Missed mortgage payments are increasing. Recent research from Clever Real Estate shows that nearly a quarter of Americans have missed a mortgage payment already during the pandemic, and half of homeowners have said they will run out of savings in 2020, putting more pressure on homeowners to make their mortgage payment. This could signal the sign of a slow-to-recover housing market with limited availability of capital.

"On a high level, we'll likely see lenders further tightening their standards as fewer payments are coming in as a way to mitigate risk overall," Francesca Ortegren, data scientist at Clever Real Estate, tells GlobeSt.com. "This could lead to a slow-to-recover housing market as fewer people would qualify for a mortgage. At the individual borrower level, we could see more homes go into foreclosure next year as people continue to miss payments. Foreclosures can lead to a drop in value for the surrounding homes, which could bleed into the larger market if we see a huge surge in foreclosures once moratoriums are lifted across the country."

The future of mortgage payments—whether they increase or decrease—depends largely on government support. "Some of our hypotheses about mortgage payments next year depend on the passing of bills like the HEROES Act, which will extend mortgage protections," says Ortegren. "In the case that we do see an extension in protections through the majority of next year, we'll likely see people continue to defer mortgage payments. I'd expect that to increase after the New Year as people tend to spend a little more over the holiday season. If the job market recovers majorly, we could see that slow down. But, as long as people are out of jobs, we can expect forbearances to increase."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.