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NAR Finds Black Home Buyers More Than Twice as Likely to Have Student Loan Debt, Be Rejected for Mortgage Loans Than White Home Buyers
Minority homeownership stubbornly lags behind the national rate, with Black Americans facing some of the toughest hurdles to achieving this essential part of the American Dream, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The homeownership rate for Black Americans – 42% – is nearly 30% less than the rate for white Americans – 69.8%. The U.S. homeownership rate stands at 64.2%, with the rates for Asian and Hispanic Americans at 60.7% and 48.1%, respectively.
Existing-Home Sales Tick Up 0.6% in January
Existing-home sales rose in January, marking two consecutive months of growth, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Real Title Services
January New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Increased 18.9 Percent
The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey data for January 2021 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 18.9 percent compared from a year ago. Compared to December 2020, applications increased by 17 percent.
AccuSearch Company
Construction Headwinds Pick Up in January
Housing production softened in January as rising lumber prices continue to affect the housing industry. Overall housing starts decreased 6.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.58 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
First American Mortgage Solutions and BackInTheBlackR Integrate Loss Mitigation Products with Strategic Workflow Automation
First American Mortgage Solutions LLC, a part of the First American family of companies, today announced completion of a strategic integration with default/loss mitigation workflow provider BackInTheBlack, LLC, that automates orders of First American Mortgage Solutions’ loss mitigation products and services for BackInTheBlack®technology users.
Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 5.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 12, 2021.
Builder Confidence: High Demand Offsets Higher Costs-For Now
Strong buyer demand helped offset supply chain challenges and a surge in lumber prices as builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes inched up one point to 84 in February, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released today.
States Title Raises $150 Million to Modernize Home Closing Experience
States Title, a leading force for disruptive change in the real estate industry, today announced $150 million in debt financing from HSCM Bermuda, who has previously invested in the company. The financing follows a $123 million Series C filed last May and will be used to accelerate traction on an aggressive roadmap and market expansion to fundamentally transform the home closing experience.
NAR's "That's Who We R" Advertising Campaign Highlights How Realtors® Open Doors to Opportunity for Their Clients and the Communities They Serve
The National Association of Realtors® unveiled today the newest iteration of its successful "That's Who We R" national branding campaign. Created in partnership with Havas Chicago, the series of television spots emphasize the positive impact Realtors® have on their clients and the communities they serve.
Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Declines to 5.29 Percent
The Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 6 basis points from 5.35% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 5.29% as of February 7, 2021. According to MBA's estimate, 2.6 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.
Quick Links
In the Pandemic, Online Home-Buying Picks Up Speed
First-time buyers have the tech-smarts and now the tools to do all or part of their purchase online, sometimes even before seeing their new houses in person.

3 ways Biden's presidency could impact the housing market
It's no secret the housing market impacts the economy and vice versa. But how exactly does a presidency impact homebuyers? The election of President Joe Biden could soon change the course of people's home shopping plans. From the proposed $15,000 tax credit to Biden's promise to bridge the race gap in home appraisal, here's how this presidency will impact you...

(Australia) Mortgage Choice launches second white label solution
"Our brokers will now be able to offer customers the peace of mind that they won't miss out on buying their dream home or have to wait weeks or even months of uncertainty to refinance. Our rapid approval process combined with electronic docs and title insurance; means we can settle a loan in as little as 24 hours."

Homebuilders preparing for big 2021, data suggests
Overall housing starts in January totaled 1.58 million units, a decline of 6% from December, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. But there's reason for optimism from homebuilders - a huge spike in building permits.

Radian Plans to Accelerate Digital Transformation Across the Mortgage and Real Estate Marketplace in 2021
"For instance, we expect that artificial intelligence is on the cusp of fundamentally transforming the future of valuing and searching for a home; mortgage insurance pricing continues to evolve dynamically; and the title insurance approval timeline is expected to shrink even further. These advancements will allow lenders to develop deeper engagement with their existing and potential customers at the start of their home buying or selling journeys and create a more personalized experience."

Why two startups are betting on debt instead of equity
When there's a need for capital, not every startup goes the venture route. Boast.ai, a company that plugs into business systems and automatically finds them R&D tax breaks, announced Wednesday it has raised a $100 million credit facility from Brevet Capital to advance those R&D incentives. And proptech startup States Title announced it has closed on $150 million in debt financing from HSCM Bermuda, which had previously invested in the company.

The COVID Pandemic's Impact on Title Insurance
Chicago Title Insurance Company's national commercial counsel in D.C. and Maryland discusses industry changes over the last year -- Matt Barlow, national commercial counsel for Chicago Title Insurance Company's Washington, D.C., and Baltimore national commercial services operation, has seen the industry face challenges before, but nothing like what the COVID-19 pandemic has brought. Still, the company has worked to continue providing much-needed title insurance to deals throughout both areas.

Mortgage demand falls further as rates rise at the fastest pace in months
Another week of rising rates spurred homeowners and buyers to pull back from the mortgage market, and the trend is not expected to turn any time soon. Total mortgage application volume fell 5.1% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index.

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