Americans have seen drastic changes to their lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as they adjust to the new normal of social distancing, stay-at-home guidelines from local authorities and work-from-home mandates from employers. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a pandemic on March 11, we’ve experienced global economic disruptions and rapid impacts on the real estate and mortgage industries.
The immediate result of these factors has been a decrease in the number of property showings, listings, inspections, appraisals and sales. Closures to county recorder offices and other offices vital to the real estate process have further exasperated these effects.
Additionally, the industry has experienced supply chain disruptions, market and rate volatility, and the lingering anxiety of a global recession. This has brought added uncertainty to the housing market, home prices, refinance incentives and portfolio retention risk. Already we’ve seen a surge in forbearance requests after a record 17+ million Americans filed for unemployment in the weeks after COVID-19 gripped the nation.
“These are unprecedented times, for the world as a whole and for the real estate and mortgage industries specifically,” said Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour. “Given Black Knight’s leadership position in the industry — and our extensive data, research and analytics capabilities — we felt compelled to assess this situation for our clients and the markets we serve.”
Assessing the Impacts of COVID-19
Leveraging its comprehensive mortgage data and proprietary analytics, Black Knight has published an extensive white paper on the key drivers of COVID-19’s impacts and the unique effects on various industry segments.
This thorough analysis explores the current state of the market and how current trends and characteristics can be used to indicate the potential impacts and challenges to housing and real estate, mortgage originations and servicing, default servicing and loss mitigation, and government and capital markets. Additionally, it details existing technology solutions that can help address many of these challenges and negative effects.
Black Knight’s years of investment and innovation in digital mortgage technology — as well as automated and remote valuation technology and eClose solutions — allow for a majority of the mortgage application, underwriting and closing processes to happen online. Likewise, solutions such as the Loss Mitigation module of its industry-leading MSP servicing system will be essential for clients systematically engaging borrowers who seek payment forbearance as well as managing a variety of loan modification options and post-forbearance workout plans.
“Black Knight moves forward in these uncertain days with an even greater sense of urgency to support our clients,” Jabbour continued. “Our commitment to them remains our top priority. The right technology partner is critical in times such as this. As our clients’ business partner, it’s essential for us to provide them both a truly holistic view of the mortgage and housing lifecycle and near real-time data and actionable intelligence for effective decision-making. Black Knight remains dedicated to being that partner for all of our clients, across the entire real estate-mortgage continuum.”
Preparing Your Business for the Impacts of COVID-19
In these uncertain times, business and market conditions are changing day to day. Companies need to be prepared with accurate information and thorough insights from a trusted leader in the mortgage industry. Those that aren’t prepared will quickly find themselves in a struggle to keep up and risk falling victim to economic impacts of this global pandemic.
Download Black Knight’s special briefing, COVID-19: Impact on the Real Estate and Mortgage Markets, for a detailed analysis on the challenges and solutions these markets will face in the coming months.
As this crisis remains a very fluid situation, Black Knight will continue to monitor the industry impact and implications and provide supplemental updates via the Vision blog, its website, and the social media platforms linked at the top and bottom of this page.