U.S. Housing Market Update: How Did Agents, Lenders and Startups Respond to the Pandemic?

Near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomvest released a research report on the state of the U.S. housing market. In particular, we were interested in understanding the potential impacts of the pandemic on the real estate sector, the “health” of the pre-pandemic housing market, and the downstream effects of the pandemic on real estate technology companies. In that post, I argued that the housing market was actually quite strong, especially compared to the period immediately preceding the Great Recession. However, the impact of lockdowns and uncertainty around the broader U.S. economy had many prognosticators fearing mass foreclosures and rapid home price depreciation.

Fast forward sixteen months and we are in the midst of an incredible housing boom — home prices are at an all-time high and mortgage origination exceeded $4.3T in 2020. The total value of the housing market reached $36.0 trillion in the first quarter of 2021, 41% percent higher than the pre-crisis peak in 2006. Today we’re excited to release an update to the Thomvest Housing Report which includes data through Q2 2021 and attempts to quantify what has been a record-breaking year in U.S. real estate. The full report is accessible here, and I’ve included several highlights below.

In March 2020, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included sweeping borrower protections. This included a ban on foreclosures, a legal right to mortgage forbearance and a suspension of late fees or penalties imposed on borrowers for missed (Read more...)