US mortgage balances to register negative growth in 2020 due to COVID-19

A rise in delinquency rates from out of work consumers, less demand for house buying and tighter mortgage restrictions will lead to the US market shrinking in 2020, according to GlobalData. The data analytics company forecasts -0.9% growth in mortgage balances for 2020, compared to the previous 3%. Consumers being unable and unwilling to view prospective houses will also have an impact on reducing demand for new purchases.

Resham Karira, Retail Banking Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “We expect to see approvals for loans tightening across the board, as banks’ liquidity will become stretched. Similarly, consumers will be increasingly wary about taking on extra liabilities due to the increased economic uncertainty.”

This is also reflected in GlobalData’s forecasts for credit card balances. It expects credit card transactions to increase, due to a decline in cash usage, however, overall balances will be hampered by a decline in overall consumer spending. GlobalData has revised down its credit card balances forecasts to -3.2% growth in 2020, from 5.5% previously.

Alternatively, retail deposits are expected to benefit as a result of the risk aversion.

Karira adds: “Retail deposits are forecast to benefit from a flight to safety in 2020, and the move away from cash holdings. However, due to the Federal Reserve rate cut, savers will see little to no returns after inflation.”

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