UWM Super Bowl ad jabs at Quicken Loans

Forget about the Chiefs and 49ers. Last night, 100 million or so viewers got to see UWM and Quicken Loans in their battle for the top. Earlier this month, Quicken Loans signed on to be the official mortgage sponsor of the NFL. Not to be outdone, UWM puffed its chest out right back and ran a Super Bowl ad – one taking a swipe at Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage process. Come on, we didn’t really expect UWM to go gentle into that good night (game), did we?

The Detroit News is also running the ad, click here to watch it, but it’s basically a kid on a skateboard, strapped to a rocket, going nowhere.

“Playing with rockets is great, when you’re a kid. But when it’s time to get a mortgage, you quickly realize a rocket is complicated and expensive,” the commercial continues while depicting a frustrated-looking adult on their smartphone.

United Shore’s swipe comes as it looks to unseat Quicken Loans as the No. 1 overall mortgage lender in the United States. It got closer in 2019 — leaping Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to become No. 2, while more than doubling its mortgage volume to $107.7 billion compared to Quicken Loans’ record $145 billion for the year, the article reports.





Radian steps up HPI game 

UWM and Quicken Loans aren’t the only ones pushing for No. 1. Radian’s stirring things up in the arena of house price indices. The opening of Radian’s press release starts innocuous enough, and it’s great news as well: “Home prices across the United States rose 6.96 percent in 2019, the largest annual increase since 2006, according to Radian Home Price Index data announced today by Radian Group.” 

But it’s the next line that gives us pause: “Radian HPI is the earliest to release and most comprehensive measure of U.S. housing market prices and market strength.”

That’s a pretty bold statement when you look at the other HPIs out there. Other data providers used to claim they were the first HPI to market. Now it looks like Radian is attempting to take that crown. Opening shot, or a full salvo? We’re not sure yet, but it’s a fairly aggressive move.

Radian HPI also reported strong gains in major metropolitan areas. Of the five largest metros by population, the New York metro achieved a 5.5 percent rate of price increase in 2019, followed by Dallas at 4.5 percent. A closer look at the top 20 largest CBSAs shows that all had positive home price appreciation in 2019, with Miami showing the lowest gains at 2.8 percent. Of the top 20 CBSAs, Seattle, WA, registered the largest year-over-year gain, 7.6 percent.

Rising rents impede home buying, even for strong earners

It’s great that America’s top lenders have the luxury of fighting for mortgage market share during the country’s most iconic marketing opportunity. It’s also great that home prices are continuing to rise. What’s not so great is that the rising cost of rents is now preventing people from saving for a down payment for their mortgages.

A few weeks ago Up NEXT ran a story about the cost of child care, which is approaching the cost of rent. Well, now rising rents look like they’re eating away even more at affordability. 

“Despite the strong economy, the number and share of renters burdened by housing costs rose last year after a couple of years of modest improvement,” says Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, which issued this study. “And while the poorest households are most likely to face this challenge, renters earning decent incomes have driven this recent deterioration in affordability.”

How bad is it? Rental prices rose 150% between 2010 and the third quarter of 2019, the study found. 

“Rising rents are making it increasingly difficult for households to save for a down payment and become homeowners,” says Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, a research associate at the center and lead author of the new report, said in the above article in the Boston Herald. “Young, college-educated households with high incomes are really driving current rental demand.”

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