This week had some bona fide news in the mortgage and real estate space, which, as usual, was dictated by the coronavirus pandemic and its long tail. Here is the latest.
1. Extended protections for homeowners and renters
The Biden administration moved the expiration date of the national eviction and foreclosure moratoria to July 31, giving people who live places an extra month of pandemic-related protections. The extension is meant to give local authorities extra time to distribute relief funds and educate residents about their options if they’re still struggling. The administration also announced an extension of forbearance protections on federally-backed mortgages through September.
2. Black homeowners largely missed the refi boom
Persistently low mortgage rates have been a boon to homeowners, affording many an opportunity for savings through refinancing. However, Black homeowners were the least likely to benefit, according to new data. Black homeowners refinanced at lower rates than other demographics, and were more likely to come out of the pandemic behind on their mortgage payments. It’s just another way that COVID reinforced economic inequality along racial lines.
3. The workaround that lets any buyer make an all-cash offer
In the uber competitive housing market of today, cash buyers have a significant advantage by avoiding the uncertainties of financing. A new breed of mortgage companies like Accept.inc allows all buyers into that upper-hand position by making a cash offer on their behalf, and then extending financing and the house to them later. The company’s co-founder said his firm essentially acts like a rich uncle for hire.
4. How your personal data can drive the mortgage offers you see
Mortgage companies are getting in on the data farming, too. Although there are strict regulations on how they can use your personal information, many loan originators are starting to scrape your online presence for clues about what offers to target in your direction. As technology plays a bigger role in the mortgage market — along with basically everything else — this is a trend that’s only likely to expand in the future.
5. Getting a mortgage as a new mom
Going on maternity leave can complicate your ability to get a mortgage — not permanently, but while you’re not working. Getting a mortgage usually requires proof of employment, and your status as an employee may be affected while you’re on leave. Documentation about your status from your employer, as well as a guaranteed return-to-work date, are usually enough to smooth things over, but it’s still important to know that maternity leave can cause a hiccup if you’re trying to buy a house at the same time.