* By Izabella Lipetski
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Before the World Health Organization officially declared the Coronavirus a pandemic sometime middle of March of this year, most homes in America were coming from the dirty greys of late winter. Homeowners have not yet started to spruce up their houses and spring was still in the horizon. If you were in the market looking to sell your home or looking for that dream home, the arrival of spring was home buying season. But with a virus circling the globe, buying or selling a house got a little more challenging.
There is no doubt that this pandemic has caused a lot of anxiety amongst home sellers and buyers. Will the coronavirus cause a housing collapse? How will the virus affect my home’s price? How am I going to look for a suitable home now that we are required to stay at home?
Even before the pandemic, the housing market has already been tight. Home prices have risen dramatically, supply has been on a record low, and demand has been on a record high. The effect of the pandemic differs from city to city depending on local conditions. New home listings and mortgage applications have significantly dropped in places like East Bay in California. In-person showings have been totally banned in Los Angeles prompting the real estate industry to try different digital solutions. Zillow has made a study about previous pandemics and it has found out that while home sales dropped dramatically during a pandemic, home prices stayed the same.
But not everything is doom and gloom for the housing market during these uncertain times. The good news is that the federal government has declared a moratorium on foreclosures and directed mortgage providers to offer forbearance or reduced payments. The coronavirus has also pushed mortgage rates lower giving more people the opportunity to own a home.
The good thing about the housing market is that it is not so tied to outside circumstances. Since housing is a basic need, the decision to buy a house is usually prompted by entering a new stage in life, like marriage. A pandemic does not change this circumstance for people which make the housing market incredibly durable.
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* Izabella Lipetski is a real estate agent in California, USA.
Traducão: Izabella Lipetski é corretora de imóveis na Califórnia, Estados Unidos.
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