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Nearly One-Third of Sellers Admit Using Spy Cams During Showings

Three in 10 home sellers say they’ve used a hidden camera during an open house or showing at their home, according to a new LendingTree study of more than 2,000 consumers.The most common reason, cited by nearly half of those who provided reasons, is to understand what home buyers do and don’t like about the homes. Thirty-six percent of those respondents said they wanted to use the camera to gather information that could be useful during negot

15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages Reach Record Low

Borrowers can still take advantage of some of the lowest mortgage rates of all time. For the fifth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained below 3%. Also, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.10% this week, an all-time low, Freddie Mac reported.“As the economy works to get back to its pre-pandemic self, the fight against COVID-19 variants unfolds, owners and buyers continue to benefit from some of the lowest mortgag

Non-Bank Lenders Gain Popularity

Consumers rated mortgage servicers’ customer service higher during the pandemic. Much of that satisfaction, however, is driven by non-bank servicers, which offer more digital solutions for consumers. Traditional banks are starting to lose their edge over non-bank lenders, according to the J.D. Power Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study.Bank-affiliated services have historically outperformed non-banks by a large margin in customer satisfaction.

SBA Launches PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal

Borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less—financial aid for businesses stemming from pandemic-related distress—may be able to apply for forgiveness directly through the Small Business Administration’s new portal.The SBA is launching a new application portal to streamline forgiveness requests: Directforgiveness.sba.gov. The platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on Aug. 4. It will help

Markets Most Affected by Investors

Investors are snatching up homes and are being blamed for contributing to the inventory shortages in several markets across the country. Investors are buying homes and then holding on to the properties, often turning them into rentals, and not returning very many homes back onto the market from their growing portfolios. Housing experts say that in some markets it's exacerbating housing shortages.Investors have been blamed for taking away the most

Investors Push Commercial Sales to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Investors are swooping back into commercial real estate, sending sales volume this year back to pre-pandemic levels. Low interest rates are also helping to drive the renewed interest, as is investors’ optimism that the worst of the pandemic may be over, The Wall Street Journal reports.But the commercial sector has changed compared with pre-pandemic days: Sunbelt cities posted record sales, suburban offices appear to be more favored th

Where Pools Command Highest, Lowest Premiums

It’s cool to have a pool in the pandemic. The backyard swimming pool has been in demand since the COVID-19 outbreak. But pools in real estate haven’t always been a slam dunk moneymaker. Real estate pros have expressed mixed opinions on the value they add to a home, especially given their high price tag.Porch.com, a home improvement resource, analyzed how a swimming pool can impact the price of a home in the 500 largest cities across

35% of Students Can’t Afford College Town Rents

More than one-third of over 500 college students surveyed say they cannot afford to rent an apartment in their college town, and many of them have not finalized their living plans for the school year, according to a new survey from realtor.com®.They’re blaming the hot housing market for pricing them out.The shortage of affordable housing inventory in the U.S. has pushed prices to record highs and forced more prospective home buyers into the re

New-Home Sales Tumble as Building Contracts Slow

Sales of newly built single-family homes continued to decline in June as some builders slowed sales contracts to manage supply-chain challenges and more potential buyers became priced out. Homebuilding timelines are stretching longer and higher construction costs are frustrating buyers.Sales of new single-family homes fell to the lowest level since the first month of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. in early June. Sales dropped 6