In recent days, both Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest lender, and The National Association of Realtors, the nations’ largest trade organization, have called on the Department of Housing and Urban Development to withdraw its proposed rule to amend the HUD interpretation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard.

Bill Emerson, vice chairman of Quicken Loans, expressed his company’s concern about the impact of the proposed rule changes during the pandemic in a letter sent to HUD Deputy Secretary Brian Montgomery on Friday.

“We recognize that the proposed changes are intended to clarify the use of disparate impact in housing discrimination cases. We agree that unclear rules in the housing and mortgage markets can, and often do, constrain lending and investment in the space, harming those the rules are intended to help.

“However, legitimate concerns have been raised about how the proposed rule proposed would make it difficult to address some of the more challenging systemic issues of discrimination that the Fair Housing Act should be used to address,” the letter continues.

“We are living in a pivotal moment of American history, with much of the nation looking more deeply at the systemic effects of discrimination throughout our society and economy. In the spirit of that moment, policymakers and industry participants alike should look beyond the surface forms of discrimination to those that lie beneath, because the effects are often no less destructive,” the letter states.

“We believe that HUD should continue to focus on the deeper forms of discrimination, and has an opportunity to work together with lenders, consumer advocates, and civil rights experts to find a common ground proposal on disparate impact that is fair, clear, and remains a strong and effective tool for our nation in combatting all forms of housing discrimination.”

In its letter released on Monday, NAR said that HUD’s revisions place too heavy a burden on the ability of parties to bring legitimate initial disparate impact claims. NAR President Vince Malta went on to say there is broad consensus that “now is not the time to issue a regulation that could hinder further progress toward addressing ongoing systemic racism.”

Rather, he suggested this is a time to explore ways to work together “to eliminate unnecessary barriers to housing opportunity and advance policies that allow more Americans to fully participate in the American Dream.”

As such, NAR is “respectfully” asking that HUD withdraw its proposed rule to amend its interpretation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard.

When asked about timing, NAR said this was a conversation the organization had been having internally, with its partner real estate associations and with Fair Housing Groups for over a month, following the wave of protests that came in response to George Floyd’s murder.

“We determined from those conversations that this was the appropriate time to call on HUD to withdraw its proposed role, and submitted the letter to the Department as soon as it was finalized,” NAR said.

Bryan Greene, NAR’s director of fair housing policy, said that a REALTOR’s livelihood depends on his or her ability to sell homes, so “it is in every REALTOR’s interests to eliminate barriers that unfairly deny housing opportunities to any segments of our population.”

“According to disparate impact doctrine, practices that disproportionately turn some groups away and can’t be justified as necessary on business grounds – or that could be served in a less discriminatory way – including lending practices, housing practices, and governmental policies, can be challenged by consumers,” he said.

“Most business practices in housing and lending are necessary to evaluate a consumer’s creditworthiness and ability to purchase, but it is also critical that we ensure none of these requirements unfairly target or deter certain groups from pursuing the American Dream of homeownership,” Greene added.

Last August, we reported that HUD had proposed making changes to the nation’s fair housing rules, a move that fair housing advocates claimed was part of a Trump administration effort to “gut” federal protections against housing discrimination.

At its most basic, the updated guidelines revised the current loose, three-step threshold for Fair Housing violations and imposed a specific, five-step approach that would require regulators to prove intentional discrimination on the lender’s behalf.

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The coronavirus pandemic has had a tremendous impact on our lives in one way or another. When it comes to housing, one survey has found that the top reason for moving over the second quarter was a need for more space.

Startup HomeLight surveys about 2,000 agents every quarter. Its latest results indicate that homebuyer housing preferences have most certainly shifted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The most desirable upgrades to homes in a post-COVID world are now home offices (17%) , less dense location (16%), single-family living (15%) and a private and spacious outdoor area (15%).

“Home offices will likely become more formal and outfitted to a comfortable working environment as remote jobs become a permanent fixture of society,” HomeLight’s report said.

Those who do invest in a building home office (at an average cost of about $12,119) can take comfort in knowing that, according to the survey, it also yields a significant ROI (return on investment) – an average $10,526 in added value – compared to some other house projects. In fact, a home office topped even a walk-in pantry, a patio, double ovens a privacy fence, and a fire pit in terms of average ROI.

Survey data also revealed that in the wake of the coronavirus, agents cited the need for more space (44%), a desire to buy vs. rent (41%), and moving to the suburbs (37%) as the top 3 reasons motivating people to move.

I hopped on the phone with HomeLight CEO Drew Uher, who also told me that one of the things that stood out in this report was the agents’ level of optimism.

“In our previous report there was a pretty heavy initial toll on the market, where optimism had declined from 76% to 56%,” he told HousingWire. “But that has reversed course now. In this last report, it was all the way back up to 82%, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. That seems remarkable considering we’re dealing with a sizeable unemployment problem.”

As we’ve consistently reported, inventory remains low in many markets. So it’s unclear where inventory is going to come from to meet increased demand with nearly 60% of agents reporting a lack of supply to meet demand.

While some homeowners may be reluctant to sell, Uher predicts that at some point, people will start to relax and we’ll see pent-up demand released.

“Also, we’re predicting a fair amount of inventory released as shifting economic and job circumstances spur buyers,” he added.

The federal government’s moratorium on foreclosures expires August 31. And while homeowners have had up to 180 days of forbearance and have not been forced into selling like the last recession, things may change by this fall.

“Mortgage payments don’t go away, they just accumulate,” Uher pointed out. “So we may see a fair amount of inventory and the entry to-mid level get jarred loose this fall and that will normalize some of the supply-demand imbalance we’re seeing now.”

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HousingStack HW+

HousingStack is a real estate technology landscape that provides a dynamic visual that reflects the rapid changes in the sector. The HousingStack is exclusively for HW+ members. To join the HW+ community, go here.

While leads flow from various sources and opportunities come into focus, things get real as they move to the transaction stage. This is where forms are filled in, agreements get signed, offers turn into contracts and lots and lots of paperwork flies through people’s hands. For any one sale, there could easily be 25 to 40 documents to manage (contracts, disclosures, inspection reports, HOA forms, more disclosures). As such, it’s no surprise that there would be a lot of action around the transaction. 

Scott Petronis
HW+ Columnist

This segment of the HousingStack includes companies that are primarily focused on moving transactions through the process including Digital Forms, Digital Disclosures, eSignatures and Digital Transactions, which generally include Compliance. What’s interesting here is that, although this is where the rubber meets the road in terms of actually generating the commissions that pay for everything, this area has far fewer players than the segments focused on generating all of the leads. Given that tens of millions of leads turn into between 5 million and 6 million transactions every year, it probably makes sense.

Another interesting aspect of this segment is that many MLSs provide solutions here (via vendor partnerships) to offer digital transaction management as a member benefit. Even beyond that, two specific Realtor associations even jumped into the mix with their own solutions. You don’t get deals across the finish line (confidently, securely and within local and state rules and regulations) without a well-managed process and the technology to support it. 

Digital forms

It all starts with local and state forms. It used to all start with paper, then carbon paper. Today the process is a bit more sophisticated. The forms are digital, but they’re still forms. Any brokerage that wants to transact business needs to do so on the approved forms. However, there are very few companies that can provide easy and comprehensive access to those forms digitally due to copyright laws and licensing requirements. While a number of Digital Transaction systems (or transaction management systems) do provide integrated forms access, brokerages rely on a very small handful of companies for forms. 

zipLogix has provided zipForm (or a derivation of it) for about 30 years and truly capitalized on its early relationship with NAR. One of its most formidable competitors was TransactionDesk from Instanet Solutions. Both are now part of LoneWolf Technologies. Another option on this front, Form Simplicity, offers similar services throughout Florida and the U.S. 

While not the sexiest technology, as I mentioned, it all starts with forms. And options here are limited. 

Digital disclosures

With all of the d*** disclosures required in a real estate transaction, you’d think this space would be more crowded. In some states (in particular in one that rhymes with malifornia), the disclosures seem to be more voluminous than the actual contracts. 

Two companies have started to make a dent here, and it’s no surprise that they’re both in California., which got its start in 2016, and Glide, which was founded in 2018. Both have a focus on the disclosure side of things but also provides offer management and activity tracking to provide a level of visibility into the process. 

Neither company covers the entire U.S. as it’s got to be a painstaking process. However, there’s clearly a need to better manage this part of the process and I imagine others will start jumping into this, along with forms in general. 


Even with digital forms, it wasn’t until passage of the Digital Signature Act of 1999 that digital signatures were widely recognized as legal and binding. This paved the way to transforming the process to entirely digital so that documents could be shared, reviewed, commented on, edited, then signed without ever having to go to print. 

Numerous digital signature providers exist today, some wholly focused on the real estate space, but none come to mind more immediately than DocuSign. Started in 2003, the company was already well-positioned to make a massive dent in the eSignature space early on. A $5 million investment by NAR’s Second Century Ventures in 2009 solidified DocuSign’s fate as the dominant player in real estate. It also made NAR about $20 million, based on the sale of stock after DocuSign filed its IPO in 2018. 

Other popular players in this segment include ZorroSign, GoPaperless and HelloSign, which all provide broader eSignature solutions for real estate and beyond. Authentisign, another product of LoneWolf Technologies, is offered exclusively for real estate. 

Digital Transactions

With 22 companies vying for business in this segment, it’s clearly the focal point for technology providers. So it’s no surprise that this is where the action is considering that productive brokerages and agents spend a significant portion of their energy marshaling deals through to close. 

Some transaction management systems provide more functionality than others; for example, some incorporate digital forms, some add in things like agent onboarding and commission management and most include eSignature capabilities. But the main capabilities include an ability to start from a digital form, checklists to manage processes, a way to collaborate and communicate, the ability to manage folders and documents during and after the transaction and some form of compliance and file completion. Each has its own unique way of fulfilling these requirements and some have integrations with other systems making it easier to move data around.

A handful of players dominate this segment with products like TransactionDesk and zipTMS (both owned by Lone Wolf Technologies) being distributed widely by many MLSs. Others like SkySlope (owned by Fidelity National Financial), dotLoop (owned by Zillow) and Brokermint round out the top five players. There are an additional 18 products available including some developed by big names. They include DocuSign Rooms from DocuSign, BackAgent (now owned by PropertyBase) and Paperless Pipeline. Many players have highly localized businesses in specific regions and even states, and the two most recent entrants, Transactly and Offer to Close, also offer transaction coordinators along with technology. In fairness, several others do as well.

Wrapping Up

While there’s been a lot of investment in this area over the years, the most significant moves have been on the acquisition front rather than piles of money flowing into startups. The biggest moves include Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies (powered by Vista Equity Partners) acquiring both Instanet and zipLogix, Fidelity National Financial buying SkySlope and Zillow picking up dotLoop. And with Docusign making investments here as well, there’s bound to be more news on that front. 

Even with all of the options and the fact that many MLSs offer solutions as a member benefit, there are still tens of thousands of agents not using a digital system for transactions…or at least there were before this COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps that’s all changed now and it’s no longer a nice-to-have but a need-to-have. One’s thing’s certain, if you’re doing any significant volume and you’re not using digital tools, you need to evaluate your options.

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Wells Fargo announced updates to its non-conforming refinance products at the beginning of July. While the updates loosen the jumbo requirements for current customers, the new standard for customers without a Wells Fargo relationship increased four times the amount it originally announced back in April. 

According to a spokesperson for Wells Fargo, as of July 1, any existing Wells Fargo customer can now get a non-conforming refinance with the mega bank. Or, if they have an existing loan that they need to refinance and no other deposit accounts, they can now get a non-conforming refinance with Wells Fargo. 

This means as long as they have a home mortgage, home equity line, deposit account, brokerage account, investment account or even if they have as little as $100 in their account, they can get a jumbo refinance. 

However, those who don’t have an existing relationship with the bank will need to transfer $1 million or more in assets to a qualifying deposit, brokerage or investment account in order to apply, according to Wells Fargo.

In a call with HousingWire, Wells Fargo did add that in some circumstances there may be other mortgage loan products available to customers without an existing Wells Fargo relationship depending on a variety of factors, and even if they do not transfer funds into a qualifying deposit, brokerage or investment account.

These new jumbo requirements serve as an update to news in April that Wells Fargo would only refinance jumbo mortgages for customers with at least $250,000 or more in assets under management with the bank for 30 or more days prior to the application. This was applicable to both new and existing customers. 

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Nationally, asking rents fell 0.4% in April and May, following nearly a decade of solid growth, a new report from Yardi Matrix revealed.

Between January 2015 and the first quarter of 2020, before COVID-19 hit, asking rents grew a considerable 26% nationally.

But that trend got thrown for a loop with COVID-19, and the report shows that 71 metros saw rents decline in April and May, while 35 saw rents increase. The study covered 107 metros.

“Rents of luxury lifestyle units nationally decreased by 1.2%, compared to a decline of only 0.5% for working-class renter-by-necessity units,” the report said. “New units coming online are taking longer to lease up, prompting owners of more expensive units to offer concessions or lower rents to attract tenants.”

Yardi Matrix said that asking rents are likely to drop more throughout the year, as demand continues to go down.

The biggest decrease was in San Diego, with a loss of 1.8%, followed closely by San Jose and Nashville, with a loss of 1.7%.

Of the 18 metros that saw rent growth of 0.6% or more, none were among the top 20 largest by population, Yardi Matrix said.

Omaha, Nebraska; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; and Toledo, Ohio all saw rent growth of 0.8%, while Grand Rapids, Michigan; St. Louis; Wichita, Kansas; and South Bend, Indiana saw gains of 0.6%.

Since the pandemic started, Portland, Maine saw the most rent growth at 1.7% in April and May, followed by Mobile, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee, which both saw rent growth at 1.3%.

Despite rents going down, 31% of renters don’t think they will be able to make next month’s payment on time.

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The key to effectively managing a single-family rental property during any economic cycle hinges on an investor’s ability to maximize their property’s value.

As the current U.S. unemployment rate hovers above Great Depression-Era levels, many property owners are having rent delinquency, leasing and management issues.

Benton Cotter
Guest Author

So, what can an investor do during the current economic situation to protect their asset? What immediate steps can they take to curtail delinquencies, sign new tenants and avoid long-term vacancies? 

The first step is to ensure that the property generates steady monthly rental income in the most efficient manner, even when renters are losing their jobs. Oftentimes, ensuring that a rental produces steady returns, while minimizing vacancies is a full-time responsibility. 

During a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic when residents face unprecedented unemployment levels and challenges paying rent on time, a nominal investment in a property manager will save an investor money over the long term by keeping the property occupied. A knowledgeable, tech-focused property manager mitigates rental delinquencies, retains existing residents, signs new leases and ultimately protects long-term investments during even the most difficult market cycles. 

Here are six reasons to consider hiring a property manager for asset protection and preservation in the midst of unprecedented economic challenges: 

1. They optimize a rental property’s monthly returns and provide insight on long-term rental growth

A qualified property manager brings critical local market knowledge and applies it to the operations of each individual rental asset they manage. In other words, they understand the economic and supply and demand fundamentals in each submarket in which they operate. A savvy property manager provides investors with average rental rates in their submarket by utilizing rent comps, AI and machine learning to set market-rate rents that get the unit leased quickly. 

An effective manager stays laser-focused on a few real-time metrics impacting their portfolios in order to help real estate owners maximize returns and minimize turnover, including:

  • Rental delinquencies
  • Percentage of new leases signed
  • Pending move-outs
  • Average rents
  • Vacancy rates 

By using technology to predict rental demand, an effective property manager can even help an investor determine where to buy rental property. At the end of the day, a good property management and investment team helps command as much value as possible for a rental unit.

2. They provide great customer service for both owners and residents

Property managers can espouse the great customer service they provide all day long. But is there any truth to what they’re saying? How does an investor know if the management team they’re selecting is actually a trusted service service provider?

One of the best ways to measure the level of customer service a property manager provides is to request two metrics: its Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score and its Net Promoter Score (NPS). The CSAT Score gives investors insight into the level of service a firm provides over time. A good property manager will send a CSAT survey after a resident has completed the on-boarding process to see how efficient it is, and if any improvements are necessary. If a property manager does not have their own internal service tracking and reporting, they are likely not committed to identifying issues and constantly improving their service.

Good Customer Service Requires Keeping Tenants Safe

In today’s environment, property managers should be up-to-speed on the best practices for entering a home while shelter-in-place orders are slowly being lifted Wearing PPE, especially masks, practicing social distancing when residents are nearby and following all of the guidelines laid forth by the Centers for Disease Control is a critical step to providing not only the best customer service, but the most considerate, protective service that could ultimately save lives. 

3. They help owners retain tenants and sign new leases

At the moment, there are no federal relief programs available to small, independent residential property owners who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many banks and lenders are implementing assistance programs for late mortgage payments. In the meantime, leverage a proactive management team that is directly involved with residents to create rental payment assistance programs. 

Some companies are also offering resources to help both owners and residents during the coronavirus pandemic. A high-quality manager also ensures compliance with rent regulations and eviction moratoriums, for instance, that impact the municipalities and states in which they operate.

Another solution to better serve both owners and residents includes providing penalty-free lease breaks. In some cases, it may be better to place a new resident rather than to experience a prolonged vacancy with no rental income.

Adjusting to the Market to Sign New Leases

To prevent negative long-term financial impact, it’s best to adapt to the current COVID-19 situation, which likely means accepting softening rents and higher levels of rental delinquency rates over the short term. Since there is uncertainty as to how long this trend will last, owners should be willing to start taking bold new steps to lease their properties as soon as possible, even if that means renting slightly below market rates. 

For instance, it’s recommended that owners utilize one-time rent concessions and/or allow pets in their rental — anything that will help secure a quality resident in the immediate term.

In the interest of retaining existing tenants while also showing some empathy for their current plight, consider postponing scheduled rent increases in light of COVID-19. Also, consider renewing an existing tenant’s lease at their current rate.

Pre-leasing is also an important component for success in the current environment. It allows property managers to reduce unnecessary foot traffic in the home and reduce overall vacancies.

4. They utilize virtual leasing and proven technology to pre-lease and manage property

Quality property managers have people, technology and systems in place to handle — and optimize — the marketing of an owner’s property. This is crucial in the midst of the pandemic: Operators must find new ways to market their properties that enable leasing from the comfort and safety of a renter’s home. Since many managers have portfolios to optimize, not just one asset, they can leverage their large scale and online tools to enhance marketing efforts with property detail pages containing interior and exterior photos and information, 3D tours, self-showings with smart-home automation and more. 

Self-Showings Protect Renters 
In many states, self-showings are the only way to see properties right now. Renters should have the ability to book self-showings completely online, without interacting with a real estate agent or salesperson and without risking exposure to the coronavirus.

A tech-centric manager provides prospective renters with videos that provide instructions on how to access and secure the unit upon departure. 

A tech-forward property manager also makes self-showing appointments easy. A self-showing works like this: A prospective renter simply signs up, goes through a security check and provides a copy of their ID and credit card, and then selects when they’d like to view the unit. Before the showing, the prospect receives a unique access code to tour the property during a specific window of time. The code remains valid only during the allotted time frame. Prospects don’t have to worry about a property manager showing up late to the appointment or hovering over their shoulder while they tour the unit.

After a prospect decides they would like to rent a unit following a self-showing, the online application process should be simple, straightforward and seamless. A prospect can easily pay their application fee online, get approved, set up an account and start the move-in process. All of these steps to lease a property completely online are completed in a contactless manner, mitigating exposure to any viruses. 

Once a prospect becomes a resident, they should have the ability to interact with their management team virtually. High-tech property managers have native apps for their residents to pay rent online. Through an app or an online portal, residents should have the ability to make repairs and maintenance requests safely and securely, completely online with contactless property techs.

5. They handle the day-to-day operations of a rental property

Handling leasing, collecting rent, overseeing maintenance and repairs and managing tenant relations is a full-time job. Most small residential property owners have full-time jobs, necessitating a professional property manager to take care of their investment, to manage it and to protect it. 

Having an experienced management team becomes even more critical if an investor owns an out-of-state property. A local market expert who can keep their eyes on the property and be available to quickly respond to an emergency situation, especially as new concerns arise from tenants in light of the coronavirus, is needed now more than ever.

6. They provide legal expertise

At the onset of the crisis, new laws on rent freezes and eviction moratoriums were handed down immediately by state and local governments. A property owner may not have even known about the new laws impacting California or Texas municipalities, for instance. That’s one of the reasons it’s imperative to hire a property management expert with local market knowledge: They ensure compliance with local rent laws and regulations, which vary from state to state. 

A good property manager has a legal expert on board who is well-versed in legislation impacting rentals, whether there’s a national health crisis or not. They also have good relationships with attorneys to avoid fees and unnecessary legal battles should they ever materialize.

When assessing the value of a property management firm during an economic crisis, a savvy investor should ensure that their property’s returns are optimized, they are consistently provide great customer service backed by data; they can retain tenants, sign new ones and use virtual leasing and other proven forms of technology to manage resident relations; and they have the on-the-ground-staff and technology to handle the day-to-day operations of a rental property.

If an investor lacks the time to perform any of these essential duties to ensure the optimal operation of their asset, they could be missing out on valuable rental income. Consider hiring a knowledgeable property manager with an established track record of helping owners avoid delinquencies, retain existing residents and sign new leases during the most challenging times. 

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The housing market continues to show positive signs of recovery, according to’s weekly Housing Market Recovery Index, yet the effects of COVID-19 still remain a concern.

The index is set to 100 for the last week of January and a value of 100 means the market has recovered to the pace seen that month. Housing demand, home prices, pace of sales and inventory are all positively climbing, although still lower than that January baseline.

The Housing Recovery Index reached 95.8 nationwide for the week ending June 27 and 12 of the 50 largest markets are showing recovery, with the greatest occurring in Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Philadelphia.

In terms of regions, the Northeast surpassed the recovery benchmark this week, the report said. The report also said that Midwest economies lagged due to struggling economies while Sunbelt markets with worsening COVID-19 conditions are also struggling.

The index measure the recovery at 110.7 for the Northeast, 93.9 for the Midwest, 95 for the South and 103.3 for the Western regions.

This week’s new listings index reached 90.9, considerably low as housing supply is still slim.

Housing demand has bounced back as summer home-buying is in full-force, with that part of the housing index reaching 119.5. The index also revealed that the pace of sales, or time on market, reached 85.9.

“Improvement in the pace of sales remains highly dependent on cities’ ability to successfully contain COVID cases and safely reopen their economies,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the home price component also moved further past the recovery threshold, with this week’s index reaching 102.6 – as COVID-19 treks on and housing inventory remains constricted, leading to home prices rising.

In the U.S., the overall weekly index value is calculated as a weighted composite of four indexed components, including “housing demand,” based on online search activity (10%); “home prices” based on median list prices (30%); “housing supply” based on new listings (30%); and “pace of sales” based on median time on market (30%).

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Drawing on a team of seasoned mortgage professionals with more than 25 years of lending experience and the financial strength of its parent company, loanDepot, LLC, loanDepot Wholesale supports its partners with industry-leading tools, loan products, and competitive rates and resources that allow them to successfully serve their borrowers.

“Our advanced technology enables us to provide the seamless lending experience that today’s customers expect, and our high-touch customer service provides piece of mind throughout the loan process,” said Jeff Walsh, senior EVP and CRO. “Beyond our competitive programs and pricing, we believe that building strong long-term relationships with our partners is of utmost importance.”

loanDepot Wholesale strives to build successful long-term relationships with its origination partners.

The company aims to be a lender of choice by providing an outstanding lending experience that includes dedicated and responsive service, advanced and integrated technological solutions, competitive price and product offerings, and responsible lending practices.

As an agency direct lender, loanDepot Wholesale offers a full suite of products, including Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA and renovation loans. The company handles each of its loan products with exceptional execution, underwriting and support, with a particular focus on its government and renovation loans.

loanDepot Wholesale’s origination partners benefit from the following communications and support features:

  • Weekly newsletters to keep brokers informed
  • Training support in the form of videos, webinars, job aids and reference documents
  • An extensive library of white label fliers and social assets to give brokers marketing support to reach Realtors and brokers alike

In addition, loanDepot Wholesale recently rolled out its mello Broker Portal, which leverages loanDepot’s over $100 million investment in technology to deliver a seamless lending experience.

loanDepot’s mello platform enables brokers to generate and email full initial disclosures packages to their borrowers for eSignature, and also enables loan officers to create multiple scenario and comparison documents. The platform has editable 1003 functionality and the ability to run dual AUS.

“We believe that our combination of cutting-edge mortgage technology and high-touch customer service will enable our wholesale partners to exceed their borrowers’ expectations today and well into the future,” said Mike Klotz, SVP of Sales.

Jeff Walsh, Senior EVP/Chief Revenue Officer

Jeff Walsh has been instrumental in transforming the technological development of loan products, production and operations of wholesale lending, and enterprise-wide operational systems. Under Walsh’s leadership, the company’s wholesale channel has become the broker partner of choice for independent licensed loan officers nationwide.

Mike Klotz, Senior Vice President, Sales

Mike Klotz leads the wholesale division’s strategic growth initiatives and is responsible for margin management, sales P&L management, and key initiatives spanning sales and operations.

Misti Snow, Senior Vice President, Operations

Misti Snow leads the long-term strategic vision for wholesale, overseeing the growth and production of the division’s origination branches, as well as corporate training and development.

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In April, apartment retention broke records as renters had to stay put due to the pandemic. Come May, apartment operators across the country began to drop rent.

Now, in the week ending June 20, executed rents – a real-time indicator that includes concessions and lease term lengths – for new leases rose 0.08% year over year, according to RealPage.

Although this number is small, it’s a sign of apartment demand rebounding after the last three months of rent declines. In the week ending June 20, total new lease volumes soared by 18.6% year over year.

Renewal pricing was positive in May before dropping back down in June. In the week ending June 20, executed renewal rents dropped 1.9% compared to the year prior. This could reflect on operators focusing on high occupancies, RealPage said.

However, executed rents dropped by double digits in Boston; New York; Los Angeles; San Jose, California and Oakland, California, but took a steep turn in Minneapolis/St. Paul and San Francisco, which means these markets are not benefitting from the rebound in new lease demand.

In the top 50 markets in the U.S., 30 saw positive growth in executed new lease rents during the same time period.

Bigger gains came from markets that are generally slower-paced, RealPage said – such as Virginia Beach, Virginia; Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis; Greensboro, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; Tampa, Florida; Cleveland and Kansas City, Missouri.

Meanwhile, generally popular markets recorded flat to modest gains in new lease pricing – Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Phoenix; Houston; Denver and Las Vegas.

New lease pricing fell 3% to 5% in key markets – Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; San Antonio; Philadelphia; Miami; Orlando, Florida and Austin, Texas.

While new lease pricing shows signs of recovery, renewal lease pricing remains volatile, RealPage said.

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Shares of Corelogic shot up 23% on Friday morning in response to an unsolicited takeover bid from two of the company’s significant investors, Cannae Holdings and Senator Investment Group

In a letter to the Corelogic Board of Directors, Cannae and Senator — who jointly own or have an economic interest equivalent to approximately 15% of CoreLogic’s outstanding common stock — describe the all-cash proposal as representing “a premium that is 37% in excess of CoreLogic’s unaffected stock price and 34% in excess of the company’s 30-day volume-weighted average price.”

Cannae is led by Bill Foley, the chairman of Black Knight, a data and analytics company that directly competes with CoreLogic. Foley, whom the letter calls “a uniquely qualified buyer,” has a long track record of operating, acquiring and investing in information and technology businesses in the financial industry. Foley served as CEO of Fidelity National Financial from 1984 to 2007, as well as the executive chairman of Fidelity National Information Services, or FIS, from 2006 to 2011. 

Cannae and its affiliates propose to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of CoreLogic for $65 per share in an all-cash transaction. The letter states that “Cannae expects to finance the transaction and its related fees and expenses with a combination of equity investment that has already been spoken for in the amount of approximately $3.6 billion and third-party debt financing.”

The letter makes mention of the recent action by CoreLogic that raised their second quarter guidance on June 25. A CoreLogic press release stated: “The Company expects second quarter 2020 financial results to exceed previously issued revenue and adjusted EBITDA guidance ranges driven principally by continued market share gains and operating leverage attributable to higher U.S. mortgage market volumes.”

In the letter from Cannae and affiliates, they posit that CoreLogic’s action “was a defensive move in light of the high trading volume and knowledge of our interest in the Company.”

Although the letter states that Cannae and Senator are “optimistic that we can still engage constructively with the Board,” they warn that they are “committed to this transaction.”

“Senator has conducted a thorough study of the Company’s governance documents and the remedies available to all shareholders and is prepared to exercise our rights, including by calling a special meeting and soliciting proxies, for the benefit of the Company’s shareholders should that be necessary,” the letter states.

In March, law firm Sullivan & Cromwell wrote that corporate boards should prepare for an uptick in activist investor activities as a result of the upheaval caused by COVID-19, but pointed to share price and economic volatility as the driver of unsolicited bids. This scenario appears to be unique as the company share price was trading at 52-week highs prior to the unsolicited offer. 

As most public companies do, Corelogic has specific anti-takeover provisions in their bylaws to discourage certain types of transactions including threatened acquisitions involving coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids. 

Just last week CoreLogic named a new independent director last week, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Pamela Hughes Patenaude.

HousingWire has reached out to CoreLogic and will update this article if the company provides any comment.

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