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Headed for a ‘Foreclosure Surge’

This has been a year full of unexpected developments and questions with no easy answers. As we enter the home stretch of 2020, many are speculating what the final months of the year will hold. A panel of real estate experts forecast what they anticipate for the final months of 2020, including a "substantial increase in foreclosures, short sales, and bank-owned properties" and more distressed property sales "as homeowners fall behind on their mortgages."

The Real Estate Council for Forbes comprises senior-level executives in the industry, who, according to the economic-news outlet, "are selected for the council based on the depth and diversity of experience in the real estate industry."

The foreclosure surge "will happen toward the end of the year and the beginning of next year," said Lex Levinrad, a representative of The Distressed Real Estate Institute, "as banks start foreclosing on delinquent mortgages."

The 15 panelists proceeded to discuss with Forbes this and other trends they expect to see in the latter half of this year.

The housing demand will remain robust, said member Gary Lanham, "as millennials and baby boomers power through to keep the economy moving."

And, existing home sales will return to early 2019 levels, panelists foretold.

"White-hot summer activity due to pent-up demand will work its way through the system and pandemic-inflicted economic challenges will come home to roost," said Craig Cheatham of The Realty Alliance.

Americans will probably see the continuance of refinance demand, the panel predicted, adding that "ongoing Covid-19 fears will force mortgage originators to shift most of their process to being fully digital."

"This means that getting and closing on a mortgage will finally start to become more of an instant experience for consumers, mirroring other industries like groceries, prepared meals, transportation, and even medical care," said  States Title's Max Simkoff.

In fact, several of Forbes' predictions are related to technology and increasing remote business, such as the rise in virtual tours and other implementations that will reduce human interaction.

"We’ll see the real estate space increasingly implement tools like keyless entry systems, voice-activated appliances, etcetera, to minimize anything face-to-face or anything that requires physical touch," said Vered Schwarz of Guesty.

"This also includes using automated messaging solutions to send emails noting amenities in-property, check-in instructions and more."

The panel also highlighted the much reported recent trend of homeowners choosing rural/suburban dwelling over urban living, in light of COVID-related remote working.

"Right now, homeowners are adapting to a new lifestyle and realizing what doesn't work in their current home," said Jennifer Anderson of Anderson Coastal Group. "The global shift toward remote work—and lack of commute—may cause homebuyers to reconsider suburban and even rural living. They’ll also desire more square footage and outdoor space, which is more readily available and affordable in suburban and rural areas."

The full list of observances and expectations can be read here.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others.
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