Ask the Expert - September 2020

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Real Estate

How has the real estate market changed since the beginning of COVID-19?

As many of us stayed at home in late March and the beginning of April, many thought that the real estate market would be calm and quiet like many other industries that were experiencing slow times. But just as soon as everyone settled in at home, we found that many people decided that they wanted to make a change in their housing. Just as fast as restaurants and other businesses shut down, the real estate market heated up. 

Inventory levels at most segments of the market began to get very low and we saw all price points moving right along. There indeed was not a slowdown, but a demand for new housing stock in all areas of the twin cities. We also noticed that buyers’ preferences were somewhat changing. More and more requested homes that included amenities such as swimming pools, homes with lakeshore, and indoor sports courts.

Buyers have also been more particular about indoor space. Some are looking for homes with multiple offices or rooms for children to get some quiet time for homework. Outside space has also been important as buyers look for homes that have space to enjoy the outdoors—maybe even room to plant a garden.

The good news for the housing market is that the low inventory has made for strong pricing and increased demand. The downside of COVID has been that there have been more nervous buyers in the market place. Some buyers make an offer one day, just to rescind it the next; or cancel it during their inspection period while they can still back out—their nerves get the best of them during this uncertain time. My advice for buyers is to still take time in thinking through their decisions as where you live has maybe never been as important as it is right now. —Krista Wolter

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