Like realtors and mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys are getting the same question over and over again these days: what does COVID-19 mean for the real estate market? We wish we had a crystal ball and could give you the answer. Usually when we answer such questions, we base the answers on how the market has performed in the past, but we’ve never seen anything like the COVID-19 pandemic so the past can’t be used as a predictor. Here’s our best guess as to how Austin real estate will be impacted by the coronavirus.
Should I Sell My House During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
We’re lucky in Austin—the city is booming, the market is hot, and this means the real estate market is somewhat insulated from the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Is it still a good time to sell your house, though?
Well, that depends. If you were planning on selling anyway or have a compelling reason to sell—a growing family or relocation, for example—we’d advise you to sell now while houses are still moving. We can’t be certain about what the market will look like in a few months, but it’s reasonable to expect that housing prices might take a dip and the market will slow. While we’re insulted here in Austin, that doesn’t mean we’re completely immune. If you’re simply downsizing or upsizing and you have the ability to wait, we suggest waiting until the market fully rebounds before listing your home.
Should I Buy a House During Coronavirus Shutdowns?
You might feel uneasy going to showings during the pandemic, but we’ll leave the medical advice to your doctor. From a real estate market perspective, does it make sense to buy right now?
If you have a stable job and don’t expect to lose your income, the consensus among our real estate attorneys at Kelly Legal Group is that it’s a great time to buy. Interest rates are low and there’s less competition from other buyers. Housing prices have not dropped yet, but if you can wait until the summer or even fall, you’re likely to get an even better deal. If you’re looking for new construction, large home builders and developers are offering incentives so they can move their properties before a potential recession.
What Are the Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 on Real Estate?
The first two questions were easier to answer. This one is a lot harder, as the factors at play here are unpredictable. How long will the pandemic last? Will it fade away this summer for good or, as many experts predict, hit us even harder in the fall and winter? Will our economy quickly rebound or will we experience a recession or even a depression?
Because the Austin real estate market is booming, we’re optimistic that property values may temporarily drop only to rebound again once the economy improves. New construction will likely slow down significantly and when it starts up again, it may look different depending on the long-term economic impacts of the pandemic. During a crisis when we’re sheltering at home, we’ll also come to value our homes differently. It’s not just about how much they have the potential to sell for—our homes are our safe havens in a chaotic world and that’s something you can’t put a price on.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re in need of a real estate attorney, contact us today at 512-505-0053 to schedule an appointment for a consultation. For more legal news about the impact of COVID-19, see our article on the coronavirus and estate planning.