Is a Housing Crisis Coming?

Dated: March 31 2020

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We are in trying times right now. Businesses, airlines, restaurants and other industries are laying off workers and reducing hours in an effort to "flatten the curve" and reduce the spread of COVID-19. 3.3 million American people have filed for first-time unemployment, an unprecidented number. With so much uncertainty with the economy, many homeowners are wondering if they will be able to continue to afford their mortgage payments. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

The government is acting quickly this time. The federal government will be providing $2.2 trillion in stimulus checks to help. People have to file their 2019 taxes and the time for filing has been extended to July 15. $350 billion of that stimulus is available to help small businesses stay afloat. The fed also has placed a moratorium on foreclosures on any loans backed by FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that will last through April. The servicers of those loans have been directed to offer forebearance or reduced payments for homeowners affected by COVID-19. All this will be closely monitored because a lack of mortgage payments could cause a liquidity crunch in the mortgage industry. 

Housing is an absolute need and is usually based on a life event or change. A couple marries, combines their belongings and buys a home together. A couple needs a bigger home because they have children or they are taking in elderly parents. An older couple downsizes after children have left home.

With all the struggles taking place in the economy, people still have to move. Housing inventory is low and there is still a demand that keeps home prices up. Even looking at history, in 3 of the past 5 recessions, home values have appreciated (CoreLogic National Home Price Index, Keeping Current Matters). 

The bottomline is the coronavirus has changed everything that was considered normal and disrupted a lot that was taken for granted.  We don't know what the impact of the coronavirus will have on the economy as we worry about the health and wellness for ourselves and our loved ones. Comparing this event to the past, housing is not the driver. Reach out to professionals in real estate and the mortgage industry if you have questions about selling and/or buying at this time.  

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Brenda Revelle-Wilson

I grew up in North Carolina. I earned my Master's degree at East Carolina University and started a career in Allied Health Sciences. I was licensed as an Audiologist and helped people to improve their....

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