April 2020 Real Estate + Covid19 Update

The Market

First and foremost, before we dive in, we want to extend a big air hug to you during this time. We hope you and your family are staying healthy. We have had a lot of clients reach out during this time and wonder “What is going on with the Real Estate Market?”  We will do our best to explain here, and please — reach out! We are always available for a Phone/Zoom conference call during this time to chat through what we are seeing in the real estate market. Real Estate is changing day to day. We are in uncharted waters and it is moving ever so quickly. Even our tasks as a Realtor are changing on what we can/cannot do during COVID19. We will continue to keep you posted as we progress during this time.

 

How is COVID-19 affecting the real estate industry here in the PNW? We are having to re-calibrate on how to best to serve our clients during this time. With the Stay Healthy at Home Act, our business has now been mostly virtual for the time being to protect our family, health, and community during this time. Please know we are uniquely positioned to serve you during this time. We have been facilitating Zoom conference calls to strategize with clients on when to list/timing and creating a plan of action & to-do items prior to listing. For Buyers, we are able to do virtual tours or meet in person with 1 person at a time following strict CDC orders.

We do expect the market to move at a slower pace during COVID19, as we have seen that trend already, but the market is definitely moving in all segments. Each day we provide a ‘market snapshot’ on the Dwell Home Team Instagram.

Zillow recently published a study on RE and the impact of previous historic outbreaks written by Chief Economist at Zillow Group.  She studies the behaviors and patterns of the housing market from previous pandemics. Essentially the market takes a pause during outbreaks, and historically, home values have dropped just slightly/if not staying the same in some markets. What does change is the number of home sales, drastically decreasing. Thus, the market taking a pause during this time.

Lets take a look at the stats for the past 30 days:
The average price in Tacoma is currently $360,134, and Seattle is at $788,087.

King County: 2,305 Sold + 2,774 Pending + 3,702 New Listings
previously 1,808 Sold + 2,739 Pending + 2,934 New Listings in February
Pierce County: 1,024 Sold + 1,367 Pending + 1,598 New Listings
previously 754 Sold + 1,153 Pending + 1,136 New Listings in February
Kitsap County: 283 Sold + 397 Pending + 502 New Listings
previously 219 Sold + 330 Pending + 334 New Listings in February

In just the last 7 days, there were 1,188 new listings that hit the market in the NWMLS, and 1,994 listings that went PENDING.  Every month we compile the latest market trends and March numbers are in! Check out the latest Market Update on our blog.

What are we at Dwell Home Team seeing in the RE market?
Here is what we are seeing in the market right now from buyers/sellers:

  • Sellers who are listing right now during this Pandemic are in a position where they NEED to sell. There is a big difference between wanting to sell and needing to sell.  Some are relocating for jobs, some are relocating out of state and are purchasing contingent, or, downsizing and have purchased another home elsewhere. For the most part, our sellers who are planning to list in Spring 2020 are waiting until the Stay at Home Order is lifted and the current state of health here in WA is more normalized. The homes we have seen go pending show that there are still thousands of active and ready buyers.
  • Buyers are still home shopping amidst the social distancing, from what we’ve seen these buyers are very SERIOUS buyers. They know what area they are searching in – what their ideal home looks like – and have everything ready to make an offer. For buyers, it is an amazing time to ‘Be a Buyer’ – inventory is higher than we have seen in previous months, there are a lower amount of buyers in the market, AND interest rates are incredibly low. Historic Lows.

This is a 24 hour market watch (pulled on 3/31) – we take a look at this daily and post on our Dwell Home Team Instagram. Since COVID, the Pending Listings, (meaning an offer was accepted by a seller that day it was reported as Pending to NWMLS) has been higher than new listings each and every day so far.
Even amidst a more virtual Real Estate world, the stats are showing us that the demand is still high here in the Pacific Northwest. 

The good news that we are seeing is this:  buyer/home demand is still high. 

Prior to COVID19 we were in a ‘housing crunch’ (simply put) — high demand with not enough supply. Many economists predict this to ‘even out’ and expect to see an influx in new listings here within the next couple of months. We anticipate our ‘Busy Spring Market’ to now be pushed back due to the pandemic. 

We found this video below very helpful outlining the current Real Estate market environment and how buyers/sellers are reacting to COVID19.This week Mathew Gardner discusses what it really means for the economy and housing to be in a COVID-19 induced recession.

Update from Mathew Gardner, Economist:

“This is a Health Crisis not a Housing Crisis..”

We’ve also received some big news as Realtors since the statewide Stay Home Stay Healthy order. Governor Inslee issued certain modifications to the Order for the residential real estate industry that acknowledge the importance of providing housing to the public. Realtors are still allowed to ‘practice’ work – however we are limited to the work we can do in public.

Fortunately, these directives have changed a bit and we are able to now resume with these key activities:

+Showings of Listings  (one client with one broker/Realtor at a time in the Home)

+Listing presentations and creating virtual tours for new listings

+Inspections for pending transaction (no pre-inspections)

+Providing keys to our buyers at closing

This doesn’t mean ‘business as usual’ for Realtors, but it allows us to continue to help our buyers and sellers while maintaining as much social distancing as possible and continuing to follow protocol. The new order says in-person showings can go ahead as long as no more than two people are touring a home at once, and it clarifies that home inspections, appraisals and final walk-throughs are allowed to proceed.

We want to take a minute to tell you we are here for you – clients, friends, and family – you all mean so much to us and we’re thinking of you every day. We are thankful for our health and praying for those who are sick. To the people on the frontline you are on our constant thoughts… As your agents it our job to protect you and your asset of your home. 

King County has extended this spring’s property-tax deadline for individual taxpayers, because of coronavirus-related concerns. The due date for property taxes from the first half of 2020 is April 30. But residential and commercial taxpayers who pay the taxes themselves, rather than through mortgage lenders, now will have until June 1.

National Association of Realtors® reported pending home sales increased 2.4% in February, climbing for the second consecutive month.

We are a team dedicated to serving others as we envision the Real Estate Process to be. A boutique approach to buying + selling homes. We take pride in the service we deliver to our clients, offering un-paralleled service. We believe a house is so much more than 4 walls and a roof. It is a place to grow, share memories and milestones with family. A place where your life transforms, and where you start and end each day. Dwell represents what a Home is – a place where our clients reside. Where they Live. Where they grow. Where they make memories. We cover Pierce, King, and Kitsap Counties. We are a full-service team with over 38 years of experience. Please call or text us anytime: (253) 905-0150

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