We've had government shutdowns before. Our congress has gone through this process of not being able to develop a budget, and that's not new. In the past it generally has not lasted very long, and the impacts have been relatively minor. We're only a few days into the current shutdown, and so far the impacts, again, have been very minor. In terms of the real estate market, I see two potential immediate impacts.
One is the shutdown of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which would mean that houses currently being financed under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs may find themselves in limbo in terms of being processed. The effect would potentially be the same for homes financed through Veterans Administration (VA) loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not affected.
The other impact would be from any disruption in financial markets, but that should be fairly minor on a day-to-day basis. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and other agencies directly involved in the mortgage market are on hold. But again, that's likely not to have a major influence on day-to-day activity, unless the shutdown continues over a considerable period.