Many of my friends and clients are asking how the real estate market is doing. Are home prices holding up? Are homes selling? Are people bringing their homes to market for sale? As one can imagine, the Covid-19 pandemic has shocked the real estate market, as it has most aspects of life as we have known it, both here and around the world. We are now past the initial shock of the pandemic and we can see the beginnings of trends that provide some perspective and hope on what is happening today and what may be happening in the near future.
During the first quarter of 2020, the local real estate market was exceptionally strong. Prices were at or near all time highs, and sales were robust. That all changed quickly. At the outset of the pandemic fear and uncertainty impacted the real estate market as it had most everything else. Sales fell dramatically, some transactions were halted, many home sellers decided to hold off on listing their homes for sale, and there was some buyer hesitation. Here in Los Angeles, real estate agents were informed that we were considered non-essential workers and we were told to stay at home and to work virtually. Those initial events have been gradually easing. Over the past month we have seen sales begin to increase, and offerings of homes for sale have begun to increase as well. Although we are still well below where are markets would normally be, with the Spring season being an important selling season, the markets have been rebounding. The general consensus is that the Spring selling season will now slide over and into the summer months and the summer season is expected to be strong as a consequence.
Real estate agents are now considered essential workers, and as we return to showing homes transactions are being consummated. The one major hesitation I am hearing from my clients and other home owners wanting to sell their homes is their just concern about keeping their home safe. Appropriately the real estate community has implemented protocols that reduce traffic, screen potential buyers prior to showing a home, and we are addressing most safety concerns. Online virtual tours, hand sanitizers, face masks and booties have become de regueur.
Interest rates remaining near all time lows. Low inventory combined with strong buyer interest seems to be supporting home prices, especially in the sub-$3 million range. The graph above provides a visual as to how the market is doing in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. It is similar to other nearby areas. I regularly review information in a number of areas and I have information that I would be happy to share with you. Just let me know.
These past two weeks I’ve been extremely busy with appointments showing my listing in Windsor Square since it came to market on May 8. There has been plenty of buyer interest. With limited inventory and prices holding now would seem be a good time to list ones home for sale. As always, if you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.