A friend tagged me on FaceBook with this article from Keeping Current Matters called “5 Simple Graphs Proving This is Not Like the Last Time” and asked me to comment. Below are my thoughts in reaction to the key points of the article as well as in general on how Corona Housing Market is Not Like the Great Recession .
- I think they are right. Except that homes are teetering on too expensive (point #4). We might get a little adjustment there. I expect the housing market to continue to stall for the duration of “stay at home” or whatever distancing order is in place or is common sense. We agents can do a lot virtually, but at some point, we must set foot in a house to do our duty to “discover and disclose” as well as to be able to offer sound advice to our clients. So it is impractical that much will happen in the next month (to six months – who knows?). I can’t imagine that many people are contemplating a move in the midst of this pandemic.
- When things let up social distancing-wise, there will be a pent-up demand for housing. Assuming mortgage rates are still low and people haven’t ruined their credit and lost down-payments, buyers should re-enter the market pretty quickly. However, for potential buyers who were planning to cash out of retirement funds in order to buy, it will also depend upon the stock market recovery.
- If a home is vacant, a seller may want to go ahead and get it on the market as soon as is feasible. If the home is occupied, I can’t recommend putting it out there for showings, even if your area isn’t on lockdown yet. Do you really want strangers in your home right now? A real estate agent acquaintance of mine in another state has Covid 19. He did everything right and followed all the suggestions for social distancing, cleanliness, etc. What if he had been in your house last week, even without a client? (note: he wouldn’t have been, because he was being prudent, but some agents are still out there trying to act “normal”).
- Final thoughts are in regard to my fellow agents. Even though Corona Housing Market is Not Like the Great Recession , some of us will survive this and some won’t (gosh, financially, I mean!). That is heart-breaking. Unlike the Great Recession, which crept-up on us slowly and still allowed for sales throughout the recession, this market has screeched to a halt. Those who are living commission check to commission check will have a terrible time of it. Those who are overextended will see losses. Some will leave the business. If it goes on more than 6 months it will be devastating to our real estate professionals who have dedicated much time and expense to education, creating their own small business, and plying this trade. We are all small businesses (independent contractors) who are totally dependent on commission income and still have bills to pay even when sales aren’t being made. So say a prayer for your favorite real estate agent, please!
- And if you are contemplating buying or selling, now or later, get in touch with me. It is never too early to come-up with a strategy, and I have time to talk with you! Visit my homepage, email, or call me: 828-216-2300!