As the pandemic first cut a swath across the country last spring, our world rarely seemed so changed: deserted highways, shuttered stores and restaurants, mask-wearers looking like survivors of an apocalyptic movie.
But amidst the dire news, hope emerged, particularly regarding the real estate market. Even after the state shutdown, Denver’s housing market showed remarkable resiliency.
Indeed, while local showings and sales plummeted immediately after the shutdown in March, decreasing 92.2% by April 18 from a year earlier, the market was already in recovery by month’s end, down only 21.1% from 2019.
Experts were optimistic: “In spite of the inability to show homes and the stay-at-home order, our market remains strong,” a Colorado Association of Realtors’ spokesperson told CBSN Denver in May.
Meanwhile, a third of the 4.1 million borrowers nationwide who requested time-out on their monthly mortgage payments, allowed due to the pandemic, actually made their payments on time, noted the Denver Post.
Going forward, there are many unknowns, but hope remains constant. What can home buyers and sellers expect in the coming months?
Relatively stable prices: National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun notes that prices nationally had been rising for 94 consecutive months before the pandemic hit. “Unlike the stock market, [home] prices do not quickly swing but possess a certain stickiness,” Yun wrote. They aren’t likely to be derailed anytime soon, he noted.
More virtual tours: Aided by uber-realistic 3-D photography that brokers increasingly use to highlight homes, buyers are finding it easy to screen potential properties from their computers before choosing several to visit in person. This will continue in the near-future—and most likely beyond.
No open houses: Banned for now.
Greater safety precautions: Expect to wear gloves and masks and practice social distancing when touring a home. More hand sanitizers will be available, and brokers are required to keep a log of client interactions, should contact tracings be necessary.