Here is a quick update on what the current state of the real estate market is:
- Real Estate Agents, Mortgage Lenders, and Title Companies are all deemed essential and operating as normal with social distancing guidelines. Therefore, all of the services needed to buyer/sell are available.
- We're naturally expecting a decline in the number of transactions as many buyers are staying at home.
- However, as of now, there are still properties listing, going under contract, and selling every day on the MLS. So, while we expect a slow down, the market is still moving and far from stopping.
- We cannot say if prices are going up, down, or staying the same due to Covid-19 it's simply too soon to tell. We have buyers out looking, sellers showing their homes, and others who understandably don't want to do either.
- The last recessional was caused by real estate. This difficult time is not caused by real estate. The hope is, for this reason, things bounce back quickly after Covid-19 has passed us by. History tells us that a recession will have a larger effect on the primary home markets then our 2nd home / vacation markets here at the shore. Hopefully, history prevails again and our 2nd home markets are economically protected.
- Many lenders have increased the credit score and reserve amounts for Bond loans. These are first time home buyer programs, FHA loans etc. This will not affect our 2nd home buyers but is affecting some first time home buyers in the lower credit score ranges. This is a result of mortgage investors increasing their criteria after the 90 mortgage relief was ordered.
- Gov Murphy of NJ announced a 90 day grace period for Mortgage payments. I am waiting on exact criteria for this. But, the expectation is the mortgage lenders will add 3 months onto the end of the loan instead of making them all due at once at the end of 90 days. Hopefully this is the case. Call you lenders if you're in need of any assistance. Even your auto lenders are offering assistance.
- Talk to your CPA particularly if you are business owner or sole proprietor. There are many benefits available to you under the CARES ACT. Your CPA may be able to help you determine if receiving unemployment is beneficial or not. I am happy to answer any questions regarding this as well, but I am not a CPA.
- Adam D'Annunzio