Real Estate and the Pandemic

Like many industries in the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic shook real estate to its core, flipping markets upside down and changing the way developers, designers and especially Realtors conduct business. Even homeowners had to adapt, from the way they configured their own spaces, to where and when they bought certain properties. I know that for me personally, 2020 and 2021 definitely have had a dramatic impact on the way I view and practice real estate.

Despite the pandemic, however, sales continued to move forward. Realtors learned to lean into technology to show properties and seal deals. I learned how to conduct effective home tours through the use of FaceTime, Facebook Live, & virtual open houses.

On a much broader scale, America’s great pandemic migration has the potential to re-shuffle the essential demographic and economic balance of America for the next generation. Realtors, investors, and politicians should be paying close attention. Although we have always seen people from the Northeast, especially, move to the south and west, seeking warmer climates, they are now adding to their list of prerequisites areas which they view as safer, smaller, stabler, lower taxes, less regulation, and fewer lockdowns. These individuals have a lot more to consider these days.

“Real estate markets have undergone noticeable shifts since the start of the coronavirus pandemic,” George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com states. “In the wake of the lockdowns in March, Americans discovered that existing homes were not adequate for the new work, teach, exercise, cook and live at home reality. Based on realtor.com surveys of consumers, we learned that home shoppers are looking for more space, quieter neighborhoods, home offices, newer kitchens and access to the outdoors, traits which have revived a strong interest in the suburbs and smaller metro areas.” So, what about those that didn’t have the ability or desire to move? Well, interestingly enough, many of them learned to fall in love with their homes all over again, or gave them a much needed freshening up!

I’m asked all the time what the market is like. It is now, and has been since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, a true seller’s market. Page-per-property views on real estate platforms like Realtor.com and Zillow are up over 50% year-over-year almost everywhere, inventory across the U.S. has been dwindling along with days on market and the gap between list-to-sale price. Traditional buyers struggle to win bidding wars against iBuyers and cash investors.

Regardless of the stats that may seem dismal to the average buyer, purchasing a home is not impossible. Buyers need to ensure they are working with a skilled and patient Realtor who knows the market well. They may need to add incentives to their purchase offer, including things such as waiving appraisal or inspection, non-refundable earnest money, quick close, or even post-close possession.

This market appears to be here to stay for awhile. I know that I, for one, am buckling up and ready for whatever 2022 has to bring! Real estate continues to be one of the best investments a person will ever make.

Happy New Year to All!

~ Patti Crowley – Realty One Group – 480.286.6400

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