As Foreclosurepedia predicted several months ago, the Biden Administration has pushed out the government-backed or guaranteed mortgage foreclosure and forbearance moratoria out until 30 June 2021. This covers roughly 70% of all single family home mortgages out there. The impacted number eligible for relief stands at roughly 13.7 million homeowners. This leaves 30% — roughly 5.9 million — homeowners out in the cold. So, at least through the July 4th Holiday, current volumes are anticipated to remain the same if not drop even more. One thing in which the Biden Administration did not address was the moratoria with respect to evicting renters. So, how does this play out with respect to the ability to survive as a small business? The reality is that the odds are all stacked against those whom do not rapidly diversify.
Take, for example, simply the cost of materials. Lumber, which Foreclosurepedia has reported upon multiple times both before and during COVID, is through the roof. OSB is at all time highs as the Wall Street Journal just reported on,
Lumber futures have climbed 47% over the past three weeks, to within a few dollars of records set in September. Lumber for March delivery ended trading Friday at $982.10 per thousand board feet, more than twice the price a year earlier. Records have been set across species, products and grades, according to pricing service Random Lengths. It has never cost more to buy oriented strand board, known as OSB and used for walls, Southern yellow pine, which is favored for fences and decks, or ponderosa pine, which is popular in cabinetry and interior trim. Many engineered wood products used in new construction, such as I-joists, are in short supply, and mills are backlogged with orders well into March, the pricing service said. Last week, its Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite price rose to $966 per thousand board feet, exceeding the $955 high set in September.
Fuel prices are skyrocketing and coupled with the fact that oil just hit over $60 a barrel, the prices are not going to fall again anytime soon. Probably the most important thing, though, is the abysmal roll out of the COVID vaccine by both the Trump and Biden Administrations. To that point, if we continue at our current trend in the US, it would take 7 years to simply vaccinate folks with the current formula. And that is the issue I want to address. One of the largest problems I foresee is that the fast tracking of mutations — take for example the South African variant which is resistant to the AstraZeneca vaccine — which will need to be addressed, long term. And to that point, the Industry needs to begin to contemplate whether the role of Essential Worker is going to continue being used and if so, what kind of financial support will be forthcoming to address this new environment.
We pick up this topic in this weekend’s Foreclosurepedia Podcast.