Although we have weathered dramatic changes in the real estate market in the past, the unprecedented global health threat posed by coronavirus is unlike any other potential market disruption we’ve experienced before.
In this time of uncertainty, our clients are asking a lot of questions. We want to try to address them the best we can, keeping in mind that the landscape is constantly changing.
First, know that our top priority is the safety of our clients and team members. We are working diligently to stay informed and follow the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization recommendations.
We don’t yet know how long it will take to restore normal public health and return to everyday living. But we will get there by working together. And we will come out stronger.
All of us at Abio are working hard to assess the impact on the Bay Area real estate market. Unlike the financial markets, real estate data emerges over time. More unknowns, you groan. We understand.
Here’s what we do know:
- Buyers and sellers will still conduct business, but everything will happen much more slowly. Escrows may not close until the Bay Area-wide shelter-in-place order is lifted and offices can reopen. Appraisal timelines will suffer as well. Anything that requires in-person out-of-the-house presence simply won’t happen for a few weeks.
- Housing supply remains tight and demand is high.
- Mortgage interest rates are at near historic lows and may go even lower.
- Today’s conditions are far different from those that led to the 2008 recession. Runaway lending led to the drop in housing prices then. It was a structural problem in real estate finance that has since been fixed.
- Historically, real estate is a good long-term investment and a hedge against inflation.
- Buying a house is not just an investment. It’s your home.
How are we responding?
- Our No.1 priority is the health of our community. Following CDC recommendations, we are taking social distancing and sanitizing very, very seriously. We encourage everyone to stay safe and stay home.
- Pursuant to the shelter-in-place order issued by Bay Area counties, we are advising our Sellers to cancel all open houses until the order is lifted.
- We are leveraging our digital platform and tools to enable buyers to tour properties with videos and virtually, like this.
- We are constantly analyzing market data and watching for significant shifts.
- Our entire team is working together – even more than usual – to get pricing and valuation right.
- We are planning to send regular updates to keep you informed as conditions change.
Thoughts for buyers:
- Tour virtually. We are making that possible.
- Review your down payment and available cash. You may want to shift your price point.
- Focus on finding the home that works for your family. Yes, price is important, but so are your housing needs.
Thoughts for sellers:
- You’ll probably be approached by bargain hunters, but remember that serious buyers are still shopping for homes.
- It may take longer to sell your home as we make logistical changes in how we show your home.
- Expect some “Wait and Sees.”
- If you are in the midst of repairs and renovations to get your home ready to list, be aware that delivery of imported building supplies may take longer.
Thoughts for everyone:
Remember that home is where the heart is. It’s your sanctuary while we live with less contact with the rest of the world. Relish the home that shelters you and your family, and let that feeling be your guide as you make your real estate decisions.
We are here to help and listen. Call us at 510-612-5546 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns. We’ll always tell you the truth, and we won’t pretend to know what we don’t know.
Our thoughts are with you as you work to protect your loved ones, neighbors, and friends.