5 Interesting Ways COVID-19 is Affecting Real Estate — for the Long-Term

Even as we begin to settle into a new normal, the effects of COVID-19 are sure to still be felt throughout life for a while to come. More than how we socialize and where we work, these changes are affecting real estate—in ways that all potential buyers and sellers should be aware of as they think of making moves.

Here are a few predictions from the experts…

There may be an exodus from big cities:

According to a recent survey of homebuyers and sellers by Redfin, more than 50% of residents in four of the country’s most expensive cities would plan to move elsewhere if they are able to work remotely. With other evidence suggesting permanent remote situations are likely for many jobs, this could mean more people seeking lower-cost residences in states like Nebraska.

Homebuying may rebound—plus some:

With the majority of the country on stay at home orders during the spring, it was of little surprise that real estate transactions slowed down in comparison to 2019. However, what was surprising was how quickly they seemed to rebound to levels even higher than in April 2019, according to data from Zillow. Looking ahead, there is some conjecture that more people will be itching to move as they spend more time in their homes and want residences that really work for their families.

Mortgage lenders will tighten requirements:

Throughout the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, mortgage rates continued to hold at historically low rates. However, anyone looking to buy now should be prepared to answer some more questions and provide more documentation in order to qualify than in years past. According to HomeLight, lenders are “tightening eligibility requirements” to protect would-be buyers from getting in over their heads as the economy remains uncertain.

Don’t expect home prices to significantly drop:

Unlike during the 2008 recession, which was uncharacteristically marked by home values that sharply declined, experts predict that more locales will experience stable or slightly improving values in the next year.

Buyers’ wish lists will change:

Just as people may flock from expensive, big cities to wide open spaces, they are also valuing aspects of homes that they may not have given much consideration in the past—such as ample outdoor space or multiple family rooms for people to spread out.

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