“ COVID-19无疑为购房者创造了特殊的环境，”佛罗里达州棕榈滩镇的房地产开发商的市场总监Susan Moguel说， “由于防疫关闭了许多行业，大流行造成的经济不确定性迫使许多人搁置了购房计划。”
TheClose.com网站首席房地产分析师兼执行编辑埃米尔·莱普拉特尼尔(Emile L’Eplattenier)认为，房地产价值被认为是市场冲击的滞后指标。 “我们可以把它想像成地震后的海啸：即使股市遭受了巨大破坏，几十个行业都在崩溃，我们至少几个月都不会开始看到这种影响对房地产价格的影响。”
Nest Seekers International的持牌房地产经纪人Peggy Zabakolas说：“没人能预测市场，我坚信正确的购买时机是在您做好财务准备之后。”
“COVID-19 has definitely created special circumstances for homebuyers,” said Susan Moguel, marketing director at Arden, a real estate developer in Palm Beach County, Florida. “With numerous industries shuttered due to quarantine, the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic forced many people to put their homebuying plans on hold.”
On the other hand, mortgage rates are at rock bottom. Plus, many homebuilders and developers are enticing buyers with special deals, such as discounted prices, waived closing costs, appliance upgrades, mortgage modifications and more, Moguel said. “Those in the market for a new home have a unique opportunity to take advantage of these opportunities during this time,” she said.
Mortgage Rates Are At All-Time Lows
Though the Fed’s target rate doesn’t have a direct effect on mortgage interest rates, there is a connection between the two, and mortgage rates dropped accordingly. Mortgage rates fell to all-time lows in April, and the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage now hovers around 3.4%.
The Biggest Homebuying Opportunities Are Yet To Come
Real estate values are considered a lagging indicator of market shocks, according to Emile L’Eplattenier, chief real estate analyst and managing editor for TheClose.com. “Think of it like a tsunami that follows an earthquake: Even with massive damage to the stock market and dozens of industries all but collapsing, we won’t start to see the effects play out on real estate pricing for a few months at least,” he said.
For one, homeowners have been spoiled by tight inventory and hyperspeed gentrification over the past few years, L’Eplattenier said. So those who are in the unfortunate position of having to sell during the pandemic will stubbornly stick to pre-recession pricing for a few months.
Further, the government has take several measures to stimulate the economy and protect consumers who can’t afford their bills. But that won’t go on forever. “Over the next few months, the government will eventually put the brakes on printing money. Eviction and foreclosure moratoriums will cease in many markets. And we [will] start to see thousands of businesses go under. This is when the real estate market is going to really start to wobble and fall.”
The foreclosure process takes a long time, so homes that soon enter foreclosure won’t show up at auction for at least another few months. But once they do, housing prices should fall fast. “Foreclosures are like weeds in a garden; they pull down the value of aggressively priced homes, and quickly,” L’Eplattenier said.
Should You Buy A House During A Pandemic?
Rock-bottom rates make homebuying an attractive option, but there are still many unknowns and challenges when it comes to assessing how the pandemic will affect the market and consumers’ financial lives.
As of April, more than 30 million Americans had filed for unemployment. Some states have begun to reopen businesses slowly, but there’s no telling what kind of ripple effect the shutdown will have on employment for months to come.
Buying a home when your job stability is uncertain is a risky prospect. The next year might present once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to buy, but that doesn’t mean you should go for it if you aren’t prepared.
“No one can ever predict the market, and I am a strong believer that the right time to buy is when you are financially ready to,” said Peggy Zabakolas, a licensed real estate broker with Nest Seekers International.
The good news for prospective homebuyers with stable income and plenty of cash on hand is that if massive layoffs continue, we may see a lot of inventory coming up in the next few months at discounted prices, making it a buyer’s market.