Coronavirus Impacts on California’s Housing Market

The rapid growth of COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) cases continues to create turbulence in the global economy and in domestic financial markets. However, C.A.R. is not revising its current 2020 housing market forecast, but will continue to monitor the market for negative macroeconomic impacts on the demand for housing as well as the supply chain impacts that could adversely affect the cost of new home construction in the coming months and quarters. C.A.R. has created a list of the Top 10 potential impacts that could elicit questions from buyers and sellers over the near term.

  1. Forecasts Have Been Downgraded, But Few Economists are Calling for Recession Yet: Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for global economic growth by 0.1%, but is still calling for an expansion in 2020, albeit at a slower pace. Similar orders of magnitude have been forecast for the domestic economy, with groups like Wells Fargo and others expecting GDP to grow by 10-20 basis points slower than their pre-Coronavirus forecast. Growth is expected to be slower, but the economy is still expected to grow.
  2. Mortgage Rates Will Likely Remain Low, Or Even Fall Further As A Result of Coronavirus: The Federal Reserve issued an emergency 50 basis point cut to their target interest rates, and guidance suggests that the Fed may be open to future reductions in order to counteract the negative impacts to financial markets. This should help to reduce the cost of borrowing and make housing more affordable over the near term, which should help to offset some of the negative impacts to housing demand associated with rising uncertainty.
  3. Domestic Buyers May Be Discouraged By Rising Uncertainty and Recession Risk, But Is It Still a Good Time to Buy?: This week, mortgage rates fell to an all-time low level of just 3.13%. That is down from 3.80% at the start of the year and represents significant cost savings over the life of a 30-year loan. For buyers who can afford their monthly payments, the economic uncertainty that is driving rates lower provides an opportunity to capitalize on significantly reduced borrowing costs that they will enjoy for years to come. Short-run risks to the economy exist but are arguably offset by long-run benefits of lower rates at the individual level.

Ralene Nelson, REALTOR®

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Things To Do in the Rio Vista Area this Week

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, local events have been canceled.

As The Coronavirus Spreads, It’s Not Business As Usual For Real Estate Agents

The NAR points out that agents can refuse to drive clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent travel to areas of increased risk of coronavirus. Or agents can decide to stop driving clients in their vehicles altogether and simply arrange to meet clients at a property. However, agents must be sure that any change to their business practices is applied equally to all clients.


COVID-19 & Real Estate: With Caution, The Business Of Selling Homes Goes On

In residential real estate, some buyers always need to buy and some sellers always need to sell. Amid escalating concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the New York real estate business is pushing the pause button, but not the stop button.

According to a survey of all Warburg Realty agents, Sunday open houses were sparsely attended this past week, especially those which had not switched to a “by appointment only” format, ensuring that only one viewer group could tour the property at a time.

But people did show up, and they did make offers.


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