Mortgage and real estate news this week: Avoiding the foreclosure cliff and Q2 trends

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This week we continue to explore what the spring will bring for homebuyers and how the coronavirus recovery might affect current homeowners. These prevailing trends remain key to understanding the current mortgage and real estate markets.

1. CFPB doesn’t want forbearance to end in foreclosure

More than 2.5 million homeowners have mortgages in forbearance currently, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is determined to get lenders to give them a way out of it that doesn’t involve being forced out of their homes. The regulator issued guidance to institutions on Thursday about proactive steps they’ll need to take in order to ward off a “tidal wave” of foreclosures.

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2. Spring housing outlook

It promises to be a busy spring homebuying season with low inventory boosting competition and pushing up prices. Meanwhile, the pandemic migration to less-dense areas near urban cores seems poised to continue even as the economy recovers and vaccines allow more people to get back to a sense of pre-COVID normality.

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3. Second-quarter mortgage forecast

Rates are likely to stay on their upward path over the next few months, and that will likely result in fewer refinances and more of the mortgage market being dominated by purchase activity. Fortunately for buyers, interest rates remain low by historical standards, but for those who refinanced or purchased a new home recently, the trend is erasing opportunities for savings through refinancing.

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4. What to make of solar home requirements

More states are enacting requirements for new buildings to be solar-ready or at least solar-equipped. It’s not the only way to reach green energy goals, but it does seem to be an increasingly popular one. Here’s what it means for homebuyers and builders.

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5. Rental eviction ban extended

The Biden administration extended a ban on rental evictions through the end of June. The ban has been in place for months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s unclear if there will be a wave of evictions once it is lifted. Renters are not covered by the CFPB’s guidance for homeowners in forbearance to avoid foreclosure.

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Written by
Zach Wichter
Mortgage reporter
Zach Wichter is a mortgage reporter at Bankrate. He previously worked on the Business desk at The New York Times where he won a Loeb Award for breaking news, and covered aviation for The Points Guy.
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