The Southern California Housing Market Prevails Through the Pandemic
Since the beginning of this coronavirus pandemic, it seems that everything in our lives has come to a standstill. Professional sports worldwide are suspended for their seasons, all events and conferences have been canceled, and any plans to travel, leave the house, or vacation have vanished.
Homebuying demand has yet to be halted by this pandemic. With record-low mortgage rates and extremely competitive housing markets, buyers in SoCal are in a balancing act of how to move forward. “It’s kind of a tug of war: interest rates on the one side and some of the business fundamentals on the other side,” said Stuart Gabriel, Director of the Ziman Center of Real Estate at UCLA. (Source) Real estate agents throughout Southern California are not seeing a lot of fear in their networks. The want or need to buy a home is still strong, so far.
Keep in mind, just because interest in purchasing a home is strong now doesn’t mean that will be the case a month from now, or even in a couple of weeks. In a fast-moving crisis like this, it’s difficult to accurately assess the overall mood of buyers and sellers. Attractive low interest rates could change if the economy shuts down for an extended period of time and interest rates don’t matter much if people don’t have a job to help with a down payment or pay their mortgage. On top of that, buyers are concerned about the money they have invested in the stock market, bitcoin, bonds, gold, or other assets that are currently losing their value.
So far, there is no need to fear about buyers backing out of deals or losing interest in homes on the market. Syd Leibovitch, President of Rodeo Realty, said he’s seen no canceled deals and business is still good. Reports on Housing for Southern California show time on the market was 48 days in LA County, the same as the week before. Typically anything below 60 is considered hot.
Real estate is an essential service in California, which is great news for agents throughout the state, but this also comes with responsibilities and new guidelines to follow. Agents throughout the country are having to change and adapt to the changing landscape while still meeting the needs of their clients that still want to buy and sell. If you’re looking for resources to help you better understand how this affects you and how you can respond, take our free Doing Business During COVID-19 course to better prepare you and your business.