Some effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Oregon real estate include inconvenient home showing protocols, elevated lender caution, higher unemployment (meaning fewer buyers), plus a reduction in the number of homes for sale. Through it all though, many homebuyers and homesellers continue to work together in closing transactions.
When confronting the prospects of selling an Oregon home given the current pandemic climate, a common question asked of Realtors is “What’s ahead? Is Oregon’s real estate climate likely to get better, get worse, or stay the same?” Find out more in this helpful Oregon real estate podcast.
While real estate forecasting carries with it a degree of uncertainty, as the saying goes, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” With this in mind, here are six key considerations homesellers can expect this year.
1. Expect Continued Low Interest Rates
We’re in an election year, so a continued low and stable interest rate environment is likely. Recent changes at the Federal Reserve provide for added collaboration between the Fed and the Treasury Department. Early on in the pandemic, these entities prioritized their response to Covid-19’s effects to make the mortgage climate more stable. As a result, expect a concerted effort to continue low mortgage interest rates. This means compared to the 2008 Great Recession, homebuyers can expect an easier time than during that earlier downturn.
2. Expect ‘Christmas in July’
In some ways, what we’re currently experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic translates to a Winter real estate market. The early 2020 downturn due to the Coronavirus has essentially extended our Winter season. During Oregon Winters, fewer buyers leave their warm homes and cars to go shopping for a house in cold and wet weather…except the motivated ones. Likewise, expect delayed decisions about buying to return as Covid-19 concerns lift.
The Coronavirus recovery phase now presents opportunities to work with more ‘can do’ buyers on the other side of your real estate transaction. There’s a case to be made that homebuyers looking during this time are more motivated than usual. This unusual environment tends to ‘weed out’ lukewarm home buyers. As a homeseller, what you want are highly motivated homebuyers with a need to purchase your home.
3. Expect Increased Buyer Activity With Warmer Weather
Given Oregon’s distinct seasons, expect a relative ‘heating up’ of our real estate market as Summer progresses. This may not be on a par with prior years. Yet some buyers still plan on moving into their next home before the school year, making Summer a window of opportunity for some. Another factor is the tendency for Oregonians to get outside more in good weather. After a prolonged sense of Winter, most in our state want to get outdoors.
4. Expect Your Home’s Market Time to Reflect Your List Price
One thing that hasn’t changed much with the Coronavirus pandemic is the importance of correct pricing. By market pricing your home, you’re more likely to maximize the figure you net from your sale and avoid having your home ‘sit’ unsold, due to lack of buyer interest. This is where an expert Realtor’s input can not only save you money, but a lot of wasted time and frustration, too. If your home hasn’t sold by the average market time for your area, have your agent conduct a price review to confirm you’re still in the reasonable market range for your property.
5. Expect a Possible Fast Turnaround
Because the Covid-19 shutdown was mandated rather rapidly by government leaders, the reverse effect is also possible. It’s helpful to realize that ours was largely a self-induced downturn designed to limit a pandemic. This means the damage was therefore more limited than it otherwise might have been. That’s because it’s easier to turn machinery back on and re-hire willing workers than having to re-build, such as after a natural disaster like an earthquake or war.
Once public sentiment reverts to a more typical footing, more sellers are likely to place their homes on the market With that comes increased competition for buyers. This means if you want to sell, sooner in the cycle may prove better, before the ‘group think’ of other sellers translates to overall higher home inventory.
6. Expect the Unexpected
There’s always a degree of uncertainty in any real estate transaction. If you go into homeselling this year with an understanding that homebuyers and their lenders may behave a bit more cautiously, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.
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