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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – April 6th, 2020

Last week’s economic reporting included readings on pending home sales, Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, and Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on national unemployment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released. Pending Home Sales Slow in February Before Coronavirus Took Hold The National Association of Realtors® reported fewer pending home sales in February as the coronavirus gained traction. Pending sales rose by 2.40 percent in February as compared to January’s growth rate of 5.30 percent. Before the outbreak, pending home sales gained momentum in all U.S. regions. Pending home sales are sales for which signed purchase contracts were signed, but sales were not completed. Nationally, year-over-year pending sales in February were 9.40 percent higher than in 2019. Regional pending home sales...

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The Department Of Veterans Affairs Is Allowing Drive-by Appraisals Because Of COVID-19

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has impacted every industry across the country. Many people are being asked to shelter in place and everyone has been asked to practice social distancing to try to curtail the spread of this deadly virus. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has asked both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to make some changes in the manner they conduct property appraisals and employment verification. Shortly after the move by the FHFA, The Veteran’s Administration (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) followed suit by relaxing property appraisal requirements. Due to the unusual circumstances that are facing the country right now, these changes are necessary to keep people safe while minimizing the blow to the economy. Exterior Inspection Appraisals One of the critical parts...

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Case-Shiller: January Home Price Growth Strong; Pandemic Impact Unknown

United States home prices increased by 3.90 percent year-over-year in January as compared to December’s growth rate of 3.70 percent according to Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. Home prices also rose in Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index. 20-City Home Price Index: Phoenix Arizona Leads in Home Price Growth The Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index is followed closely by real estate pros and its trends are used to gauge home price growth within cities included in the index. Phoenix, Arizona led home price growth rates for the eighth consecutive month with a year-over-year growth rate of 6.90 percent. Seattle, Washington followed with year-over-year home price growth of 5.10 percent; Tampa, Florida also reported home price growth of 5.10 percent. Seattle replaced Las Vegas, Nevada in second...

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Building An Emergency Fund During An Emergency

By now, it should be apparent that this COVID-19 (Corona-virus) pandemic is going to be here for several months. It is already causing the market to plummet and is disrupting jobs all over the country. Many people who work as hourly employees (or are independent contractors) are starting to suffer. As people’s budgets start to feel the squeeze, this is exactly the time that people should be relying on an emergency fund; however, for those who don’t have one, it is time to start saving. How To Create An Emergency Fund Even though cash assistance from the government might be coming soon, this is not going to be enough to get people through the crisis. To start building an emergency fund, it is important to...

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How To Retain Your Sanity While Working From Home

There are a lot of people who enjoy working from home; however, with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who are not used to working from home are forced into this new arrangement. It can be hard for individuals o stay focused when they are stuck in the environment at home. Particularly if the kids are home from school, it is easy to get distracted. Fortunately, there are a few ways people can retain their sanity as they work from home. Get Into A Routine One of the first steps people need to follow is to find a routine. It can be tempting to sleep in every day, procrastinate while watching TV, and take long breaks for meals; however, it is critical to remember that there...

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – March 30th, 2020

Scheduled monthly readings were released for new home sales and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released. New Home Sales Beat Expectations in February Sales of new homes dropped 4.40 percent in February after reaching a 13-year high in January. 765,000 new homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis, which exceeded expectations of 750,000 sales in February. New home sales were 14.30 percent higher year-over-year. Analysts said that further declines monthly new home sales are expected as the coronavirus spreads. The national median price for a new home was $345,900 and there was a five-month inventory of new homes for sale in February; this was the lowest inventory of new homes since 2017. Regional sales rose 39...

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