Home prices are held down by COVID-19 in big cities while climbing sharply in less crowded areas

The housing market has been booming during the COVID-19 crisis, but America’s cities are taking it on the chin.

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And while big cities like New York and San Francisco, in particular, are struggling with falling prices, values in less densely populated cities such as Phoenix and Charlotte, North Carolina, are holding up fairly well, a new analysis shows.

The study underscores that the spread of the virus and the trend toward remote work are driving the housing market, and may continue to restrain price growth in very crowded urban areas while boosting gains in more suburban areas for some time.

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Since the virus began to take a significant toll on public health and the economy in March, many Americans have been fleeing cities for suburban and rural areas both to minimize the risk

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Areas at Highest Risk of a Foreclosure Crisis

Americans could face as many as 1.4 million foreclosures if homeowners remain unable to make their mortgage payments. That is according to a recent report from Realtor.com.

As was reported earlier this week, the number of FHA loans in forbearance remains higher than the share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (and, based on said report, those also are increasing at a higher rate). Realtor.com points out that FHA loans generally are given to first-time, minority, and lower-income homeowners. Thus, those groups are most in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. Realtor.com editor Clare Trapasso reported that some 17.4% of the roughly 8 million FHA mortgages were delinquent in August (About 11% of those were more than 90 days delinquent), and that these loans, whose down payments are sometimes as low as 3.5% made up about 15% of all  first-mortgage servicing market loans (37.1 million).

“FHA loans are the

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