Real Estate

NAR: Monthly existing home sales reach four-year high

Each region but Northeast experiences an increase in sales activity
In February, existing home sales experienced their largest monthly gain since December 2015, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said a powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound.
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Realogy to roll out AI tools for real estate professionals

Real estate giant bets big on tech to woo agents
Residential real estate giant Realogy has debuted as suite of AI tools for agents and brokers that it hopes will reshape the future of real estate. At its RGX conference in Las Vegas this week, Realogy introduced a number of innovative tools that it’s planning to roll out this year, including some that leverage artificial intelligence to make the job easier.
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PeerStreet expands product suite with Residential for Rent loans

Makes its first move into long-term financing
PeerStreet, an online marketplace for real estate-backed loans, has launched Residential for Rent loans, enabling borrowers to secure long-term financing on residential properties for rent. PeerStreet Co-Founder and CEO Brew Johnson said the company was excited about expanding its marketplace beyond bridge loans, and that the move is a natural progression as the company increases its transaction volume with institutional investors.
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First American: Dwindling inventory threatens potential home sales growth

Market potential for existing-home sales retreats by 2.9%, totaling a loss of 153,000 sales
Although potential existing-home sales rose marginally in February, a lack of inventory now threatens future growth, according to First American's Potential Home Sales Model. First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said the housing market continues to underperform its potential, but shows signs of promise leading into the spring home-buying season.
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Housing market trends are stifling the jumbo mortgage market

But the WSJ says lenders aren't backing down
In the years following the financial crisis, mortgage lenders turned their attention to the jumbo mortgage market as high-end clients proved to be a safe and profitable bet. But now, recent trends taken a toll on the jumbo market, causing volume to fall 12% in the last year, a decline that outpaces the overall mortgage market by 5%. "Still, there are few signs banks are changing tack," The Wall Street Journal stated. "If anything, industry watchers say, they are becoming more competitive."
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Dreamers denied: Evidence mounts FHA is not backing DACA mortgages

Lenders back down as government actions disrupt home loans
Despite HUD stating recently that its policies have not changed in regards to the FHA backing mortgages for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, it appears that the opposite is actually the case. Or at least that’s how the mortgage lending industry is reacting. A new HousingWire investigation has uncovered lender bulletins or guidelines from a dozen different lenders each stating that Dreamers are not eligible for FHA financing.
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Zillow pilots app for self-guided house tours

Makes headway in iBuying space with app that puts consumers in control
Zillow is testing a mobile app that enables users to tour a house for sale without the need for agent or an appointment. The app puts the control in the hands of the consumer, and it's part of Zillow's continued effort to make headway in the iBuying space. Tour it Now provides users directions to the property, unlocks the doors when they arrive, and allows them the opportunity to tour the house on their own time.
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Freddie Mac CEO Don Layton stepping down in July, David Brickman to take over

Layton set to retire July 1
Don Layton’s time as CEO of Freddie Mac will officially end this summer, the government-sponsored enterprise announced Thursday morning. Layton has led Freddie Mac since 2012, but the GSE announced last year that Layton would be retiring at some point in the second half of 2019. And Thursday, the GSE revealed exactly when Layton’s run as CEO will end, and who will replace him.
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Opendoor lands $300 million capital infusion

The iBuyer is now valued at $3.8 billion
Digital real estate disrupter Opendoor has landed yet another massive cash infusion, raising $300 million in a recent investment round and bringing its total equity capital to $1.3 billion. Now, the company – which aims to change the way Americans buy and sell homes by whittling the process down to a few simple online transactions – is valued at $3.8 billion.
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