These are uncertain times we are living in. Many people are unwilling to make any changes in their lives until they know more about what is going to happen in the future. This is a totally normal and reasonable reaction to closures and shut-downs. There does remain a portion of the population that is willing to take reasonable risks to take advantage of the historically low rates so they can purchase the home of their dreams.
This week the Federal Reserve lowered a key interest rate to 0%. This typically signals a lowering of interest rates on mortgages as well. With historically low rates and a typically robust spring Real Estate market, you would expect to see even more activity than normal. But, this year is anything but normal.
As people practice social distancing and voluntary self-quarantining, many people who would have put their homes on the market in a normal year are opting to stay put for now. There is now just a 1.5 month supply of homes for sale in the Charlotte region, down from a 2.5 month supply just one year ago, and well below the 4-6 month supply needed for a balanced market between buyers and sellers. This means that we could see an un-seasonal uptick in the real estate market later in the year after the virus has been contained.
The virus has also ground travel to a virtual standstill and has almost totally stopped people from relocating whether for employment or otherwise. Normally you see a shift in population from one city to another as people take advantage of opportunities to change jobs or careers. This is not happening as people are asked not to travel for any reason and to work from home as much as possible. In this day and age of virtual connectedness, many jobs can be completed entirely from home which means that we may see people continuing to work from home even after the crisis is past.
Colleges and Universities have canceled or postponed most classes and are working on providing content in a virtual campus. This could have further implications for anyone scheduled to graduate and enter the labor market. Typically these young people scatter all over the nation and world to embark on the first steps in their careers. This may be the beginning of young professionals working from home as the new norm. This changes how young people connect with each other and markedly changes our social patterns.
These are still early days of dealing with Coronavirus and all of the implications. Real Estate is a necessary resource so there will always be a market for land and homes. Hopefully everything begins to get back to normal soon and the spring real estate market is delayed and not skipped for this year. If you are one of the risk averse people, we hope to see you after this all blows over. If you are willing to take appropriate risks, let us know and we will help you navigate through these ever changing waters to get you into the home of your dreams.