The future of interest rates, the economy and global politics are all-the-news as summertime gets into gear.
For mortgage professionals and others in real estate, there are more pressing topics. Young homeowner movement, tech-savvy loan consumers, work-from-home trends, racial bias in appraisals, automation/AI adjustments and blockchain technology top this list:
- The rise in tech-savvy homebuyers won’t stop. “No longer just a stopgap measure, the technology that kept real estate moving during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be relevant, including desktop appraisals, online 3D tours, iBuyers, remote online notarization, online document preparation and e-signing, home inspection helpers and digital escrow/closings.” — 7 Top Tech Trends in Real Estate (Bankrate)
- Work-life balance and remote jobs continue influencing homebuyer decisions. “Roughly 6 of 10 U.S. workers who say their jobs can mainly be done from home (59 percent) are working from home all or most of the time.” This marks a decline from October 2020 (71 percent). But it’s still much higher than the 23 percent who say they tele-worked frequently before the coronavirus outbreak.” — COVID-19 Pandemic Continues to Reshape Work in America (Pew Research Center)
- Greater scrutiny over home appraisals and perceived racial bias is growing. The White House recently launched its Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) to foster a “blueprint for how all Americans can benefit fairly from the equity built through homeownership.” The task force will assess: 1) expanded use of alternatives to traditional appraisals; 2) use of value estimate ranges instead of exact amounts; 3) use of alternatives and modifications to the sales comparison approach; and 4) public sharing of aggregated historical appraisal data. — PAVE Action Plan (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
- Enhancement of Processes surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) is under a microscope for fair lending and racial bias purposes. “Differences in mortgage approval between minority and majority groups is not just down to bias, but to the fact that minority and low-income groups have less data in their credit histories. Since the inaccuracy comes from noise in the data rather than bias in the way that data is used, it cannot be fixed by making better algorithms.” Bias Isn't the Only Problem with Credit Scores -- and No, AI Can't Help (MIT Technology Review)
Keep your lending industry knowledge fresh as the home sales season progresses!