ATLANTA - The real estate market has been robust for years. But, today we have record unemployment, and a foreclosure moratorium expiring at the end of the year.
Despite unemployment and uncertainty, though, nothing like we saw in 2008 and 2009 is expected when that pandemic moratorium lifts. In fact, even as we approach it, the housing market is still so strong it’s catching buyers and those refinancing off-guard.
Josh Moffitt founded Silverton Mortgage and has been around the Atlanta real estate market for a long time.
"Right now, the real estate market is like the day before Thanksgiving. It’s raining. There’s four major sporting events in town, and everybody’s trying to get to the airport.
He's also the president of Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia.
"It might take you a little longer to get your loan, get approved, get the appraisal, get the inspection. All of these things."
Kelly Riedinger, a certified residential appraiser, agrees. The record-low interest rates and lack of housing inventory have her busier than she’s been in nearly 15 years.
"It can be as long as two weeks from the day you call me before I can even schedule you. I’m not the only one in the process who is backed up. There are closing attorneys, and you also have title companies."
This is now. But, what about after the new year when the foreclosure moratorium is lifted? Well, it’s unclear how many people got into the program out of need or out of security."
"If the number is seven percent right now that is in delinquent forbearance status, is it really four percent, is it really two percent? Or, is it truly seven (percent)? If it’s on the high end, you could see some properties come to market."
But Josh Moffitt says, still, there’s no need for panic. Today’s rocky economy is much different than the one in 2008 when the real estate market collapsed.
There is quality underwriting. This time there are no no-income loans. Lending is based on strong fundamentals. Last time, real estate was the reason for the poor economy. That’s not true today. It’s a pandemic.
Homes are appreciating which means less likely to be underwater. And, finally, the record-low rates are helping to fuel it. And that hasn’t gone away.
So if you are in the market for a refi or a new home, don’t dilly dally when you reach out to realtors or appraisers. The 30 days ’til closing option is the real challenge these days. Kelly Liedinger says clients have lost a much wanted home, waiting to get the process lined up.
"When your appraiser calls, you schedule ASAP."
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