This is the time of year when our real estate market starts to heat up, but many are questioning what impact the coronavirus outbreak may have.
For now, real estate industry experts say coronavirus remains a wild card. The lending and refinancing side of real estate has picked up tremendously, thanks in part to the Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut at the beginning of the month, and many lenders nationwide are working overtime to process applications. The current low interest rates are certainly attractive to buyers.
While it’s too early to tell what the long-term impacts may be, it hasn’t seemed to slow down Seattle-area buyers and sellers. Available inventory remains low, demand is high and the current seller’s market is still producing multiple offers on many listings.
“I think it’s too early to tell right now,” Windermere broker Cassie Walker Johnson tells KOMO News. “There’s certainly a lot of talk.”
First-time home buyer Kristen Vogel has been house hunting in Seattle for only three weeks and told KOMO News her search “pretty much tracks the coronavirus.” At first, she considered putting her search on hold.
“You know, we’ve been instructed to avoid putting ourselves in places where we could get sick and walking through homes of people I don’t know and being around people was really the only hesitancy,” she explained.
Her plan now is to do what she can to prevent infection and not let panic stop her search.
Amid the unknowns, real estate-related businesses are assessing sales, listings and showings to implement prudent planning over panic and fear. For sellers preparing to put their homes on the market, it’s important to make sure the space is in the absolute best condition possible and that properties are priced competitively.
For buyers, despite the historically low interest rates, it’s recommended to avoid maxing out your mortgage budget.
“Have some savings. And, don’t use the highest amount of mortgage you’ve been qualified for. It’s being smart all of the time, regardless of what external factors are going on,” said Walker Johnson.
More from Windermere on the coronavirus (COVID-19):
Matthew Gardner speaks to KIRO Radio about the potential impacts on real estate and our local economy. READ MORE AND LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE