COVID-19, the Housing Market, and You: Your Guide to Real Estate During the Pandemic

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the globe, the state of real estate is in question. What are the current trends in the housing market? Where are mortgage rates headed? Are people still buying and selling? Here, we provide a quick guide with what you need to know about the current state of housing affairs.

The Outlook from Local Real Estate Agents in Mercer County NJ

Ask your local real estate agents and they’ll tell you we were well on our way to the best year for sales in more than a decade. But then the Coronavirus hit home. In light of social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions, we’re now poised to see ups and downs as the market grapples with an unsteady economy. How will this affect buyers and sellers?

Agents Are Getting Creative When Selling a House

Despite the pandemic, plenty of people still want and need to buy and sell homes. But success requires a bit of little creativity–and technology. The virtual showing market, for instance, is strong, giving people the experience of seeing a home in detail without having to actually enter the premises. For those selling a house with one-one-one, in-person tours, taking precautions like providing masks, hand sanitizer, and shoe covers is helping to ease tensions and make deals happen.

Home Sales May Drop Temporarily

Original forecasts by researchers at showed 5.25 million in sales for 2020. But now, that number is expected to drop about 15 percent to 4.5 million. That said, the median price for existing homes should hold steady, rising by just 1.1 percent over 2019. Local real estate agents expect sales to ramp up in late June and July.

Enter Record-Low Mortgage Rates

Buyers will find mortgage interest rates at an all-time low, helping to offset some of the slightly higher home prices. Rates are expected to be around 3.2 percent in 2020, down nearly 4 percent from last year. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications for home purchases rose to an impressive 8.7 percent at the end of May as buyers raced to lock in low rates.

The Perks of Buying and Selling a House with Precautions

New Jersey housing market predictions for the rest of the year may be difficult to make due to the uncertainty, but trends suggest increased activity as local real estate agents continue to operate with the necessary precautions. And as long as the CARES Act is there to help prevent homes from being foreclosed, an NJ real estate market crash doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.