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FHFA Increases Conforming Loan Limits for 2021

Due to rising home prices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday that it would raise loan limits for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In most of the country, the 2021 maximum conforming loan limit for single-family properties will be $548,250. That marks a 7.4% increase from last year’s limit of $510,400. The FHFA’s loan limits define the maximum amount that Fannie and Freddie can finance for a one-unit singl

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10 Mortgage Lenders with the Highest Volume

More Americans were seeking a mortgage to purchase a home in the third quarter. Lenders issued about 1.05 million purchase loans in the third quarter, up 28% from the second quarter and 25% from a year ago, according to real estate data firm ATTOM Data Solutions. That represents the highest level since the third quarter of 2006. The metros seeing the largest quarterly increases in purchase mortgage originations in the third quarter were: S

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10 Opportunity Zones that Saw Home Prices Nearly Double

Property owners in the majority of opportunity zones saw home prices climb significantly over the past year, according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions. Seventy-four percent of qualified opportunity zones saw median home prices rise from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020. Further, median home prices climbed by more than 10% in more than half of the 1,737 designated zones analyzed by ATTOM Data Solutions. The fede

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Where to Find the Top New-Home Markets

More buyers are being drawn to new-home construction during the pandemic. Construction of single-family homes last month soared to the highest level since the spring of 2007. New-home construction is up 8.6% from a year ago, the Commerce Department reported last week. The top performing new-home markets in October were Raleigh. N.C.; Denver; and Jacksonville, Fla., according to Zonda’s New Home Pending Sales Index, which reflects the number

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Many Americans Plan Move to Reduce Costs

Nearly half of more than 2,000 Americans recently surveyed say they plan to move soon to reduce living expenses, according to a new survey from LendingTree. Forty-six percent of respondents say they plan to relocate within the next year. The pandemic has motivated more Americans to consider a move. Sixty-four percent of remote workers say they are considering a move. Many consumers say the COVID-19 outbreak also has led them to change their l

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Home Buyers Increasingly Seeking Friendly Neighbors

As people spend more time at home, freed from long commutes and constant activity, they are discovering their priorities are shifting. Home shoppers are increasingly placing more weight on the neighborhood and how neighborly it feels since the pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reports. Real estate professionals told WSJ they’ve noticed that buyers are changing the way they shop for homes, and neighbors have emerged as a critical f

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7 Suburbs with the Most Affordable Big Homes

Extra square footage and outdoor space are in demand, and that’s increasingly prompting home buyers to target the suburbs in their house hunts. Where can their money stretch the farthest? “Home buyers these days are looking for more space—for right now, in the midst of a pandemic when we’re spending an incredible amount of time at home, but also in the post-pandemic future, when life returns to normal,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.c

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TIP: Add Greenery to Reduce Stress, Studies Show

House plants are growing in importance in the pandemic, touted for bringing in cleaner air and absorbing carbon dioxide and for boosting productivity, improving mental health, and making rooms look more inviting, Forbes.com reports. “Plant therapy isn’t just a buzzword—it’s the real thing,” Melanie Berliet, general manager for The Spruce, a lifestyle, home, and food site, told Forbes.com. “Research has shown that th

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Why 5G Matters to Real Estate

The emergence of superfast 5G wireless could potentially widen buyers’ home searches and accelerate growth in real estate technology, panelists said Wednesday at a session called “How 5G Will Impact Where and How We Live and Work,” presented by the iOi Summit, during the virtual 2020 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. 5G is at least 100 times faster than 4G and promises to remove latency issues—that is, the delay in response

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Mortgage Rates Sink to All-Time Low of 2.72%

Home buyers and refinancing homeowners likely have never locked in this low of rate before for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. For the 13th time this year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage set a record low, averaging 2.72% this week, according to Freddie Mac’s records, which date back to 1971. The previous all-time low was set the week of Nov. 5, when 30-year rates averaged 2.78%. “Weaker consumer spending data, which accounts for the maj

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