Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, March 7-14, 2019

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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories 

Portland’s best neighborhoods for young professionals, signs of a buyer’s market,  and a class action lawsuit realtors will want to know about and more…

 

Spring home buying season likely to be strong as mortgage applications heat up (HW, March 13)

Purchase applications increase annually for the fourth consecutive week

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Class-action lawsuit takes aim at buyer broker compensation rules (HW, March 12)

Home seller claims NAR, MLS providers have conspired in violation of anti-trust laws

A class-action lawsuit filed last week by a Minnesota home seller is taking aim at the big four multiple listing services that have transformed the real estate business.

The suit alleges that the National Association of Realtors has driven up costs to sellers and has stifled competition by requiring brokers to offer buyer broker compensation when listing a property on an MLS site.

Filed against the NAR, Realogy, HomeServices of America, RE/MAX and Keller Williams, the suit alleges that the MLS providers conspired with NAR to require sellers to pay buyer’s broker’s fees at inflated rates in violation of anti-trust laws.

“The conspiracy has saddled home sellers with a cost that would be borne by the buyer in a competitive market,” the complaint states. “Moreover, because most buyer brokers will not show homes to their clients where the seller is offering a lower buyer broker commission, or will show homes with higher commission offers first, sellers are incentivized when making the required blanket, non-negotiable offer to procure the buyer brokers’ cooperation by offering a high commission.”

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Portland’s 25 best neighborhoods for young professionals (Portland Business Journal, March 13)

Top 5:

  1. Pearl
  2. NW District
  3. Kerns
  4. Buckman
  5. Sunnyside

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West Coast buyers’ market heats up as housing market cools off (HW, March 8)

10 of the nation’s fastest cooling markets are located in the west; Portland is Number 9.

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Housing starts heat up in January, climb whopping 18.6% (HW, March 8)

Housing starts rose a whopping 18.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.23 million units.

“In January, the 18.6% monthly increase in housing starts reflects rising consumer sentiment and builder confidence,” First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said. “Despite the headwinds, home builders are pushing through new construction projects.”

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Contingencies: This is yet another sign the housing market now favors homebuyers (HW, March 11)

Redfin says sale contingencies climb to 7.1% in February

Redfin notes the bump in sale contingencies is a sign that the market is moving closer to a balance between sellers and buyers. Overall, this could mean not only are homebuyers facing less competition, but their agents are gaining more confidence in the market. “This new balance of power is good for the housing market,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Some potential buyers were scared away last year when asked to waive an inspection or financing contingency. We may see more buyers come back now that the market is more in their favor.”

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Housing market slowdown could be good news for homebuyers (HW, March 8)

Expert says housing is now the most affordable it’s been since early 2018

That’s it everyone, home price appreciation has officially slowed its growth for the tenth consecutive month, according to a recent report from Black Knight. But hey don’t fret, Black Knight’s data also indicates the slowdown could give way to an increase in home sales from many prospective homebuyers.

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Seniors now have a collective $7 trillion in home equity (HW, March 13)

Housing wealth among the senior set reaches record levels

Housing wealth for homeowners 62 and older continues to grow at a steady clip, reaching a record $7.05 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

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RentCafé: Senior renting jumps 43% in 10 years

New data shows seniors are outpacing their younger counterparts when it comes to renting

RentCafé stated that its previous studies have shown that a growing number of older Americans are losing their enthusiasm for homeownership and downsizing.

“As their children move out, they find themselves alone, in a big house that costs a lot to maintain, causing them to rethink their housing choices,” the company wrote.

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Credit Scores Matter: Borrowers with stronger credit scores saved big in February (HW, March 13)

On average, those with good credit saved about $17,600 over the life of their loan

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Just for Fun

Amazing Palm Springs Time Capsule Awaits a Buyer Who Loves Vintage Vibes (Realtor.com, March 12)

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Thanks for reading!