Unemployment, Credit Changes May Impact Valley Housing Market

By Angela Gonzales | Phoenix Business Journal

As the Phoenix housing market begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, another type of infection could hurt long-term demand.

“We need to watch how the credit infection infects the housing market today,” Jim Belfiore, founder of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting in Phoenix, told homebuilders in a recent webinar.

Last week, the Arizona Department of Economic Security issued $519 million in state unemployment insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. An additional $95.5 million was issued to state unemployment claimants on May 18, with the number expected to grow as additional claimants file certifications.

Payments follow the launch of the pandemic assistance program, with 77,063 claims filed last week, according to DES.

“If unemployment rises further, as it’s expected to, more people are missing their rent and mortgage payments and credit card delinquencies are rising,” Belfiore said during the May 14 webinar. “We’re gonna have a bigger infection on our hands. It’s gonna infect long term the housing demand.”

It’s now time to start monitoring foreclosures, he said, adding that the effects will start later this year and into next year.

Read More (subscriber content)