When the threat of COVID-19 first hit the United States no one was sure what the impact on our housing market was going to be. The truth is that at the time this article is being written, we still don’t know how the market is going to look on the other side of this pandemic. But, judging from what we have seen in the housing market so far, the changes are actually mostly positive.
The majority of the adjustments to the U.S. housing market are new guidelines and procedures to keep everyone safe during this crisis. While other side effects like low housing inventory and fewer buyer showings seem like negatives but have actually helped to stimulate the market overall. So, let’s dive in and talk about a few of the ways that COVID-19 has changed the U.S. housing market.
One of the more unexpected results of COVID-19 is the reduced supply of active listings the U.S. housing market is currently experiencing. Heading into this crisis, some experts forecasted an influx of new listings comparable to what the market experienced at the beginning of the last recession. However, the exact opposite has happened. The added health concern has caused many would-be sellers to pause on the sale of their homes. Even many low-risk homeowners prefer not to have strangers spreading germs in their homes. Though overall home sales are down from last year, demand is still very high as a result of bare inventory.
New safety protocols
At just about every level, the U.S. housing industry has instituted brand new safety protocols as a result of COVID-19. Starting at the agent appointment, which is now usually done virtually, the market has adapted to keep everyone involved as safe as possible. Many open houses are now conducted in a socially distanced fashion. The hosting agent will allow just one buyer or buyer group to preview the property at a time. Buyers arriving at the event will be instructed to wait outside the property until the other group has completed their tour. Home inspection companies have also implemented new guidelines that prohibit buyers and/or agents from being present in the property while the inspector is conducting the inspection.
Reduced buyer showings
In many cases, buyer showings have also reduced in the COVID-19 marketplace. Especially high-risk home shoppers are attempting to virtually weed-out as many properties as possible and narrow down physical previews to the homes they absolutely know fit their needs. This is a good way to reduce possible exposure to COVID-19. In response to this change, most listings now feature virtual tours and 3D experiences to give virtual home shoppers a more in-depth feel for the property. The U.S. housing market has changed in many ways as a result of COVID-19. What hasn’t changed is the desire to secure the American Dream. No matter what happens, homeownership is still at the top of the list for many Americans, and they will find a way to reach that goal.