Spring has historically been dubbed “home-buying season,” but as the last few months have been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is summer the next best thing?
The beginning of 2020 saw the strongest time for mortgage purchase applications, and around late February into early March, homebuyers were getting antsy to purchase. It seemed like spring home-buying season was starting early.
Fast forward to the second half of March, and open houses got canceled with Realtors left unemployed because of the pandemic.
Many agents now think that the new home-buying season, for this year at least, is the summer. States are slowly opening up and restrictions on real estate practices have eased.
Kseniya Korneva, a Realtor in Tampa Bay, Florida, told HousingWire that she’s had clients hold off selling during the pandemic, but business is starting to pick up.
“I had [a seller] who was going to list this month, and then she ended up wanting to wait [for the summer] as well, so people are starting to pick up in the last two weeks or so,” Korneva said. “And a lot of people are also realizing they don’t like their homes when they’re doing quarantine, that might have something to do with [sales]. So I’m not worried about the summer slowing, I’m worried more about the fall.”
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“I believe buyers will want to take advantage of the interest rates in the summer,” Joyce Leonard, a Realtor in Southern California, told HousingWire. “I really think that the buyer demand is going to be there, and it will be interest-rate-driven.”
Korneva also believes that no matter what, people will still be willing to buy.
“I think it’ll boom for a couple of months, and then around fall I think it’ll start to slowly shift,” Korneva said. “So, I think everybody that was already planning to buy, a lot of them are still going to buy once things start opening up more. I think come closer in the fall, there will be less new buyers.”
Leonard said that she thinks the second half of the year will be strong on the real estate front, and the housing market will help fix the economy, as there will be soft home prices, low-interest rates and fewer foreclosures.
As for homebuyers and sellers who had homes on the market prior to the pandemic, Leonard added that this will drive the serious buyers to come out in the warmer months because of the pent-up demand.
“I do have a number of sellers that are waiting [because] they don’t feel that they want to go on the market, not because of the virus, but because of the slower market, and they don’t want to reduce their price,” Leonard said. “They’re going to wait through the summer, they’re not in a rush. That’s the feeling I’m getting for most of my sellers.”
Like Korneva, Leonard said her business began to pick up about two weeks ago, after a few weeks of a lull in response to stay-at-home orders and restrictions on open houses.
“I had some downtime during the slow period,” Leonard said. “I feel that we already hit bottom, and I feel we’re on the uptick.”
“I feel very strongly about a strong market, and I think that real estate is going to drive the economy right back,” Leonard continued. “I believe it.”
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