To say that COVID-19 devastated all areas of life is an understatement. With New York hit the hardest with the pandemic, real estate transactions ground to a halt as social distancing and business closures became the norm for slowing the spread. With restrictions slowly lifted, many homebuyers and sellers are wondering what the real estate industry will be like post-COVID-19. Let’s take a look.
New York is already seeing a significant rebound in real estate activity and is expected to continue on this path, with major restrictions lifted. Those sellers who pulled their homes when the pandemic hit are slowly putting them back on the market, so expect to see an uptick in inventory and buyers. From here, several scenarios may take place in the coming months to a year.
There may be bargains to be had out there, particularly with sellers who found themselves stuck with two properties when COVID-19 shut things down. After several months of paying two mortgages, sellers may simply be looking to get the added mortgage out of their hands as soon as possible. As a result, there is the possibility of negotiation and price drops to sell quickly.
While the city hasn’t announced its plan for schools in the fall, the eventual announcement could cause a shift in the real estate market. For concerned parents, opening schools may be the impetus to move from the city, and buyers should anticipate a flood of properties on the market around the time of announcement. Again, this is a possibility, not a probability.
High-end properties to sit
The mass evacuation of the city by those with second homes will likely cause a continued lull in the high-end real estate market. As many of those buyers haven’t yet returned, and likely won’t until the end of summer, the luxury market is expected to continue on its slow trajectory. Expect this market to pick up in fall.
Differing list of must-haves
For those buyers who didn’t retreat to the suburbs when COVID-19 hit, the list of must-haves is different from pre-COVID-19 times. With many companies seeing remote and telework options as viable and productive, they’re allowing employees to continue work at home. As a result, buyers want more living area to work comfortably from home, in addition to specific amenities and perks such as in-unit washers and dryers and soundproofing.
Suburbs are hot
While there are many die-hard city dwellers, there will be an exodus to the suburbs as a result of COVID-19. Many New Yorkers are opting to head to the suburbs for larger living spaces and outdoor areas after experiencing remote work. While many won’t have the option to work 100 percent remotely, commuting into the city one or two days a week is much better than five.
Home prices steady
While there is the possibility to find a bargain on the market, many homes will have prices that are equal, if not a little higher, than pre-COVID-19 rates. There will always be a demand for housing in Brooklyn, so buyers should expect to pay asking price.
For sellers, now is the best time to sell before the recession hits, and uncertainty wreaks havoc on home prices. If you’re a seller considering selling in the next two years, this is the year to do it, when pricing is predictable, and you get fair market value for your property.