DS News

DS News January 2021

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 20 of 99

19 A PARADIGM SHIFT FOR REAL ESTATE e COVID-19 crisis changed every aspect of American life. e property/finan- cial-data analysts at CoreLogic examined how, specifically, the pandemic affected real estate and the housing economy in 2020 and how the industry's response to sudden challenges is likely to shape the coming year. In its white paper entitled, "Modernizing the Housing Economy," CoreLogic addressed the myriad ways the health crisis has been "a catalyst for change." "e pandemic is challenging the real estate, lending, and insurance industries to set new standards on safety, as well as to effec- tively manage the property ecosystem—to think differently and embrace the disruption as an opportunity for change," the authors said. "While many of the ripple effects of COVID-19 have been, and continue to be, devastating for so many, it has also demanded a paradigm shift for the better within the real estate, lending, and insurance spaces." e authors go on to conclude that many technological advancements made in response to the crisis will be "permanent industry changes, ultimately reshaping the way the real estate ecosystem conducts business." For example, national health guidelines related to COVID-19 made digital homebuy- ing solutions essential. Video volume and 3D model usage were up 141% and 76% respectively compared to 2019, CoreLogic reported, and its own PropertyAs- sist has completed more than 10,000 virtual appraisals since April. Researchers say to ex- pect these investments to continue to grow in 2021 with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases. CoreLogic's study showed that, despite a blip in April, purchase mortgages in 2020 rose to their highest levels in 15 years—and pur- chase and refinancing originations are at the highest level ever. However, the researchers noted, with persistently high unemployment, serious delinquencies are expected to rise 4x by November 2021, which would account for more than 2 million homeowners falling into delinquency. "With the looming end to forbearance periods, we should see a continued investment in loan modification solutions," noted the authors, who go on to detail challenges—in- cluding safely showing homes on the market, verifying employment and income (with so many working remotely), safely appraising homes, addressing "hidden" Homeowners As- sociation (HOA) and Condo Owners Associ- ation (COA) liens, and insurance inspecting in a pandemic—and offer technological solutions through its new homebuying/selling tools. STUDY SHOWS DISPARITIES AMONG OLDER HOUSEHOLDS Households aged 65 and over are the fast- est-growing demographic, according to data in the "State of the Nation's Housing" report published by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS). e new report found the number of households aged 65 and over increased at an annual rate of nearly one million between 2014 and 2019, increasing this demographic's percentage share from 24% to 26%. In com- parison, households under age 45 grew by a total of one million over the same period. e report forecasted that the U.S. population in the age 75 and over bracket will increase from 23 million to over 34 million people over the next decade, a 48% increase. is older demographic has also made its presence known in the housing market. While the 2019 national homeownership rate was 64.6%, the rate among older households was 78.6%, with the number of older homeowners rising by more than 2.5 million between 2016 and 2019. On the rental side of housing, adults ages 55 and over were responsible for roughly two-thirds of rental housing growth from 2004 to 2019 and now constitutes more than 13.2 million, or 30%, of all renter households. However, the report also found that not all older households were enjoying the benefits of homeownership equally. "Racial/ethnic disparities in homeownership rates persist among older households," stated Jennifer Molinsky, JCHS Senior Research Associate, in a blog posting. "Over the last decade, the homeownership gap between white and Black older households has widened, climbing from 16 percentage points in 2009 to over 19 percentage points in 2016, where it has remained, according to the Current Population Surveys. e white-Hispanic ownership gap is nearly as large and has not changed substantially over the decade. e gap between white and Asian older adults has narrowed somewhat since 2009 but still exceeds 13 percentage points." Molinsky added that older homeowners are also carrying mortgage debt, doubling between 1998 and 2019 from 21% to 42%. Among homeowners aged 80 and over, 27% carried mortgage debt in 2019, compared with only 3% 20 years earlier. "Even before the pandemic, a record num- ber of older households were cost-burdened," Molinsky said. In 2019, the number of older adult households paying more than a third of their income for housing reached an all-time high of 10.2 million. Fully half this group was severely burdened, spending more than 50% of their income on housing. Cost burdens are higher at older ages, for renters, and for owners with mortgages."

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