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Docutech Is Now First American Docutech
Docutech is now officially rebranded to First American Docutech, following First American’s acquisition of the company in March. By uniting the leaders in title and settlement and document services technology, First American has created a unique opportunity to reimagine the digital closing process.
The Orogen Group and Westcor Land Title Insurance Company Sign Definitive Agreement: Orogen Acquires Majority Stake
The Orogen Group and Westcor Land Title Insurance Company today announced a definitive agreement in which Orogen will acquire a majority stake in Westcor, the nation’s largest privately-held title insurance company with an extensive independent agent network and an A” (A Double-Prime) Financial Stability Rating® from Demotech Inc.
RIHA Study: New Data Highlights Early COVID-19 Impact on Jobs and Individuals' Ability to Make Housing and Student Debt Payments
During the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 11 million households fell behind on their rent or mortgage payments and 30 million individuals missed at least one student loan payment, according to new research released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA).
Single-Family Housing Continues Growth in August
Single-family starts showed continued growth in August but overall housing production fell 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.42 million units due to a double-digit percentage decline in multifamily production, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department. The pace of single-family starts in August was the highest production rate since February.
States Title Uses Machine Intelligence to Eliminate Human Review of Closing Documents
States Title, the only title company that uses patented machine intelligence technology to make closing a mortgage more efficient and affordable, today announced the release of its new Instant Closing Disclosure product. Instant Closing Disclosure is already helping lenders like Home Point Financial, one of the nation's leading mortgage lenders and servicers, save significant time in completing the loan closing process. Rather than relying on escrow employees to manually review closing disclosure documents and "stare and compare" to verify data and fees, the product uses data science to automatically deliver an accurate closing disclosure - almost instantaneously.

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Builder Confidence Soars to an All-Time High, Lumber Risks Remain
In a strong signal that housing is leading the economic recovery, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased five points to hit an all-time high of 83 in September, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released today. The previous highest reading of 78 in the 35-year history of the series was set last month and also matched in December 1998.
Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 2.5 percent from one week earlier,according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 11, 2020. This week's results include an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.
August New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Increased 33.3 Percent
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for August 2020 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 33.3 percent compared from a year ago. Compared to July 2020, applications decreased by 4 percent. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.
Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Declines to 7.01%
The Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 15 basis points from 7.16% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 7.01% as of September 6, 2020. According to MBA's estimate, 3.5 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.
American Land Title Association Reports Title Insurance Premium Volume Up 8 Percent
The title insurance industry generated $4.18 billion in title insurance premiums during the second quarter of 2020, according to ALTA’s latest Market Share Analysis. Title premium volume is up 8.0 percent compared with the same period a year ago.
First American Hires Jon Wierks as Vice President of Data and Analytics
First American Financial Corporation, a leading global provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions, today announced the appointment of Jon Wierks as vice president in First American’s data and analytics division.
Stewart Title Launches New Brand Campaign with a Modern Website Design and New Logo
Stewart Title announced today the launch of its new brand campaign “Stewart Reframed” – a companywide initiative communicating how Stewart is reframing itself in the marketplace by changing the way it does business, focusing on its financial strength, customer experience and shared expertise.
AmTrust Title Insurance Company Expands Energy Division
AmTrust Title Insurance today announced the expansion of its Energy Team within its National Commercial Division. The industry leading team will facilitate title insurance transactions for renewable and conventional energy projects, including refineries, LNG facilities and wind and solar farms, along with various other energy related transactions, accounting for some of the largest insured real estate matters in the United States.
Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications increased 2.9 percent from one week earlier,according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 4, 2020. This week's results are being compared to the week of Labor Day 2019.
New Appraisal Institute Textbook Addresses Time-tested Valuation Principles for Today's World
In the midst of a global pandemic and social justice concerns, the Appraisal Institute today published “The Appraisal of Real Estate,” 15th edition. The textbook long has been recognized as the valuation profession’s most comprehensive source of information for appraisers and other real estate professionals.
Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Declines to 7.16%
The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 4 basis points from 7.20% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 7.16% as of August 30, 2020. According to MBA's estimate, 3.6 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.
WEST, A Williston Financial Group Company, Launches WESTprotect Cybersecurity Service to Protect Title Agents, Real Estate Professionals and Lenders from Email Fraud
WEST, a Williston Financial Group Company committed to improving the entire residential real estate and mortgage transaction for all participants, has launched a new cybersecurity service for real estate agents, lenders, title agents and other settlement service providers to protect them against email fraud and provide real-time updates regarding potential risks.
Homebuyers on a $2,500 Monthly Budget Can Afford $33,000 More With Low Mortgage Rates, But Higher Home Prices Cancel Out Increase
A homebuyer with a $2,500 monthly housing budget can afford a home priced$33,250 higher than a year ago, thanks to historically low mortgage rates, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. At a 3% mortgage interest rate—roughly the average 30-year fixed rate for July and August 2020—a homebuyer can afford a $516,500 home on $2,500 per month, up from the $483,250 they could afford on the same budget when the average was 3.77% in July 2019.
Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 2.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 28, 2020.
A Suburban Shift for Home Building
Evidence of a suburban shift for consumer home buying preferences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can be found in the second quarter National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Home Building Geography Index (HBGI).
MBA Statement in Response to the HHS and CDC Agency Order on a Residential Eviction Moratorium through December 31, 2020
"Although an eviction moratorium through the end of the year is important for renters, it is not a complete or long-term solution. If tenants are unable to pay their rent, then millions of our nation's housing providers - many of whom are individual landlords and small business owners - will be unable to meet their mortgage obligations, make payroll to their own employees, maintain a safe and healthy living environment for their tenants, and pay their state and local government property taxes."
Forsyth County, Georgia, Leads NAR's Top "Work from Home" U.S. Counties List
Forsyth County, Georgia, ranks as the top “Work from Home” county in the United States, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors® measuring several factors of increasing relevance amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Colorado counties – Douglas and Broomfield – appear in the top 10 at second and ninth, respectively.

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