Are iBuyer competitors an "existential threat" to Zillow?

Real estate strategist says instant offers are the new Zestimate
The burgeoning iBuying industry is giving smaller companies a chance to challenge the housing market's behemoth, Zillow Group. That's according to a new report by Mike DelPrete, a real estate strategist who compared companies like Opendoor, which purchased more than 10,000 homes to renovate and sell in 2018, with Zillow, which bought fewer than 1,000.
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HomeStreet selling off majority of mortgage business to Homebridge, New Residential, PennyMac

Origination business going to Homebridge; MSRs to New Res, PennyMac
HomeStreet Bank's move away from mortgages is nearly complete. Earlier this year, HomeStreet announced that it was planning to shift its business away from mortgages by selling off its retail mortgage origination business and a big chunk of its mortgage servicing rights. Now, the bank has found buyers for its mortgage business: Homebridge Financial Services, New Residential Mortgage, and PennyMac.
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Low mortgage rates won't heat up the housing market, analysts say

Instead, the slowing economy will trample homebuyer confidence and home-price growth will fall
Mortgage rates have dropped significantly as of late, but analysts at Capital Economics warn against getting too excited about the possibility that low rates will heat up the housing market. Why? Blame the slowing economy, which will take a bite out of homebuyer confidence. Read on to learn more about why analysts predict existing-home sales will simply "tread water" over the next year despite favorable rates.
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Merchants Capital expands mortgage team, creates two new VP roles

Lundeen and Gilbert both have more than a decade of experience in the finance industry
Merchants Capital recently announced it expanded its mortgage banking division, appointing Lisa Lundeen and Toni Gilbert to newly created roles. Working out of the company's Saint Paul, Minnesota, office, Lundeen has been appointed to the position of vice president of government-sponsored enterprise portfolio management and Gilbert joins as the vice president of insurance compliance.
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Trump calls on Federal Reserve to lower interest rates

Wants return of quantitative easing
The Federal Reserve, which has increased interest rates numerous times in the last few years, recently signaled that it does not plan to increase interest rates any more for the remainder of this year. But if it was up to President Donald Trump, the Fed would be cutting interest rates instead.
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U.S. employment reverses course in March, rises by 196,000 jobs

Construction jobs moderately increase by only 16,000 jobs
The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, according to the latest Employment Situation Summary report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. MBA Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan said although unemployment is still well below historical averages, growth in hourly earnings is good news for the housing market, as wage growth continues to more closely align with home-price gains.
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Federal authorities warn of fake bank supposedly operating in Minneapolis

First National Bank in Minneapolis doesn’t actually exist
Anyone who has received any kind of notice from First National Bank in Minneapolis, Minnesota, take note: the bank does not actually exist. According to the OCC, it received information about an entity calling itself First National Bank that is supposedly located at 222 S. 9th Street in Minneapolis. But the supposed bank isn’t what it appears to be.
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Neat Capital launches app to deliver mortgage borrowers pre-approval letters in minutes

App promises to deliver pre-approval letters to borrowers in three minutes
Neat Capital, a fintech company, recently announced it launched an application that it says provides mortgage borrowers pre-approval letters in near real-time. By only requiring a soft credit pull, the app is designed to be valuable for buyers making multiple offers in highly competitive markets, the company explained.
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Senate confirms Mark Calabria to lead FHFA

Confirmed by a vote of 52-44
The Senate confirmed the nomination of Mark Calabria to serve as the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Senate voted 52-44 in favor of Calabria leading the agency, which oversees Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
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