Hi everyone, I know i haven’t posted any videos for a while. First I just want to thank all of you who watch and subscribe to my channel and all the support you have given me so far. These past two months has been a tough time for our country and the world. Many people have felt angsty from the necessary social distancing.
I changed my lifestyle completely in March and April. Due to social distancing, I got to cook more, read more, write more and play social instruments.
Although I don’t get to do the things I used to love, such as hanging out with friends, hosting parties, going out to restaurants, rock climbing, and traveling, I also re-discovered so many new skills!
A lot of people asked me for recent housing market updates, and I’m telling it from a perspective of a realtor, news from the national association of realtors and housing data. In general, the market was busy in March and then slowed down in April, and then picked up again more recently in the past couple weeks. Most transactions were done without open houses per state protocol. There were 50% fewer homes for sale compared to a year before around this time, so although there were fewer buyers, homes were still being sold at prices like before because way fewer sellers were selling.
That being said, no one can predict when the recession would come, or how long, if it does come.
I became a lot more busy in March as a realtor because the nature of the work has changed. Like all the other realtors, I was rapidly adapting to the changing protocols.
COVID-19 complicated the transaction process. Whereas before, many transactions were done through open houses and group showings, these days we only allowed private showings per state protocol (which means a lot more work for realtors as they accommodated these showings one by one instead of in a big group). We followed rigorous procedures of sanitizing and wearing masks, and the logistical complexity of showings and making videos for my listings have increased substantially.
Personally, March was extremely busy for me because every week I had a lot more showings than before around this time of the year. When people couldn’t go to open houses, it means their realtors had to schedule private showings for them. I was making offers almost every week and every offer was competing with multiple offers due to low inventory. And then traffic started to slow in April as COVID cases increased and people started to stay home more. So I took a short break.
In fact, I thought the housing market was going to be dead. I was fully prepared for an upcoming recession. But then by late April, traffic started to pick up again. All of a sudden, within a week or two, I got contacted by a lot of new home buyers who decided to become active again after staying still for a while. And some previous home buyers who put their home search on pause continued their search again.
The rental market also started to become really busy in late April. I signed 5 leases sight unseen recentlyb. What I’m noticing is that this year the cycle is a bit disrupted due to COViD-19, although we have yet to see housing prices coming down on a substantial level. Most areas stay the same or decline slightly, and since the housing market tends to operate on a macro level and moves much more slowly than stocks, we can’t necessarily extrapolate data from fluctuations within a short time to draw a meaningful conclusion.
Housing is an essential need. A lot of my friends bought recently because they were sick of paying 20k per year on rent in Boston. A newly married couple is moving in together and is buying a house. A couple is having a kid and needs more space to accommodate the baby so they buy bigger house. Empty nesters have more house than they need after their kids go to college, so they downgrade to a smaller house. A recession doesn’t change these circumstances for people.
The point of this discussion is not to predict when the recession will come, or help all home buyers make a decision about whether they should buy now or wait a few months. In fact every market is different and everyone’s financial situation and timelines are completely different. So what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another.
That being said, I know that it’s a tough time for many of us, whether you know someone with COVID or perhaps having a hard time with the lockdown lifestyle. Let’s continue to support each other and stay connected. Cheers!