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Younger Generations Become Pandemic Homebuyers: Report

Originally published on May 26, 2021, by George Ratiu for Realtor.com.

Pandemic Homebuyers Are Happy With Their Homes

  • One-in-four recent homeowners purchased because of the pandemic
  • Majority of recent buyers bid at or above the asking price
  • 70% of recent homebuyers feel good about purchasing decision
  • 75% of recent homebuyers are happy with their homes
  • Over 70% of recent homebuyers are happy with their communities and neighborhoods
  • Three-in-four recent buyers bought a home that fits their needs
  • Over half of recent buyers found homes suited for remote work

The past year has seen a noticeable seesaw in real estate activity, as markets traversed the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Housing started in 2020 with a significant shortage of new homes and an inventory of existing ones. As 4.7 million millennials turned 30 and embraced homeownership, the demand for homes was driving prices higher at a healthy clip. The mid-March 2020 quarantines put a stop to most transactions, leading to a sharp drop in activity until June. As the lockdowns were lifted, Americans reacted to the trifecta of social distancing, remote work, and dropping mortgage rates by rushing out of downtowns and into suburbs, as well as smaller cities and towns across the country. People focused on communities with a higher quality of life, larger homes, and a more affordable cost of living.

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FHFA Extends COVID-19 Forbearance Deadline, Foreclosure, REO Eviction Moratoriums

Originally published by the  Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on February 25, 2021.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced on February 25 that it is extending until June 30 the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate-owned evictions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The agency also announced that borrowers with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac can apply for another three-month extension of COVID-19 forbearance.

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Essential Worker Status May Help Appraisers Get Early Vaccination

The Appraisal Institute on Jan. 20 advised its professionals to check with state and local government agencies where they reside to see if the real estate valuation profession falls into an essential workforce category that will give them early access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
 
Some state and local governments are scheduling vaccinations based on essential workforce categories that were put in place when the stay-at-home orders and other restrictions were initially enacted. Individuals identified as being in an essential workforce category, or as being in a public facing occupation or profession are often placed into a “phase” or “tier” that would give them earlier access to a vaccine.
 
Inclusion in the essential workforce category is what permitted most appraisers to continue providing services while state and local stay-at-home and other restrictions were in place; some areas still have those orders in place. 
 
The “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response Version 4.0,” published by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, identifies workers who support “residential and commercial real estate services, including settlement services” as well as those supporting “consumer and commercial lending” as being “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.”  
 
If a state references the CISA guidance or if it identifies public facing occupations and professions, it is possible that appraisers will have earlier access to a vaccine. Additionally, appraisers should check to see what documentation is required that identifies them as being part of an essential workforce category when scheduling a time to be vaccinated or at the time of vaccination.

Nearly Half of Office Tenants Likely to Reduce Square Footage, BOMA Survey Reveals

By David Kitai

A study of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on commercial real estate, commissioned by the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), has found that office users face widespread economic challenges but many remain convinced that in-person workspaces are crucial to their operations. They noted, as well, that landlords and property managers have successfully adapted to new needs during the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Could Increase Mortgage Rates and Housing Inventory: Economists

By Jacob Passy

When the coronavirus pandemic first reached U.S. shores earlier this year, worries abounded about how it would affect the country’s housing market.

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Get the Latest News and Updates on How COVID-19 Affects Appraisers

AI will continue to compile vital information about this ever-changing environment. On our Coronavirus Updates page, you’ll continue to find news and updates from government-sponsored enterprises and agencies. You’ll also find all of AI’s resources that are relevant to the pandemic including: AI Answers, webinars, ANO articles, guides, summaries and emails.

Please visit the Coronavirus Updates page on AI’s website.

Economic Recovery Ending, Another Slowdown Expected: JLL

The U.S. economy expanded in May and June, but by some measures it already is slowing down, according to data released July 20 by real estate firm JLL. Advance retail sales rose 7.5% between May and June, and industrial production jumped 5.4% during the same period, but consumer sentiment declined in July over fears of increasing COVID-19 cases.

Click here to read more.

Federal Reserve Expects Recession Despite Initial Optimism

By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa

Policymakers at the Federal Reserve, after some initial optimism that the Covid-19 slump would be deep but confined to the second quarter of this year, now seem braced for a more prolonged recession marked by high unemployment and a rising risk of corporate bankruptcies.

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North Carolina Phase 2 Extended Three Weeks; Statewide Requirement for Face Coverings Added

Governor Roy Cooper announced yesterday that as trends move in the wrong direction, North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 for three more weeks. Executive Order 147 also requires face coverings in public and at various business settings where individuals cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet from others.

Construction sites are specifically included:

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US Economy Expected to Begin Recovery in Q3: ABA Forecast

The U.S. economy will experience about a 6% contraction this year, but will begin to recover from a severe second-quarter downturn in the third quarter, according to the latest forecast of the American Bankers Association’s Economic Advisory Committee.

While the group, made up of 16 chief economists from some of the North America’s largest banks, is unanimous that the economy will expand in the third quarter, there are a wide range of views as to the damage caused by the COVID-19 shock. Four committee members believe the economy will shrink less than 5% in 2020 while just as many see a greater than 8% contraction. The committee members were divided on when they expect economic output to recover to the pre-pandemic level, with the largest number of committee members forecasting it will happen in 2022.

Click here to read more.

AI Webinar - Is it Too Early to Evaluate Pandemic Impact on Real Estate Valuation?

The Appraisal Institute has assembled a stellar lineup of appraisers from the Top 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas to help investors, developers, brokers, and other industry stakeholders understand initial buyer and seller reaction to COVID-19.

Residential real estate appraisers from across the country will summarize initial observations and identify considerations that appraisers will evaluate in the near and long term. We will also discuss trends in rural markets, appraiser reaction to policy changes of the GSEs, FHA and VA, and the dynamics with employee relocation appraisals, which require forecasting.

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AI ANSWERS: Weekly Updates from the World's Leading Valuation Authority

Now available!  Last week's AI Answers features a discussion with Lyle Radke, director of collateral policy at Fannie Mae. We received information on a range of issues, including a partnership between AI and Fannie Mae on diversity in the appraisal profession, the strong performance of appraisers in the COVID-19 pandemic, and what's ahead for Fannie Mae for the remainder of the year.  

Listen to the Conversation

AI ANSWERS: Weekly Updates from the World's Leading Valuation Authority

Now available!  This week's AI Answers features a discussion with Lyle Radke, director of collateral policy at Fannie Mae. We received information on a range of issues, including a partnership between AI and Fannie Mae on diversity in the appraisal profession, the strong performance of appraisers in the COVID-19 pandemic, and what's ahead for Fannie Mae for the remainder of the year.

Listen to the conversation.

Fannie Allows Collateral Underwriter Instead of Field Reviews

By Phil Hall

Fannie Mae has issued a Lender Letter to its single-family sellers that updated the temporary policies enacted on March 31 in response to the COVID-19 crisis while reaffirming a key tenet regarding borrower income requirements.

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‘Uncertainties’ in Valuations Worry CRE Investors: Survey

By Dean Boerner

As public equities-laden pension funds reel from massive hits leveled by stock market volatility this year, commercial real estate will likely continue growing in importance for institutional investors in the long term, experts say.

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ECOA Valuations Rule Updated to Address Coronavirus

Creditors have flexibility regarding when they must provide appraisals to mortgage applicants, according to an updated Q&A on the Equal Credit Opportunity Act Valuations Rule released April 29 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under ordinary circumstance, creditors are required to provide appraisals promptly upon completion or three business days prior to consummation of a transaction.

Read the Rule Here

NC Auditor’s Report on NCDOT

Click here to view the audit report prepared by the NC State Auditor of NCDOT.

Second Round of Small Business Funding Approved

President Trump on April 24 signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, bipartisan legislation that provides $320 billion in additional funding for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Small Business Administration started accepting applications April 27, and already has approved more than 100,000 loans.

Read more here.

Credit Unions Allow Appraisals to be Delayed 4 Months

Federal banking regulators last week moved to allow banks to delay getting an appraisal on a property for as many as 120 days after a mortgage closes, and now, credit unions can do the same thing.

In order to “allow credit unions to expeditiously extend liquidity to creditworthy households and businesses in light of recent strains on the U.S. economy as a result of the National Emergency declared in connection with coronavirus disease,” the National Credit Union Administration will allow credit unions to postpone obtaining an appraisal until four months after a mortgage closes.

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Mecklenburg County Transitions to State Order as Local Stay at Home Restrictions Time Out

Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and the six county towns, have agreed to follow the State of North Carolina’s Stay at Home Order starting April 30.

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio announced the agreement to the Board of County Commissioners at its public policy meeting Tuesday afternoon, one day before the county’s current order was set to expire.

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