Bay Area Real Estate Outlook for a Covid-19 Market

  • 07/17/20

What Will Real Estate Look Like Post-COVID-19?​​​​​​​

While there’s no crystal ball foretelling how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the housing market, there are strong predictors for what to expect.

​​​​​​​Real estate was off to a booming start at the beginning of the year, but the pandemic put a temporary damper on things. Home sales are picking up, and experts are predicting levels only slightly lower than forecast for the year. So, let’s take a look at what the market will look like, post-COVID-19.

The New Normal

This is a term that seems to be popping up in every aspect of life, but the precedent set is definitely a new normal. Savvy real estate agents were able to continue doing business by utilizing a bevy of digital tools and creating an effective new way to conduct the buying and selling process. One thing we know for sure is that these tools aren’t going away anytime soon.​​​​​​​

Video Reigns Supreme

Video has triumphed as the number one tool agents utilized to get creative with viewings, virtual tours, and interacting with clients – remotely. Until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes commercially available, video will likely remain an essential part of the buying and selling homes. In fact, it may stick around afterwards too with its unparalleled convenience.

Suburbs are HOT

COVID-19 isolation tested the limits of even the most comfortable city dwellers, to the extent we’re seeing a mass exodus from densely packed urban areas across the country (as evidenced by the virus’s spread). 

​​​​​​​While a 700-square foot apartment in the city is adequate when you’re spending ten or more hours at work, eating out, and socializing with friends, being forced to inhabit that space 24-hours a day can make the walls a little too close for comfort. As a result, young city dwellers are now looking to the suburbs, and beyond, to create some distance from neighbors, and gain square footage in their living spaces.

The other factor creating a rise in the popularity of metro areas is the increase in telework and remote working opportunities. Without having to report to a centralized office each day, people are more willing to take on a commute a few days a week, if it means more space, at affordable prices.

In addition to an influx of homebuyers looking to the suburbs, many companies are offering increased telework opportunities, allowing employees to work from home all or some days each week. The ripple effect of this tectonic shift paired with the increase in people telecommuting is city dwellers are flocking to the suburbs and creating demand for more spacious homes.​​​​​​​

Space Is the Place

And after being stuck in cramped spaces for months, those who have made their exodus away from densely packed cities are eager for spacious homes with modern amenities - including home offices, and home study space for children increasingly learning remotely or from home. 

The state of the housing market post-COVID-19 most likely won’t be dire, despite an imminent recession. What we will see is a change in the types of homes buyers are looking for; a shift in where house hunters are searching; and, a very hands-off buying and selling process. 

For more on COVID-19 and the real estate comeback, check out HomeLight’s Top Agent Insight Survey from Q2. 

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