Although the COVID-19 pandemic dampened the sunny real estate projections for summer 2020, there is still room for optimism, according to Rick Loose, president of the Midland Board of Realtors.
The real estate market continued forward, albeit in a different way. Appraisers were still working, home inspectors remained on the job and real estate agents adapted to a new way of doing things such as virtual tours and digital signings.
“Without a crystal ball, I think there’s still a ton of current demand,” Loose said. “Most people aren’t capable of buying a home sight unseen, but some have been able to do that.”
Although some people who qualified for loans prior to the coronavirus won’t qualify now because of loss of employment and income, he expects the market to regain stability. He also expects some changes, at least for the short term, in the home-buying experience.
“There will be restrictions when we do reopen as far as no open houses, limiting the number of people at showings, masks, gloves, etc.,” Loose said. “We don’t know yet exactly what it will look like.”
In an April survey by the National Association of Realtors, more than a quarter of real estate agents said they were able to complete most aspects of transactions while respecting social distancing and using technology. Residential tenants faced rent payment issues, but many delayed payment requests were being accommodated, the survey said.
“Consumers are mostly abiding by stay-in-shelter directives, and it appears the current decline in buyer and seller activity is only temporary,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.