Clearly the spread and scare of the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is having an effect on the economy. But how is has it been affecting the Real Estate market, particularly in South Florida? According to many experts, the worldwide pandemic has had little if any impact on the Real Estate market for us.
According to several local Real Estate professionals, showings are still going well, sales continue to close, and interested buyers continue to put in offers on existing homes on the market.
For example, the most recent statistics compiled by the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABoR) show that the number of contracts for homes is up 16.9% from February 24 until March 10, as compared to 2019. Additionally, as of March 10, there are 824 pending sales as compared to 705 at this time last year.
According to Philip Ford, the executive Vide-President for the Lee Building Industry Association, the most recent Parade of Homes (held on March 7-8) in Lee County, finished “without any issues”. And although there is no official report which tracks the number of attendees, “there did not appear to be any difference in traffic” as compared to attendance in past events.
While there are Real Estate agents predicting doom and gloom, it is very possible that the exact opposite happens in our markets. This type of situation could actually be a very good thing for our industry in South Florida.
Interest rates are still outstanding; as of the writing of this post (March 16, 2020), 30-year fixed rates are still around 4% (per Bankrate.com). Of course, there will always be people that have to move for one reason or another. And now may be seen as a very good time for those Northerners who have contemplated relocating to Florida to go ahead and make that move.
Local families and new Florida residents are not the only opportunities who may find now to be a beneficial time to buy Real Estate. Interest rates being what they are, and prices taking a slight drop overall in many areas create an advantageous situation for investors. With the instability of the stock market, Real Estate – particularly Florida Real Estate- becomes a safe and viable option for those looking for an effective way to build their financial portfolios.
The point is that we as Real Estate professionals should be stressing to buyers why this is such a great time to buy, as well as educating potential sellers on the benefits of getting their properties on the market NOW. Considering the current market factors, this could be the very best time to get a home sold.
What are YOUR thoughts on how the coronavirus might help or hurt our industry in South Florida? Feel free to comment.
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