Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news across HousingWire's weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues.
All trading and government offices are closed today to honor those who have given all in service of their country.
HousingWire joins in honoring those American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have fallen in the line of duty, as well as those actively serving today and those who came home alive yesterday.
August is just a few months away and TILA-RESPA is on everyone’s mind. Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company this week announced that they have partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in its National eClosing pilot program.
The eClosing pilot program was designed to test the effectiveness of providing homeowners with electronic documents to help empower them with an understanding of their closing documents, and to offer them a more efficient and streamlined closing process.
Homebuyers were presented their documents in electronic format via a secure link to an eSign portal three days before their actual signing appointment. This allowed them more time to review their documents and prepare questions.
The eClosing pilot is part of the CFPB’s “Know Before You Owe” mortgage initiative, which is designed to improve the home-buying experience for consumers. This initiative includes the impending Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 Integrated Disclosure rule.
Missed this earlier this week, but one brokerage in Seattle appears to have had it with the whole MLS/online listings thing as it stands, and dropped out of their local multiple listings system. Sounds crazy, maybe not at all.
But Quill Realty sees a major advantage for sellers by leaving the MLS. The new terms could make it more attractive for sellers to list a house — especially important in Seattle's hot housing market where supply is not keeping up with demand.
Instead of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Quill will put listings on several websites, including Zillow, Redfin and Realtor.com. Blackmon admitted that sellers may lose a small amount of market exposure, but noted that 92 percent of home buyers used the internet last year to research listings.
Though some Multiple Listing Services reach out directly to consumers, most share data via member brokerages only. More than 23,000 real estate professionals belong to NWMLS.
“You’ll get everything you get from a traditional Realtor except it won’t be listed on MLS,” Blackmon said. “The whole MLS system is a very robust data set, and I think the value is no longer there.”
To find out more of what Quill Realty decided on cutting the cord and why, read on.
It’s a short week but not short on key housing economic reports.
On Tuesday, the industry will get the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s house price index. Prices are expected to rise 0.7% in March. Gains in this report, as well as the S&P Case-Shiller report which also comes out on Tuesday, would hint at momentum for housing going into the spring selling season.
S&P Case-Shiller house prices have been accelerating, reflecting low supply of used homes on the market and pointing to gains for household wealth. Gains for this report would suggest that housing was turning higher going into the spring selling season.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index tracks monthly changes in the value of residential real estate in 20 metropolitan regions across the U.S. The composite indexes and the regional indexes are seen by the markets as measuring changes in existing home prices and are based on single-family home re-sales. The key composite series tracked are for the expanded 20-city composite indexes.
New home sales have been one of the most volatile of any reports, a reflection of the report's small sample size. The last report, at a 0.481 million rate, was especially weak and forecasters are calling for a turn higher to 0.509 million.
On Thursday the National Association of Realtors will release its pending home sales report. Pending home sales have been on a tear, up for three straight months and contrasting with what have been weaker results in final sales of existing homes. Forecasters see a solid 0.8% gain for the April report though the range is quite wide with a low reading of minus 1.7%, one that would once again lower the housing outlook.
The National Association of Realtors developed the pending home sales index as a leading indicator of housing activity. Specifically, it is a leading indicator of existing home sales, not new home sales. A pending sale is one in which a contract was signed, but not yet closed.
Finally on Friday a big one, and we see how weak the economy is. The first-quarter GDP is expected to move from an initial reading of a mere plus 0.2% to a contractionary minus 0.8%.
To blame is a wider-than-expected trade gap, the result of that quarter's port slowdown. Lower growth in inventories and nonresidential fixed investment are also cited.
No banks were closed the week ending May 22, according to the FDIC.