Real Estate Tech News



ZeroDown is constructing a new path to home ownership

ZeroDown is constructing a new path to home ownership

ven rich San Francisco residents can’t buy a home. Sure, if your startup just went public, you might be amongst a small class of people able to put in all-cash offers over the asking price. But most people living in the Bay Area, even those with six-figure salaries, only aspire to become homeowners. “Owning things is a pretty central idea to the American enterprise,” said Abhijeet Dwivedi, the co-founder and chief executive officer of ZeroDown, a new startup hoping to make home ownership in the Bay Area a reality for more people by combining the security of ownership with the flexibility of renting. “Anyone who has gotten rich in the last 240 years has done so by owning things.”
Quicken Loans to pay $32.5 million to settle FHA lending case

Quicken Loans to pay $32.5 million to settle FHA lending case

Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. will pay $32.5 million to settle a federal lawsuit tied to Federal Housing Administration lending standards, according to a statement released Friday by the mediator in the case. The settlement comes with no admission of wrongdoing. The statement says the settlement consists of $25.5 million to make the government whole for losses and $7 million in interest, according to the statement from the mediator, former federal Judge Gerald Rosen. "We have always been proud of our growing participation in the FHA program. Every day teachers, police officers, factory workers and so many others who are the backbone of our communities, utilize Quicken Loans for this very important loan program," Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner said in a written statement. "Now that this dispute is behind us, we look forward to cultivating and expanding our relationship with both FHA and HUD so we can increase Americans' access to home financing and homeownership."
Seattle will become Salesforce HQ2 via $15.7B Tableau deal, as Benioff gushes about talent pool

Seattle will become Salesforce HQ2 via $15.7B Tableau deal, as Benioff gushes about talent pool

With its $15.7 billion acquisition of Tableau Software, announced Monday morning, Salesforce isn’t just making a bet on a single company, or on the business intelligence and data visualization market. It’s betting on Seattle as a source of future hiring and growth, escalating the competition for tech talent in the region. “Seattle will become our second headquarters of Salesforce,” said Marc Benioff, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO, in his prepared remarks on a conference call discussing the deal. “It’s going to be our HQ2, if you will.” That was a thinly veiled reference to Amazon, one of the tech companies that Salesforce will be competing against as it looks to expand its operations. Salesforce already has a sizable presence in the Seattle area, employing more than 1,000 people in the area as one of more than 100 tech companies from the Bay Area and other regions that have established engineering centers in the region.
Flooding situation dire at Dardanelle

Flooding situation dire at Dardanelle

Crews were making a “last ditch effort” on Saturday to save low-lying parts of a small Arkansas city from floodwaters pouring through a breached levee, and authorities downstream were warning people to leave a neighborhood that sits across the swollen river from the state capital. Further north in Iowa, a flood barrier along the swollen Mississippi River failed Saturday, flooding four to six blocks of downtown Burlington, a city of about 25,000 people that is 170 miles southeast of Des Moines.
WeWork Is in Talks for $2.75 Billion Credit Line

WeWork Is in Talks for $2.75 Billion Credit Line

WeWork Cos. is in talks with banks about arranging a $2.75 billion credit line ahead of a planned initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is leading the potential financing, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Representatives for the bank and WeWork declined to comment. WeWork, which rents office space and desks to workers around the world, said in April it had filed paperwork confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO. It could be the year’s biggest offering after Uber Technologies Inc.\ WeWork’s largest backers include SoftBank Group Corp., which earlier this year decided against taking a controlling stake.
Trump administration in early stages of possible $100B offering of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac: Exclusive

Trump administration in early stages of possible $100B offering of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac: Exclusive

FOX Business’ Charlie Gasparino on how the White House is trying to release Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from federal control. The Trump administration is in the nascent stages planning what people inside the government say could be history’s largest public offering as it looks to release the mortgage agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from government control, FOX Business Network has learned. The size of the public offering could easily exceed $100 billion, Trump administration officials concede, and it largely depends on the size and scope of the mortgage outfits’ mandate when the government finally releases them from government-controlled “conservatorship,” which was imposed on the agencies during the 2008 financial crisis.
First American Financial exposed 16 years’ worth of mortgage paperwork, including bank accounts

First American Financial exposed 16 years’ worth of mortgage paperwork, including bank accounts

Brian Krebs has revealed that a company that primarily works in real estate insurance has left as many as 885 million records exposed on its website — going back to 2003. First American Financial Corp’s big mistake should have been obvious to anybody who would have given a second thought to security. If you had the URL for any document on its website, you could simply add or subtract one to a number in the URL to access another document. Given the type of business this company is in, those records include incredibly private information. Krebs spoke with Ben Shoval, who brought the exposure to his attention and who says the documents potentially included “Social Security numbers, drivers licenses, account statements, and even internal corporate documents if you’re a small business.”
U.S. Opens Antitrust Probe of Real Estate Brokerage Industry

U.S. Opens Antitrust Probe of Real Estate Brokerage Industry

U.S. antitrust officials are investigating potentially anti-competitive practices in the residential real estate brokerage business, with a focus on compensation to brokers and restrictions on their access to listings. The probe was detailed in a civil investigative demand, which is akin to a subpoena, issued by the Justice Department to CoreLogic Inc., which provides real estate data to government agencies, lenders and other housing-market participants. The U.S. residential real estate industry has long faced criticism that it stifles competition among brokerages, protecting agent commissions that are higher than those paid by sellers in many other countries. In 2008, the Justice Department reached a settlement with the National Association of Realtors, a trade group, that was designed to lower commissions paid by consumers by opening the industry to internet-based brokers.
The Latest: PM May resigns, won’t lead Britain out of EU

The Latest: PM May resigns, won’t lead Britain out of EU

The Latest on Brexit and Britain's political crisis (all times local): 8:15 p.m. Theresa May has ended her failed three-year quest to lead Britain out of the European Union, announcing that she will step down as Conservative Party leader June 7 and triggering a contest to choose a new prime minister who will try to complete Brexit. May says Friday in a speech outside 10 Downing St. in London, that "I have done my best" before acknowledging that it was not good enough. She struggled to contain her emotions and her voice broke as she expressed "enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love."
Existing-home sales fall for the second straight month in April

Existing-home sales fall for the second straight month in April

The numbers: Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 5.19 million rate in April, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That was 0.4% lower than March and 4.4% lower than a year ago. What happened: Sales of previously-owned homes have been choppy recently; following a big surge in February, they retreated in March. For April, the MarketWatch consensus was for a 5.35 million selling pace, not a decline. The median selling price in April was $267,300, a 3.6% annual increase. At the current pace of sales, it would take 4.2 months to exhaust available supply, well below the 6-month threshold that’s traditionally been considered a marker of a balanced market. Properties stayed on the market for an average of 24 days in April.
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