Why Colorado’s housing market looks so hot even though coronavirus is ravaging the economy
From the start, 2020 was going to be big for American Financing. The Aurora mortgage lender had a major marketing coup: a celebrity endorsement from Peyton Manning, who led the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl win in 2016.
Then the coronavirus hit.
The 400-plus employee firm was no longer sure TV commercials starring Manning would attract enough business to hire 200 more people this year. To keep existing staff, it applied for a federal relief loan and received one for more than $5 million. But then interest rates plummeted, and demand to refinance exploded. The company began hiring like crazy, and is now at 600 employees (and still hiring). It paid back its federal Paycheck Protection loan.
“I think there is a silver lining (in the pandemic). People can look to refinance to save themselves some money each month and then take that money and put it back in the economy if they want to,” said Jonathan Payne, American Financing’s vice president of sales. “Good employment with us as well as low interest rates are driving people to refinance, save money (and that’s) a good thing for the mortgage industry.”
But just as American Financing and the homeowners it helped found a way to better themselves amid a harrowing pandemic economy, another part of the mortgage industry fared much worse. The number of Coloradans who didn’t pay their mortgages in July spiked to near record levels, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Hardest hit were Federal Housing Administration loans, which are designed for low- to moderate-income households.
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