With an expected slowdown in spring real estate business activity, many Realtors remain hopeful for a post-pandemic market rebound, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors.
The majority of Realtors say buyers and sellers will return to the market as delayed transactions following the end of the health crisis. Nearly six out of 10 members (59%) say buyers are delaying home purchases for a couple of months, while a similar share of members (57%) saying sellers are delaying home sales for a couple of months.
“Home sales will decline this spring because of unique economic and social consequences resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, but much of the activity looks to reappear later in the year,” explains NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Home prices will remain stable because of a pandemic-induced reduction in inventory coupled with less immediate concerns over foreclosures.”
NAR’s latest Economic Pulse Flash Survey – conducted April 5-6 – asked members questions about how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the residential and commercial real estate markets. Several highlights of the member survey include:
Due to the outbreak, 90% of members said buyer interest declined and 80% of members cited a decline in the number of homes on the market.
Home prices look to hold steady after rising robustly before the pandemic. Almost three in four members (72%) said sellers have not reduced prices to attract buyers. Conversely, more than six in 10 members (63%) said buyers are expecting a decline in home prices as buyers sense less competition in the current environment.
Technology plays a vital role as the real estate industry adapts to the new reality of managing deals virtually with social distancing directives in place. Members said the most common technology tools used to interact with clients are e-signatures, social media, messaging apps and virtual tours.
Residential tenants are facing rent payment issues, but many delayed payment requests are being accommodated. Nearly half of property managers (46%) reported being able to accommodate tenants who cannot pay rent and more than a quarter of individual landlords (27%) said the same. The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act includes provisions on eviction prevention and small business loans and grants that are critical to keeping the rental market steady.