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Despite Increase in Coronavirus Cases, Real Estate Market Continues to Improve

Jul 13, 2020 10:02:44 AM

Despite rising coronavirus cases across the country, the real estate market is continuing on an upward trajectory. 

“Any house that is decently priced goes on the market because a lot of people took their homes off of the market because of the pandemic,” said Gary Fell, a real estate agent in Hemet, California. “If it is decently priced and there’s not major problems with the home, we are seeing most of these homes go from one day on the market to seven days on the market with multiple offers and the house is in escrow. 

“It’s good for both parties. It’s good for the home owner selling their homes quickly so they can get on with their life and go wherever they are going, and it’s good for the agents getting the listings and getting the house sold for them.”

California isn’t the only state experiencing a surge in sales activity. Cathy Blight, an agent from Howell, Michigan, says her market is extremely hot. 

“It’s so crazy that I listed a couple of homes a week or so ago. And within 24 hours, I had three offers on one and four offers on the other. And one of them, I just finished loading it on the MLS. I was working on the showing instruction form — hadn’t even finished the showing inspection form and got a call.”

John Eccles, an agent from Scarborough, Maine, has actually seen a positive trend come out of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Right now with what’s going on with COVID, the way we’re able to show those homes are a lot easier,” he says. “I find that they’re moving a lot quicker because people can get in and get to the bones of the house or the property, and really kind of dive into it quicker.” 

He says vacant homes in particular are going quickly because safety protocols are less intense and more people are getting in to see them. 

“And you know, we did a show in another house that had somebody in there and they were gone the whole weekend,” John says. “You know, it was priced in that sweet spot and they had 33 people go through their house in three days. They got 14 offers on it. So, you know, they weren’t complaining either.”

Here are some positive indicators of the current real estate market. 

1. Unemployment numbers are improving. 

According to numbers from the Department of Labor, jobless claims for the week ending July 4 totaled 1.314 million, lower than the 1.39 million predicted from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The total marked a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week.

2. The Housing Market Index is on the rise. 

Realtor.com’s weekly Housing Market Recovery Index has reached 95.8 nationwide for the week ending June 27, and 12 of the 50 largest markets are showing recovery. The index is set to 100 for the last week of January, and a value of 100 means the market has recovered to the pace seen that month. 

3. Half of NAR members report improvements. 

The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Market Recovery Survey revealed that 45% of its members had reported that their market has slowly entered recovery mode.

4. Buyer and seller confidence is increasing. 

According to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, 61% of Americans believe now is a good time to buy a home – an increase of 9% from 52% in May. The number of people who say it is a good time to sell also increased to 41% from 32%.

5. Mortgage rates continue to hit historic lows. 

The average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate is 3.14 percent, a decrease of 11 basis points over the last week. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was at 3.39 percent.

 

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