The US Real Estate Faces A Crisis As The Effects Of The Pandemic Continue To Bite

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US president Joe Biden has extended the ban on housing foreclosures up to June 30 to help renters who are struggling with the impact of the Pandemic. The foreclosures suspension for federally guaranteed loans was expected to expire at the end of March 31.

Biden extends housing foreclosure

According to data from Census Bureau, around 12% of homeowners are struggling with late mortgage payments. The White House indicated that following coordinated efforts by the Departments of Veteran Affairs, Agriculture, and Housing & Urban Development, they are extending the enrolment window to June 30 for borrowers requesting a reduction or pause of their mortgage payments. The government will also offer an extension of six months of forbearance for mortgagers who will enter forbearance before or on June 30.

According to the White House, over 10 million homeowners are behind their payments, and the government’s actions are to help keep people at their homes, following the housing affordability crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Homeowners will receive required relief during this unprecedented period of national emergency.

Zillow to acquire ShowingTime for $500 million

Despite the housing crisis, Zillow Group is planning to acquire Chicago-based real estate company ShowingTime for $500 million. ShowingTime has a network of almost one million agents in North America, and in 2020 it facilitated over 50 million showings. Around 370 Multiple Listing Services use its software, and the 225-person company equally produces market reports.

Zillow is looking to take advantage of ShowingTime’s tech for its Premier Agents venture. Interestingly the Seattle Based company will keep ShowingTime as an open platform accessible to anyone similar to its previous acquisitions including, Bridge Interactive and Dotloop. Rich Barton, Zillow’s CEO, indicated that the addition of ShowingTime to the company’s suite of real estate tech solutions is a big step. He said that it gives the company a chance to accelerating a widely accepted solution for scheduling a tour. Currently, ShowingTime Technology extends across the real estate sector, and Barton said that they plan to grow its adoption by agents to benefit customers and industry participants.

Trump’s real estate holding facing a cash crunch

Former US President Donald Trump is facing a strong threat to his real estate holdings, according to a person familiar with the matter. Interestingly, Trump’s highly profitable real estate partnership is facing pressure as the real estate and hospitality operations face reduced revenues and hefty debt mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnership, which generates most of the Trump Organisation’s revenues, owns two commercial buildings in Sixth Avenue, New York City, and downtown San Francisco.

It is Trump Empire’s single most profitable asset, and Trump Organization owns 30% interest in the buildings. Vornado Realty Trust holds the remaining 70%, and the trust’s Chairman and founder Steven Roth might be considering withholding the partnership’s cash flow according to a source familiar with the matter. In the event that happens, cash receipts for the Trump Organisation will be slashed significantly and force Trump to sell his share to Vornado at a discount.

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