Everyone wants to know what impact the coronavirus and the government response to it will have on housing markets. While it is too early to hazard a guess, some things are becoming increasingly clear.
Already, it looks as if the U.S. is moving towards a temporary moratorium on mortgage payments. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled an emergency program which provides a two-month deferral of mortgage payments for any homeowner who claims to be facing a hardship because of the virus. The payments will be tacked on at the end of the mortgage term.
The coronavirus rescue law just enacted by Congress includes a provision which requires all firms that service federally-backed mortgages to grant a forbearance of up to 360 days for any borrowers who say they have been harmed by the coronavirus outbreak.
It is not much of a stretch to say that this virus has changed everything. Many of you may sense that the virus has undermined what you thought was still a fairly strong housing market around the country.
In truth, the so-called housing recovery since 2010 has been little more than a carefully constructed illusion. The belief in a strong housing recovery was carefully devised using a strategy of misleading information, withheld data and false impressions.