Mortgage Rates Increase Slightly, but Remain Historically Low, Freddie Mac Reports

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.26 percent.

“Mortgage rates stayed at or near record lows for the fifth straight week and homeowners are taking advantage with refinance activity remaining high,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Although purchase demand declined thirty-five percent year-over-year in mid-April, demand has improved modestly over the last three weeks.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.26 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending May 7, 2020, up from last week when it averaged 3.23 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.10 percent.  
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.73 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.77 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.57 percent.  
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.17 percent with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.14 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.63 percent.
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Potential Home Sellers Gearing Up to List as Soon as Stay-at-home Orders Lift: NAR

More than 3 in 4 potential sellers – 77% – are preparing to sell their homes following the end of stay-at-home orders, with half completing do-it-yourself home improvement projects, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors®.

“After a pause, home sellers are gearing up to list their properties with the reopening of the economy,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.”

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Fannie Allows Collateral Underwriter Instead of Field Reviews

By Phil Hall

Fannie Mae has issued a Lender Letter to its single-family sellers that updated the temporary policies enacted on March 31 in response to the COVID-19 crisis while reaffirming a key tenet regarding borrower income requirements.

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‘Uncertainties’ in Valuations Worry CRE Investors: Survey

By Dean Boerner

As public equities-laden pension funds reel from massive hits leveled by stock market volatility this year, commercial real estate will likely continue growing in importance for institutional investors in the long term, experts say.

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In Memoriam: George Harrison Keeling

It's with great sadness that we report the passing of George Harrison Keeling, father-in-law of NCAI member and 2016 AI President, Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, AI-RRS, of Salisbury, NC. Our deepest sympathies go out to Scott and George's family. 

View the Obituary

NEW VIDEO: Appraisal Institute Designated Members Discuss Mentoring Trainees

The Appraisal Institute is devoted to helping appraisers reach their highest potential and making sure they have all the knowledge needed to work in the valuation profession, according to the latest video from the organization. In the video, Tonia Vailas, MAI, AI-GRS, and Michael V. Tankersley, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, AI-RRS, share their experiences working with trainees.

These appraisers discuss what steps they are taking to make sure their trainees succeed in the profession and the best ways that trainees can find licensed appraisers to work alongside.

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ECOA Valuations Rule Updated to Address Coronavirus

Creditors have flexibility regarding when they must provide appraisals to mortgage applicants, according to an updated Q&A on the Equal Credit Opportunity Act Valuations Rule released April 29 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under ordinary circumstance, creditors are required to provide appraisals promptly upon completion or three business days prior to consummation of a transaction.

Read the Rule Here

NC Auditor’s Report on NCDOT

Click here to view the audit report prepared by the NC State Auditor of NCDOT.

Second Round of Small Business Funding Approved

President Trump on April 24 signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, bipartisan legislation that provides $320 billion in additional funding for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Small Business Administration started accepting applications April 27, and already has approved more than 100,000 loans.

Read more here.

Credit Unions Allow Appraisals to be Delayed 4 Months

Federal banking regulators last week moved to allow banks to delay getting an appraisal on a property for as many as 120 days after a mortgage closes, and now, credit unions can do the same thing.

In order to “allow credit unions to expeditiously extend liquidity to creditworthy households and businesses in light of recent strains on the U.S. economy as a result of the National Emergency declared in connection with coronavirus disease,” the National Credit Union Administration will allow credit unions to postpone obtaining an appraisal until four months after a mortgage closes.

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Mecklenburg County Transitions to State Order as Local Stay at Home Restrictions Time Out

Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and the six county towns, have agreed to follow the State of North Carolina’s Stay at Home Order starting April 30.

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio announced the agreement to the Board of County Commissioners at its public policy meeting Tuesday afternoon, one day before the county’s current order was set to expire.

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TODAY: AI ANSWERS - Join the Appraisal Institute's weekly Facebook Live session

Be sure to attend this week's AI Answers, a one-hour Facebook Live session on current affairs affecting appraisers. Adam Johnston, SRA, AI-RRS, of Genworth Mortgage Insurance, will discuss strengths and weaknesses of residential appraisal virtual inspection applications, and Justin Glasser, MAI, of Cushman & Wakefield Valuation and Advisory, will address impairment accounting considerations. 

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NEW VIDEO: Valuation Impacts Of COVID-19

The Appraisal Institute’s April 17, 2020, webinar featured about a dozen nationally recognized commercial real estate experts who addressed changing market conditions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Click here or below to view.

Governor Extends Stay At Home Order Through May 8, Plans Three Phase Lifting of Restrictions Based on Virus Trends

See information slides from the April 23 Briefing.

Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 135  extending North Carolina’s Stay At Home order through May 8. The orders extending closure of restaurants for dine-in service and bars and closure of other close-contact businesses are also extended through May 8.

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Federal Banking Agencies Defer Some Appraisals, Evaluations

The federal banking agencies on April 14 issued an interim final rule to temporarily defer appraisals and evaluations under the agencies' interagency appraisal regulations. Certain appraisals and evaluations for residential and commercial properties are deferred for up to 120 days after closing a loan transaction. The interim rule excludes transactions involving acquisition, development, and construction of real estate.

Read more here.

GSEs, Agencies Issue Coronavirus Guidance for Appraisers

The government-sponsored enterprises, agencies and other policymakers have all issued valuation guidance since March 23 to help clarify how appraisers can perform their work during the coronavirus pandemic, and all new guidance is available on the Appraisal Institute’s coronavirus page. 
 
Recent activity includes:
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced March 23 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will ease standards for both property appraisals and employment verification. Specifically, the FHFA said appraisal alternatives will be used to prevent appraisers from having to inspect a home’s interior.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced March 27 that it is making modifications to the re-verification of employment and Acceptable Appraisal Reporting Forms and Protocols for Federal Housing Administration loans by allowing exceptions for exterior-only and desktop appraisal inspections in certain transactions.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs announced March 27 that it will allow appraisers to perform exterior-only appraisals with enhanced assignment conditions or, in limited instances, a desktop appraisal.
  • The Department of Agriculture announced March 27 that it is granting lenders temporary exceptions pertaining to appraisals, repair inspections and income verification for the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program. The exceptions are in effect for a 60-day period.
Find more information on the Appraisal Institute’s coronavirus page

New NCAI COVID-19 Resources Webpage

The North Carolina Chapter of the Appraisal Institute (NCAI) continues to monitor developments regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. The health and safety of our members and event participants is of the highest importance and we are taking this outbreak very seriously.  

In an effort for us all to stay informed, NCAI has created a COVID-19 Resources Webpage that provides the latest news regarding the COVID-19 situation at the state, national, and industry levels. 

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NEW DATE & FORMAT: Q1 Chapter Business Meeting now on March 25

Join us for our Q1 Chapter Business Meeting (CBM) via Zoom Meeting on Wednesday, March 25 at 2pm!

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AI Issues Coronavirus-related Direction for Appraisers

The Appraisal Institute issued guidance cultivated from its Professional Practice staff on March 16 to help AI professionals and other real estate valuers serve their clients during the rapidly evolving global coronavirus pandemic.

“Appraisers should take care not to put themselves in harm’s way while completing their assignments,” the guidance said, which directed appraisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current risk assessment.

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Appraisal Institute Seeks Guidance from Policy Makers

The Appraisal Institute announced March 18 that it is aggressively engaging all primary appraisal policy makers to help guide appraisers during the coronavirus pandemic. AI expects some guidance to be released as early as this week about exterior-only and/or desktop appraisals for loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Representatives of the Appraisal Institute have raised appraisers’ concerns regarding property inspections and appraisal waivers and exemptions, seeking a measured or balanced approach to risk mitigation.

So far, most policy discussions have focused on credit issues over collateral concerns and on servicing over loan purchasing issues to keep people who will be facing financial hardship in their homes during the coming weeks and months. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, has begun to engage on appraisal-related issues with many additional issues requiring solutions, including determining how loans will close in areas where courthouses are closed and there are no e-closing procedures, a situation that reportedly affects 20% of the country.

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