There aren’t a whole lot of positive things we can say about the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic could easily go down in history as one of the most significantly negative events to occur during the 21st century. If there is any good news, it might be found in the housing market. COVID-19 has not had a significant effect on home sales to this point – at least in Utah.
Utah has been on the cusp of an economic boom for several years. Salt Lake City is particularly attractive thanks to an influx of relocating businesses and an ample supply of qualified workers. As you might expect, the housing market has responded accordingly. Real estate in Salt Lake City is sold as fast as it is put on the market.
Supply and Demand in Utah
Real estate is fascinating in many respects, not the least of which is the level to which it is influenced by the laws of supply and demand. To say that real estate is a supply and demand business is like saying the sky is blue. Everyone knows it. In Utah, supply and demand has kept the market fairly stable.
KSL TV reports that home showings did start to decline near the end of February. However, that is not unusual. Late winter is rarely a good time to buy or sell. That being said, the market recovered nicely. At this point, there are about 200 more properties under contract in Utah as compared to the same time in 2019. Much of the spring surge has occurred in Utah County.
Homes for Every Budget
Salt Lake City’s CityHome Collective suggests that the current market has homes for every budget. As a real estate agency and modern design firm, CityHome tends to put more emphasis on luxury homes, lofts, condos, etc. But they do offer moderately priced homes and rentals as well.
Their agents are confident that the local market will remain strong for the foreseeable future. Their optimism matches up with the data cited by KSL TV.
Builders are busy constructing new homes in the city’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods. Downtown, apartment buildings are rising and old spaces are being repurposed for residential use. Some of the city’s oldest neighborhoods offer quaint starter homes for young families with children.
A New Way to Sell
None of this is to say that the real estate market has been completely unaffected. Nothing could be further from the truth. The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely created the need for a new way to buy and sell homes. Almost all of the work is being done online these days.
Open houses and single showings are being done online whenever possible. Rather than speaking with agents face-to-face, buyers and sellers are relying on email, text messages, and video chats. Documents are all being transferred electronically as well.
Home inspections are still done the old-fashioned way for obvious reasons. In some cases, buyers are truly uncomfortable making an offer on a house sight unseen. So there are still in-person showings being conducted. It is just that agents are limiting social contact like most other businesses.
COVID-19 will eventually go the way of every other pandemic humanity has faced. In the aftermath, things will be a lot different. It is good to know that some things still remain strong in the interim. Housing is one of them. At least in strong markets like Utah, housing has been largely unaffected by the pandemic. People still need houses to live in and they are still buying and selling. That is the most important thing in the end.