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Jan 19

The Latest In Real Estate News

by EmilyDir

Ocwen Reaches Mortgage Settlements With Two More States, Inks New Deal With New Residential

Ocwen Financial is getting closer to putting its mortgage servicing issues with more than half the country’s state regulators in the past. The company disclosed Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it reached a settlement with two more of the 31 states that took regulatory actions against the nonbank last year over alleged escrow and other servicing issues. But that wasn’t the only interesting item that Ocwen disclosed in its 8-K filing. Ocwen also disclosed that it inked a new version of its massive mortgage servicing rights deal with New Residential Investment, followed through on issuing 2.5 million shares of company stock as part of a $49 million class action settlement over the company misstating its net income in 2013 and 2014, paid down some of its senior secured debt, and plans to focus going forward on its mortgage business only. Ocwen’s shifting business Back in October, Ocwen disclosed that it was considering exiting its Automotive Capital Services business, which provides floor plan lending to independent car dealers. At the time, Ocwen said that it “still believes that this business has long-term potential,” but cautioned that “it is a relatively capital intensive business.” –From HousingWire

Experts Agree: Construction Lending Needs to Change

At the NEXT women’s conference Thursday in Dallas, Texas, a panel of experts, moderated by our own Sarah Wheeler, managing editor of HW content solutions, gathered together to talk about the changes that need to come to the construction lending industry. “We’ve all seen the headlines, including those from our very own HousingWire, that Fannie Mae is preparing to launch a new program in the construction lending space,” NEXT Mortgage Events Co-founder Molly Dowdy said as she introduced the panel. Back in November, Fannie Mae announced that it could be on the verge of introducing a pilot program to change the way it buys residential construction loans. Under the new program, Fannie Mae would buy the loan on the first day of construction, possibly making the loan easier to get and cheaper. The borrower wouldn’t begin making payments until after they moved into the home. – From HousingWire

7 REIT Payouts Getting Set To Grow In February

There is still plenty of snow blanketing a wide swath of the nation's neighborhoods, but the spring housing market is just around the corner. This year, it will be more competitive than ever, with the supply of homes for sale at record lows and rising mortgage rates threatening to make the situation even worse. President's Day is considered the start of the busiest season for housing, with big builders touting holiday sales to kick it off. Over in the existing home market, however, there is nothing to shout about. There are 10 percent fewer homes for sale compared with a year ago, and in the hottest markets, where prices are appreciating fastest, there are up to 40 percent fewer homes for sale, according to Zillow. Low supply last year caused home prices, which were rising already, to accelerate, and that continues now. Prices are increasing far faster than incomes, even as the economy and employment improves. –From CNBC

Rising Mortgage Rates Could Mean Even Fewer Homes For Sale This Spring

There is still plenty of snow blanketing a wide swath of the nation's neighborhoods, but the spring housing market is just around the corner. This year, it will be more competitive than ever, with the supply of homes for sale at record lows and rising mortgage rates threatening to make the situation even worse. President's Day is considered the start of the busiest season for housing, with big builders touting holiday sales to kick it off. Over in the existing home market, however, there is nothing to shout about. There are 10 percent fewer homes for sale compared with a year ago, and in the hottest markets, where prices are appreciating fastest, there are up to 40 percent fewer homes for sale, according to Zillow. Low supply last year caused home prices, which were rising already, to accelerate, and that continues now. Prices are increasing far faster than incomes, even as the economy and employment improves. –From CNBC

4 Things Consumers Should Think About Before Financing a Home Improvement

With Goldman Sachs’ newest loan product, the money-center bank is making a smart bet. Goldman Sachs GS, +2.05%   announced Tuesday that it will begin offering home improvement loans through Marcus, its consumer-focused subsidiary. It comes at an opportune time. Home remodeling is set to surge at the fastest pace in more than a decade. Borrowers can get loans in amounts ranging from $3,500 to $40,000 for a period of three to six years. The loan product carries no fees — consumers who make late payments will only be required to pay the interest for those additional days — and the bank has said it can fund the loans within five days for creditworthy borrowers. Rates currently range from 6.99% to 23.99% APR. The product is coming to market at a time when American homeowners are especially eager to take on home improvement projects. In 2017, home improvement spending increased 17% from the previous year, said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, citing U.S. Census data. The spending increase has been fueled in part by people staying in the same home for longer, which has resulted in a scarcity of homes on the market, Dietz said. Consequently, home values have risen nationwide, leaving homeowners with a larger pot of equity to dip into to fund improvements. “When you have existing homeowners with more wealth and reduced mobility that’s going to increase demand for improvements,” Dietz said. –From MarketWatch

How to Get a Building Permit: Don't Renovate Without It!

How to get a building permit is one of those things you'll need to learn when you renovate your home. That's right—even though you own your house, you still need to get permits for structural changes, to ensure that your changes will be "up to code," as they say. Before you start grumbling about all this paperwork, keep in mind that the permitting process is put in place by the government to keep you and your family safe. Building permits ensure that your home meets important requirements that minimize fire hazards, structural failure, electrical shock, and other potential health and safety risks. Ready to get your renovation rolling? Here’s everything you need to know about how to get a building permit. –From Realtor

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This post was created by: Emily Dir, Marketing Coordinator, Rainier Title

Emily Dir
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