious case of the enduring sub-3% mortgage rate

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Historically low mortgage rates had their moment in the sun in 2020. They rested far below 3% for months before America’s economic rebound pushed them back up in the winter of 2021. But data released on Thursday from Freddie Mac showed that mortgage rates idled below 3% again for an entire month, even with solid first-quarter GDP figures and encouraging consumer spending numbers.

Mortgage rates may look fickle, but the Treasury market rules them. If the 10-year yield rises it’s most likely the result of inflation expectations picking up, and with them, mortgage rates. When the 10-year-yield drops, inflation expectations are falling. That’s the simple answer.

The world, according to mortgage rate America

While America continues to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, other parts of the world are very much in the thick of it. A COVID-19 variant first identified in India has even threatened the U.K.’s plans to end lockdowns, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

Because the market is still so uneasy globally, U.S. investors relaxed momentum on the bond market, leaving mortgage rates with a better outlook than expected. Most industry experts predicted that rates would have settled far above 3% by now.

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