The main issues buyers faced last year will most likely continue on, maintaining sellers’ leg up on the market, says The Washington Post. Last year closed out with the smallest number of homes available for purchase, a whopping 40% lower compared to December 2019. Only 700,000 homes were listed for sale. And The Washington Post says to expect the same trends to continue through 2021, with some, such as historically low mortgage rates, going away. It’s the most constraining hurdles that will remain: low inventory and high prices.
But covid-19 hasn’t caused a real estate housing crisis the way the Great Recession caused millions of suddenly unemployed homeowners to burn through their cash as they fought — and ultimately fell into — foreclosure.
The Cares Act was passed. A remarkable piece of legislation, it required lenders to allow homeowners with federally-backed mortgages (by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA and USDA) to opt into no-fault forbearance. Just for asking, you could stop making your mortgage payment without leaving a seriously negative, long-lasting imprint on your credit history (or tanking your credit score).