May 2020

May 2020


According to the latest issue of Barron's published May 8th - "A Road Map For Housing", here's a summary of the article:

For the majority of Americans who own a home, the roof over their heads represents most of their wealth - and the biggest expense. But the struggling economy isn't about to topple the housing market. The economic news has been grim during this pandemic, more than twice as many Americans lost their jobs in April than in two years during the Great Recession. So DOES A RECESSION EQUAL A HOUSING CRASH? The fact is, it doesn't. During the last five recessions, only twice did the housing market go down (-1.9% in 1991 and -19.7% in 2008). Home prices appreciated during the other 3 recessions (6.1% in 1980, 3.5% in 1981 and 6.6% in 2001). And so far this year, home prices have held up: the median list price for houses for sale on Zillow at the end of April was actually 1% higher than it was same time last year. Some of the good news is temporarily: the housing market is effectively in a "timeout", with fewer buyers and sellers. Without transactions, there can be no price changes. "It's not like there's a pandemic discount", says Nela Richardson, investment strategist at Edward Jones. Other optimistic reasons is that the supply of houses available is the tightest it has been in decades, and most owners had a healthy amount of equity in their homes heading into the pandemic.

Planning to Move?
The biggest question for any housing decision is where, and how, you want to live. Real Estate is a long-term investment - particularly in tough economic times. Think of it as a life goal, as opposed to an investment goal. If you're already thinking of moving, here's what you need to know:

Right Now: The housing market is in something of a timeout. Sellers: Now is not a bad time to list. Inventory is low, which means prices in many markets are holding steady. Buyers: Don't expect bargains. Sellers aren't necessarily budging on price.

Near Term: Transactions could pick up in the summer and into fall. Sellers: Look for a tech savvy agent who has experience with virtual open houses and marketing. Buyers: Expect tighter lending standards, including higher credit scores, more documentation, and income requirements. The jumbo lending especially have tightened up.

Long Term: There are 72 million millennials in or near their peak home buying years. Sellers: Consider the preferences of future home buyers in renovations and curb appeal. Buyers: Keep an eye on local employment numbers, construction activity, and demographics, but keep your move in perspective. "A home is a place where you live, raise a family, meet neighbors, and self-quarantine".

Thinking of you and your loved ones,