The real estate market has hit the pause button during the coronavirus pandemic. Sellers are holding off on listing their properties in what was already a low-inventory market.
"The housing market was quite strong before the pandemic because of a pent-up housing demand and housing shortage, with not enough listings versus buyers,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors. “During the pandemic, we have even fewer listings."
Realtor David Lewis said homeowners were apprehensive to put their houses on the market during the pandemic.
"From the seller's perspective, they want maximum exposure,” he said. “They know during the pandemic people are cautious, and therefore, are holding off listing until the all clear sign is given."
Now, some realtors are predicting a surge in the housing market this summer and fall because of pent-up demand.
"The autumn months will be better than the typical autumn or winter months compared to the season factors,” said Yun. “The second half should be running a little better, but we are missing out on the spring buying season.”
While there may be an influx of homes for sale in the coming months, some of those homes may not be planned listings. Some are worried there will be more short sales and foreclosures on the market.
"You can't have this many layoffs and this many industries being affected without it negatively affecting some people,” said Lewis. “I don't think it'll be as extreme as before because the restrictions on mortgages have tightened up."
Lewis is referring to the recession and housing crisis of 2008. Yun agrees and expects the real estate market will fully recover once non-essential businesses across the country are back to normal.
"Once the economy reopens, we expect many of the jobs that have been lost will return,” Yun said. “Certainly, in areas like hair salons, day cares, dental offices, that they will be running 100 percent right away."
While it's hard to predict just exactly how the pandemic will affect the real estate market, experts don't expect housing prices to plummet, as most homes that are selling now are still being purchased close to the listing price.