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Navigating the Charlotte Real Estate Market during COVID-19

Navigating the Charlotte Real Estate Market during COVID-19

The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives and ability to conduct business.  Mandatory social distancing has forced the widespread shutdown of businesses and facilities. The real estate industry has not escaped impact, and everyone has had to quickly adjust.

Much like the modeling of the virus can change day by day, the immediate future of real estate is hard to predict.  While many predict the short-term impact of the pandemic will be felt by the real estate industry, the long-term outlook for Charlotte remains strong.  Fears of recession are impacting the real estate market and general attitude surrounding the economy.  Home prices tend to fall during recessions, although the strong housing market in Charlotte is a positive safe guard. Job security, decreased values of investment portfolio, and a desire to “wait and see” will certainly cause the real estate market to be negatively impacted until the crisis is over, which is for an unknown time period at this point.

While mortgage rate are already at historical lows, it is possible for home prices to go down, as well. Some buyers may proceed cautiously, now being able to get into a “dream” home sooner than later by capitalizing on buyer friendly market conditions.  Sellers are also moving forward cautiously, with a “wait and see” approach, causing less inventory and seller friendly conditions.

Home tours, inspections, and renovations are more challenging during this time, though vacant homes seem to be minimally impacted. 

Leasing properties continues, as usual, with the adjustment of waiting for tenants to fully vacate before showing properties during the Stay At Home Order.

High quality pictures and 3D Virtual Tours are more essential during this time, particularly when showings can be much more difficult or the property is occupied.

New construction continues, as workers are considered essential, but seem to proceed with caution and new projects may be placed on hold until the crisis is over.

With the uncertain market, there is a high likelihood of seeing purchasing contacts getting canceled more frequently, especially with many homes going under contract sight unseen. COVID-19 Addendums are available for use, though both buyers and sellers should understand the pros and cons of using the addendum.

The COVID-19 international pandemic is a new experience for us all. There are no reliable prediction models for its impact on the real estate market, but we can cautiously be optimistic that home values will hold steady until this crisis is over.  Though it will certainly take time, the stock market will recover, the economy will get back on track, and consumer confidence will increase, all which will positively impact the housing market.

Submitted by Laura Grant