At least one La Jolla real estate broker is looking for some long-term benefits to come out of the emergency measures he and others are taking to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch for real estate agents and other businesses to latch onto and embrace technology like never before after sampling it as they hunkered down, social distancing themselves and even self-quarantined, said Justin Brennan, team lead with Brennan Real Estate Group of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty.
“All kinds of things are going to be learned from this,” Brennan said. “It’s forcing people to communicate in a different way. You’re going to see a lot of this tele-stuff massively improve every industry. It will be pretty cool.”
His firm and other real estate agencies already use tech tools such as virtual meeting and virtual home tours, but Brennan said they’re likely to become the norm.
Brennan also is optimistic about the real estate industry’s ability to bounce back from any slowdown unless it lingers.
“On the buy side of things, I think the tables are going to turn where you’re going to end up having more supply than demand,” Brennan said.
Lower interest rates also encourage buyers, although Brennan said some potential buyers are waiting to see if rates will go down even more.
Waiting for 2.8% Mortgage
“Everybody’s waiting for the 2.8% mortgage,” Brennan said.
Injecting a note of optimism, the CEO of the California Association of Realtors, Joel Singer said, “From a purely real estate perspective, the current station will ultimately lower mortgage rates and should fuel demand once the crisis phase is behind us.”
In the meantime, the association would be revising its housing forecast downward.
Not surprisingly, there’s been nosedive in real estate deals since mid-March.
Brennan said that in the last week of February, about 365 homes were coming to market per day with pending and closed sales averaging about 1,990 a day.
“For the first week in March, March 2-7, we picked up a bit. We had about 440 new listings per day on average for that week and about 158 pending or closed sales per day for that week — more listings but less sales,” Brennan said.
For the second week of March, Brennan said there were an average of 470 new listings per day, but only 85 sales were sold per day.
That dropped to 290 new listings and seven sales per day by the third week.
“It’s safe to say the economy is going into a recession. It’s really too soon to say if the housing (market) is in recession yet,” Brennan said.
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