Agencies Asked to Extend Pandemic Homeowner Protections, Pandemic-Driven Migration Drives Up Home Prices, and Other Appraisal News

House real estate graph showing increasing home prices

The Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee asks agencies to prolong pandemic homeowner protections. Pandemic-driven migration drives up home prices in popular cities. New home sales fall to the lowest pace in a year. Despite low rates, only 22% of homeowners refinanced their mortgages last year. Available home listings are finally starting to rise. Read on for more appraisal news and insights.

Agencies asked to extend pandemic homeowner protections

According to this recent story from MReport, “Rep. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee has sent a letter to [HUD, USDA, VA, CFPB, and FHFA] requesting that these agencies extend their moratoria on foreclosures at least until the CFPB is able to finalize and implement its pandemic recovery mortgage servicing rule.” The emergency federal foreclosure moratorium is set to end on June 30, 2021, and Waters seeks to protect homeowners from unnecessary foreclosures.

Pandemic-driven migration drives up home prices in popular destinations

According to this story from Redfin, “More than 31% of homebuyers are looking to move to another metro, with pandemic-driven migration pushing up prices in popular destinations.” Although overall homebuying demand has let up a bit recently, home prices are still rising rapidly in the most popular cities—the top five being Phoenix, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Austin, and Miami.

New home sales fall to lowest pace in a year

Data released Wednesday by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau shows that “sales of newly built, single-family homes fell to the lowest pace in a year, down 5.9% in May to a 769,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate,” according to this HousingWire story. While new home sales rose regionally in the Northeast and in the West, they were flat in the Midwest and down in the South. As pandemic-related supply-chain issues have caused new home sale prices to soar, the National Association of Home Builders calls for policymakers to take action to protect housing affordability.

Despite record low rates, 78% of homeowners passed up refinancing last year

According to a recent survey conducted by Zillow, “Fewer than a quarter of established homeowners refinanced their mortgages over the last year, even though about half of those who did say they cut their monthly payments by at least $300.” Reported reasons for not refinancing included high lender fees and simply not understanding the process. Read the full press release to learn more about why homeowners chose to refinance—or not—over the past 12 months.

Tight U.S. housing market uncoils with sellers ready to cash out

This Yahoo Finance article reports that available listings are finally starting to rise. “The number of U.S. homes for sale climbed 6.7% in early June from the same weekly period in May…the biggest increase since Covid-19 lockdowns took hold last year.” According to the article, “Prospective home sellers who sat tight as U.S. prices climbed higher and faster than ever during the pandemic are finally emerging to cash out, a step toward easing a dire shortage in the frenzied housing market.”

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