Mortgage apps jump 10 per cent
Mortgage applications jumped in the week ending April 8 according to the Mortgage Bankers’ Association. Its Market Composite Index was up 10 per cent on both an un-adjusted and seasonally-adjusted basis compared to the week earlier.
“Helped by a persistently strong job market and low rates, applications for both conventional and government home purchase loans increased last week. The purchase index was at its second highest level since May 2010. Applications to refinance also increased as the 30-year contract rate decreased to its lowest level since January 2015,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist.
The Refinance Index increased 11 per cent from the previous week to its highest level since February 2016. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8 per cent – its highest level since October 2015. The un-adjusted Purchase Index increased 9 per cent compared with the previous week and was 24 per cent higher than the same week one year ago.
Zillow boss denies trying to get realtor.com secrets
Spencer Rascoff, the CEO of Zillow, testified Wednesday that he did not hire two executives from Move Inc, operator of realtor.com, to gain access to confidential trade secrets. He told lawyers that he denied the allegations and that he would have “hung up the phone” if anything like that had been suggested by the executives during employment negotiations.
Geekwire.com reports that Move Inc., which is part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, is seeking up to $2 billion in damages, more than half the market value of Zillow.
San Francisco rules living in a box illegal
A San Francisco man who has been protesting against the city’s soaring rents by living in a cardboard box is breaking the law. Peter Berkowitz is living in the 32-square foot box in a friend’s home and paying him $400 a month and was planning to create the ‘pod homes’ for others. His stand against sky-rocketing rental payments ($3,500 average for a one-bed apartment) became a viral sensation.
However, the city’s Department of Building Inspection says the pod breaches housing, building and fire safety codes and are illegal.
“We’re concerned that Mr. Berkowitz is going out and trying to increase the number of these, knowing that this is an at-risk type of thing to do,” DBI’s legislative and public affairs manager, William Strawn told Hoodline.com, “It’s not just a matter of high rents and a matter of how people are coping with rents in San Francisco; there are fire safety realities.”