Coronavirus: A Lot Changed Last Week

Interest rates lowered, evictions & foreclosures got a 60-day reprieve & more

The spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus, sparked a number of changes last week as stocks continued to fall and government officials attempted to flatten the curve of potential cases, convince Americans to self-isolate in their homes as much as possible, and stave off a recession.

Here’s a synopsis of high-profile real estate changes that appeared over the last seven days:

Mortgage rates

Over the previous weekend, the Federal Reserve Board slashed short-term interest rates close to 0% – a move that could lower the cost of adjustable-rate mortgages, credit cards and other short-term debt. While it can sometimes influence 30-year mortgages, however, 30-year rates actually went slightly higher as lenders struggled to keep up with an avalanche of current owners trying to refinance their property.

Payment delays

The IRS also extended the deadline for paying income taxes. On Wednesday it announced that taxpayers had to pay their taxes on time but had three more months to submit any taxes owed. But it switched gears and, on Thursday, announced that taxes did not have to be filed for three extra months – until July 15, 2020.

Small business aid

The federal and state government announced some type of low-interest loans to help small businesses whose income has been hurt by the virus. Florida activated its Emergency Small Business Loan program – a $50M program for short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that have suffered economic injury resulting from the pandemic.

The next day, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that Florida’s small companies can apply for loans up to $2 million to offset temporary revenue losses resulting from the pandemic. Loan amounts are based on each applicant’s financial condition with repayment terms up to 30 years.

Evictions and foreclosures

All loans guaranteed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) received a 60-day reprieve from foreclosures and evictions last week in three separate announcements. On Monday, FHFA also announced help for renters: Multifamily properties with mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Owners can get mortgage forbearance in exchange for halting evictions during the forbearance period.


Check out our comprehensive list of monetary assistance and resources for those affected by COVID-19.


Source: “Coronavirus: A Lot Changed Last Week in Real Estate,” Florida Realtors