Articles by Jessica Guerin

Median home price climbs to all-time high

Average single-family residence sold for $266,000 in Q2
The median price of single-family homes in the U.S. has climbed to a record high, reaching $266,000 in the second quarter. That’s up 10.8% from the previous quarter and up 6.4% from a year ago, according to the latest from ATTOM Data Solutions.
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Homeowners are taking on fewer house projects, but they're spending more

Here's where they're spending the most, and why
The volume of home maintenance and remodeling projects is declining, while spend for both is increasing, and this all signals the likelihood of a continued slowdown for the housing market. According to the latest Housing Health Report from BuildFax, much of the spend is concentrated in states where affordable housing is bringing an influx of residents.
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Quarter of homeowners can't define a HELOC

Nearly half plan to renovate, but most won't use their home equity to finance it
Nearly half of homeowners say they have plans to renovate their home in the next two years, and a third of those intend to drop $50,000 to do it. This is according to a recent survey from TD Bank, which highlights a major opportunity for lenders: A sizable number of homeowners can't define a HELOC.
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Quicken Loans logs best quarter in company history

Originated record-breaking $32 billion in mortgages in Q2
The mortgage business has been a bit rocky in recent years, but that doesn’t appear to be holding back Quicken Loans. The Detroit-based lender logged its best quarter ever, raking in $32 billion in mortgage originations in the second quarter of 2019 – the most in its 34-year history.
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LenderClose adds to sales, software development team

Hires Troy Allen, Kathy Bell and Caleb Salt
Iowa-based fintech startup LenderClose is expanding its team yet again, announcing three new hires Tuesday. Joining the team are sales reps Troy Allen and Kathy Bell, and software developer Caleb Salt, who bring LenderClose’s total number of new hires so far in 2019 to 15.
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Realogy slapped with class-action suit for securities fraud

Accuses brokerage of defrauding investors by not disclosing buyer broker compensation issues
For nearly six months, the ongoing debate over buyer broker compensation has loomed large over the real estate industry, with two lawsuits taking the practice to task. Now, a third lawsuit has been filed that touches on the issue. This time, it’s a class-action suit against Realogy alleging that investors purchased securities at inflated prices because of the brokerage’s failure to disclose “anticompetitive” behavior.
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Hispanic buyers are boosting the housing market

Homeownership for this group is trending upward, and lenders are recognizing the opportunity
The homeownership rate for Hispanics has jumped in recent years, a fact that could buoy the housing market for years, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. Just three years ago, the homeownership rate for this group had fallen to a 50-year low. But now, recent Census data shows that it has risen 3.3% since then, surpassing the overall homeownership growth rate of 1.3%.
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Kanye West investing in Star Wars-themed low-income housing

Working on prototypes for prefab affordable housing
Now that he’s got the sneaker market thoroughly cornered, Kanye West is apparently moving on to his next project: affordable housing. A recent profile of the rapper-turned-designer revealed that West is working on designing prefabricated, low-income housing with a Star War's aesthetic, shopping the idea to investors as a potential housing solution for the homeless.
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Trade groups cast doubt over FHA's attempt to remove lending roadblocks

Letters to HUD say proposal "will not give lenders the assurance needed"
In May, the FHA said it was working to clarify the rules of its mortgage program in an effort to ease compliance concerns, pledging to replace the “jumbled legalese” in its certification and compliance documents with “plain English.” But a number of trade groups expressed their joint belief that the proposed changes do not go far enough to ease compliance concerns and “will not give lenders the assurance needed to expand their program participation.” Here's what they recommend be done.
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VA loan limits to be lifted in 2020

VA says lender guidelines will be released ahead of January effective date
Last month, President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to back loans that exceed the conforming loan limit, enabling VA homebuyers to borrow above the $484,350 limit set for most counties, without any down payment. A VA spokesperson clarified the rule and outlined other changes that will go into effect as a result of the bill.
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