Top Quicken Loans partner rebrands as digital lender

Mortgage broker SD Capital Funding, a subsidiary ofLemonBrew Technologies Corp. headquartered in Iselin, NJ, announced it is rebranding as LemonBrew Lending to reflectthe company’s transformation into a digital mortgage lender.

LemonBrew Lending plans to expand to all 50 states by the end of 2020, according to a company statement. Yet in “sticking to its roots,” it will continue to use the SD Capital Funding trade name to serve clients locally in the New Jersey market.

“We are excited to bring SD Capital Funding’s core” to LemonBrew Lending’s digital offering as it grows into a national brand, said Jason Doshi, President of LemonBrew Lending. “The rebranding is much deeper than a cool name and new logo. It’s a true alignment of our vision and goal to use technology to empower home buyers and bring transparency” to the lending process.

SD Capital has organically expanded its presence since its launch as a mortgage broker in 2009, and currently operates in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Earlier in 2020, SD Capital earned the Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS), Top Partner Award for 2019, becoming the #1 partner in the Quicken Loans network of more than 7,000 partners.

“SD Capital Funding has built their business the right way, with a scalable process, genuine culture,” and client focus, said Austin Niemiec, Executive Vice President of QLMS, now “pacing to have a significantly bigger year in 2020.”

The LemonBrew Lending roadmap includes platform integrations with LemonBrew Abstract LLC, which provides title insurance, title search and settlement services and LemonBrew Real Estate LLC, a real estate brokerage, the other two subsidiaries owned by LemonBrew Technologies Corp.

The platform integrations enable LemonBrew services users, both homebuyers and sellers, to have an integrated experience that includes direct access to local, real estate agents, or mortgage financing, as needed, while avoiding multiple applications.

Besides the New Jersey location, LemonBrew Lending will operate several offices throughout the country and “is aggressively expanding” its loan origination contact center in Charlotte, NC, the fintech said.

LemonBrew Lending will join the LemonBrew ecosystem to “bring to life our full-service real estate platform that streamlines the real estate process from start to finish,” said Reno Heine, CEO of LemonBrew Technologies.

Cherry Creek integrates insurance marketplace tool

Independent mortgage lender Cherry Creek Mortgage Company, Inc. of Greenwood Village, Colo., has teamed up with fintech Covered Digital Insurance Marketplace, Inc., (CIS) to introduce an integrated mortgage insurance sales solution.

Through the partnership, CCMC’s homeowner and homebuyer customers can compare quote options from over 25 top national and regional carriers, and find the right price “in just minutes,” the company said.

The system automatically delivers the required documents to Cherry Creek for the loan closing process. It also offers digital features such as Chat with an Agent, Schedule a Call and Call Me Now, enabling customers to speak with CIS certified insurance agents during the loan purchase or refinancing process.

“Shopping for insurance can be difficult and time-consuming,” said CCMC CEO and President Jeff May, who states that CCMC is making the home buying process easier for customers by eliminating extra steps “with an easy to use, integrated platform.”

In four weeks, the CIS application programming interface implemented into the lender’s proprietary borrower portal, provided the data integration to support both new purchase and refinance applications. Customers now can use the borrower portal to receive quotes, request to talk with an agent, review coverage/limits, bundle policies, and complete their purchase remotely.

“It all began when Cherry Creek Mortgage Company expressed an interest in helping customers shop insurance during the mortgage process,” said Ross Diedrich, CEO and Co-Founder of CIS. “We offered a solution to expedite and simplify insurance shopping digitally. CCMC recognizes the importance of long-term customer relationships,” and removing another obstacle to closing helps retention.

Redfin: 47% of listings find buyers in just two weeks

Homebuyer demand is strong, at 30% above pre-pandemic levels, That, coupled with tight supply and historically low mortgage rates in mid-June, are continuing to fuel homebuying competition, which is leading to a significant recovery in pending sales, according to Redfin’s latest weekly market report.

During the week ending June 21, pending sales wereonly 3% lower than the same week in 2019. Completed home sales fell 12% “but are expected to catch up in late July or early August as pending sales close,” the report notes.

Year-over-year, new listings were down 9%, marking “a major improvement from the low point” of down 49% in mid-April. New listings have been selling fast in June with 47% of these homes going off market within two weeks, “the fastest rate since Redfin started measuring this data in 2012.”

Consequently, the number of homes for sale is continuing to shrink, bringing the active inventory of homes for sale down 25% compared to a week earlier, and down 26% from a year ago. As a result, price growth for newly listed homes continued to rise, up 10% from a year ago.

“While we’ve seen a strong v-shaped recovery in homebuyer demand, mortgage applications and pending sales, lack of supply remains the biggest impediment to home sales growth,” said Redfin lead economist, Taylor Marr. “Though we have seen strong weekly improvements in new listings coming on the market, there aren’t enough new listings to satisfy demand, creating more competition and pushing prices higher.”

The increasing supply-demand imbalance is challenging both homebuyers and agents. Redfin agents in Arizona, Massachusetts and Oklahoma report competition for homes is at least as intense as it was before Covid-19 and especially strong for entry-level, single-family homes.

A Redfin Oklahoma City agent reported, “homes in the $100,000 to $175,000 price range are zooming off the market,” some in hours or days, others take just one weekend.

If competition always was there, “what has changed is there are far fewer homes to choose from now,” said a Redfin agent based in Oakland, CA, “buyers are feeling it,” and losing hope.

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