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Endpoint Secures $150 Million in Additional Funding as It Continues to Simplify the Real Estate Closing Process
Endpoint, a digital title and settlement services company that provides a re-imagined closing experience for buyers, sellers, and their real estate agents, today announced that it has secured an additional $150 million in funding from its parent company, First American Financial Corporation, a leading provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions.
ICE Mortgage Technology Announces MERS Expansion to Include Industry-Wide Remote Online Notarization Video Storage Solution
ICE Mortgage TechnologyTM, part of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc., a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today announced that MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., the mortgage industry’s national electronic loan registry, is expanding its capabilities to now include industry-wide, secure storage of Remote Online Notarization (RON) videos for lenders, investors, and servicers. The MERS RON video storage solution will provide a secure way to store, provide access to, and retrieve copies of RON video recordings for notaries, RON platform providers, and authorized parties during post-closing review, loan purchase as well as downstream events such as foreclosure.
American Land Title Association Applauds Senate Appropriations Committee for Elevating Real Estate Wire Fraud Issues
The American Land Title Association(ALTA), the national trade association of the land title insurance industry, today applauds the Senate Committee on Appropriations for elevating the issues of real estate wire fraud, business email compromise (BEC) and related scams in three of the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations reports released this week.
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Existing-Home Sales Ascend 7.0% in September
Existing-home sales rebounded in September after seeing sales wane the previous month, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major U.S. regions witnessed increases on a month-over-month basis.
Real Title Services
Action on Supply Chain Bottlenecks, Tariffs Needed to Boost Housing Affordability
The National Association of Home Builders today called on Congress and the Biden administration to help ease building material supply chain bottlenecks that are harming housing affordability by removing trade barriers and seeking solutions to port congestion and persistent delays in truck and rail transportation.
Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 6.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 15, 2021.
Housing Stakeholders Join Chairs Brown and Waters to Call for the Inclusion of Housing Provisions in the Budget Reconciliation Package
A diverse group of housing stakeholders gathered at the Capitol today to call for substantial investment in housing as part of the budget reconciliation package currently being negotiated in Congress.
September New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Decreased 16.2 Percent
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for September 2021 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased 16.2 percent compared from a year ago.
Single-Family Starts Flat in September
Single-family housing production held steady in September as strong demand helped to offset ongoing building material supply chain disruptions.
MBA Launches Member Action Pledge to Promote Minority Homeownership, Affordable Rental Housing, and DEI
Kristy Fercho, MBA Chairman, and Executive Vice President and Head of Home Lending at Wells Fargo, today announced the Home for All Pledge, a Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) member company action pledge to promote minority homeownership; affordable rental housing; and company diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Strong Demand Boosts Builder Confidence Despite Supply Chain Disruptions
Strong consumer demand helped push builder confidence higher in October despite growing affordability challenges stemming from rising material prices and shortages.
Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases to 2.28 Percent
The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 34 basis points from 2.62% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 2.28% as of October 10, 2021. According to MBA's estimate, 1.1 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.
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Single-family rentals soaring in hot housing market
Americans are finding homeownership increasingly out of reach or not worth the commitment, and are instead turning to the next closest thing: single-family rentals. Built-to-rent homes, which are constructed for single families as rentals, were surging even before Covid. The pandemic accelerated the trend, as the number of built-to-rent homes soared by 30 percent from 2019 to 2020, according to the New York Times.

Housing is the economy's Energizer bunny: It keeps going and going
The housing market is showing no significant signs of slowing, despite some concerns that prices may be close to peaking as mortgage rates climb. Housing starts in September were up from a year ago, while existing home sales topped economists' forecasts and rose from August levels. Even as some sectors of the economy remain muted, the housing boom keeps going and going. That's obviously good for builders, but it could also be great news for the broader economy and stock market - especially since this strength appears to be nationwide.

The Affordable Housing Crisis Is Destroying Relationships and Families
usan, a call center employee, moved in with her boyfriend, Eugene, after they had been dating for just over two months. "We couldn't afford to live by ourselves," she explained. Eugene, who worked two jobs, was barely breaking even, although he split rent with a male roommate. Adding Susan to the household was no one's first choice, but they all understood it was financially what they needed to do.

Can a Seller Relist a House When the Earnest Money Hasn't Been Returned?
Is the seller legally able to withhold a buyer's earnest money, even if the house is relisted? Let us help you make sense of this stressful situation.

First American doubles down on Endpoint with $150M in funding
First American Financial Corp. is doubling down on its digital title and settlement services subsidiary, Endpoint, injecting another $150 million in funding to help the company bring a "reimagined" closing process to more markets.

Prospective Buyers Cite Down Payment, High Prices as Barriers
Buying a home is typically the largest purchase one makes in their lifetime and new data from Bank of America shows that the locations and feelings of family are a huge factor for first-time buyers looking to get into the market.

Changes to Title and Survey Diligence Insurers Don't Want to Miss
As part of an effort to revamp and modernize title insurance policies and land surveys, this year, the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) updated their standards, which are now in use and are summarized below.

FHFA to make desktop appraisals permanent
Desktop appraisals, a temporary flexibility implemented in March 2020 to keep the mortgage industry afloat amid lockdowns and social distancing, will become permanent, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today. Sandra Thompson, acting director of the FHFA, said both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow appraisals to be conducted remotely, using public records such as listings and tax appraisals, for purchase loans starting in early 2022.

Today's tight housing market is already overbuilt, one analyst says
One analyst, Dennis McGill, director of research at Zelman & Associates, however, said that the current supply of homes for sale is not indicative of the overall need to build more houses. Demand is strong right now, he said, because of an unusual emotional surge driven by the pandemic. Demographics, which are a better measure of housing demand historically, do not support more construction.

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