By Michael Edlen | Special to the Palisadian-Post
For most people, this has continued to be a roller-coaster life experience. Despite having the good fortune of being able to call this wonderful community home, many are still having tremendous daily challenges in the efforts to maintain harmony and feel safe day after day.
Local businesses have suffered greatly, families are dealing with special difficulties, children are bereft of interaction with their peers, schools struggle with how to provide sufficient structure and content for schooling to continue, and many of our long-time residents remain fearful about venturing out to accomplish daily errands.
We have seen some businesses close down, others announcing they will be forced to unless conditions improve soon, restaurants doing their best to stay afloat with pickup and home delivery (or outside dining in a few cases where distancing is possible), and food markets keeping up with the challenges of keeping stocked sufficiently to meet the steady demands.
People have enjoyed the pressure relief of access to hiking trails and general park areas, and often families may be seen walking around the village behaving according to safety protocol.
With all of these changes, real estate has undergone a fascinating dynamic over this period. Following a dramatic drop in the number of homes entering contract between mid-March and the end of May, which was about 40%, there has been a remarkable recovery in how many buyers have been active in the market.
Judging from online property viewings, showings requested and new escrows opening since the start of June, it feels like a 30 to 40% increase in activity already.
The market strength has been fueled by mortgage interest rates hovering around 3%, which is as low as they have been in about 70 years. The buyer demand is in large part a reflection of the pent-up demand normally experienced in March through May.
Oddly enough, at the same time, we are experiencing a relative shortage of homes for sale in most areas and price ranges. So, it is a time when it is favorable to be both a seller and a buyer, and this may be the case through the rest of this year.
People marvel that it is possible to be selling or buying homes with the virus environment and wonder how it can be safe to do either. The short answer is that rigorous procedures have been implemented to maximize physical distancing and environmental sanitizing, and require the use of face masks by all parties on the premises.
There may not be any open houses and technically not more than three people in a house at the same time (in theory, that would be an agent and two potential buyers). There is also a notice that must be posted at the entry of the home, and before appointments can be confirmed, the agents must obtain signatures on required disclosure forms from any party involved.
Michael Edlen has been tracking local real estate statistics since 1986, and counsels many people each month about timing and alternatives of selling and/or buying homes. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-230-7373.
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