Mortgage and real estate news this week: Forbearance extension and top places for pandemic moves

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The coronavirus pandemic continues to touch pretty much every corner of our lives, but in the realm of mortgages and real estate, that influence comes with a few silver linings. Here are the things to know from this week.

1. Another forbearance extension

Making good on his campaign promises, federal agencies under President Biden have extended forbearance protections for homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage obligations as a result of the pandemic. The latest update gives borrowers an extra three months to pause their payments if their finances are still distressed.

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2. People are on the move

The pandemic has also shifted people’s housing preferences, and has led to some changes in where people want to live. Texas, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina saw big surges, while New York, California and Illinois waved goodbye to more residents.

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3. Today’s low mortgage rates could fuel tomorrow’s housing shortages

Especially in cities where housing is already in short supply, low mortgage rates might make current homeowners less likely to move, and that could mean fewer homes for sale in the future. This effect won’t be distributed evenly around the country, however. It’s likely to be most acute in cities including New York and San Francisco.

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4. You should refinance

We’ve said it so many times at this point, but with mortgage rates still super low, it’s a great opportunity to refinance and boost your savings.

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5. Everything you need to know about mortgage-backed securities

This term may sound very financial inside-baseball-y, but it’s really not so complicated. They’re basically like bonds that pay interest to their holders, and they’re made up of many individual mortgages. They help stabilize the mortgage market and keep rates lower for borrowers.

Read the story.

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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