This year we REALLY celebrated the beginning of a New Year, even without fireworks in the French Quarter.
Yes, 2020 is finally behind us. But are the real estate market conditions created in 2020 staying put despite the calendar change, or will 2021 be a year of change?
Here are 3 key areas we’re watching, plus a little bit of personal advice.
#1. A Different Kind of Uncertainty
Uncertainty hit everyone last year thanks to COVID. But the political unrest, which marked the end of the year brings in a different kind of uncertainty.
Politics aside, whenever there are major changes in U.S. politics, economic changes usually follow.
This impacts the real estate world when it comes to high level guidance on housing trends, interest rate movement and lending guidelines. The new regime also will have to address lingering COVID issues related to housing such as rent controls and foreclosures.
The bottom line is, no one knows what to expect this year. More uncertainty means a greater urgency to act now.
#2. Deferments Are Proving Tricky
We’ve begun receiving many applications from people who chose to defer mortgage payments last year.
Deferments may have helped these homeowners in the short term last year, but they’re posing problems when it comes to getting a new home loan.
If you or someone you know deferred mortgage payments, expect to have to catch them up or begin repaying them for at least 3 months if you want to qualify for a new home loan.
Don’t expect to simply pay off the balance of a deferment when you refinance or sell your home.
#3. The NOLA Housing Market
The local housing market shows no sign of slowing down.
Fewer people are listing their homes for sale due to uncertainty (as mentioned previously).
Plus, rates continue to remain at or near all-time lows.
The combination of fewer homes on the market and motivated buyers means homes are not only getting snapped up quickly, they’re going to the highest, most-qualified buyers.
Don’t look for the market to slow down anytime soon.
A Final Piece of Advice
This brings me to my final piece of advice…
It’s a lesson I’ve learned over my years in the mortgage business and it was really hammered home in 2020:
If you’re thinking about refinancing, buying a new home or purchasing investment property, don’t put it off.
Find out exactly what your loan will look like.
And take action.
No one knows what’s coming in 2021. Just like no one expected 2020 to turn out like it did.