The Spring Market of 2020: How Coronavirus Is Affecting Housing
It's no secret that Spring is one of the biggest seasons for real estate agents. For families, this is the ideal time of year to shop. It means they can have time to find the perfect house for them and move during the Summer. This lets their children join new schools when they start, and it gives the parents some additional time to adjust. In most of the country, the whether is also best around this time, making it a great time to move all around.
However, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is making its rounds through the housing market. It isn't being crippled, but there are some things you should know if you're interested in joining the market as a buyer or seller this Spring.
There Are Huge Regional Disparities
If you take a look at the CDC's data on newscasts on Coronavirus, you probably notice something significant: the vast majority of cases appear to be in coastal states. This likely is because these states have a much higher population density than states in the middle of the country. It's also where the most economic activity occurs, leading to more interpersonal interactions with strangers than elsewhere.
This leads to a logical correlation that housing in hot markets like Denver, CO, is doing just fine. As a matter of the fact, Denver is seeing a slight increase in home values. People don't seem to be scared off of selling in that region. If we then take a look at the Washington, DC, housing market, we get a completely different picture. With federal employees being instructed to work from home, lots of confirmed cases in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, and other factors, it's no surprise that this market is sinking.
Buying Or Selling?
Remember, you can use this market disparity to your advantage, or it could be the end of all the value you've injected into your house! If you own a house in a more COVID-19 heavy area, you should definitely wait until the whole scare has blown over before trying to sell your house. Of course, there are precautionary measures, such as making virtual tours and not shaking hands, that can reduce the risk of spreading it between you and potential buyers.
However, many potential buyers from regions like the Midwest are unwilling to travel on airplanes or to states with a large number of cases at the moment. This means that you'll get less offers for your house, and ultimately, you'll get a far lower price than you would otherwise. Think of this as akin to selling off all the stock you own in various retirement plans right now. It would make no sense, would lose a huge amount of money, and be completely unavoidable.
However, there's the flipside of this bizarre market. If you are looking to purchase a house, prices and mortgage rates have been hitting historic lows in many regions where we last expected to see affordable housing. Though still very expensive on most of the West coast, the East coast is seeing some of the lowest prices when adjusted for inflation that it's ever seen. As long as you take the necessary precautions, you should be able to tour these homes without any issue.
Buying in the rest of the country won't result in a net loss either way. In other words, no housing market is soaring right now. However, some are experiencing huge losses, while others seem to be holding ground just fine.
Avoid Media Overhype
Remember, COVID-19 shouldn't be taken lightly. While most people should recover from it, there's a chance that some people with immune system compromises and seniors may have a higher risk of mortality. If you belong to either of these groups, remember, getting cheap housing is not worth dying over!
The media makes its money by getting people captivated and focused on it. Yes, this virus is an issue, but following common-sense measures recommended by health organizations around the world can make a huge difference. You shouldn't feel dissuaded from perusing the housing market in this time, even though it may feel somewhat intimidating.
Depending on your needs, you could end up making a major score that wouldn't have been possible under any circumstances. Just remember to look at historical market research before buying or selling in any market.
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