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Our Priorities: COVID-19

COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted every American for more than a year.

Housing has felt the brunt of that impact. Whether it’s a homeowner, a housing provider, a renter or a person or family looking to buy their first home, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on what we knew – or thought we knew – about the housing market.

This page offers the latest on how the new normal will look like when it comes to housing.

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COVID 19: News & Resources
Easing first-time homebuyers’ fears

Buying your first home is exciting, but it also can be a little scary. Going from renter to homeowner is a big step, one you will not want to take without preparation and assistance. Several…

Easing first-time homebuyers’ fears

Buying your first home is exciting, but it also can be a little scary. Going from renter to homeowner is a big step, one you will not want to take without preparation and assistance. Several issues should be addressed early in the process, such as financing and whether you will work with a REALTOR®. A recent survey by the National Association of REALTORS® revealed that 88 percent of buyers reported using an agent to purchase their home.

Most buyers use agents who are referred by friends or family members.Jason Gutierrez with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Don Johnson REALTORS® has spent more than a decade helping first-time homebuyers in the San Antonio area navigate the process. Gutierrez said 80 percent of his clients are first-time homebuyers. I recently talked to him about the local real estate market and how he helps his clients prepare to become homeowners.

The January jobs report was disappointing, could that hurt the housing market?

January jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released late last week showed a small 0.4% rise in employment. While the rise was lower than many experts had anticipated, it does represent a change…

The January jobs report was disappointing, could that hurt the housing market?

January jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released late last week showed a small 0.4% rise in employment. While the rise was lower than many experts had anticipated, it does represent a change in direction from December’s net job losses.

While the number of workers on temporary layoff dropped in January, there was little change in the 3.5 million Americans who have been laid off permanently. In addition, four million Americans are still long-term unemployed, jobless for 27 weeks or more. Industry experts and analysts largely agree that moderate jobs growth like this reflects just how driven the economic recovery is by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The question now, as widespread vaccination efforts get underway, is whether we will see a steady and accelerating recovery through the remainder of the year, or if we will be plagued with small increases and decreases in unemployment until herd immunity is achieved.

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Rental Assistance Program: Good news for tenants and possibly landlords

The recently enacted $2.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021(the Act), which combined a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill as part of a larger $1.4 trillion omnibus spending and appropriations bill for the 2021 federal fiscal…

Rental Assistance Program: Good news for tenants and possibly landlords

The recently enacted $2.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021(the Act), which combined a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill as part of a larger $1.4 trillion omnibus spending and appropriations bill for the 2021 federal fiscal year, contains key provisions that directly impact the hard-hit real estate industry.

In particular, Section 501 of Subtitle A of Title V of Division N of the Act establishes the “Emergency Rental Assistance program” (ERA), which appropriates $25 billion through the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to provide eligible households with direct financial housing assistance. The enactment of the ERA provides landlords, tenants, borrowers, potential buyers, financial institutions and small businesses with a necessary lifeline to weather the ongoing economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.



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Landlords pandemic protocols range from strict to laisse-faire

Brooke Bayer ran through her mental list of must-haves as she searched this fall for an apartment to share with her boyfriend. They both needed office space. Their building had to welcome Hazel, her miniature…

Landlords pandemic protocols range from strict to laisse-faire

Brooke Bayer ran through her mental list of must-haves as she searched this fall for an apartment to share with her boyfriend. They both needed office space. Their building had to welcome Hazel, her miniature schnauzer. And their new place had to be serious about pandemic safety protocols.

Policies at Southstar Lofts in Center City, where she lived until last month, had made her feel as safe as she could feel while COVID-19 cases skyrocketed and she called a multifamily building home. The apartment has increased cleaning in shared spaces, asked residents not to ride elevators with people from different households, and removed chairs from the lobby to discourage lingering, among other policies. Signs remind everyone that masks are mandatory, and people should keep their distance.

An avalanche of evictions looms in N.J. Renters and landlords say it’s only going to get worse.

…Although tenants can’t be locked out for non-payment, the moratoria do not abate or cancel out their rent, and non-paying tenants fall deeper in debt every first of the month. The analysis by Stout estimated…

An avalanche of evictions looms in N.J. Renters and landlords say it’s only going to get worse.

...Although tenants can’t be locked out for non-payment, the moratoria do not abate or cancel out their rent, and non-paying tenants fall deeper in debt every first of the month.

The analysis by Stout estimated the total amount of unpaid rent through January in New Jersey could be as much as $832 million.

Advocates note that the money is owed largely by tenants who fell behind in the first place because they had lost their jobs and much or all of their incomes.

“Just because a moratorium ends doesn’t mean everybody’s got their job back, and a great many people are going to have trouble paying their rent going forward,” said Matt Shapiro, president of the New Jersey Tenants Organization...

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Unpaid landlords say they can’t pay their bills –or get new tenants

A moratorium on evictions is forcing small landlords on Long Island to run up credit card balances, take out loans and default on their own bills. Sheriffs on the Island haven’t carried out residential evictions…

Unpaid landlords say they can’t pay their bills –or get new tenants

A moratorium on evictions is forcing small landlords on Long Island to run up credit card balances, take out loans and default on their own bills.

Sheriffs on the Island haven't carried out residential evictions since March, when the state began curtailing court activity in the early days of COVID-19.

With the virus straining many industries, thousands of Long Islanders have lost jobs and are struggling with basic expenses like rent. The government passed policies and bolstered benefits designed to protect renters. Only a fraction of that relief has reached landlords, and some small property owners are reeling...

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More than $100 million sitting unspent in program meant to help pay rent, utilities

A program designed to quickly pay rent and utility bills for people financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic has struggled to get money out the door. The HOPE Grant program was announced by N.C. Governor…

More than $100 million sitting unspent in program meant to help pay rent, utilities

A program designed to quickly pay rent and utility bills for people financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic has struggled to get money out the door.

The HOPE Grant program was announced by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper in October. By giving money to qualified applicants to pay rent, organizers hoped to help people struggling financially stay in this homes and also help landlords who depend on rental income.

On Thursday, Cooper and State Budget Director Charlie Perusse touted the program as a success in a press conference unveiling the governor’s budget proposal for this year.

“The HOPE Program that the Governor mentioned is a leader in the country. We were actually out in front of the federal government on this,” Perusse said of the program.

“The program received about $200 million in requests and we currently have gotten out about $125 million of that.”

But the program has spent less than half that amount, according to the agency administering the program...



[social_warfare]
What Landlords Should Know about the COVID-19 Rent Relief Act

There has been extensive press coverage about the need for an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic, but little about the effect that moratorium has on residential landlords. Congress attempted to help landlords indirectly in…

What Landlords Should Know about the COVID-19 Rent Relief Act

There has been extensive press coverage about the need for an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic, but little about the effect that moratorium has on residential landlords.

Congress attempted to help landlords indirectly in the original CARES Act, by making money available for rent relief. However, there wasn’t sufficient money, tenants were at a loss where to go to ask for such relief, and some tenants had no incentive to even ask for relief. The $900 billion December 2020 COVID-19 relief bill includes $25 billion for the Emergency Rental Arrears Program (ERAP). The new law allows landlords to apply for the tenant, if necessary. Both the tenant and landlord will benefit from this new rent relief law.

When then-President Trump signed the new COVID-19 relief bill into law, the Department of Treasury took quick action on the rent relief money.

Within days, a deadline of January 12, 2021, was set for eligible state and local governments to apply for money. An eligible local government is any such entity with a population of at least 200,000...



[social_warfare]
Mortgage Tailwinds and Headwinds

The COVID-19 pandemic is a historically unique event for all sectors. There’s no playbook, and it’s clear that only some of our experience through the housing crisis will help us to navigate today’s challenges. We’ve…

Mortgage Tailwinds and Headwinds

The COVID-19 pandemic is a historically unique event for all sectors. There’s no playbook, and it’s clear that only some of our experience through the housing crisis will help us to navigate today’s challenges. We’ve had to get comfortable with the wait-and-see strategy, ready to pivot on the latest regulatory guidance, jobs report, or stay-at-home order. As we head into 2021, there’s one segment of the housing market that remains an important bellwether even in these uncertain times: the first-time homebuyer market.

First-time homebuyers are important because they take a housing unit from the market, but don’t give one back, creating pure growth in homeownership. Over the past five years, the first-time homebuyer segment has grown tremendously. However, they have not been immune to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To best support the health of this important segment of the housing market in the New Year, it’s helpful to have an idea of what first-time homebuyers have going for—and against—them.



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10 Facts for Millennials During Their 2021 Homeownership Journey

Today’s average Millennial with aspirations of owning a home would do well not to give up. We’re talking about 25 to 38 year-olds who are first-time home shoppers and feel priced-out of the current market.…

10 Facts for Millennials During Their 2021 Homeownership Journey

Today’s average Millennial with aspirations of owning a home would do well not to give up. We’re talking about 25 to 38 year-olds who are first-time home shoppers and feel priced-out of the current market.

Compiled by Benton Capital Mortgage Lending, here are 10 solid housing and mortgage facts about the 2021 market that are encouraging to read as many Millennials stick to their homeownership hopes and dreams and stay ahead of the pack.



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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

COVID-19 Assistance: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)     TweetShare [...]Read More...

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

COVID-19 Assistance: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)  

 

Housing & Urban Development

COVID-19 Assistance: Housing & Urban Development (HUD)     TweetShare [...]Read More...

Housing & Urban Development

COVID-19 Assistance: Housing & Urban Development (HUD)  

 

Federal Housing Finance Agency

COVID-19 Assistance: Federal Housing Finance Agency     TweetShare [...]Read More...

Federal Housing Finance Agency

COVID-19 Assistance: Federal Housing Finance Agency  

 

Federal Student Aid

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Federal Student Aid

COVID-19 Assistance: Federal Student Aid  

 

National Association of REALTORS®

COVID-19 Assistance: National Association of REALTORS®     TweetShare [...]Read More...

National Association of REALTORS®

COVID-19 Assistance: National Association of REALTORS®