The Coronavirus outbreak should not impact the housing market in Florida as drastically as you may think. While transactions may reduce in quantity over the short term because people are avoiding contact with others, the reality is that people still need to buy and sell houses. Luckily, there are a variety of precautions one can take to protect their safety while conducting deals. Overall, home prices should stay the same throughout and following the Pandemic, so it is not a bad time to buy a home.
Those in the housing market – real estate agents, lenders, and even buyers and sellers – have grown more and more concerned as the Coronavirus has taken its toll in the U.S., and around the world. Hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the States, with the number increasing every day.
With the recent stay-at-home orders, non-essential businesses have closed their doors and essential businesses are being forced to alter the way they operate to comply with the latest guidelines. What does all that mean for the housing market in Florida?
It is not as dire of a situation as you may think. The Pandemic should not significantly impact house prices and the buying and selling of houses is still ongoing.
6 Ways the Pandemic is Impacting Our Local Housing Market
Halted Foreclosures & Evictions
The federal government has suggested to lenders that they should accept late payments or forbearance options on any FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loans. Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis has signed an order that has halted foreclosures and evictions through mid-May. While this might have extremely dire effects on the mortgage industry, this is good news for homeowners who find themselves unemployed due to the Pandemic.
Missed Payment Forgiveness
Many banking and lending institutions are allowing people to miss payments with the caveat that they are added to the end of the loan. This way, fewer people are at risk of losing their homes – therefore, the market doesn’t become flooded with real estate. People are also strongly considering refinancing as interest rates have fallen to help with payments and rates.
Home Sales Still Taking Place
Before the virus, the market was prepared to house an increase in buyers due to low unemployment and low mortgage rates – but with fewer people wanting to attempt to sell their homes during this pandemic, more of those buyers are having to bid against others for the select few homes they want that are available. Even with a pandemic, people are still having life events that require them to change housing, and we don’t see that changing.
Fewer High-Ticket Sales
From what we have noticed so far, high-ticket sales are moving slower or even canceled completely. Average priced home sales have stayed about the same, with people taking more safety precautions like fewer people allowed at closing and more e-signatures for paperwork.
Changing Sales Procedures
For real estate agents, we would recommend fully vetting potential buyers before allowing them to view a home and advising that they do not touch anything in the home when seeing it. Not only does this make the seller feel better about people being in their house, but buyers will appreciate the standards being upheld for other people that might have looked at the house as well. Everyone is asked to wear a facial mask as well.
Social distancing is of utmost importance during a time like this. After all, it is up to us to flatten the curve. That’s why virtual meetings and video showings are a great asset in the real estate industry right now. Using services like Zoom meetings and Facetime calls makes it easy for everyone to stay home while home shopping.
We do our very best to make the home buying process easy, even during a global pandemic. Get in touch with us for a virtual meeting at (904) 250–0805.