Has The Pandemic Actually Helped Or Hurt The Socal Market?
This is a complex question with several different answers. Firstly — short and to the point is, if you look purely at interest rates and the added purchasing power as a result, then the answer is yes. If you are talking about overall affordability, which is an issue neatly evaded for the moment because of said interest rates, then the picture might not be so rosy, especially if there were ample inventory; we might actually see some properties sit on the market for a while if they weren’t absolutely pristine.
If you throw consumer confidence into the stew, we could really be in the thick of it, because that emotional response is almost solely responsible for getting buyers to get off their couch at home watching Netflix and out to look. There is evidence that people might be starting to get a little squeamish as the second Covid wave, (really a tangent of the first), entrenches more widely than just urban hot spots and hits suburbia. The idea that we were going to hunker down for a month or two and beat this virus has largely evaporated, mainly because we all can’t seem to get on the same page with the science. Therefore, the solution is taking longer, people see more of a drain on savings, more insecurity regarding work etc. All believe that the American economy was humming along before this and it will again as soon as it is behind us; but that goal, of having it behind us, is proving elusive. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, and it looks like the vaccine may be here by first quarter of 2021, but to be realistic, it is having its effect on people, call it Pandemic Fatigue. Which, by the way, is a real thing, that encompasses us all emotionally, financially, and vocationally.
Look for interest rates to stay low for the next 18 months, almost assuredly. Demand will also stay tight. In this sense, the market will most likely stay strong, although there is no crystal ball here, for the rest of 2020. This well may be the top of the market, and certainly sellers should take advantage — as should buyers, with the low rates.