Industry Briefs Jan. 11, 2022: Covius Integrates with Stavvy on RON Signing for Loss Mitigation Clients

Covius Integrates with Stavvy on RON Signing for Loss Mitigation Clients

Covius, Denver, integrated Stavvy into its loss mitigation and loan modification platforms. Stavvy is a Boston-based fintech company specializing in eClosing functionality and remote online notary services.

Covius will use the Stavvy platform to offer RON and eSigning capabilities for all loss mitigation products, regardless of recording requirements. The integrated service can discern RON eligibility early in the loss mitigation process. When a RON-eligible loan modification package is generated, Covius will tag the signature lines for eSign and RON recognition and start the scheduling process with the borrower(s). The Covius notary panel will lead the digital notarization process using Stavvy’s technology to notarize the documents in the borrower’s home or office.

Redfin: Homebuyers Face Record Supply Shortage Heading into 2022

Redfin, Seattle, said the housing market started off the new year with fewer homes for sale than ever as active listings fell 27% from a year earlier. The number of newly listed homes for sale fell 10%, but anecdotes from Redfin agents suggest that listings may soon begin to pick up.

“We’re kicking off yet another year with a whole lot of buyers whose home search has been ongoing for months, and they are as eager as ever,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “This month, the stage will be set for the 2022 housing market, and we’ll be closely watching whether prices climb like they usually do in January or whether they start off high and stagnate. We’re also keeping a close eye on new listings.”

For the four-week period ending January 2, Redfin reported the median home-sale price increased 14% year over year to $358,460, just shy of a record high. The median asking price of newly listed homes increased 12% year over year to $341,200. New listings of homes for sale were down 10% from a year earlier.

The report said the share of homes that went under contract that had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market was 40%, above the 35% rate of a year earlier; 29% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, up from 25% during the same period a year earlier.

Fannie Mae: Consumers Open Up About Homeownership, Rental Education

Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C. said existing homeowners reported not needing as much information about the homebuying process compared to renters, and they reported being most influenced by lenders.

The report said renters expressed a preference for more information about many aspects of the homebuying process itself and indicated that real estate agents and family and friends are generally their most influential source of mortgage-related information.

Before starting the homebuying process, nearly all consumer segments reported being most interested in learning about “how much home” they can afford, as well as their financing and mortgage options. Renters expressed interest in learning more about a wider variety of topics than current homeowners, likely because many renters are new to the process.

Planet Home Lending Renews Partnership with NAMMBA

Planet Home Lending LLC, Meriden, Conn., renewed its partnership with the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America. Planet Home Lending has supported NAMMBA for the past four years.

The partnership with Planet Home Lending allows NAMMBA to continue its efforts to increase participation and engagement of women and minorities in the mortgage industry while improving employee diversity. NAMMBA has leveraged its partnerships to provide training, education and career development resources to women and minorities interested in the real estate finance industry.

Equifax Enhances Mortgage Verification Availability Through The Work Number

Equifax, Atlanta, announced additional service enhancements to its portfolio of verification platforms available to the mortgage industry. These new options are powered by The Work Number, a centralized commercial repository of income and employment information in the United States.

Lenders can now request “All Employers Within 60 Months” to pull the prior five years’ of employment and income data available on The Work Number database. This helps create a more informed, expanded view of a potential borrower, particularly in complex underwriting situations. In addition, lenders can now choose “Mortgage Select All” for verification of employment or income, which provides a complete view of all data available in The Work Number for an applicant at a single, fulfillment-based price point.

Stewart Expands Presence in Nashville with Acquisition of Homeland Title

Stewart Title Co., Houston, acquired Homeland Title. Located in Nashville, Tenn., Homeland has served buyers and sellers across middle Tennessee since 2003. The acquisition builds on previous investments made in the region and further advances Stewart’s mission.

“Nashville and the surrounding areas are some of the fastest-growing markets in the country, and this acquisition provides further scale and adds to the progress we’ve made in this market,” said Stewart Group President Steve Lessack.

Redfin: Demand for Vacation Homes Up 77% From Pre-Pandemic in December

Redfin, Seattle, said demand for vacation homes rose by 77% from pre-pandemic levels in December, slightly below the 80% increase in November and the record 92% gain in January, but up significantly from the 2021 low hit in August.

“The wealthy are still flush with cash and have access to cheap debt, which is why second home purchases remain far above pre-pandemic levels,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “While interest in second homes is stabilizing after the big boom in the second half of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, I expect demand to remain high well into this year. Remote work isn’t going anywhere and mortgage rates are still quite low.”

Premier Nationwide Lending, County Club Mortgage Partner with Adwerx

Premier Nationwide Lending launched Adwerx Advertising Automation for every loan officer. Adwerx specializes in automating digital advertising in a market that is increasingly going digital.

The firm is using Adwerx’s Customer Relationship Advertising platform. The technology creates personalized ads and targets Premier Nationwide Lending loan officers’ most valuable audience: their database. By pulling from a CRM, each loan officer’s ad will show to members of their network throughout their online journey – all over premium websites and social media.

Premier Nationwide Lending loan officers also receive retargeting ads, so that when a prospect visits their webpage, an ad with the producer’s name, photo, and contact information will then follow the individual while they browse the web.

Additionally, Country Club Mortgage in California chose Adwerx to power automated digital advertising for all mortgage consultants. Country Club mortgage consultants are receiving a comprehensive marketing strategy through Adwerx’s Customer Relationship Advertising. The program includes streaming TV commercials and retargeting ads, so that when a prospect visits their webpage, the mortgage consultant’s customized ad follows the individual throughout the online process.

Fannie Mae: Softening Home Purchase Sentiment Could Portend Slower 2022 Housing Market

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index decreased by 0.5 points to 74.2 in December, as consumers continued to report substantially divergent views of homebuying and home-selling conditions.

Overall, three of the index’s six components decreased month over month. In December, 76% of respondents reported that it’s a good time to sell a home, compared to the survey record-low 26% of consumers who reported that it’s a good time to buy. By comparison, in December 2020, 50% of respondents believed it was a good time to sell, while 52% believed it was a good time to buy. Year over year, the full index is up 0.2 points.

“The HPSI’s underlying components changed dramatically in the last 12 months – particularly the two related to homebuying and home-selling sentiment – and we have seen the index drift slightly downward since March 2021, an indication that the housing market may begin to soften in the coming year,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.

Redfin: 12% of First-Time Homebuyers Say Selling Crypto Helped Save for Down Payment

Redfin, Seattle, said one in nine first-time homebuyers (11.6%) surveyed in the fourth quarter said selling cryptocurrency had helped them save for a down payment, up from 8.8% a year ago and 4.6% two years ago.

“With extra time and a lack of exciting ways to spend money, many people began trading cryptocurrencies during the pandemic,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Some of those investments went up in smoke, but others went ‘to the moon,’ or at least rose enough to help fund a down payment on a home.”

The report is based on a Redfin-commissioned survey of 1,500 U.S. residents planning to buy or sell a home in the next 12 months, which was fielded to a representative sample of the American population and conducted by research technology company Lucid from December 10 to December 13, 2021.

The report focuses on the 215 of those 1,500 respondents who answered the question “How did you accumulate the money you need for a down payment?” which Redfin only posed to participants who indicated they were planning to buy their first home in the next year. The most common response was “saved directly from paychecks” (52%), while less common answers included “cash gift from family” (12%) and “pulled money out of a retirement fund early” (10%).