What’s next for housing in 2021?
As we look to 2021, we remember that this year the housing market has continued to remain a bright spot in the economy, although other areas continue to struggle amid stay-at-home orders and economic closures.
COVID-19 rocked the economy in 2020. In fact, this year seemed to prove anything is possible. From wildfires to hurricanes, pandemic to deadly hornets, and a deeply divisive political campaign season that has resulted in record voter turnout, 2020 has done everything but follow its original predictions.
2020 has started a new decade, and at the end of last year, forecasters and economists saw the biggest trends being the growth of mergers and acquisitions, an expansion of the brokerage community, and an increase in fintech.
Many experts, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, have pondered the possibilities of a recession, saying it is absolutely a possibility. But they could never have guessed that the recession would be due to COVID-19.
Fannie Mae said housing will help fuel economic growth in 2020, while Freddie Mac said mortgage rates will stay low, and that has certainly been true.
Now economists are focused on 2021 and forecasts are harder than ever to make. What will happen with COVID-19? Will we have a vaccine? How will the government at the state and federal levels deal with the virus and the economy over the next few months or even the next year?
And these questions overshadow every forecast as economists place their warnings next to every forecast, warning that they are based on certain COVID-19 assumptions. Put simply, for some sectors of the economy and even the housing industry, the best response forecasters can commit to is the equivalent of an emoji shrug.
However, other areas are clearer. The HousingWire editorial team spoke with economists and professionals to determine the next step for the mortgage, secondary, title, services, real estate and fintech sectors of the housing industry.
2020 saw impressive technological changes as the industry struggled to stay open during stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Meanwhile, low interest rates have kept home sales at record levels.
Duty officers have worked to keep homeowners from foreclosure during a period of unprecedented layoffs as job losses hit a record 18.1 million in April, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics . Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and repairmen have forbearance plans in place to help mitigate the losses. However, as these forbearance programs end in 2021, the future remains uncertain. Job losses continue to decline significantly, but many of those jobs have not returned, leading some experts to question foreclosure rates in 2021.
As we look to project the year ahead, HousingWire’s editorial team details key projections for the year ahead for each sector of the housing industry. We will be rolling out each of these sections throughout the month of January. Click on the following links to read them:
After 2020 IPOs, 2021 could be the year of MSR
The secondary market comes to the rescue … once again
The changing role of the notary in mortgage title
Repairers expected to keep foreclosures low in 2021
Don’t expect home sales to slow in 2021
What fintech does your business need in 2021?
To read the full December and January issue of HousingWire Magazine, Click here.