Experts are keeping a close watch on the coronavirus and its widespread impact on the economy and real estate. The uncertainties on how the economy will play out and the spread of the virus itself are playing a significant role in the home buying and selling processes.
The Good and Bad
The impacts of the COVID-19 could be both good and bad, depending on which side of the home transaction you are on. For some people, the money they have been saving for a down payment could have been evaporated in the stock market, but others may be taking advantage of the low interest rates. Fewer homebuyers are searching, and some listings are being delayed as this virus brings fear of contact with strangers. A recent survey showed that one in four sellers have changed how their home is viewed, including stopping open houses, requiring buyers to wash their hands and remove their shoes upon entering.
In March 2020 the National Association of Realtors conducted a flash survey of members on the impact of coronavirus in their market and found 78% of realtors have not seen a change in buyer interest. A majority of the Realtors also reported that the virus has had little affect on the number of homes in the market. Although areas with higher counts of confirmed cases, such as California and Washington, have experienced larger decreases in buyer interest. Surprisingly, 37% of participants stated that homebuyers were more excited by lower mortgage rates than the stock market correction.
It is too early to predict the likely impact of the coronavirus. Hoping the lower interest rates can overcome the economic and health worries but studies are implying that home sales will be down by at least 10% due to the spread of COVID-19.