New Trends In Home Buying During Covid-19
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to shape how we interact with those around us and how businesses operate. As with every industry, there have been changes in real estate during the Covid-19 pandemic that are likely to stick around for some time.
Buying a Colorado home during Covid-19
In March Colorado’s stay-at-home orders brought the real estate market to a standstill. But as restrictions slowly relax, the housing market is showing signs of heating up. Previously quarantined buyers and sellers are returning to the market. Buyers who paused their home search during the March shut-down are now able to view properties in-person and sellers are seeing high demand for their recently listed properties.
Buyers who are entering the home buying market during Covid-19 are going to see noticeable changes in the real estate landscape. The state restrictions in place today are likely to stick around for some time.
What Buyers Can Expect
Even amid the pandemic, there are plenty of reasons to buy a home right now. Mortgage interest rates are at near-record lows and signs indicate they will remain so at least through the end of the year.
However, the pandemic has reshaped home buying during Covid-19. If you are thinking of starting your home search here is what you can expect.
> Interest rates at near-record lows.
Perhaps the best trend in home buying during Covid-19 is mortgage rates remain at near-record lows. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates continue to slowly decline with an average 30 year fixed mortgage hovering around 3 percent.
Record low mortgage rates are likely to remain in place for the rest of the year.
> Home prices continue to rise.
May 2020 marked 99 straight months of national price gains. No one can predict the real estate market and Covid-19 has increased uncertainty but extremely low inventory in housing is continuing to push housing prices up, especially here in Colorado.
There are no indications this will ease. If anything the pandemic has put even more pressure on inventory as sellers held off listing earlier in the year. Forecasts show pricing continuing to rise throughout the year.
> Social distancing restrictions.
Buyers should expect hand sanitizer and masks to be part of home buying during Covid-19.
There are new rules about how home showings can take place. You may now book in-person home showings but masks, gloves, and foot coverings will be required and your Realtor will be wearing them as well. Showings may be limited to the contract signers only and there are limits to how many people can be in a home at a time. State social distancing guidelines are in effect and some sellers may ask you to sign a waiver before entering the home.
These new realities of home buying during Covid-19 are likely to stick around for the foreseeable future.
> Virtual showings.
Buyers may be able to “tour” a potential home via the internet. Sellers are increasingly listing homes with a virtual tour in the MLS but if this is not available, a Realtor may provide one for you.
Some Realtors are scheduling virtual tours and Facebook live showings “walking” buyers through a potential home from afar.
> Closing changes.
Expect closing to take place in unusual locations, possibly virtually. And buyers and sellers may be asked to complete their side of the closing at separate times.
Colorado real estate market remains strong.
Even with the changes home buying during Covid-19 brings, the Colorado housing market still stands strong. Real estate in Northern Colorado is selling nearly as briskly as it was before Covid-19.
Right now we are seeing an increase in demand, low inventory, record-low mortgage rates, and rising prices. Inventory is extremely low, putting pressure on buyers to act fast and creating a competitive market for homes.