Week 4 of the Stay Home Order…
For the second consecutive week, we are seeing an increase in both the number of new listings, and the number of properties going pending:
We had 62 more houses come on the market this week compared to last week, and 20 more condos.
We still have a lot less people buying houses than in previous years, but we are seeing more activity this week than last for both houses and condos. Let’s wrap our heads around the fact that in the City of Seattle, over the last 7 days, and in the middle of a state-wide Stay Home Order, we had 228 home owners put their homes up for sale and 100 buyers brave the outside world and put in offers on homes.
The Hard Data:
Roughly, we are seeing a reduction in “sales volume” (the number of properties that we are putting up for sale and putting in offers on) of about 1/3 compared with this time in 2019. Although that number may seem shocking out of context, it seems to show a very strong real estate market when viewed through the lens of our current COVID-19 environment. We also have a lot less total homes for sale this year compared with 2019. Sellers seem to be getting less skittish, as we saw a drastic drop in the number of houses and condos going temporarily off the market, and fairly flat numbers of home owners cancelling their listings.
From the Field:
Real estate has been deemed an essential business with VERY limited practices allowed. Personally, I have delayed taking on any new clients, and only am working with the 2 sets of clients I have that MUST move in the next 3 months, and then only on a limited scale. Once again this week, we found a property that perfect for my buyers, only to have it go off the market 5 days before the offer review date, and only 2 days after it hit the market. The buyers that are out there are VERY serious, and in certain parts of the market, things are still really competitive.
Mortgage rates have fallen this week to a 6 week low. Lending restrictions have tightened drastically. One of my self-employed friends that was just 2 weeks from closing had her loan denied last minute due to “new COVID guidelines”. Jumbo loan options are also quickly drying up. It may be challenging for folks in anything other than a 20% down, traditionally employed, non-jumbo loan to get financing for a few months. Lenders are nervous about the high unemployment, the large number of borrowers seeking mortgage forbearance, and the potential of a flood of delinquencies and foreclosures. These fears are driving the increasing restrictions on mortgages.