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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 April 23, 2021.
Real Title Services
Pending Home Sales Grow 1.9% in March
Pending home sales increased in March, snapping two consecutive months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All but one of the four major U.S. regions experienced month-over-month gains in March, while each area recorded year-over-year growth.
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Skyrocketing Lumber Prices Add Nearly $36,000 to New Home Prices
Soaring lumber prices that have tripled over the past 12 months have caused the price of an average new single-family home to increase by $35,872, according to new analysis by the National Association of Home Builders.  This lumber price hike has also added nearly $13,000 to the market value of an average new multifamily home, which translates into households paying $119 a month more to rent a new apartment.
HG Holdings, Inc. Announces Agreement to Acquire National Consumer Title Insurance Company From Southern Fidelity Insurance Company and Affiliates
HG Holdings, Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the equity of National Consumer Title Insurance Company and 100% of the interest in National Consumer Title Group, LLC, which indirectly owns 50% of the membership interest in Omega National Title Agency.
Minorities and Student Debt Holders Purchased Lower-Priced Homes, Leading to Lost Wealth Accumulation Over Time
Minorities and student debt holders purchased lower-priced homes when compared to White Americans and buyers without student debt, according to research conducted by Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, and Michael White, Nottingham Trent University professor and director of the Centre of the Built Environment.
Agents National Title Insurance Company Named Fastest Growing Underwriter for 2019-2020
While empowering title agents and lenders to capitalize on a $2.6 trillion origination refinancing wave, Agents National Title Insurance Company (Agents National), an Incenter company, became the fastest-growing title insurance underwriter in the country last year, according to a Market Share Analysis from the American Land Title Association (ALTA).
SCV Selects Eight Companies for 2021 REACH Technology Scale-up Program
Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors®, announced today the selection of eight technology companies for the 2021 REACH scale-up program.
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Spruce's Patrick Burns on innovation in title technology
This week, HousingWire's Editor in Chief Sarah Wheeler interviews Patrick Burns, the CEO and co-founder of Spruce, a proptech company powering online real estate transactions. In this episode, the pair discuss heightened investor interest in title technology, innovation and fintech adoption spurred by COVID-19, as well as the rise of M&A and partnerships.

Americans getting priced out of red-hot housing market: 'It's the Wild West'
With home prices rising at the fastest pace in 15 years, buyers nationwide are getting priced out. The result, economists warn, is widening inequalities in the housing market.

Soaring lumber prices add $36,000 to the cost of a new home, and a fierce land grab is only making it worse
As the housing market gets leaner, potential buyers are turning in record numbers to new construction, but several factors are making those homes pricier than ever before.

What Powell and the Fed just did should help to keep mortgage rates low
Though the economy is showing signs of life after the beating it took from COVID-19, the Federal Reserve says it's not ready to back off its current pandemic-targeting policies. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell (pictured) and his central bank colleagues announced on Wednesday that until several economic benchmarks are reached, they'll keep holding a key interest rate near zero. That should continue to help mortgage borrowers.

Drone operators challenge surveyors' turf in mapping dispute
When Michael Jones started a side hustle shooting drone photos and videos for realtors, his clients wanted more: Images with property lines on them, to better understand where their fences should be. It seemed like a good use of emerging technology that met an obvious consumer demand, and Jones was careful to add a disclaimer: His maps weren't meant to replace the proper surveys that are often needed for such things as mortgages, title insurance and land use applications.

Job opportunity: How to become an abstractor
Abstractors research all documents and activities affecting ownership of properties. The work involves sifting through public records, often in a county clerk's office, for mentions of things like liens or bankruptcies or land boundaries. Essentially, abstract companies make sure that the seller of a property does in fact own the property and has a "free and clear" title.

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