How Does the Eviction and Foreclosure Freeze Extended Into 2021 Affect Home Prices?

The COVID-19 pandemic is inescapable, particularly if you’re a homeowner, landlord or realtor in Maricopa County, AZ. Over the last 11 months, the housing market has been thrown into chaos as millions of Americans have lost their employment during nationwide quarantines. To address this problem, Congress passed the CARES Act on March 27, 2020. Read on to learn how the CARES Act’s eviction and foreclosure freeze affects home prices.


The CARES Act provides that, during the moratorium period, no federally-backed mortgage servicer can move forward with foreclosure proceedings, seek a foreclosure judgment of sale or execute a foreclosure sale or eviction. There is also a mortgage forbearance available for up to 360 days. The CARES Act was recently extended into 2021, protecting homeowners and renters from losing their homes during the global pandemic.

The Federal Reserve also reduced interest rates to a range between 0 and 0.25 percent, which in turn drove mortgage rates down.

How the foreclosure freeze is affecting home prices

As you can imagine, the foreclosure freeze means that there are fewer distressed properties available to purchase. For real estate investors, that means there won’t be new properties to purchase until the foreclosure freeze is over, so if your portfolio primarily relies on foreclosure sales, you’ll probably need to diversify to stay afloat.

The CARES Act does not apply to abandoned or vacant properties, however, so those are still available. If you’re in the position to buy a new home, however, now is one of the best times possible. Because of the lower federal interest rates, people who may have had trouble getting financing or affording a mortgage can afford them now. Since many people are out of work, with no sign of the pandemic abating anytime soon, home prices are falling. It’s currently a buyer’s market—but there are significantly fewer buyers ready to take the plunge.

Things to keep in mind

Although the pool of interested and willing buyers has shrunk over the last year, it is still possible to sell properties. Many families who have spent the last year working and going to school from home are now looking for larger spaces to spread out. Unfortunately, this only applies to families where the parents have been able to retain their jobs—a rapidly declining percentage of the population.

Renters, too, are negatively affected by these trends. Those who have lost their jobs may not be evicted right away, but their opportunities to save money for down payments and build their credit to qualify for mortgages are dwindling, particularly because the eviction moratorium doesn’t forgive the amount they owe—it simply accrues until it must be paid back, when the moratorium ends.

If you’re in a position to buy a new home, now is the time to act. Get in touch with Ellen White Real Estate, your local Maricopa County, AZ real estate agency, today to discuss potential properties. We look forward to helping you find the right home for your family!

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