Like the rest of “daily life,” the housing market has not been spared from the sweeping effects of sheltering in place.
Life has changed. Public schools, private schools, day care, universities, date night, dine-in restaurants, sporting events, organized sports, concerts, movie theaters, trips to the mall, amusement parks, public pools, beaches, neighborhood parks, travel, and frozen yogurt have all been put on hold. The “stay at home” order has affected every aspect of daily life.
However, humans have an incredible ability to adapt to their circumstances however dire they may be. We have found a new normal under the current Pandemic: working from home, getting food delivered, keeping appropriate social distancing measures when outside, etc. The real estate industry is no different. Buyers have found a way to search for new homes in this new era of home buying, and it appears as if it's working. Demand finally bottomed out over the last couple of weeks, and we are beginning to see a rise. In fact, in Southern California, demand (as shown by pending sales) has increased 7% in the last two weeks. We are projecting demand to continue to rise and are hoping it will also increase into the higher price points of the market.
In the trenches we are all feeling it. Buyers are back requesting showings, making offers and even entering bidding wars. Sellers have taken their homes off hold status and some even feel it ready to list their home wanting to get ahead of the competition as more and more restrictions are lifted in our counties.
Keep in mind we are all observing proper protocols for any and all appointments to continue to help flatten and decrease the curve for spreading COVID-19. First and foremost, a virtual and phone appointment are conducted initially for Buyers and Sellers. Buyers must be preapproved, view virtual and online viewings as well as and sign waivers prior to physically entering a property while wearing PPE. Sellers also start with phone and online meetings and any in person meetings are kept to a minimum in time with the required PPE and six feet apart. Documents are reviewed and signed online. Open houses are now done virtually which allows for buyers and interested parties to tune in from the comfort of their home during the open house or following the event posted to our social media sites.
While we have all been “thrown into the deep end” of this situation, our ability to pivot and adapt has shown in our everyday lives in the past six weeks. We all know, this too shall pass and a brighter future is on the other side. All we have to do is put one foot in front of the other.