Impact of Coronavirus on Buyers, Sellers, and the Current Real Estate Market

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The Coronavirus is consuming all social media platforms these days, not to mention day-to-day conversations and continuing to heighten fear amongst the world. It is now to the point where it’s affecting the day to day of businesses and individuals, even buying groceries. Our economy is still very strong despite the few recent dips and jobs are at an all-time high, so this bumpy road is just that.  A bumpy road- but it’s not a dead end.  The real estate market is still ramping up and doing very well.

How is the Coronavirus affecting buyers, sellers, and the real estate market as a whole?

As of now, after checking statistics of homes listed, homes pending and talking with our own agents about what it’s been looking like out there, we continue to be in a strong Spring market with very little change, so buyers and sellers are still moving forward with their plans.

Homes are continuing to be listed. It is understandable that some sellers may feel apprehensive about potential buyers entering their home for showings and open houses.  Fortunately for buyers, many have proceeded as usual and inventory is still increasing.

Homes pending are still on the rise as well. In the past 4 weeks, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of homes going pending. 18% of homes on the market per week are going under agreement in Massachusetts, so buyers are still out there too!

Unfortunately, since there is no real way to track the number of buyers pre and post Coronavirus, our agents have reported back what they have been observing and how there has been NO slowdown in terms of traffic at open houses and showings –the normal busy pace of the Spring market, including bidding wars, are still happening.

Could this change?

As stated in a video by Anthony Lamacchia earlier this week, the market is still healthy and strong.  When the video was filmed to discuss the Coronavirus’ impact on the market, it really hadn’t changed, and we still don’t statistically see changes, but we may see some in the weeks to come.

Buyers should buy!

Interest rates have been at a historic low – down to 3%.  Buyers haven’t had this much to work with in terms of how inexpensive it is to borrow in many years, so they should take advantage of this massive financial incentive before the market corrects itself.  This is an incredible time to buy and secure a mortgage rate, so don’t let the stock market deter you.

Sellers should list!

When there are fewer homes for sale homes that are listed sell for more. Less supply and higher demand is a perfect set of circumstances for sellers. If more sellers delay due to the Coronavirus the ones that don’t will end up getting more for their homes because bidding wars are more likely to happen.  Because pendings are up 18%, we can tell that buyers and sellers are still very active.

Closing delays…

One impact as a result of the Coronavirus however are closing delays. There have been and will continue to be massive amounts of delays due to the fact that mortgage companies are at capacity with re-financing and new home buyer loans. From mortgage brokers to attorneys to appraisers and everyone in between, everyone is backlogged.

The amount of loans going into the system is so high that some mortgage companies don’t have the funds to keep up with it and are trying to regulate the intake even with the low-interest rates.

So, buyers and sellers should be prepared for these sets of circumstances.  Closing dates are target dates but due to the current climate, they may have to be flexible.

With the virus not yet as its peak here in the U.S., we need to be aware of what is currently happening in the market as well as the fact that things could slow down. However, since news of the Coronavirus broke, we have not seen any significant changes in the market or buyer’s and seller’s behavior.

We will continue to keep you posted on any changes or slowdowns to the market.

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