The global COVID19 pandemic is causing unprecedented levels of medical and economic damage, choking hospitals of resources and killing small businesses like barbershops, restaurants, and nail salons. Global shipping has taken a huge hit, and governments are scrambling to guard against an economic collapse unlike anything the world has seen.
The far-reaching effects of the coronavirus have left no industry untouched, including the real estate market. Close eyes are on the real estate market, and early reports are dire. In this blog, we’ll analyze the current effects and predictions for the real estate market.
How COVID19 Is Shaking Up The Market
The coronavirus is quickly overwhelming citizens and governments alike, while the negative ramifications continue to build. The economy was already slowing down, so the coronavirus has acted to accelerate and exacerbate the already-coming recession. Unlike the previous recession, though, the housing market may not take as big a hit.
The head off the effects of the coronavirus, state and federal governments are helping by providing relief and assistance for those with mortgages. Since many people rent, especially young adults, some help is likely in the works for them.
For investors, the most important numbers will be interest rates, which will continue to drop as this pandemic progresses. Lower interest rates mean more investment in property and development, given how fruitful it will be as opposed to bonds or CDs.
At the time of writing, normal housing behavior has been maintained more or less. Recent surveys have shown that 80 to 90 percent of home buyers and sellers report no change in interest or sales, despite the crisis. The National Association of Homebuilders has sent President Trump a letter asking for federal support for the housing sector nonetheless, likely worried about the future implications of the pandemic.
For now, the housing market is relatively stable. Future forecasts, however, are not as optimistic.
The Future Of The Housing Market
The housing market, like the rest of the economy, has its underpinnings in debt. Lots and lots of debt. It’s estimated that there’s enough debt for each American man, woman, and child to have $12,000 each in debt. The pandemic presents a huge opportunity for the housing market to collapse ordinary Americans, but it all hinges on the way the government responds.
The Trump administration has taken steps to head off the crisis by putting a freeze on mortgages backed by federal bodies like Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, or the FHA. While this will put mortgage servicers in a bad spot, it should ultimately save the cascade of foreclosures that would have happened otherwise.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the housing market as a whole was already pretty tight. Housing prices have been skyrocketing for some time now, and the available homes for sale have also decreased across most major cities.
Besides the 2008 housing crash (which ultimately caused the stock market crash), the housing market is actually quite resilient during a recession. In fact, many people are looking to shift their investments into real estate because it seems like a safer option than other types of investments.
How Should I React To The Coronavirus?
Unfortunately, it’s hard to know how to respond since we have no clue how long or severe the coronavirus recession will end up being. It’s hard to make decisions when the future is so uncertain. Many investors, as stated above, are taking advantage of rock-bottom rates and are investing in droves.
If you recently bought a home, refinancing may be a great idea, though many banks are pausing their refinancing programs due to the coronavirus. Some experts warn of a liquidity crunch in the market, due to the lack of capital from lenders. Getting a mortgage and a new home will be difficult, thus making the housing market grind to a crawl.
The best advice at the moment would likely to practice very cautious and well-calculated moves. As the stock market is showing, many people are panic selling their stocks and panic buying toilet paper. Those probably aren’t the wisest moves, especially since the markets are going to be receiving some major help from the government.
Investing in real estate may represent a much more stable choice, but the best tool you can have in times like these is knowledge. Stay up to date with the latest news and government actions will best inform your investing decisions.
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