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Welcome to NATTalk / Northeast, North American Title Company’s news and information portal for professionals in the real estate, mortgage and title insurance industries. As your trusted partner in the business of buying and selling real estate, we know that the success of your business is inextricably linked to market forces, the buying habits of the different generations, regulatory changes, social trends and more. With the launch of NATTalk, we will be providing our partners with daily updates concerning market trends, business news and regulatory information to keep you informed of the most critical issues that could impact your business.

  • Thinking about building a team?

    3/23/2018 12:33:27 PM

    Real estate is a very demanding profession, making it hard at times to accomplish everything in a timely manner. That's why it's important to have a highly qualified team to help you close sales, grow your business, and finally achieve work/life balance.

  • NAR: Passage of spending bill critical step for affordable housing, NFIP

    3/22/2018 11:32:44 AM

    With six months remaining in the 2018 fiscal year, the National Association of Realtors urges the passage of the omnibus appropriations bill agreed upon by U.S. House and Senate negotiators March 21, which is designed to fund the federal government through Sept. 30.

  • Existing-home sales rebound 3 percent in February

    3/21/2018 9:22:29 AM

    Despite consistently low inventory levels and faster price growth, existing-home sales bounced back in February after two straight months of declines, according to NAR. Sizeable sales increases in the South and West offset declines in the Northeast and Midwest.

  • Freddie Mac: Millennial household formation still off pace

    3/20/2018 7:36:07 AM

    Although young adults are slower to form households, the sheer number of adults between 25 and 34 will eventually have a huge impact on the housing market, according Freddie Mac’s March Insight.

  • Navigating the brave new world of e-closings

    3/19/2018 10:55:09 AM

    Tthanks to changing consumer expectations, the explosion of the fintech industry and — at long last — the establishment of uniform data standards and changes to local laws, 2018 may finally be the year that home buying and selling catches up with modern technology.

  • Rewire the digital customer experience: Six ways to connect

    3/16/2018 7:39:43 AM

    In today's reputation economy, getting the digital customer experience right is essential to your survival. Brands need to remember that experiences are not logical, they are emotional. Creating an emotional connection with your customer through the digital journey is critical.

  • Realtors urge Congress to make mortgage forgiveness debt exclusion permanent

    3/15/2018 8:02:54 AM

    The exclusion for forgiven home mortgage debt following a foreclosure, short sale or loan modification should be made permanent to provide relief to troubled borrowers and minimize the damage to families, neighborhoods and communities.

  • Q4 commercial/multifamily delinquencies remain low

    3/14/2018 3:08:32 PM

    Delinquency rates for commercial and multifamily mortgage loans were relatively flat in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report.

  • Script your way to super sales success

    3/13/2018 9:05:20 AM

    The difference between succeeding and struggling lies in the word "engage." The challenge is to shift the mindset of the agent from focusing on the acquisition of more leads to a higher conversion rate for leads already generated.

  • What's the proven formula for success? Take the next right step

    3/13/2018 8:51:40 AM

    What's that one thing that's just out of reach in your business or your life — or, what's that one thing you've always wanted to have or achieve, but seems unattainable? While we have this vision or dream, very few of us actually take action. What if there was a formula that would all but guarantee you could achieve every goal you set?

  • Four tech trends to watch in 2018

    3/12/2018 9:16:31 AM

    Before diving into technology, think about what you hope to accomplish. What are some goals you plan to achieve this year? What do you want to do better? Where do you or your business need some extra support? Here are four suggestions to help you get started.

  • Employment jumps by 313,000 jobs in February

    3/12/2018 9:10:16 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 313,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported March 9. Construction employment increased by 61,000.

  • Housing confidence falls, remains volatile

    3/8/2018 8:59:44 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell 3.7 points in February to 85.8, reversing last month’s increase. The decline can be attributed to decreases in five of the six HPSI components.

  • Residential and commercial real estate growth continues at moderate pace

    3/8/2018 8:17:28 AM

    Economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate pace across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts in January and February, according to the Federal Reserves’ March 7 Beige Book release.

  • What homebuyers should know about smart homes

    3/7/2018 9:48:21 AM

    Smart home technology is all the rage lately, touted as anything from a fun set of individual gadgets to an integrated and connected way to protect your family. But what does it actually mean? And what do homebuyers need to know as they shop for a new home? Here are the smart home basics to make the home-buying process easier.

  • Realtors offer support for proposed Association Health Plan Rule

    3/7/2018 9:42:26 AM

    A proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Labor could make it easier for small businesses and self-employed individuals to purchase health insurance through association health plans, or AHPs, according to the National Association of Realtors.

  • 10 real-world tips for being successful with short sales

    3/5/2018 8:45:26 AM

    While there are many specialties you might pursue, one that has become very common over the last several years is short sales. Short sales can be one of the most frustrating areas of specialization. Here are 10 tips to help you succeed in working with short sales.

  • Ellie Mae: Refinances at 45 percent of total closed loans in January

    3/2/2018 8:55:02 AM

    The percentage of refinances rose to 45 percent of all closed loans, up 5 percent from the month prior according to the January Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae.

  • Ask the Expert: What can sellers do to prepare for a home inspection?

    3/2/2018 8:48:19 AM

    What can sellers do to prepare for a home inspection? Completing these quick and easy tasks before beginning the selling process will help reduce stress and save your clients valuable time during the home-selling process.

  • 4 ways agents benefit from shared innovative office space

    2/28/2018 10:27:40 AM

    The rapid growth of shared office space has sparked an evolution in how buildings, work environments and special features are tailored to this relatively new category of worker. Here are four benefits that both brokers and agents can realize from collaborative spaces.

  • Banker confidence shifting to more positive territory

    2/28/2018 10:20:44 AM

    For the first time since Q1 2017, a composite outlook of bank CEOs, presidents, and CFOs from across the United States suggests that there is more optimism about the banking industry, as well as overall economic conditions.

  • New home sales drop 7.8 percent in January

    2/27/2018 10:06:26 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 7.8 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 units after an upwardly revised December reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • Nowhere to go but up? How increasing mortgage rates could affect housing

    2/27/2018 9:55:29 AM

    Freddie Mac released its February Insight, which looks into the effects of higher mortgage rates on home buyers, homeowners wishing to refinance, mortgage lenders, home builders and real estate agents

  • Existing-home sales slip 3.2 percent in January

    2/23/2018 8:05:47 AM

    Existing-home sales slumped for the second consecutive month in January and experienced their largest decline on an annual basis in over three years, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions saw monthly and annual sales declines last month.

  • How savvy real estate professionals close more sales with real estate IRAs

    2/21/2018 8:52:05 AM

    With the tightening of lending practices, self-directed IRAs are a great source for funding transactions. Smart real estate professionals understand the advantages of self-directed retirement plans. In fact, real estate is, by far, the most popular investment in self-directed retirement plans, and single-family homes are the top real estate assets.

  • Leading by example: Power team tips

    2/21/2018 8:43:06 AM

    I've been a team leader for more than 30 years, in addition to a franchise owner for the past 16. As I've evolved in my career, I've come to understand that there are a few key components to good leadership.

  • Things to consider when marketing HOA properties

    2/20/2018 11:11:00 AM

    With  homeowners association communities steadily increasing in number, chances are good that you'll serve a client who has to deal with them, either as a buyer or seller. For some people, they're great, while for others, they're a hassle.

  • ALTA applauds House for passing bill to fix TRID

    2/20/2018 11:05:56 AM

    The American Land Title Association thanked the U.S. House of Representatives for passing The TRID Improvement Act, H.R. 3978, a bipartisan bill that corrects the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures.

  • Social skills: Creating a powerful YouTube persona

    2/16/2018 8:51:48 AM

    Social media platforms have changed over the years, becoming more interactive and focusing on the visual instead of just written content — and agents need to adapt to these shifting trends.

  • CFPB issues request for information on supervision processes

    2/15/2018 3:29:59 PM

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued a Request for Information (RFI) about the Bureau’s supervision processes on Feb. 14.

  • Growth outlook unchanged despite recent market volatility

    2/15/2018 3:19:08 PM

    Rising long-term interest rates and soaring market volatility are not enough to alter the forecast for strong 2.7 percent real GDP growth in 2018, according to the Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research Group’s February 2018 Economic and Housing Outlook.

  • Q4 home prices up 5.3%, nearly two-thirds of markets at all-time high

    2/14/2018 8:01:51 AM

    An uptick in existing-home sales in the final three months of 2017 pulled down housing inventory to an all-time low and kept home-price growth at its recent robust pace, according to the latest quarterly report  by the National Association of Realtors.

  • Mortgage delinquency rate up in Q4

    2/13/2018 7:09:08 AM

    The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties increased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.17 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.

  • What is a title insurance commitment?

    2/11/2018 3:23:27 PM

    A title commitment is simply the insurer’s promise to issue a title insurance policy, provided that the required premium is paid; the necessary documents are executed, delivered and recorded; and certain requirements are met.

  • Housing market makes modest gains, even as permits slip

    2/11/2018 3:01:23 PM

    Overall housing and economic activity in metro markets across the nation remained on a gradual, upward trend in the fourth quarter of 2017 even as permit activity remained a stubbornly lagging indicator, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index.

  • 6 ways for real estate agents to rebrand in 2018

    2/8/2018 10:26:07 AM

    If you've been a real estate agent for a few years now, you've probably come to realize that your business has changed a lot — what it stood for five or 10 years ago isn't quite the same today. Rebranding can be a great idea for your business.

  • Lifestyle changes are renters’ top motivation to buy

    2/8/2018 10:08:28 AM

    Despite weakening optimism from non-homeowners at the end of last year that now is a good time to buy, an overwhelming majority said they do want to own a home in the future and believe homeownership is part of their American Dream.

  • Data Privacy Day shines light on need to reduce cyber risk and liability

    2/7/2018 7:58:23 AM

    Real estate is just as vulnerable as any other industry when it comes to data and the cyber world. It’s imperative that industry professionals know how to protect themselves, and also how to guide their clients toward safe internet practices, especially during a real estate transaction.

  • How rising interest rates will impact data risk

    2/6/2018 8:40:26 AM

    Mortgage rates will increase in 2018, which should increase the market share of purchase mortgage transactions, putting upward pressure on the overall risk of defect, fraud and misrepresentation, according to the most recent First American Loan Application Defect Index report.

  • 55+ housing market ends Q4 on record high

    2/5/2018 9:27:43 AM

    Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market remained strong in the fourth quarter of 2017 with a reading of 71, up 12 points from the previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since the inception of the index in 2008.

  • Construction adds 36,000 jobs in new employment report

    2/2/2018 8:43:21 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.

  • Remember to talk to people

    2/1/2018 9:39:29 AM

    Real estate people — in fact salespeople of all kinds — don't seem to like doing the most basic thing that will get them more sales. What is that one very basic thing? Talking to people.

  • Western cities lead gains in S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

    1/31/2018 10:10:26 AM

    Home prices continue to rise three times faster than the rate of inflation, according to David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

  •  Pending home sales tick up 0.5 percent in December

    1/31/2018 10:03:05 AM

    Pending home sales were up slightly in December for the third consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2018, existing-home sales and price growth are forecast to moderate, primarily because of the new tax law's expected impact in high-cost housing markets.

  • Are corporate mobility specialties hiding in your market?

    1/30/2018 7:35:17 AM

    Could the combined proficiencies of corporate mobility and real estate enhance specialization options in some markets? Yes, but first, some of the more basic reasons why real estate professionals specialize in the corporate sector in the first place.

  • Leading with leverage: Power team tips

    1/29/2018 7:31:42 AM

    Leverage makes it possible to lift 500 pounds with only 200 pounds of force. Leadership leverage makes it possible to generate more revenue by duplicating yourself through others.

  • Banks stop $17 billion in fraud attempts in 2016

    1/26/2018 12:28:17 PM

    America’s banks prevented $9 out of every $10 of attempted deposit account fraud in 2016, according to the 2017 American Bankers Association Deposit Account Fraud Survey Report. Facing increasingly sophisticated fraud schemes, banks have responded by investing in new technologies and enhancing overall customer protections.

  • Existing home sales fade in December, 2017 sales up YOY

    1/25/2018 4:17:08 PM

    Existing-home sales subsided in most of the country in December, but 2017 as a whole edged up 1.1 percent and ended up being the best year for sales in 11 years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

  • Fannie Mae: Tax reform expected to boost growth

    1/24/2018 6:30:30 AM

    Stronger consumer spending and a boost to labor productivity via increased business equipment investment is expected to spur 2.7 percent real GDP growth in 2018, according to the Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research Group’s January 2018 Economic and Housing Outlook.Complementary policy decisions from the Fed are key to continued expansion, however.

  • Strong multifamily market trajectory to continue in 2018

    1/24/2018 6:14:50 AM

    According to a new analysis by Freddie Mac, the multifamily market will see continued strength in 2018, largely mirroring last year's performance. The findings were released as part of Freddie Mac Multifamily's 2018 Mid-Year Outlook.

  • Single-family sector boosts housing in 2017, more gains expected in 2018

    1/23/2018 9:39:37 AM

    Nationwide housing starts fell 8.2 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million units after an upwardly revised November reading, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.

  • Home price appreciation maintains steady climb entering 2018

    1/23/2018 9:30:00 AM

    Clear Capital released its monthly Home Data Index report showing national, quarter-over-quarter home price appreciation maintained steady growth of 0.9 percent with national distressed saturation continuing to fall 10.3 percent from 10.6 percent the previous month, December 2017.

  • Cybersecurity: Protecting your senior clients

    1/19/2018 8:21:56 AM

    Working with the elderly is a lot different than working with any other client type. When dealing with older clients, you're usually more hands-on, especially if they don't have a family member advocating for them. Since real estate is now so heavily reliant on technology, you'll need to play a part in informing your elderly clients of the risks associated with internet-based communications.

  • 4 ways to use a buyer’s body language to make a sale

    1/18/2018 9:01:42 AM

    It's no surprise that phone calls and emails fall short when it comes to closing a deal. That's because body language accounts for 55 percent of a person's signals throughout a conversation. The most successful agents know how to look and listen carefully, using non-verbal indicators to establish relationships and make sales

  • Ninja Selling: Stop Selling and Start Attracting

    1/17/2018 4:50:20 AM

    People love to buy, but they hate to be sold. "So, stop selling," says Larry Kendall. Kendall is the author of "Ninja Selling," a sales training system. By following the Ninja Selling System,Kendall says real estate agents increase their income per hour so they could have a work and life balance.

  • How animation can attract more buyers to your listings

    1/16/2018 7:19:35 AM

    Photos can now be enhanced with new technology that allows users to add animation to an image. Essentially, this technology could "bring homes to life," making the buying experience more interactive.

  • MBA CREF Survey: Commercial expected to be strong in 2018

    1/16/2018 7:08:46 AM

    Commercial and multifamily mortgage originators expect another strong year according to the 2018 MBA CREF Outlook Survey. Nearly four-in-five of the top commercial/multifamily firms expect originations to increase in 2018, with almost 22 percent expecting an overall increase of 5 percent or more across the entire market.

  • Freddie Mac: More than $68B in multifamily loans securitized in 2017

    1/11/2018 8:44:37 AM

    Freddie Mac announced on Jan. 5 that it has issued a record-setting $68 billion in multifamily securities in 2017, effectively transferring the majority of risk from taxpayers to private investors.

  • Social Media Do's and Don'ts

    1/11/2018 8:35:15 AM

    In a culture where social media has become a top influencer and communication vehicle, it’s important to constantly hone your best practices. Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts to keep in mind before your next post.

  • Home Purchase Sentiment Index ends 2017 on a cautious note

    1/9/2018 8:55:06 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index decreased 2.0 points in December to 85.8, reversing last month’s rise. The decrease can be attributed to decreases in four of the six HPSI components.

  • Consumer confidence declines slightly, remains at historically high levels

    1/8/2018 11:06:58 AM

    Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November, according to The Conference Board. Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018.

  • NAHB commends DOL for proposed rule on Small Business Health Plans

    1/5/2018 12:55:42 PM

    The National Association of Home Builders commended the Department of Labor for issuing a proposed rule that is intended to expand access to health coverage by allowing more employers to form Small Business Health Plans, also known as Association Health Plans.

  • Construction jobs contribute to 148,000 jobs increase in December

    1/5/2018 9:05:14 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 148,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in health care, construction, and manufacturing. Construction accounted for 30,000 jobs, topping 210,000 for the year.

  • Ellie Mae: Average credit scores for Millennial homebuyers continue to decrease

    1/4/2018 10:53:00 AM

    To attract a larger pool of potential first-time homebuyers, some lenders are making it easier to get a home loan by lowering their FICO score requirements.

  • CoreLogic: Home prices increased by 7 percent year over year in November

    1/3/2018 11:01:15 AM

    CoreLogic released its CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for November 2017, which shows home prices are up both year over year and month over month.

  • Mortgage rates move higher  

    1/2/2018 10:13:51 AM

    Freddie Mac on Dec. 28 released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing average mortgage rates continuing to inch higher at the end of 2017.

  • Mortgage Lenders: Negative outlook on profit margin, refi activity in 2018

    1/2/2018 9:55:24 AM

    Mortgage lenders again reported a negative profit margin outlook for the next three months, citing competition as the primary reason and continuing a quarterly trend beginning the same time last year, according to Fannie Mae’s Q4 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

  • Hang on to past clients

    12/28/2017 9:13:03 AM

    To help generate new business, maintaining relationships with previous clients may be one of your keys to success. Here are some reasons to maintain these connections and suggestions on how to make them stronger.

  • Top (Free) Apps for 2018

    12/28/2017 8:43:49 AM

    "Tis the season" for Realtors to review their 2017 business year and determine what needs to be done for an even more successful 2018. With the proper apps in place, your business needs can match your on-the-go lifestyle, saving you time and improving your workflow. Here are the top apps for 2018.

  • Ask the Expert: How can I guide clients through the home inspection process?

    12/27/2017 10:21:32 AM

    After being in business for 25 years and performing over a million inspections, HomeTeam Inspection Service has identified the top ways to ensure a smoother home inspection, contributing to happier clients and a better outcome.

  • Pending home sales inch up 0.2 percent in November

    12/27/2017 9:26:12 AM

    Pending home sales were mostly unmoved in November, but did squeak out a minor gain both on a monthly and annualized basis, according to the National Association of Realtors. Heading into 2018, existing-home sales and price growth are forecast to slow, primarily because of the altered tax benefits of homeownership affecting some high-cost areas.

  • Net neutrality rollback: A threat to real estate industry?

    12/26/2017 1:46:10 PM

    The net neutrality controversy came to a head recently when the Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era open internet regulations following a meeting on Dec. 14. The repeal has been contested by the real estate industry, consumers and Democrat lawmakers, who sought to keep streaming and internet service provider choice in consumers' court.

  • Existing-home sales at strong pace, soar 5.6 percent in November

    12/22/2017 12:42:28 PM

    Existing-home sales surged for the third straight month in November and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions except for the West saw a significant hike in sales activity last month.

  • Economy expected to end 2017 on a cheerful note

    12/20/2017 12:17:10 PM

    The 2017 economic growth forecast increased one-tenth from the prior forecast to 2.5 percent due to the government’s upgraded third quarter GDP growth estimate and an expected solid fourth quarter finish, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s December 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

  • HOME Survey: Housing and economic optimism cools at year's end

    12/19/2017 8:18:32 AM

    Despite steady job creation, record stock market gains and faster economic growth in recent months, new consumer findings from the National Association of Realtors surprisingly show that a smaller share of households believe that now is a good time to buy or sell a home.

  • Builders confident as market primed to expand in 2018

    12/19/2017 7:52:41 AM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased five points to a level of 74 in December on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) after a downwardly revised November reading. This was the highest report since July 1999, over 18 years ago.

  • How Predictive Analytics Is Changing Real Estate

    12/14/2017 5:58:05 AM

    The idea of using data in real estate isn't new — think tax records, comps, valuations, or even local school, business and crime statistics. But with consumers demanding more and more information, and more data being available on consumer behavior than ever before, the use of predictive analytics is the game changer.

  • November new home mortgage applications up 12.2% YOY

    12/13/2017 8:11:39 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Applications Survey data for November 2017 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 12.2 percent compared to November 2016.

  • Commercial/multifamily mortgage debt rises to $3.11 trillion

    12/12/2017 4:24:09 PM

    The level of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increased by $45.4 billion, or 1.5%, to $3.11 trillion in the third quarter of 2017 as all four major investor groups, including Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS), increased their holdings over the second quarter.

  • CoreLogic: September mortgage delinquency rates lowest in more than a decade

    12/12/2017 3:32:24 PM

    CoreLogic released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report which shows that, nationally, 5 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency in September 2017. The September foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest for the month of September in 11 years, when it was 0.5 percent in September 2006.

  • Employment increases by 228,000

    12/11/2017 5:26:49 PM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Dec.8. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care.

  • Mind shift: 4 quick tips to jumpstart 2018

    12/11/2017 5:12:59 PM

    If you're reviewing your 2017 numbers and aren't exactly where you planned to be, let's focus on how to jumpstart your 2018 with high production.

  • HPSI returns to gradual upward trend with November jump

    12/7/2017 8:59:16 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 2.6 points in November to 87.8, once again nearing its all-time high from September. The increase can be attributed to increases in four of the six HPSI components.

  • Independent mortgage bank Q3 production profits down

    12/7/2017 8:17:20 AM

    Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks reported a net gain of $929 on each loan they originated in the third quarter of 2017, down from a reported gain of $1,122 per loan in the second quarter of 2017, the MBA reported in its Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report.

  • How Diversity in Brokerages Attracts More Business

    12/6/2017 2:02:26 PM

    How can brokerages benefit and gain business from the diversity of their agents? Some of real estate's leading diversity trailblazers share their insights.

  • Five ways to help clients through a natural disaster

    12/6/2017 1:44:19 PM

    When disaster strikes, there are three overall considerations that real estate agents should take into account, including the extent of the impact on the entire region, the immediate impact on pending transactions and finally, the five best ways to navigate affected transactions with both buyers and sellers.

  • Adapt your business to the on-demand economy

    12/5/2017 6:31:13 AM

    Catering to the on-demand economy — the consumer-driven, get-it-now landscape we live in today — is a must for real estate practitioners in the year ahead.

  • Everything works, and nothing doesn't

    12/1/2017 9:11:10 AM

    If you're looking to make more money in real estate in less time, there are some simple ways to make it happen.

  • The Fed reports economic activity continues modest trajectory

    12/1/2017 8:56:50 AM

    Economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace in October and mid-November, according to anecdotal reports from contacts across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts, according to the Federal Reserve's recent Beige Book release. There was a slight improvement in the outlook among contacts in reporting Districts.

  • New home sales rate reaches 10-year high in October

    11/29/2017 11:08:27 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes in October rose 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units from a downwardly revised September reading. This is the highest sales pace since October 2007. Year-to-date, new home sales are 8.9 percent above their level over the same period last year.

  • 5 red flags in the title process

    11/29/2017 10:01:03 AM

    As a real estate professional, you’ve worked long and hard to bring the deal together, dotting every “I” and crossing every “t”. But sometimes, there are extenuating factors that you – and even the buyer or seller – may not know or disclose. Here are some of the most common behind-the-scene situations that must be brought to resolution before your transaction can close.

  • Existing-home sales grow 2 percent in October

    11/27/2017 6:39:18 AM

    Existing-home sales increased in October to their strongest pace since earlier this summer, but continual supply shortages led to fewer closings on an annual basis for the second straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

  • Digitally transforming your business

    11/21/2017 9:22:28 AM

    One of the challenges facing small businesses today is trying to deliver the same customer experience as larger competitors. As technology advances and takes on an ever-growing role, small businesses can tap new innovations to better communicate with customers, save money and simplify operations.

  • Housing starts up sharply, near post-recession high in October

    11/21/2017 8:58:15 AM

    Nationwide housing starts rose 13.7 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million units after a slight upward revision to the September reading, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.

  • Growth forecast increases on post-hurricane resiliency, business optimism

    11/20/2017 6:07:18 AM

    The full-year 2017 economic growth forecast increased two-tenths to 2.4 percent following a stronger-than-expected estimate of third quarter real GDP growth and an improvement to the fourth quarter outlook, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s November 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

  • Under promise, over deliver

    11/16/2017 9:46:27 AM

    The real estate industry is full of amazing people who have a desire to do well, but according to Gallup Poll, we're not very well-respected. This is in part a symptom of over promising and under delivering. Here are some tips from elite agents who make it their mission to create the ultimate client experience.

  • House passes bill to reform NFIP

    11/15/2017 4:13:59 PM

    The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, a bill designed to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The bill also renews the NFIP for five years.

  • Commercial/multifamily borrowing up 21 percent year-over-year

    11/14/2017 10:51:14 AM

    According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations, third quarter 2017 commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations were 21 percent higher than during the same period last year and 8 percent higher than the second quarter of 2017.

  • HPSI dips on diminished home buyer and seller sentiment

    11/13/2017 8:45:59 AM

    Home sellers are a bit more pessimistic, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index which decreased 3.1 points in October to 85.2. The decline can be attributed to decreases in four of the six HPSI components, including an 8 percent decrease in respondents who say now is a good time to sell.

  • Freddie Mac: No bubble, but markets ‘out of balance’

    11/10/2017 8:29:19 AM

    In its November Insight report, Freddie Mac explored the warning signs of a possible new bubble and determined while the housing market is not currently in a bubble, it is significantly out of balance.

  • Mortgage credit availability decreases slightly in October

    11/10/2017 8:12:18 AM

    Mortgage credit availability decreased slightly in October according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association that analyzes data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

  • NAHB lauds Save Local Business Act passage, urges Senate to follow suit

    11/9/2017 9:09:47 AM

    NAHB commended the House for passing the bipartisan Save Local Business Act, legislation that would amend the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act to restore a common sense joint employer standard for home building firms and other small businesses.

  • Retaining talent in the age of emotional intelligence

    11/8/2017 10:38:15 AM

    One critical objective in these extremely challenging times is to effectively attract, select and retain humanistic, high-performance relationship builders who drive sales.

  • Transparency calls for new approach for real estate agents

    11/7/2017 9:42:20 AM

    The ability to search for information and the transparency of both property and players is changing how the process unfolds as well as the viability of the professionals who serve in the industry. What does it take for real estate agents to be successful in this new environment.

  • Data shows lowest mortgage delinquency rate since the financial crisis

    11/7/2017 8:43:05 AM

    The CFPBs new Mortgage Performance Trends tool that tracks delinquency rates nationwide shows that mortgage delinquency rates nationally are at their lowest point since the financial crisis. In addition to national data, the online tool features interactive charts and graphs with data on mortgage delinquency rates for 50 states and the District of Columbia at the county and metro-area level.

  • Must-have on-the-road tools every real estate professional should have

    11/7/2017 8:33:05 AM

    From virtual tools to tangible gadgets, there are some things every real estate professional should have on hand at all times. Learn which ones can help carry you to success, from a vibrant online presence and abundant, accessible internet file storage to the right mobile apps and more.

  • Metro home prices maintain fast growth in Q3

    11/3/2017 7:24:08 AM

    Severely lacking inventory levels across the country pinched sales growth and kept home prices rising at a steady clip in nearly all metro areas in the third quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors.

  • Survey: First-time buyers stifled by low supply, affordability

    11/1/2017 3:48:43 PM

    Despite solid interest in buying a home – sparked by steady job gains, record low mortgage rates and higher rents – the severe drought in housing supply in much of the country over the past year accelerated price growth and kept many first-time buyers out of the market.

  • Home haunted? No problem, new survey shows

    10/31/2017 8:06:06 AM

    Would you ever live in a haunted home? A new survey from shows most folks won't shy away from a spooky space — so long as the price is right.

  • MBA forecasts commercial/multifamily originations flat in 2018

    10/30/2017 9:00:27 AM

    MBA projects commercial and multifamily mortgage originations will increase in 2017, ending the year at $515 billion, up 5 percent from the 2016 volumes. MBA expects volumes to remain at roughly that level in 2018.

  • Trade groups join ALTA urging support for TRID improvement bill

    10/30/2017 8:56:35 AM

    ALTA and nearly two dozen industry trade groups sent a letter urging members of the U.S House of Representatives to support legislation that would correct the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures.

  • Pending home sales flatten in September

    10/27/2017 9:50:52 AM

    Pending home sales were unchanged in September, but activity declined on an annual basis both nationally and in all major regions, according to the National Association of Realtors.

  • Survey highlights changing preferences towards renting among all demographics

    10/27/2017 9:29:22 AM

    New research released by Freddie Mac finds that an increasing number of America's renters are satisfied with their living situation and consider it the most affordable option for the foreseeable future.

  • Demand for new home construction remains solid

    10/26/2017 8:52:50 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes in September rose 18.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000 units from an upwardly revised August reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • NAIC’s cybersecurity model law creates standards for insurers

    10/26/2017 8:39:32 AM

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners adopted the Insurance Data Security Model Law during a joint meeting of the Executive Committee and Plenary in October.

  • Fannie Mae unveils new and enhanced solutions

    10/24/2017 2:04:44 PM

    Fannie Mae has introduced three new solutions intended to build on its Day 1 Certainty program and further simplify the mortgage process for lenders and servicers.

  • ICBA, NAFCU urge Watt on Fannie, Freddie capital buffers

    10/23/2017 6:36:12 AM

    The Independent Community Bankers of America and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions wrote to Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt urging the agency to allow the government-sponsored enterprises to rebuild their capital buffers.

  • Existing-home sales inch higher in September

    10/20/2017 10:16:42 AM

    After three straight monthly declines, existing-home sales slightly reversed course in September, but ongoing supply shortages and recent hurricanes muted overall activity and caused sales to fall back on an annual basis, according to the National Association of Realtors.

  • Multifamily lending up 8 percent in 2016

    10/20/2017 10:03:37 AM

    Multifamily lending was up 8 percent year over year in 2016, with nearly three thousand different multifamily lenders providing a total of $269.2 billion in new mortgages for apartment buildings with five or more units, according to a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

  • Economic growth outlook unchanged following hurricanes 

    10/18/2017 8:17:52 AM

    The full-year 2017 economic growth forecast remains unchanged at 2.2 percent following expected offsetting hurricane-related impacts to GDP growth in the third and fourth quarters, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s October 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

  • Lead your real estate team to success

    10/17/2017 3:16:38 AM

    As a leader, you are a trusted, influential, and indispensable part of your real estate team. Learn the secrets to managing a thriving and happy team, so you can achieve more together.

  • Snapchat vs Instagram: Which one is for you?

    10/16/2017 7:34:59 AM

    Social platforms are always battling it out to determine who will be today's top contender. This seems to be the "Story" between two social platforms that share similar features: Snapchat and Instagram.

  • ALTA unveils ‘Our Values’ initiative

    10/16/2017 6:09:04 AM

    ALTA announced the land title insurance industry’s Our Values initiative, which serves as the industry’s cultural compass and highlights the universal core ideals ALTA members embrace.

  • Nine effective ways to attract new business

    10/12/2017 7:06:23 AM

    Personable and capable real estate professionals establish long-lasting business relationships that result in customer loyalty and referrals. But since attracting new business is the lifeblood of a career, even the most successful agents look for new ways to attract new clients.

  • Real estate deal-breakers and how to fix them efficiently

    10/11/2017 2:07:47 PM

    Some real estate transactions are complicated, and major roadblocks may develop that threaten the entire project. These are a few of the more significant factors that buyers and sellers may run into during the real estate sales process that could potentially prevent the deal from going through as planned.

  • Overall housing confidence up on rising renter optimism

    10/10/2017 7:30:18 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 0.3 points in September to 88.3, matching the all-time high set in June. The rise can be attributed to increases in three of the six HPSI components.

  • Hurricanes push employment numbers into negative territory

    10/9/2017 4:58:40 AM

    The unemployment rate declined to 4.2 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment changed little (-33,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A sharp employment decline in food services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries likely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

  • Freddie Mac September insight: Is geography destiny?

    10/6/2017 4:28:42 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Insight for September, which explores the relative influence of regulatory and geographic constraints on housing affordability. Economists and policy makers agree that restrictive land use regulations have reduced affordability in our high-growth cities and metropolitan areas.

  • Get the skills that pay the bills

    10/5/2017 7:58:40 AM

    While many agents may dream of working in a constant state of peak production, for most, their path is filled with peaks and valleys. The key to consistent success in our industry is to maintain a peak state throughout, while keeping fatigue at bay.

  • 9 tips to boost the value of your next client appreciation event

    10/4/2017 7:37:15 AM

    Now's the time of year to surprise and delight your customers, clients and referral sources with an invitation to an appreciation celebration. Such events make prospecting fun and profitable. When you create a connection through an enjoyable event, you ensure the power of face-to-face connections in a social setting.

  • Fraud risk likely to increase in hurricane ravaged areas

    10/3/2017 8:34:28 AM

    According to the First American August 2017 Loan Application Defect Index report, hurricane ravaged areas may experience increased frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation over the coming year.

  • FFIEC announces availability of 2016 data on mortgage lending

    10/3/2017 8:24:58 AM

    The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council announced the availability of data on mortgage lending transactions at 6,762 U.S. financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

  • Federal Reserve: Rate remains as-is for now

    9/28/2017 8:50:34 AM

    The Federal Reserve kept the key interest rate unchanged at its most recent meeting, but left open the possibility of a rise in the rate in December. The Fed will start thinning out trillions from its balance sheet in October as it works to wind down its bond-buying program.

  • New home sales fall 3.4 percent in August

    9/27/2017 9:21:43 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes in August fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units from an upwardly revised July reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. Year-to-date, new home sales are 7.5 percent above their level over the same period last year.

  • NAR: Homeownership deserves protection in tax reform debate

    9/27/2017 9:17:31 AM

    Tax reform done right could yield savings and simplification that benefits average Americans, but history shows that misguided reforms can pose significant threats to the economy, according to the National Association of Realtors' recent message to Congress.

  • New home sales to drive 2018 growth

    9/26/2017 10:31:38 AM

    With 1.33 million housing starts expected in 2018 (up from 1.22 in 2017), new home sales should be the primary driver of sales in 2018, according to Freddie Mac’s Outlook for September.

  • Tackling negative online reviews head-on

    9/26/2017 10:14:19 AM

    Online reviews are helpful because they provide information about products or services that consumers are interested in; they also demonstrate how a company handles problems. A negative review can tell you more than a positive review. When a company handles a bad review well, the consumer will be more likely to work with them. Are you equipped to handle negative reviews that come your way?

  • HOME Survey: Renters optimism towards home buying on the rise

    9/25/2017 1:29:38 PM

    There appears to be a revival from renters that now is a good time to buy a home, according to NAR’s third quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience  (HOME) survey.

  • Builder confidence drops three points as hurricanes add uncertainty

    9/25/2017 1:23:21 PM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell three points to a level of 64 in September from a downwardly revised August reading of 67 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

  • ​Existing-home sales subside 1.7 percent in August

    9/21/2017 3:03:34 PM

    Existing-home sales stumbled in August for the fourth time in five months as strained supply levels continue to subdue overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were outpaced by declines in the South and West.

  • ​Growth warms even as hurricanes cloud economic outlook

    9/20/2017 9:18:05 AM

    An improved second quarter estimate of real gross domestic product growth helped push the full-year growth forecast higher despite increased economic uncertainty following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s September 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

  • Must-have apps for real estate professionals

    9/20/2017 9:09:33 AM

    Apps, software and web integrations can help you work smarter and make life easier. Check out these eight tools real estate agents can leverage to effectively manage communications, business tasks and marketing. 

  • ​Student debt delaying Millennial homeownership by 7 Years

    9/19/2017 8:19:32 AM

    Despite being in the prime years to buy their first home, an overwhelming majority of millennials with student debt currently do not own a home and believe this debt is to blame for what they typically expect to be a seven-year delay from buying.

  • The final walk-through: Issues and resolutions

    9/18/2017 8:33:56 AM

    As the buyer’s agent, you’ve seen the transaction through a few bumps in the road — perhaps a bidding war, disagreements over terms or a glitch in loan approval. But now the deal is close to closing and one more hurdle remains: bringing in your buyers for what you hope will be an uneventful walk-through.

  • It's not too late: Your 2017 content roadmap

    9/18/2017 8:15:16 AM

    This is one of the best times of the year to reevaluate your content strategy with the best months of the year just around the corner Think of this as a play-by-play on what and how to post for the rest of the year, as well as what to look forward to each month to help you close out 2017 as strong as ever.

  • Outlook remains bright for commercial real estate despite price plateau

    9/14/2017 9:01:35 AM

    Commercial real estate price growth in large markets is expected to flatten over the next year, but strong leasing demand and investor appetite in smaller markets should keep the sector on solid ground, according to the latest National Association of Realtors quarterly commercial real estate forecast.

  • ​MBA releases white paper examining CFPB enforcement approach

    9/13/2017 12:25:28 PM

    MBA released a new white paper, titled CFPB 2.0: Advancing Consumer Protection, that examines the approach of the CFPB during its first five years of undertaking enforcement actions in key areas.

  • ​Mortgage credit availability increases in August

    9/12/2017 7:40:55 AM

    Mortgage credit availability increased slightly in August according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) which analyzes data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

  • ​National Flood Insurance Program extended until Dec. 8

    9/11/2017 10:09:01 AM

    On Friday, Sept. 8, President Donald Trump signed legislation authorizing a three-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. Originally scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, the reauthorization temporarily extends the program until Dec. 8, while Congress considers a raft of bills to revamp the program.

  • Multifamily industry sees continued growth, increased affordability challenges

    9/11/2017 9:06:52 AM

    According to a new survey commissioned by Freddie Mac, a significant majority of the multifamily industry believes the rental housing market will continue to grow, fueled by increasing demand and a growing population. At the same time, however, a plurality of participants is less optimistic about the outlook for affordable housing as compared to just one year ago.

  • Real estate agents of distinction attract more prospects

    9/8/2017 11:21:15 AM

    Today, sales is leadership. Anyone can get a ton of information from the internet, check out reviews and use online calculators, but in the end, they look for a common denominator: specialization.

  • ​Survivor housing a priority in hurricane recovery effort

    9/8/2017 10:56:10 AM

    The federal government continues to focus on the lives and safety of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. While the coordinated response continues, HUD, FEMA and other federal, state, local, and tribal partners, are beginning to direct efforts toward recovery, including housing survivors displaced by the disaster through the state-led disaster housing task force.

  • Economic activity continues to expand, Hurricane Harvey causes broad disruptions

    9/7/2017 6:49:22 AM

    According to the Federal Reserve’s Sept. 6 Beige Report, economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate pace across all 12 Federal Reserve districts in July and August. Hurricane Harvey reportedly caused broad disruptions, but the full impact is not yet known.

  • Assessing down payment requirements, PMI and financial effects

    9/6/2017 12:52:34 PM

    The benefits of homeownership must be weighed against the real challenges of pulling together a downpayment, understanding the financial commitment and determining the wisdom of putting less down to get into a home sooner rather than later. In this article, we explore information and resources for homebuyers on the options, opportunities and risks of buying their first home and do a little “myth busting” on down payment requirements and private mortgage insurance.

  • Hurricanes shine spotlight on NFIP, as proposed reforms languish in Congress

    9/6/2017 9:36:43 AM

    The NFIP is now less than one month away from expiration, with Congress considering a range of bills to reform the program, and industry trade groups raising concerns that commercial and residential sales could grind to a halt in some areas if potential buyers are unable to get a mortgage.

  • Loan application defect index levels off

    9/5/2017 7:37:33 AM

    The First American Loan Application Defect Index showed the frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications remained the same in July 2017 as compared with the previous month.

  • Solar leases and escrow

    9/1/2017 7:23:57 AM

    The number of houses with solar panels has increased tenfold in just the past seven years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. But what is the impact of existing solar lease contracts when the subject property is listed for sale?

  • ​The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in August

    8/30/2017 8:55:06 AM

    The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in July, improved further in August. The Index now stands at 122.9 (1985=100), up from 120.0 in July. The Present Situation Index increased from