Coronavirus: it’s on everyone’s mind these days. Amid the fears of transmission rates and actually falling ill with the virus are very real concerns about how this pandemic will affect the economy and the housing market. There are plenty of people already saying we’re headed for a recession and that the real estate market will plunge back to the dark days of 2008 and 2009.
While we can’t predict the future, we can share what we’re seeing and experiencing here on Long Island as Realtors living in and serving this community. We’ve been forced to dramatically adjust our business amidst sweeping regulations and directives from the national and local government, the CDC, and the real estate governing body, the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However, the real estate market has not come to a grinding halt. Far from it.
Long Island Real Estate and the Coronavirus
As of writing, there are 9,351 active listings on the market right now in both Nassau and Suffolk County. 478 properties have gone under contract in the last week. On the closing side, 259 homes have closed in the last seven days in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. You can view specific market activity in your own neighborhood on our website here or reach out to us.
While the Executive Order by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo limits real estate agents to only the work we can do from home, necessity is the mother of invention and where there is a will, there’s a way. Property showings over FaceTime, 3-D virtual tours, and other creative solutions from sellers, buyers, agents, and other industry professionals have helped keep deals moving.
Outside of sales, there has also been a huge demand for rental properties on Long Island as people are leaving New York City to wait out the pandemic elsewhere. People with properties available for short-term rentals are finding themselves able to command higher prices as a result of increased demand. Some people have been able to rent their properties at peak summer prices now.
Predictions for Late 2020 and Beyond
While it’s too soon to say how home prices will be directly impacted, one thing we do know is that the Long Island real estate market started the year strong and all indications pointed to a busy spring and summer. When this crisis is over, we expect many buyers who may have temporarily suspended their home search to return to the market. Similarly, many sellers will still need to sell their homes – and may be even more motivated to do so quickly.
Compared to what was happening in the housing market in late 2008, not everyone is being severely affected financially by this crisis. Many industries are still doing quite well and some scrappy business owners have already pivoted their offerings to keep the lights on. It’s not unreasonable to believe that many people will emerge from the current crisis without significant financial damage and ready to move on with their real estate transactions.
Finally, there has already been an uptick in investor interest in US real estate. As in all financially uncertain times, investors with the means to do so often move their money out of stocks and bonds and into assets like real estate. Residential real estate investments represent a relatively safe investment option as their value will never go to zero and people will always need a place to live, no matter what’s happening in the world. Overseas investors are already used to buying properties sight-unseen, so the current limitations on in-person showings in New York and beyond do not present much of a problem at all. We expect that domestic and foreign investors will continue to purchase homes in the months to come, even if the average family finds themselves holding back.
If you are thinking of selling or buying a home in Long Island this year, let’s talk. We’ll help you create a strategy that fits both your goals and the current state of the housing market in your community. We are working hard to help our clients through this historic time and will do the same for you.