Just like every industry, the coronavirus flipped the real estate market upside down, completely changing the way realtors, buyers and sellers do business. The normal spring market is like Super Bowl Sunday every weekend. This year, Realtors were left scrambling to keep everyone safe in the process. Standard showings became Virtual Showings and 3D Tours, and, in some cases, buyers were purchasing homes they’d never stepped foot in.
A recent Harris Poll found nearly a third of Americans are considering moving out of the city and some towns in northern New Hampshire are seeing properties go under contract within days of being listed. According to Realtor.com, as the real estate market began to recover in May, home searches in suburban zip codes jumped 13%. After several months of shelter-in-place orders, the desire to have more space and the potential for more people to work remotely are likely two of the factors contributing to the popularity of rural areas.
While homes are spending more time on the market overall, due to complications surrounding closings, both suburban and rural markets are not experiencing that lag time, due to such a strong demand. At this point, three important facts have become abundantly clear; people are fleeing the cities, second homes have been a place of refuge and people are rethinking whether they want to be in high rise rentals with common spaces as amenities vs. having a home of their own with a backyard.
Looking ahead, the job market will be the driving force for the real estate market’s success or failure. Unemployment rates have already skyrocketed and the number of those job losses that will be permanent is still unknown. The lack of housing inventory was evident prior to the pandemic and will likely remain after the dust settles. For now, while sales may not be as competitive as they would be without the pandemic, it won’t stop homes from selling.