Mortgage Roundup (3/12/20) – Coronavirus, Coronavirus & Coronavirus

The U.S. suspends all travel from Europe to slow spread of coronavirus. The NBA suspends its season after a player tests positive for the coronavirus. More losses expected in the U.S. stock market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

And in mortgage news …

America’s largest mortgage lenders are urging their borrowers to get in touch as soon as possible if making home loan payments becomes difficult because of the coronavirus health emergency.

Amid coronavirus turmoil, experts weigh in on the biggest threats to housing this political season.

The Federal Reserve’s rate cuts likely kickstarted an extensive policy strategy for curbing the coronavirus’s economic impact, Bank of America said Wednesday. Bank of America lists the Fed’s four main tools for combating the economic fallout from the coronavirus. 

Plunging mortgage rates can help a flagging economy, but some economists say housing is juicing the economy less than it used to

Mortgage applications increased 55.4 percent last week from a week earlier, driven by overwhelming demand to refinance, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. More than 76 percent of those applications came from homeowners seeking to refinance.

The largest purchase that most people ever make – a house – prevents many of them from saving more money for retirement. A survey of U.S. homeowners found that 77 percent say their mortgage “negatively impacts their ability save money for retirement.”

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Chief Kathy Kraninger was grilled by Senate Democrats about whether her agency was doing enough to cushion consumers from the economic blow of the Coronavirus. 

Google searches for “Should I buy a house” are at an all-time high. 

Down payment and loan assistance programs can help renters make the leap into home ownership, but there are many requirements and the process can take time.  

A good primer for understanding government-sponsored agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their role in purchasing large quantities of home loans to keep money circulating throughout the home mortgage economy.