Just a few short months ago, the real estate outlook for the summer was sunny and bright, but the COVID-19 pandemic cast a pall over those early projections. Tracey Hernly, president of the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors, said new predictions anticipate drops in the market to continue this year. However, the good news is that as the stay-at-home restrictions are lifted and the unemployment rate improves over the next two to four months, some relief is expected.
“Our chief economist for the National Association of Realtors has projected a 10% decline in sales this year and that it will be up again next year,” Hernly said.
An April survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors demonstrated how the residential and commercial markets responded to COVID-19.
More than a quarter of real estate agents – 27% – said they were able to complete nearly all aspects of transactions while respecting social distancing. The most common technology tools used to communicate with clients were e-signatures, social media, messaging apps and virtual tours.
Residential tenants faced rent payment issues, but many delayed payment requests were being accommodated, the survey said. Forty-seven percent of property managers reported being able to accommodate tenants who could not pay rent.
“Consumers are mostly abiding by stay-in-shelter directives, and it appears the current decline in buyer and seller activity is only temporary, with a majority ready to hit the market in a couple of months,” National association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in April.