Dear MCAR member,

Please register today for MCAR's Legal Update presented by Gov Hutchinson on July 14, details below.

Please read the latest announcements and updates from the California Department of Real Estate and California Association of REALTORS®.

Be safe and have a great weekend everyone!

Please be advised that the Department of Real Estate (DRE) recently updated the following publications its  website :
Provides an overview of home loan modifications and where to find free foreclosure avoidance counseling.
Provides information about how to obtain and maintain a California Real Estate License, a Prepaid Rental Listing Service License, and a Mortgage Loan Originator License Endorsement.
Loan Modification Self-Help Guide  #RE 21 (Rev. 6/20)
A step by step guide to doing your own loan modification.
For a complete list of publications, please visit the  Publications  page on DRE’s website and for real-time updates, follow us on Facebook  and  Twitter .
C.A.R. Updates FAQs on Paycheck Protection Program
Following significant updates to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), C.A.R. updated its FAQs and released new step-by-step application instructions for PPP loan forgiveness. See our FAQs on  SBA Loans for Agents  and  SBA Loans for Brokers  for more information.
C.A.R. Sponsoring Ballot Initiative to Provide Housing Relief
The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is sponsoring The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax Act, a ballot initiative to provide seniors living anywhere in the state access to housing relief. Often, seniors have family members living in different counties, and current law burdens seniors who want to move closer to family. This Act will allow homeowners 55 years or older to transfer their property tax rate anywhere in the state, regardless of the value of their home. This will help seniors find a more suitable home without an increase in their property tax rate and it also opens up these homes for young families.
Learn more about The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax Act  here . For questions or to receive a copy of a toolkit with resources on how you can share information about the initiative, please contact .
Home Improvement Spending Rises Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Homeowners are requesting personal loans for home improvement above rates prior to the pandemic, a new study from LendingTree shows. Requests for home improvement personal loans rose by 7.8% in the first week of June compared to a year prior. About one-third of those applicants said the pandemic influenced their decision.
Home remodels appear to be split between emergency home repairs or appliance replacements (which prompted 25% of owners to update) and remodeling or upgrading homes (27%), according to the LendingTree survey, based on responses from about 1,200 consumers.
Update on Coronavirus Market Impacts
As California entered its second month of reopening under phase 2, the recovery is proceeding at a cautious pace. While the rebound in the economy is uneven, the housing market continues to exhibit strength and remains one of the most promising sectors, poised to lead the economy forward. Despite home sales declining more than 30 percent in both April and May, the surge in recent market activity fueled by record low mortgage rates suggest that the market will recover some ground in the coming months.  
C.A.R. Congratulates California REALTORS® on Making RealTrends List
Last week, RealTrends published its list of top ranked REALTORS®, teams and brokerages. C.A.R. is proud to have so many of its members on this list of top residential real estate professionals and teams across the nation. Check out the rankings of California members here in this sortable table.
Buyers Aren’t Reading the Paperwork
More than three in four homeowners said they didn’t completely understand the terms of their mortgage, according to a survey by, a home remodeling website. Thirty percent of homeowners admit to reading none or only some of their mortgage documents and say they have regretted not reading them entirely. Fifty-seven percent of homeowners say their family advised them through the mortgage process, not a lender or financial planner.
Everything You Need to Know About Leasing, Tenants and Rental Payments
California was the first state to issue shelter in place orders back in mid-March. It was also the first state where local authorities announced moratoriums on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic. While these measures have generated angst and questions throughout the rental community, Hemlane and C.A.R. Business Products’ recent webinar can help alleviate concerns and answer your questions. Listen to the recording and learn about COVID-19’s impact on leasing and property management.
We at C.A.R. hope that you and yours are safe and healthy. Before we get started on this week’s news, please take a moment to make sure you’re up to date on what’s new from the past week:
  • Following significant updates to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), we updated our FAQs and released new step-by-step application instructions for PPP loan forgiveness. See our FAQs on SBA Loans for Agents and SBA Loans for Brokers for more information.
  • On Tuesday, June 16, C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer moderated a discussion with five such REALTORS® who have maintained a high output through this crisis and have advice for members of the REALTOR® community looking to do the same. If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out the recording of the event attendees have called “superb,” “motivational” and “the best Zoom so far” here.
  • Based on the success of this event, we're planning two more panels for later this year. Stay tuned!
  • Take a look at our upcoming slate of free webinars that will help you better your business during the pandemic.

In This Issue:
  • The Economy & Your Finances: Updates to PPP loan forgiveness
  • The Market & Industry: Fewer buyers and sellers withdrawing, fewer borrowers in forbearance
  • Around the State: All Californians must wear masks, hospitalizations hit all-time high
  • Health Check-Up: More young adults testing positive

The Economy & Your Finances: Updates to PPP loan forgiveness

Last week, the Small Business Administration and the Department of the Treasury unveiled  significant updates to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)  by releasing new application forms for loan forgiveness. Borrowers without employees can now attribute 100% of their loan proceeds as forgivable “owner compensation” if they elect for a 24-week covered period. The SBA also released a new  EZ Forgiveness Application  form that can be used by borrowers who are self-employed or have no employees as well as by many borrowers who have employees. For more information, see our FAQs on  SBA Loans for Agents  and  SBA Loans for Brokers . C.A.R. Associate Counsel Brian Polinsky is presenting a webinar today from 2-3 pm that will explain how to complete a PPP loan forgiveness application. You can register for the webinar  here . If you are not able to attend the webinar live, a recording of the webinar will be made available  here .
American workers now receiving unemployment benefits under all programs now total  29.1 million . While that number  has dipped  slightly from previous weeks, it remains historically high, and concern remains that many jobs won’t return even as the economy reopens. The U.S. jobless rate for May was  13.3 percent , down 1.4 percentage points from April. Comparatively, California’s unemployment rate for May was  16.3 percent , down just 0.1 percentage point from April. This number is far higher than the high of  12.3 percent  California hit during the Great Recession. Even though these numbers are high, progress has been made: Recent studies have shown the massive expansion in federal aid has kept nearly  12 million people  from being pushed into poverty.
The  extra $600  in weekly unemployment benefits is still set to run out at the end of July. The  HEROES Act , which was passed by the House of Representatives on May 15, would extend this benefit through January 2021, but it remains to be seen whether the Senate will pass the bill or include that provision. Many have complained that the provision can allow some people to earn more on unemployment than they were while employed; Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia has said this is because the states run  antiquated software  that cannot crunch the numbers for individuals.
On Monday, Governor Newsom agreed  to significantly downscale his proposed budget cuts ; his initial budget proposal called for $14 billion in spending cuts. The new deal struck between Newsom and the Legislature protects funding for K-12 schools, which would have faced $8 billion in cuts under the initial proposal.
Sources: CNBC, The San Francisco Chronicle, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Los Angeles Times, California Employment Development Department, USA Today, The New York Times, REALTOR® Magazine, Department of the Treasury

The Market & Industry: Fewer buyers and sellers withdrawing, fewer borrowers in forbearance

California REALTORS® have continued to see  improvements in their businesses  in recent weeks, with increases in listing appointments, homes being listed on the MLS, homes entering the escrow process and REALTORS® closing transactions. Last week marked the first week since the pandemic began that the percentage of REALTORS® who had a buyer withdraw an offer and the percentage of REALTORS® who had a seller delist a house both declined.
With significantly fewer homes than normal being added to the MLS, those homes that are available for sale have been selling quickly, particularly as buyer demand has begun to rise. Sellers have also been receiving close to asking price at 99.7 percent.
Last week, for the third straight week, the  number of borrowers needing forbearance dropped . Still, the number of loans in forbearance represents over $1 trillion in unpaid principal, which could indicate a future wave of foreclosures. A recent Stanford University study provides fresh insights on the  long-term financial impacts of foreclosures .
Meanwhile, with mortgage rates averaging a low  3.13 percent  last week, mortgage applications have surged to an  11-year high . Mortgage application rates were 21 percent higher than they were one year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. As mortgage applications have increased, so too have applications for  home improvement loans .
The coronavirus pandemic has put into staunch relief the disproportionate and deleterious effects California’s housing crisis has had on Black Californians.  This piece from CAL Matters  examines what that looks like, from Black people over-represented among the homeless to only 33 percent of Black households owning the homes they live in, compared with more than 60 percent of white households.
Sources: C.A.R. Research & Economics, REALTOR® Magazine, Stanford University, CNBC, Inman News, CAL Matters

Around the State: All Californians must wear masks, hospitalizations hit all-time high

Last Thursday,  Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians to wear masks  in public places, at work and outside if a six-foot distance from others cannot be maintained.  This piece from the Los Angeles Times  details conditions under which you must wear a mask as well as certain exemptions to the rule. A meta-analysis of over 100 different studies on how masks affect the transmission of diseases like COVID-19, MERS and SARS concluded that  mask-wearing does significantly reduce the risk of viral transmission .
Still, disagreement remains over how to handle the issue of masks.  Five Sheriff’s Departments  in California have said they will not enforce Newsom’s order, and on Monday,  protestors in Orange County  interrupted a press conference calling on local county supervisors to enforce the mask order. One day prior, Orange County recorded its  single-day record  of new coronavirus cases to date.
In the past week, California has hit an  all-time high of people hospitalized  due to COVID-19. California also surpassed New Jersey and now has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, behind New York. As of yesterday at 10:11 p.m., cases numbered  191,416  and deaths had hit 5,627. 
Sources: CAL Matters, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, KTLA, CBS Local

Health Check-Up: More young adults testing positive

More young adults  in the Southwest and West are testing positive for COVID-19, likely attributable to more relaxed social distancing practices. In California, adults between ages 18 and 34 now make up  44 percent   of all positive cases statewide. While young people tend to have milder outcomes, they can still infect others who may be at higher risk.
British researchers have found the steroid  dexamethasone  can increase the rate of survival in COVID-19 patients. When it comes to a vaccine, which could be ready for distribution as early as  January , scientists including Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, anticipate a future vaccine won’t offer lifelong protection — its  durability is likely to last less than a year .”
In a recent study, more than  60 percent  of Americans reported feeling anxiety about the possibility of a loved one getting coronavirus. And as poverty, indebtedness and unemployment are associated with  poor mental health , the United States could be approaching a widespread  mental health crisis . Studies have shown that only 10 percent of victims of natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes go on to have lingering mental health issues, but living through a pandemic is very different: It’s slow and drawn out, a  psychological marathon  rather than a sprint.
Sources: CNN, NBC San Diego, Los Angeles Times, ABC News, The New York Times, American Psychiatric Association, Harvard University Health, USA Today