Real Estate Update – First Half 2020
Looking at the figures above, it is easy to see that 2020 started off very similar to 2019 in all aspects of Real Estate activity. It’s equally obvious that the patterns changed sometime in March (just as we started to feel the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic) , and activity in March, April and much of May slowed significantly.
Buyer interest did not slow down as much as one might have anticipated though, and due to restrictions that were imposed on the real estate industry, it wasn’t until part way through May that it became easier to arrange viewings of homes by potential buyers. No Open Houses were allowed though, and not only were viewing to be by appointment only, but numbers of people being allowed into a home at any time were limited, and strictly no children. Viewers also had to state that they had no symptoms that could be Covid-19 related and there had to be facilities for cleansing and disinfecting any surfaces that could be touched before and after each showing.
Even now, these restrictions are still in place, and it’s anybody’s guess when Open Houses will be allowed again. Yet there is still a very strong demand for homes, although inventory is extremely low. As is always the case, this creates a strong sellers’ market, and homes are selling for record prices, many with multiple offers. Even with increasing Inventory levels, prices are high, and there are no indications that prices are likely to come down in the foreseeable future. Many real estate economists are predicting continuing price increases into 2021.