May this newsletter find you well.
It’s funny that I almost alway get asked, “How’s the real estate market?” when I’m having a casual conversation with people. In the last month, I can tell they’re paying a little more attention to my answer than normal. Homes are still selling, but obviously not at the breakneck pace we were expecting this spring. As I said last month, Realtors are considered essential services along with plumbers, inspectors, appraisers, and other real estate professionals. We are resided to wear masks while we show, and to offer masks to our clients. Also, we’re not allowed to show open houses, but virtual tours and matterport technology will be taking their place to what extent they can.
Looking at page 2 statistics, the March market was unaffected by the shutdown because closings that happened in March went already under contract before a lot of people were taking Covid-19 seriously. Pending sales for single-family homes were only down 10% from March 2019, but pending condo/townhome sales are down 32%. From a Realtor’s perspective, there are going to be fewer opportunities moving forward, but people who are in the market right now are serious buyers and sellers. I completely understand why many are delaying their move. There are a lot of buyers out there who have been furlowed, seen their wages reduced or just don’t feel comfortable about their finances. Conversely, there are a lot of seller who don’t want strangers in their properties, especially if the sellers have at-risk loved ones.
I have to say I’m curious about what this is going to do to sales over the next 12 months. It looks like the lockdown is going to continue into May, which is disturbing from an economic standpoint. We obviously have to “flatten the curve”, but we also have to consider more than half of our population lives paycheck-to-paycheck. And they’re running out of money.