Real Estate Rundown November 2020

November 10, 2020

Photo by Scott Webb via Unsplash

Mortgage Rates May Stay Low Through the End of 2020 and Beyond

Federal Reserve policies have kept mortgage rates low throughout the year, but several other economic trends suggest this may continue for months or years to come. A recent article on Fox Business highlighted four reasons the mortgage industry may continue to flourish under low rates thru Q4. 

Consumer debt is shrinking while bank deposits are increasing. These two trends are related—as people continue working on their debt, they’re also focusing more on building up their savings account. Together, this may help increase credit scores and give banks more liquidity for loans. Additionally, the FHFA’s plan for an adverse market fee has been delayed from September 1 to December 1, extending deadlines for folks planning to save through refinancing. Finally, the Federal Reserve has emphasized its commitment to keeping rates low. While this doesn’t directly affect conventional rates, many banks can adjust their plans around decisions coming down from the Fed.

Altogether, this favorable mortgage climate could mean a strong finish for the year, especially for loan officers and mortgage banks who act accordingly and get their messaging to qualified consumers in their regions. 

Will These Trends from Madison Avenue Affect Other Business Hubs?

The number of employees expected to return to their offices by the end of 2020 is lower today than it was in August—a drop from 26 percent to just 15 percent. Experts are now considering what type of environment and amenities workers will need to continue their full-time work from home routines. While many people have started to look toward suburban homes as a solution, other industries may soon see shifts in consumer behavior—particularly the home improvement and home furnishing industries. 

“If [...] working from home in any capacity becomes the norm, employees will certainly be looking to create more permanent workspaces in their homes,” according to a recent article published in AdAge. While the article primarily discusses employer-sponsored benefits to offset the shift to 100 percent remote work, the trends and forecasts still point to a bigger picture for consumers in the coming months: finding and creating a comfortable home office. 

Now Could be Best Time to List for Anyone Already Considering a Move

This year has proven to be a seller’s market, but it’s unclear just how long that trend may last. Some financial analysts are concerned about a possible “tsunami of foreclosures” in the months to come. As a result, these experts suggest folks who had plans to move or downsize seriously consider changing their timeline if they haven’t already. 

Thus far, we’ve seen a noticeable decrease in the number of houses on the market. This has led to more competition among buyers and more aggressive bidding wars benefitting sellers. However, the economic impacts of high unemployment have slowly chipped away at some housing stability. While many homeowners are inching closer to foreclosure, some professionals are concerned about the number of houses that may soon enter the market all at once—this could have some big impacts on housing prices around the U.S. (this could prove to be an excellent time for realtors to reconnect with any clients who’ve expressed interest in moving soon!)

Housing Market Impacts to Expect After the Election

Presidential elections have historically introduced a new strain on the housing market, regardless of the outcome. This year is no different, and many experts are bracing themselves for a shift in the months following the election. What makes 2020 so unique is how unpredictable the year has already been: Record-low mortgage rates, significantly lower housing stock, and the national shift to work-from-home conditions have made it difficult to predict what’s on the horizon

While economic considerations and consumer trends around a major election are typically short-lived, some experts predict this year may have a lasting effect on consumer confidence and plans. 

How the Title Industry is Managing Safe Digital Transactions During the Pandemic

Protecting identities is a chief concern among top title companies as nearly all transactions and business have shifted online. It’s no easy feat to verify identity without ever meeting in person, and many digital title companies have had to rely more and more on encrypted communication as nearly every step of the process has shifted to 100% remote. Rather than using several different programs to piecemeal a property closing, companies have found more success with enterprise software that safely manages everything from document organization to signature collection. 

The MReport laid out an excellent description of the end-to-end experience customers can now expect. While the article gives a great layout of the necessary features for cybersecurity in issuing titles, it does leave us all wondering how businesses can continue personalizing the experience when working with new customers. As digital title companies pave the way to a more efficient closing (or so we hope), there may be a big opportunity for companies who can still foster a human connection in the process. 

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