If I had to characterize the currentSan Diegoreal estate market I would describe it as “Paralyzed”. No one knows when this pandemic will end nor can they predict the long-term economic consequences with any certainty. There is just too much happening around us that we can’t control. All of which makes the huge financial decision of buying or selling a home downright terrifying.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind that might shed some positive light on our market conditions.
- This will not last forever. Some outbreaks of this virus may persist, but we have already seen that the rate of infection and death can be slowed if we all continue to thwart the spread. The day will come when we can once again buy our favorite brand of toilet paper, go to a restaurant or celebrate with friends.
- People need a place to live. Whether you rent or own, everyone needs a place to live, and there will always be reasons why someone needs to find a new home. People relocate for jobs or to be closer to family. People divorce, People have babies, and so on. There might not be as many buyers at the moment, but there are buyers.
- Interest rates are low. This is actually a window of opportunity for many buyers. Unless you are worried about your job being in jeopardy, this may be a good time to buy as there are fewer buyers, less competition and the low rates mean you will get more for your money. Virtual tours and other safety precautions can help keep you safe.
- San Diego housing inventory is low. This is an opportunity for sellers as it is anticipated that inventory will get even tighter and as noted, there will still be people that need to buy. This scarcity will help to keep prices from going into a freefall. Time on market may be longer right now, but I believe that market activity will increase as soon as we start to turn the corner on this pandemic.
- A real estate crash is unlikely. Unlike 2008, lending guidelines are more stringent and home values are not artificially inflated. More homeowners have real equity in their homes making it unlikely that they owe more than their home is worth, a recipe that encourages foreclosure and short sales. Additionally, lenders appear to be willing to work with financially struggling borrowers to provide forbearance agreements or other loss mitigation strategies.
While we pass through this period of uncertainty there are actions you can take now to be ready to enter the market when we can move about more safely. If you are looking to buy a home, now is a great time to get pre-approved, or dive into my book, “Home Buying Power: The Savvy Shopper’s Guide to Paying Less and Getting More in any Real Estate Market”. If you are hoping to sell, now is a great time for that deep cleaning and de-cluttering. It is also a good time to get your yard in shape, ready to make a great first impression.
If you are ready and need to act now, just give me a call. We have the technology and protocols to help you safely buy or sell. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any specific real estate questions or concerns.
Stay safe my friends!