Good afternoon everybody,
Today I’m hoping to offer something different: some normalcy.
Has real estate been affected by COVID-19? Not in the ways many believe.
You probably heard the Federal Reserve cut the funds rate by 1.5%, with many click-baity headlines suggesting “Fed Slashes Rate to 0%”. The actual impact on current mortgage rates isn't much for consumers in terms of purchases and refinances. But it does mean those mortgages can be backed cheaply, which should keep rates low for a while. If the economy miraculously - and quickly - rebounds, expect them to go up a bit. However we can probably all agree that recovery will be slow. The bottom line: mortgage rates are still ridiculously low and probably will be through spring and summer.
What's in store for sellers during the typically busy spring season? Some panic-prone folk will leave their houses off the market, out of fear of: A) a lack of buyers, B) a tanking economy or C) just getting the heebie-jeebies from having strangers infect their homes. For the rest, let's be realistic and quickly look at the numbers.
In Fort Collins, the average days on market has dropped by 10 days in the last couple of weeks, inventory is slightly down since January, and prices are up 5% IN THE LAST MONTH. In other words, it’s a seller’s market. Pretty much like it is every March.
So things are normal, right? Well like I’ve said to many of you, perception can become reality and we simply can’t ignore what has changed. Most brokers are taking extra precautions at meetings and showings, and some listings offer sanitizer and signage urging people to use common sense. On the extreme end of things, a handful of sellers are relying on the 3D tours I’ve been using for years as their sole way of showing their home. More commonly, brief showing windows are offered if the house is occupied.
I do have one prediction for this year that I'd consider a lock. The post-4th of July lull won’t be as sharp as years past, if it happens at all. If you want my reasons, contact me.
The changes in how I’m conducting business? I’m relying on The Atoll high-five and prefer to meet at the property instead of chauffeuring. And I’m slightly cranky from movie popcorn withdrawal, but healthier for it. The term “exercising an abundance of caution” gets bandied about quite a little, and yes we’re doing it. Like you, I’m hoping to exorcise this abundance of caution ASAP.
So, please let me know if you are thinking of buying or selling - trust me, plenty of people are still benefiting from it every day. Cheers, Crip
*stats provided by Fidelity National Title
Originally published 3/18/2020