Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, welcomed everyone to the May 2020 Housing Market Update. The webinar was held on Tuesday, May 19 at 2 p.m. And, according to Green, “These are interesting times we live in,” to say the least. Geoff shares both national and local stats. Furthermore, he checks in with those who have “boots on the ground.” Sales Associates from Green Team New York Realty and Green Team New Jersey Realty share what’s happening in their respective states and communities. There are different regulations for the real estate industry in New York and New Jersey. Thus, there are differing impacts on what is happening in each state.
If you missed the webinar or would like to view it again, it’s available here:
Meet the Panel
The May 2020 Housing Market Update panel shared their observations, experiences, and expertise in this Covid-19 market. Keren Gonen and Kristi Anderson with Green Team New Jersey Realty talked about Vernon and the Sussex County NJ market. Nancy Sardo and Angela Murphy, with Green Team New York Realty, discussed Warwick and the Orange County NY market. Summer Mangels, Home Loan Consultant with Valley National Bank, shared her experiences with financing and refinancing in a Covid-19 market. Watch the above video to hear what the experts had to say.
Something everyone is talking about is:
When is the economy going to fully recover?
The Chairman of the Federal Reserve recently said that recovery is going to take longer than most people expect. However, several major financial institutions are calling for recovery in the second half of 2020. They include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. And, although unemployment numbers are historically high, they are trending down in terms of the number of new filings. As the country starts to reopen, we will hopefully see unemployment numbers go down.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data on the professions and categories most impacted by unemployment. In our April 2020 Housing Market Update we discussed those categories making up the largest majority of unemployed. Service and Bartending were the biggest category then. That number has come down a little as of May 8. Hopefully, as more and more businesses are able to reopen, people in these industries will be able to return to work.
Impact of Covid-19 to Real Estate Showings in North America
Data from ShowingTime provides analytics on the impact of Covid-19 on real estate showings. In March, showings plummeted. However, in mid-April, they started to shoot back up. When thrust into shut-down mode, there was panic and uncertainty. But as time has gone by, we’re learning how to more comfortably deal with the challenges with safety in mind. The reality is people still need homes. People still need to find homes when relocating. Life goes on. And we’re adapting to the rules and regulations as they change.
Another important factor is the percentage of homeowner equity. If you have no mortgage, you will probably be calmer about current financial challenges and uncertainty and be more willing to spend. However, if you have a high debt to equity ratio, things will be tighter and you’ll probably have to hold back on spending. 42% of homeowners in the United States have no mortgage. 58% of all homes in America have at least 60% equity. And the average equity of mortgaged homes is $177,000. These stats show that homeownership offers many Americans some financial stability.
Years for the unemployment rate to return to the pre-crisis level
National and Local Stats on Units Sold & Average Sales Price
On the national level, the chart shows existing home sales for March (pre-COVID). At that point, home sales were a little lower than the previous few years. Prices were on an upward trend pre-COVID. The months’ supply of inventory is showing a seller’s market, with the lack of inventory available.
What is especially interesting is what is going on in Orange County, NY versus Sussex County, NJ. These are bordering counties in different states, with different COVID regulations. In New York, realtors cannot physically show homes to buyers. In New Jersey, they can. Sales in Orange County have plummeted. April numbers were substantially lower than in previous years. However, average sales price was not impacted. In Sussex, April was a good month. They held firm as far as units sold. And prices are continuing to rise.
To reach any of the May 2020 Housing Market Update panelists,