The nightly news and big papers have been predicting a course correction in the housing market since the beginning of the year. With the unexpected appearance of COVID-19, the future of the housing market has become hard to guess.
However, some shifts in the housing market have begun to take place and have little or nothing to do with the market’s financial stability, interest rates, or most other common indicators. Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has affected other aspects of the home buying and selling process aside from financial concerns.
Some recent studies predict a shift in purchasing from the cities back to the suburbs, where a little distance between families may be a good thing. Whether the virus is directly responsible for this trend is unknown, but several factors point to COVID-19 as having some effect.
As state governments shut down local economies, many single residents moved back to the suburbs to live with family members and prevent the walls from closing in. Instead of waiting out the shutdown in a small center city apartment, people migrated back to the country where it was easier to get some fresh air and still honor social distancing rules.
The question is, whether that trend will lead to more suburban home sales. Will the temporary shift residents have created leaving more city dwellings empty and cause suburban prices to rise? Or will people slowly return to the city and go back to their normal routine?
Right now, it’s anyone’s guess.
Coronavirus has created another interesting trend, one that is likely to build and potentially create a new normal for buyers shopping for a home, and even for buying that home. As new technologies continue to take hold in the home, the real estate industry has also seen a shift toward virtual home tours, open houses, and online meetings to complete home purchase tasks.
3D walk-throughs are not exactly new. Companies like Matterport have been offering 3D mappings of homes for several years. However, recent events have highlighted the opportunity for stay-at-home buyers to tour homes while they wait for restrictions on travel and other industries to be lifted.
Virtual tours offer another group of buyers the chance to narrow down the possibilities before scheduling in-person tours. Buyers who are relocating to another town or state some distance away can virtually walk through the homes that interest them most to see which floorplans best fit their wants or needs.
While West Michigan waits out the stay-at-home orders and other effects of Coronavirus, the real estate industry waits quietly for the curtain to lift. Home prices along Michigan’s lakeshore have remained steady, while available housing inventories have remained low.
If a housing market course correction is on the horizon, it’s hard to tell from current indications along the Lake Michigan shoreline. One thing is certain - once the doors open again, many new buyers will still remain at home and use the growing array of virtual tools while they begin shopping for their perfect home.
If you are interested in relocating to West Michigan’s beautiful lakeshore, or you would like to review some of the properties available in the area, please contact the Andrea Crossman Group and let us help you find the home of your dreams.