Here we are in 2021, with the pandemic no longer new. While 2020's fear may for some have turned into 2021's weariness, others of us are looking again at the opportunities that the times afford. However, we do so not through rose-colored glasses but instead informed, if no longer frightened off, by the impacts of a pandemic that looks to stretch yet further into the future.
New York's current housing and real-estate markets reflect that pandemic-wisened but forward-looking attitude. One perceptive press report notes these features of New York real estate's response to the pandemic:
- the pandemic initially froze the real-estate market;
- after the initial freeze, buyers frothed a home-buying frenzy;fewer sellers
- fewer sellers, though, were placing homes on the market;
- the sharp increase in home buying sharply increased home prices;
- already-low mortgage rates sank further, fueling prices;
- more second-home buyers entered the market;
- more first-time buyers entered the market;
- the volume of buyers thus significantly increased;
- homes remained on the market for a shorter time; and
- while home buying strengthened, the rental market softened.
What Changes Drove the Real-Estate Markets?
In retrospect, these market reactions were understandable. Homeowners, if not just hunkering down in their homes amid unprecedented uncertainty, were seeking bigger homes because of the need to work, play, and live safely at home rather than commute to work and play about town. And renters, unable to work on-site and play about town, were entering the home market.
The above trends clearly had contributing causes and factors. Some of those contributors were doubtless social and may change again quickly, or at least in the midterm. Under isolation orders, people were necessarily working from home. But the orders will someday abate, and employers will likely bring back on site many of those workers, suggesting a restored equilibrium or even a rebalancing of the market. Gyms, theaters, and restaurants will eventually reopen and recover, bringing us back outside our homes to play, perhaps once again making urban rentals more attractive and suburban homes and second homes less attractive. In the midterm, look for the above patterns to slow and potentially reverse at least to some degree.
Technology's Enduring Role
However, other contributors to the above patterns were likely instead technological and may thus remain in place longer-term. Listings are ever-more accessible, with artificial intelligence sending prospective buyers multiple daily emails of relevant new listings. Agents enter homes without keys, using their cell phones. Virtual panoramic home tours and virtual staging enable buyers to review and offer without scheduling on-site tours. And virtual closings can occur with remote notaries. Real estate's technology cat is out of the bag, and there's no putting it back.
Helping You Beat the Trends
Premier real-estate lawyer Melvin Monachan helps you follow and beat the trends. Serving residential and commercial clients in New York and New Jersey, Melvin Monachan helps clients all over the region close their purchases and sales, while also assisting with foreclosure defense. When you need sound advice and aggressive representation to preserve, secure, or sell a property, call (347) 389-1682 or go online for an appointment at the industry-focused, relationship-driven Law Offices of Melvin Monachan, PLLC.