What's Next for the Housing Market as Coronavirus Takes Off?
It's no secret that the Coronavirus has turned into a global pandemic with the death toll ticking up every day. While this has plenty of immediate consequences for all involved, plenty of people were lining up house purchases and sales before it hit. As markets are literally closing early due to poor trading conditions, how can prospective home-buyers and sellers wait out the Coronavirus period, and should they?
It's Worth the Wait
Generally, it's worth waiting if you're planning on listing your house for sale. The issue is that so-called "corporate trolls" are preying on the market right now. Reports indicate that the housing market hasn't collapsed mostly because of these companies. Counting on a lack of counteroffers, they offer what seem to be sound amounts of money for your home.
A common trait of these companies is that they contact you first and offer a flat cash sum of money. This is more popular in "in-demand" markets in large metro areas. It's usually because they count on consumers not knowing the actual cash value of their homes or believing falsely that the Coronavirus has permanently lowered their home value.
It's Similar to the Stock Market
Remember, your home is an asset that has the potential to appreciate and depreciate. If you're considering listing it, this is analogous to considering selling off all stocks within a 401(k) because you don't want to lose more money. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is what set off the Great Depression of 1929, and it's likely to set off another Great Depression if not kept in check. The reason stock markets are closing is to prevent another Great Depression from hitting.
Panic-selling is never a good idea and rarely benefits the person selling. Aside from some temporary emotional relief, you will likely be in turmoil years down the line when you could likely get triple or more what you could get right now due to the Coronavirus. While these companies going around and offering a "no questions asked" cash payments isn't an illegal practice, it's certainly an unethical practice that preys on people vulnerable to becoming anxious.
What if I'm Looking to Buy a Home?
Those looking to purchase homes may be looking at the best market possible now. Although many people have taken their homes off the market because of what we just discussed, plenty are still listed. This is usually because people selling either don't believe the Coronavirus will affect them, or they simply aren't worried about it.
Either way, you do run the risk of infection just by meeting with a seller at their home. Just traveling into uncharted territory for you is a risk factor of contracting COVID-19. Even though current projections show that more than half of the population is likely to contract it, there's no sense in accelerating the process.
However, there's no denying that you will likely get some of the best deals you'll see in awhile. Just like the travel industry has all but completely crashed at this point, the housing market is dwindling as more and more people are afraid of contracting the virus by entering another area and living there. If you're an investor, chances are that the time to buy has never been better. Especially if you're someone only looking for valuable land who plans on tearing the house down regardless, there's little downside to buying now. Of course, you still would likely be better off not visiting the site in the first place.
Remember that COVID-19 is spreading at an exponential rate. While most of the population is attempting to practice "social distancing" to slow the growth of the count of infected people, certain risk factors will predispose certain people to it. One of the main preventable risk factors is travel, which is why some airline tickets are literally free at the moment. Even if you personally are not at high risk of death or serious complications if you contract the virus, remember that any in-person economic activity could easily expose someone who will die from COVID-19 to the virus.
It comes down to a question of personal values at this point. While you can get some of the best deals in recent history on housing, is it worth potentially contracting COVID-19 or accidentally spreading the virus by travel?
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