The COVID-19 Housing Market: The Pandemic’s Repercussions on Real Estate

apartment building in the suburb

Despite the concerns and worries brought about by the global health crisis and its looming effect on real estate, things might still work out for you whether you’re looking to buy or sell a property.

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Has Affected the Market

Despite real estate’s good start to the year, the rapid spread of the coronavirus in March has dramatically affected the industry and estate agents not just in South West London but the entire world.

The practical issues of showing and viewing as well as closing deals have been on the minds of professionals. How will it be possible to perform these tasks to keep everyone involved in the deal safe?
While social distancing is strictly observed, the risks of infecting a house with the virus once an asymptomatic sets foot in it is still something to seriously consider.

Add to that a decreasing confidence in the market as a whole, a volatile stock market, increasing unemployment rates, and a likely recession.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has already cut down interest rates twice as attempts to mitigate the economic impact of the novel coronavirus. But even with low mortgage rates, buyers are going out of the market because people have no job or financial security at this time.

Selling a House

While COVID-19 has certainly affected the real estate market and made it more complicated, it has not succeeded in putting a complete stop to property sales. If you were already in the market hoping to sell before the world froze, there is hope for you.

Because most people are more likely to stay home than sell at this time, the competition is fewer. This means that your listing will get more attention and better offers despite the challenges of holding an open house.

Buying a Property

Similarly, the pandemic should also not stop you from buying a home at this time. Competition is fewer because most folks are prioritizing their finances and are only inclined to spending on what’s necessary for survival.

That means you have less competition to deal with as a buyer. Mortgage rates may be volatile, but they are lower than usual nowadays so the chances of you snagging a great deal on a property are also higher than normal.

As long as you have a stable source of income at this time and all your finances are in order, investing in property now may be a good thing to do.

If you are viewing a property during this lockdown, make sure you consult with your agent on how to best go about the process. If a virtual viewing can be done to minimize person-to-person contact, take that route. However, if you insist on being physically present for the viewing, practice social distancing at all times, wear gloves and mask, and avoid too much touching.

In the same way, when coming to a close, work out the details with the realtor on how you should do it. While electronic signatures help minimize the number of people present, a lot of other factors come into play.

How Does the Market Look Like from Here?

Big luxury house at dusk, night in suburbs of Vancouver, Canada

The impact of outbreaks like SARS and COVID-19 may have affected the number of sales in China but the property values remained steady. There may have been fewer transactions but the prices did not change.

While different regions will yield different results, the chances of mortgages staying low for years to come is unlikely.

It seems as if the pandemic has caused the world to stop in its tracks. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can no longer move and plan ahead. The impact on real estate is different depending on the region and location. At this point, we can only hope and look forward to the time when the real estate market stabilizes once again.

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