Real Estate & Economic Insights for the week ending May 15, 2020

Individuals and businesses continue to take account of the financial damage caused by COVID-19 as jobless claims continue to rise bringing the total to more than 36 million. However, with more counties and states starting the reopening process and Congress considering another round of stimulus, there may be cause for optimism.

The Real Estate Market is still trying to find its footing with home buyer traffic well below pre-pandemic levels and commercial business expansion virtually non-existent. Opinions on the future of real estate are mixed with many experts differing on how the market will perform for the remainder of 2020.


During this past week we found the following articles related to real estate and the economy that are useful in highlighting both where things stand and where we are headed

Weekly jobless claims total 2.981 million, bringing coronavirus tally to 36.5 million

By Jeff Cox, CNBC

“New filings for unemployment claims totaled just shy of 3 million for the most recent reporting period, a number that while still high declined for the sixth straight week, according to Labor Department figures Thursday.

The total 2.981 million new claims for unemployment insurance filed last week brought the coronavirus crisis total to nearly 36.5 million, by far the biggest loss in U.S. history. The count announced last week count was revised up by 7,000 to 3.176 million, putting the weekly decline at 195,000 between the two most recent reports.”

Real Estate Outlook: The Rental Housing Crisis Has Arrived

By Chris Westfall, Forbes

“If you’re struggling to make that happen, you are not alone. According to Edison Research, over 62% of renters are concerned about being able to make the rent. Welcome to the newest symptom of the coronavirus: the 2020 Rental Housing Crisis.

With over 43 million renters nationwide, the rental market makes up nearly 40% of all housing in the USA, where at least 20 million jobs were lost in April. While out-of-work renters scramble to make their payments, landlords are wondering how to service an avalanche of debt and unpaid taxes.”

How badly are SoFla retailers and hotels suffering from Covid-19?

By Keith Larsen, TRD Miami

“As summer approaches, South Florida’s business climate is still feeling the chill from government restrictions — a vital but painful measure, according to state authorities.

Hotels and restaurants across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are laying off thousands of employees, and some companies are even declaring bankruptcy, as the service economy struggles under state shut-down orders.”

Mortgage delinquencies caused by the coronavirus will exceed Great Recession levels, according to this forecast

By Jacob Passy, MarketWatch

“Nearly 4 million homeowners are in the midst of forbearance plans, representing 7.54% of all mortgages, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, an industry trade group. When it comes to loans backed by Ginnie Mae, that figure increases to nearly 11% — these include Federal Housing Administration and Veteran Affairs loans.

Stimulus legislation signed by President Donald Trump allows any borrower with a federally-backed mortgageto request forbearance for up to 12 months, meaning the homeowner can skip or make reduced payments during that time.”

Mortgage applications from buyers jump 11%, signaling the spring housing market may not be a total loss

“Buyer demand kept mortgage application in the positive last week, up 0.3% compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. 

Applications to purchase a home rose for the fourth straight week, jumping a decisive 11%. They were still 10% lower compared with the same week one year ago but that annual loss has been shrinking markedly. Last week, purchase volume was down 19% annually, and one month ago it was down 35%.”

South Florida Real Estate

To learn more about the residential and commercial real estate market in Palm Beach County as well as throughout South Florida, please visit the  Real Estate Market Reports page on our web site.

Every month it is updated with the latest published reports on the housing market in Palm Beach, Martin, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties as well as commercial real estate information which is provided by data providers and local market experts.