✅Mid-Week News Updates, July 10, 2024


➡️After big May drop, Fannie’s consumer sentiment index rebounds in June

But affordability concerns persist, leaving slim upside

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI), measuring consumers’ opinions of the state of the housing market, rose by 3.2 points in June, erasing the previous month’s dip and inching closer to a likely plateau reached earlier in the year. Despite improvements in several categories, affordability continues to be a persistent worry, with larger shares of consumers saying they believe that home prices and mortgage rates will go up over the next 12 months.

“Affordability concerns remain the primary driver of consumer housing sentiment, even as the topline findings from our monthly survey showed a modest uptick in optimism on both homebuying and home-selling conditions,” said Mark Palim, vice president and deputy chief economist at Fannie. “If mortgage rates decline through the end of the year, as we currently forecast, we do think home sales activity will pick up, but progress on that front is likely to be slow due to the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand.

“A significant majority of consumers continue to tell us that it’s a ‘bad time’ to buy a home, and they’re also telling us that they expect both home prices and mortgage rates to move higher over the next 12 months,” Palim continued. “Taken together, in our view, this leaves little upside to overall sentiment until meaningful progress is made on affordability — most likely in the form of either lower rates or improved supply.”

After big May drop, Fannie’s consumer sentiment index rebounds in June – Scotsman Guide

➡️Property Fraud Allegations Snowball as Commercial Real-Estate Values Fall

U.S. prosecutors are cracking down on commercial mortgage fraud, a growing push that is sending shudders through the $4.7 trillion industry by raising questions about the numbers underpinning major property loans.

Property Fraud Allegations Snowball as Commercial Real-Estate Values Fall – WSJ

➡️States Where Homeowners Are ‘Locked In’ by Mortgage Rates

or most of 2024, mortgage rates have been hovering around the 7% mark for standard 30-year fixed loans. And although rates are expected to decline later in the year, they’re not likely to drop to the 3%, 4% or even 5% ranges anytime soon.

The jump in mortgage rates over the last two years has frozen housing markets nationwide. The vast majority of homeowners have mortgage rates well below current market levels. In fact, 86% of mortgages in the U.S. have an interest rate below 6%, and the average interest rate on existing mortgages is 4.1%, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Millions of American homeowners are feeling the squeeze of the mortgage rate lock-in effect, in which they have much lower interest rates and monthly payments on their homes than what’s currently available. Many homeowners are unwilling to give up their current mortgage rates, and others simply can’t afford to sell their homes and buy new ones at today’s rates and housing prices.

States Where Homeowners Are ‘Locked In’ by Mortgage Rates | Mortgages and Advice | U.S. News (

➡️The Cost of Title Insurance on Homes Is Out of Sync With the Risk

Millions of homeowners are forced to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars when they refinance their mortgages to protect against unexpected costs from a challenged property title. Yet claims on such insurance are exceedingly rare. Payouts may only amount to about 3% of overall premiums, according to loss data released by Doma, a financial-technology company that sells title-insurance policies.

The Cost of Title Insurance on Homes Is Out of Sync With the Risk – WSJ

➡️2024 Study of Wealthy Americans

Higher interest rates and elevated uncertainty are leaving their marks on the financial choices and outlooks of wealthy Americans. In fact, 58% of wealthy people have made some kind of financial adjustment in the face of higher interest rates, including 91% of younger people.

The past two years have seen more inflation than in decades, sharply rising interest rates, a bear-market year for stocks in 2022, a headline fraud case in the burgeoning crypto industry, two major geopolitical conflicts and the meteoric rise of AI tools in everyday life. These crosswinds are affecting the ways that wealthy people think about financial decisions, as data in this report shows. The 2024 quantitative survey included 1,007 respondents who had at least $3 million in investable assets and were at least 21 years of age. It was designed to be a statistically representative sample of the population that meets those two criteria. Data collection was fielded between January and February of 2024.

3 Key Trends From the 2024 Study of Wealthy Americans (

2024 Bank of America Private Bank Study of Wealthy Americans,2024 Bank of America Private Bank Study of Wealthy Americans (

➡️Warren Buffett paid just $31,500 for his home of nearly 70 years. Read his 8 best quotes about buying a house.

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest people worth almost $130 billion, has lived in the same unassuming house in Omaha for nearly 70 years.

The penny-pinching investor paid just $31,500 in 1958 for the family home, which Zillow values at about $1.4 million.

Buffett put off the purchase for years as he was certain he could earn a higher return by investing his money elsewhere. He even dubbed the house “Buffett’s Folly” once he eventually bought it.

Even so, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO has joked about his deep fondness for his home, and ranked it among the best buys he’s ever made. But he’s also warned that owning an unaffordable home can be hellish.

Warren Buffett Paid $31,500 for Home of Nearly 70 Years: Best Quotes – Business Insider

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