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Where the Real Estate Market is Headed in 2019: A Primer

Where the Real Estate Market is Headed in 2019: A Primer

2019 is going to be an interesting year for home buyers. High-dollar regions like the Bay Area, NYC, and other financial hubs show signs of slowing down. In less dense/regulated markets home builders are adding more inventory which should stabilize or lower prices in smaller markets. Lenders are under pressure from shareholders to reduce barriers to entry for home buyers, which will also have a positive effect on the ability for consumers to obtain home purchasing/refinancing credit. This credit easing is largely due to the fact that many experts are predicting double-digit declines in the larger housing market....

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How Valuations Can Improve Repeat Business

How Valuations Can Improve Repeat Business

By all accounts, the housing market is shifting into a different gear in 2019. The nation's economy remains strong, unemployment is at a record low and wages are increasing. Nonetheless, mortgage origination volume is shrinking, so lenders will need to fight harder for a smaller piece of the pie. This past fall, Fannie Mae's Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey found that lenders reported a net negative profit margin outlook for the eighth consecutive quarter. Competition among lenders was cited as their biggest challenge. In a tight market, an obvious strategy is to find a way to generate more repeat business, whether that’s for home equity products, refinances, or purchase loans. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to partner with appraisal providers that are just as dedicated to providing an excellent customer experience as you are. Because they usually have limited contact with appraisers, consumers often feel detached from the appraisal process. This is not a problem when appraisals go smoothly, but very annoying to the consumer when they don’t....

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Home Price Trends: What you Need to Know

Home Price Trends: What you Need to Know

The housing market is entering a very interesting stage. We’ve seen steady, year-over-year home price appreciation for more than six years straight. You would think this is good news, yet lenders have causes for concern. According to the latest numbers from the National Association of Realtors, home prices have risen 4.5 percent from one year ago. Las Vegas saw the biggest price increase with a 13 percent jump over last year, followed by Seattle and San Francisco with 12.8 percent and 10.7 percent gains, respectively. Meanwhile, the median price for an existing single-family home in July stood at $269,000, the highest median price on record. With only a few exceptions, it remains a fairly strong market. But this year, price gains began to slow. As interest rates begin to rise, transaction volume is slowing, which is placing extra pressure on lenders that are already dealing with increasing production costs. Below are three important lessons from the most recent housing figures, as well as some thoughts about how lenders can catch a break in a market that seems to be creating one challenge after another....

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