The COVID-19 crisis has slowed, but certainly not stopped, real estate transactions along the Emerald Coast. We’ve experienced no interruptions in inspections, appraisals, funding or closings, all happening with careful social distancing in force.
This crisis is not our first experience with a economy-impacting event. Ten years ago, the Deepwater Horizon spewed oil into our beautiful Gulf of Mexico, not only threatening our eco-system but the prime reason many choose to live or visit here. Those were dark times. But as soon as the cap went on the well, the real estate market took off with pent-up demand.
We anticipate a similar trajectory with the current COVID-19 crisis. Our experience during the oil spill (and also hurricanes) leads us to expect a few market trends when the current crisis passes:
• Market activity will pick up more quickly than after the oil spill or a hurricane because our beaches, attractions and infrastructure are not damaged.
• With the federal government’s robust efforts to pump up the economy, low interest rates should be available for the foreseeable future.
• People who live in densely populated areas see new value in our less populated beach towns.
• With an eye to their bottom line, companies will encourage workers to work remotely rather than come in to offices that cost employers significant percentages of their income.
If you are a Seller, now is the time to get your home on the market.
Buyers, now is a great time to take advantage of uncertainty before the pent-up and new demand hits the market.
If you are reading this, you no doubt remember when the bottom dropped out of the real estate market in 2007-2008.
This time, it’s different. While some panic has hit the market, too many factors prevent the kind of price drops and losses that occurred back then.
Homeowners and investors are not leveraged as they were 12 years ago.
Our recent record-breaking market was not driven by speculation, but by a shortage of product. In 2008, speculators had driven prices to unrealistic levels. During the Great Recession, there was too much inventory, the opposite of today’s marketplace.
Sellers understand that this crisis will end. How many times have you recently heard, “This, too, shall pass.” The economy will restart. People will go back to work. In 2007-2008, there was no clear path to a sunset of the economic crisis.
If you are thinking of selling, now is not the time to “follow the herd.” Buyers see this time as an opportunity to buy without competing against many others, and they most often are buying with cash.
Contact me if you would like more in-depth analysis of your specific property or situation.