Mortgage Roundup (4/15/20) – Stimulus, Liquidity & Appraisals

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, April 15. The CDC and FEMA developed a plan to reopen the nation’s economy. Meanwhile, the biggest U.S. airlines reached an agreement with the federal government on financial assistance aimed at preventing layoffs. And seed company business is booming as more Americans seek to grow their own food. 

And in mortgage and housing news …

NONBANK LENDERS: Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said regulators are “very aware of the issue” around non-bank lenders facing liquidity challenges brought on by borrowers not making mortgage payments during the coronavirus pandemic.

MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS: Low mortgage rates and a hot start to the month were enough to push new mortgage applications in March up 21.2 percent over a year ago.

STIMULUS CHECK SPENDING: More than one in four—or 28 percent—of about 1,000 Americans surveyedsaid they’ll use their check to cover rent and mortgage costs. 

LACK OF SAVINGS: Many of the millions of restaurant, hotel and retail-store workers who lost their jobs because of coronavirus shutdowns have a smaller savings cushion than in the past and will fall behind rent and other bills, amplifying the economic damage.

PRIVATE MORTGAGES: The nascent market for private U.S. mortgages is teetering on the brink of collapse as the coronavirus crisis imperils years of work to lessen the government’s role in home lending. 

APPRAISAL POSTPONEMENT: Banks will soon be able to postpone some appraisals until 120 days after a mortgage closes.

PERMITTED DELAYS: A Washington, DC regional association of realtors has recently issued a coronavirus addendum to sales contracts. The addendum allows a buyer and seller to agree in advance to extend deadlines if certain events related to the coronavirus occur. 

DEBT RELIEF: Emerging markets rushed to tap a flood of easy money from investors in recent years. That is likely to put bondholders at the forefront of negotiations in coming weeks as debt-laden governments seek relief.

DIGITAL REAL ESTATE: The coronavirus might be forcing the long-predicted digital revolution in real estate transactions.

UK MORTGAGE HOLIDAY: In the UK, one in nine mortgage holders are taking advantage of a mortgage “payment holiday” as their finances have been hit by the effects of coronavirus. Lenders have agreed that 1.2 million homeowners can delay repayments as jobs are cut and wages reduced.