How COVID-19 is Impacting the Real Estate Market in Washington State
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. As individuals struggle with health and financial concerns, the economy at large is experiencing immense pressures as fewer people are able to work and businesses close their doors. In Washington state, the once-booming housing market is suddenly cooling off dramatically. Both buyers and sellers are putting their transactions on hold, waiting for some sort of normalcy to return before making any significant moves.
A Market on Hold
Although Washington Governor Jay Inslee has recognized that real estate and mortgage businesses are “essential” during this crisis, many real estate brokers are reporting that clients are simply not making any moves right now. So far, it’s been reported that pending sales dropped by about 13.5 percent in March 2020, as compared to the same time period from last year. Real estate agents are receiving fewer calls from prospective buyers, as many people are deciding to put their plans to move or relocate on hold for the time being.
Limitations on Marketing a Property
Another obstacle to the real estate process, whether commercial or residential, is the obligation to abide by several social distancing measures at all times. Open houses are not allowed, forcing many people to tour properties virtually. Clients are not allowed to meet in-person with real estate agents or mortgage brokers, expect to sign documents (and even then, strict guidelines must be followed). While scheduled inspections and appraisals, as well as buyer walk-throughs, are allowed for pending transactions, there are many more barriers to overcome when navigating each step of the transaction. For many prospective buyers, touring a house online is simply not the same as wandering through it and getting a true “feel” for it.
Helping You Weather an Uncertain Future
With no clear end date in sight for the pandemic, industries all over the world are wondering when they can expect to get back to “business as usual.” While real estate transactions are sure to continue in some capacity during this time, the upward momentum of the Washington real estate market before the pandemic has clearly subsided for now. As you contemplate a current or future real estate matter in the Vancouver or Clark County area, reach out to John L. Davis PLLC at (360) 597-4740 to discuss your options.
EXCERPT: Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the Washington real estate market was heating up. Now, real estate transactions are becoming less frequent, as people decide to put their plans on hold until more certainty arrives. While you wait, discuss your options with a trusted real estate attorney.