The coronavirus pandemic has affected every industry, including real estate. With that said, but it may not have had as much of a negative impact on the housing market as initially predicted. As lockdown restrictions ease and people begin to assess their businesses for the post-pandemic future, there are signs that the real estate market may rebound faster than other industries. While it will still be necessary to take safety precautions, the following predictions paint a more positive future for home sellers and buyers.
Property Showings Haven’t Changed Much
Real estate agents across the country report that they have been able to function remotely from home for most of the lockdown. Meetings with buyers and sellers were conducted virtually, using video chat apps to conduct consultations that used to be done in person. While 3D virtual home tours have been available for a while, they’re getting used more now that physical interactions are more limited. When it is time to meet in person, agents and prospective buyers are required to wear face masks and latex gloves to protect against the possible spread of the virus.
Market Predictions are Promising
Speaking generally for markets across the country, there’s going to be fluctuations based upon the type of area and the number of available properties. For example, the demand for La Jolla real estate remains the same, while more service-oriented regions, such as Las Vegas, Nevada, saw massive drops in market activity. Some areas have experienced a downward spike in the market is due home sellers were wary about showing properties to numerous potential buyers. Now that safety precautions have become standard, and agents ensure protective equipment is worn, showing a home is safer. For that reason, it’s reasonable to assume more homes get put on the market, and agents can begin showing to eager buyers.
Expect a Slower Buying Process
As more buyers seek new homes and safety protocols are enacted to protect everyone in the real estate industry, people should expect the process of buying a home to take longer. First, lenders are always wary about approving financing, especially for first-time homebuyers and for properties selling for $500,000 or more. Appraisals are also taking longer, requiring almost double the time to complete. Buyers will have to be patient moving forward and expect delays along the way. It will also take time for everyone to adjust to the new way of doing things, so buyers and sellers should expect lenders, agents, and others involved in the transaction to be adapting to a new learning curve.
The Recession is Expected to Continue
Due to the recent stimulus packages, most American households have been faring pretty well, but unemployment benefits and other incentives will run out soon. When that happens, financial forecasters expect to see a major recession hit the country. As a result, the population of active home buyers may drop, leaving real estate agents with uneasy sellers as clients. In some areas, this may cause another downward spike in market sales, but other sites may not see a negative impact. It will depend on how well those prospective buyers come out of the recession and whether or not they feel comfortable buying at this time.
While broader markets will see a significant change in the market, other areas may see no difference. Still, other markets can see a positive change with buyers eager to get into new homes to avoid renting in uncertain times. At the moment, it’s still too soon to tell which markets will suffer the most, but real estate professionals are hopeful that the market won’t be hit as severely as previously predicted.