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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on July 29 released an updated FAQ document that provides temporary guidance to appraisers on several policy areas in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. The document updates guidance on the use of photos in reports for exterior-only appraisals and provides new guidance on UCC-1 financing statements and waivers for exterior-only or desktop appraisals.
The Federal Reserve will extend several of its lending facilities through the end of the year due to concerns about how quickly the U.S. economy will recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported July 28. The extensions were set to expire Sept. 30, but the Fed wants to maintain credit availability for businesses and consumers.
Commercial real estate investors anticipate net-lease properties to become generally riskier and expect cap rates to rise because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll from brokerage firm The Boulder Group, CoStar reported July 23. Forty-three percent of respondents think cap rates could rise up to 19 basis points, while 37% said they might go even higher.
The conversion of retail properties into industrial space is increasing thanks to e-commerce growth, with much of the activity occurring in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Chicago, according to research released July 23 by real estate firm CBRE. Approximately 13.8 million square feet of retail space has been converted to 15.5 million square feet of industrial space since 2017.
Bank of America, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank are among the lenders with the greatest exposure to retail borrowers as the sector continues to struggle, according a report released July 27 by data firm Real Capital Analytics, financial firm S&P Global Market Intelligence reported. The report estimated that potentially distressed retail assets totaled $29.4 billion during the first half of 2020.
The coronavirus has frozen the commercial property market as buyers and sellers disagree on what properties are now worth, but real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle is testing the market with more than $12 billion worth of apartment buildings and hoping to attract investors who otherwise would have targeted other commercial real estate, National Real Estate Investor reported July 28.
The inventory of homes for sale was 32.6% lower in July compared with the same point a year earlier, while inventory of newly listed homes was 13.4% lower during that same time period, Realtor.com reported July 30. Median home prices grew 8.5% year-over-year in July, reaching a new high of $349,000.
Forty-five percent of recent homebuyers purchased their property without ever seeing it in person — an increase from the 28% who made a sight-unseen purchase last year, real estate site Redfin reported July 30. Buyers are placing offers quickly and remotely because of competitive markets and safety restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mortgage rates declined slightly during the past week, remaining near historic lows and boosting purchase demand more than 20% compared with one year ago, Freddie Mac reported July 30 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Freddie noted that home prices are expected to remain strong heading into the fall.
The Appraisal Institute announced its registration is still open for those interested in observing the two sessions during the third quarter Board of Directors meeting on Aug. 6. The election of the 2021 vice president will occur during the morning session while a general open session will be held in the afternoon. AI professionals must register for each meeting they wish to observe.
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