The home buying and selling season has officially kicked off! While this is usually a predictable and exciting time in Real Estate, a wildcard none of us ever expected is now in play. COVID-19, or Coronavirus, has caused widespread fear, which has led many families to become uncertain of what their next step is in their Real Estate venture. In response to this, we created this article to help answer your questions and encourage you to continue your home search or sale because, in reality, this is the BEST time to buy and sell! Want to find out why? Keep Reading!
Stock Market vs. Housing Market
We are beginning to feel the effects of the outbreak in China with the shortages and delays in consumer goods. In addition, restricted travel, social distancing, and the closure of businesses in some states will all contribute to lower consumer spending, which can hurt the economy. However, the Stock Market and the Housing Market are typically not tied together since people don’t buy homes as merely an investment—they’re a basic need that changes depending on life stages. So historically, the Housing Market is stable during Stock Market dips and even in recessions. The exception to this is probably still fresh in our minds—the 2008 financial crisis. The cause of this Stock Market crash was, strangely enough, due to a Housing Market crash that saw home prices fall by a whopping 17%. However, in the recession of 2001, home prices actually increased by 4%, and during the 3 other documented recessions in the last 50 years, have remained relatively steady. It’s safe to say that what happened in 2008 was unusual and will likely not happen again. Once fear subsides, the virus gets contained, and the government grants an Economic Stimulus Package to compensate for the quarantine, the dip in the Stock Market will be short-lived, and another recession won’t be imminent.
Good News for The Housing Market
How could the Housing Market go up during a recession, you ask? When the Stock Market dips, investors consider it to be too risky, so instead, they look for safer places to invest their wealth. Bonds and Real Estate are some of the most common places investors turn to during times like these. The higher the demand is for Bonds—like right now—the higher the price becomes, and the lower the interest payment is relative to the price. When these yields are lower, mortgage rates are lower, too. Mortgages rates were down to 3.29% last week compared to last year during this time when they were 4.41%. Investors looking to Real Estate as a safer place to put their money follows the same trend as Bonds, which is why interest rates are down.
What Does This Mean for Buyers and Sellers?
It is only a matter of time before the rates start to go up again, and it’s uncertain how low mortgage lenders are willing to go, regardless of the Federal Reserve cutting its rates again. But the current state of mortgage rates is incredible news for both buyers and sellers. With mortgage rates this low, it means buyers can afford a lot more, and sellers can relax knowing that their homes are in HIGH demand. It’s still a seller’s market out there, so with some extra precautions put into play, this could be the most successful year in Real Estate we’ve seen in a long time.
Advice For Buyers
Look at your personal financial situation and job security. If you are comfortable in your financial position and were planning on buying a home in the next few months, this couldn’t be a better time for you. As a buyer in these current circumstances, you will likely be conducting your home search virtually. From meeting with your Realtor through video chats to doing virtual tours, you will have to be adaptive, but know it’s for everyone’s safety and best interest. If you decide to do an in-person tour of a prospective home, there are certain precautions you and the sellers will have to take. For you, the buyer, you will be encouraged to wear shoe covers, sanitize your hands before entering, and to ensure you’re are not sick before you come inside. The home of your dreams could be within your grasp if you act quickly!
How to Sell Your Home During the Pandemic
Sellers rejoice! The abundance of buyers flooding to the Housing Market to take advantage of low-interest rates means your home will be in HIGH demand—you can sell fast and for more money! The demand for homes right now is higher than the supply, so you can expect that if you put your house on the market, you’ll get multiple offers in no time. To sell your home during these times, talk to your Realtor about making your house very viewable in an online setting. Create a virtual tour of your residence, have plenty of pictures and videos, and provide a detailed description. Unless necessary, conduct meetings via video chat and only give in-person tours to serious buyers. During these visits, offer shoe covers for your guests, hand sanitizer, don’t invite anyone in that is sick, and above all else, don’t conduct a tour if you are sick yourself.
We encourage those who were on the road to buying/selling this season to continue on that path, and those who weren’t, to jump in! The Housing Market is booming behind the curtain of fear Coronavirus has covered us with, and we want you to take advantage of these unique Housing Market conditions. Follow precautions, be mindful, and get ready to sell faster and for more money!!!
Wondering if now is a good time to sell or buy in your specific situation? We created a checklist for sellers to determine if now is their home’s time to shine, and for buyers to determine if the home of their dreams is in their future. Even if you’re just seeking Real Estate guidance given these new circumstances, reach out! We are still here and are ready to help you! Get our checklists by going HERE or call us at 703-297-4251.