Can the housing market recover from COVID-19?
In today’s Daily Download episode, HW+ Managing Editor Brena Nath discusses whether or not COVID-19 will derail the U.S. housing market.
Like most of the news surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic, reports about the U.S. housing market have been discouraging. Year-over-year listings of homes for sale have plummeted – in the worst-hit markets like New York City, listings are down 80% compared to April 2019.
Home sales began to slow down dramatically in the last half of March, and are expected to drop even more drastically in April and May, which are usually two of the months with the highest volume of home sales. Pending home sales are off over 30%. And over 3 million homeowners have applied for mortgage payment forbearance, causing at least some concern about a large number of potential defaults at the end of the forbearance period. None of this should be surprising, under the circumstances. With almost every state in the country implementing some form of shelter-in-place order and shutting down most non-essential businesses, more than 25 million citizens filed for first-time unemployment benefits over the past four weeks.
Given all of this, anything other than bad news in the housing market would be a huge surprise. The question isn’t whether housing numbers will continue to suffer until the pandemic recedes and the economy has a chance to begin its recovery. It’s what happens after that.
Following the main story, HousingWire Digital Producer Alcynna Lloyd spotlights Michigan’s resilient housing ecosystem, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General’s report that indicates some of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers are providing borrowers with inadequate forbearance information, and Wells Fargo’s announcement that they will no longer accept applications for new HELOCs.
The Daily Download examines the most captivating articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom. Each afternoon, HousingWire provides its readers with a deeper look into the stories that are not only chronicling the biggest announcements within the housing finance industry but are also helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd.
HousingWire articles covered in this episode: