How has the pandemic affected real estate?
The real estate industry is experiencing many changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The following are a few trends that are developing:
Open Houses: For the short term, open houses have stopped. In the rare circumstance that one is held, Realtors® have been encouraged to only allow small groups at one time, have hand sanitizer available and have disposable shoe covers for people who are viewing so they don’t leave residue.
Videos: As open houses have waned, the use of videos or phone apps such as Facetime or Skype have increased substantially. Potential buyers are becoming comfortable with viewing homes in this manner; however, ultimately, they do want to see the home in person prior to closing. It is still rare for buyers to purchase a home without viewing it unless they have friends or family that they trust to view the home for them.
Home Prices: Unlike some states that may have an overabundance of homes for sale, Florida does not have that problem. In fact, Florida has too little inventory so do not expect sellers to lower the price of their homes. According to the Florida Realtors Association, some homeowners have taken their homes off the market during the Safer at Home Order which has further reduced supply. The association expects home pricing to remain steady during 2020.
Tiny-Home Trend: Some housing experts believe this trend will slow considerably as people have had to stay home. A recent survey from realtor.com showed that consumers overwhelmingly noted that must-have features are more space and an outdoor area. So, there may be a trend of people selling smaller homes for a home that gives them more space. “At Americana Cove, buyers always want a screened porch,” explains Broker Marty Pozgay. “The house can be smaller, but it will always sell better if there is some type of outdoor space that extends the living area.”