How will the disruptive corona virus affect the Staten Island real estate market?

Posted by Vivian Kokkinos on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at 10:32am

2020 started with strong demand for housing and a brisk spring selling and buying season was emerging. As we all know the corona pandemic hit and sent the stock market in a freefall. These are unchartered waters which we have never navigated in our modern and global economies world wide. So the question that this poses is how will this affect the local Staten Island real estate market. At the current time it seems that most buyers will continue to stay in the market and keep looking to purchase their first home, or sell and buy their future home. That being said, the fact that we are being advised to practice "social distancing" this  will slow down showing appointments and sellers are showing signs of waiting to come to the market. As far as the financial ability of the buyers to execute a purchase, the majority of our buyers are steady civil service employees, or buyers with large cash down payments, and should not be severely impacted by the stock market decline. This downturn will affect the investor buyers of real estate who will not want to withdraw funds from the market in order to purchase at this time. For the average buyer who is seriously looking to purchase, this is a great time as the interest rates will remain historically low. The interest rate is more important than the price of the home when one needs a mortgage to finance the purchase. Even if there is a slow down in buying activity due to corona fears, buyers will continue to look at homes for sale even if it just from pictures and driveby viewings. When they are really interested in a home, we as agents will schedule "safe" showings as much as possible, or we may have to wait for a "better time to show". In my opinion, we will see a spike in activity as soon as there is a downturn in the spread of the corona virus. This opinion is based on the fact that people who have housing needs that need to be met will have to execute. It is not a discretionary item. We all need to live somewhere and it will be a matter of when not if they will buy and we will experience the effects of pent up demand. Also when people see the turbulence in financial investment venues, home ownership becomes not only a superior financial asset but more importantly a psychologically more valuable financial asset providing much needed peace of mind which historically has always been the best investment for everyone. 

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