The coronavirus continues to restrict large parts of everyday life worldwide. The effects of the pandemic are still being felt. Nevertheless, the real estate agents are not letting the crisis get them down. They are making a virtue out of necessity as I also do.
The first couple of months of lockdown were the most difficult worldwide. There were questions surrounding how closings for purchases under contract would be handled. Additionally there were delays throughout the industry getting files processed with title companies, completing inspections and appraisals.
How has Corona changed the way Real estate agents are working?
The impact of the Corona Virus on the way that Real estate agents work has transitioned from the initial meeting being online to more of the process conducted remotely with those seeking to become homeowners and sell their homes.
How have Real estate agents responded to the new challenges?
Due to having a significant amount of relocation clients there were certain things they were doing remotely. They are utilizing digital tools with the listings such as the 3D virtual tours and videos.
What is helping the real estate agents get through these times?
Spending time with the family is helpful and these times didn’t feel abnormal. Having update meetings online everyday keeps them in touch with what the latest restrictions and guidelines are and how they could best operate within them.
How has customer behaviour changed?
With people being confined to their homes and I believe that made it more difficult to overlook the shortcomings and gave them time to decide what would really make a home functional for their life. We have definitely noticed an increase in buyer activity since the pandemic. Naturally increased buyer activity results in homeowners wanting to sell and upgrade if possible. Potential homeowners are more decisive about the properties they want to view and on average are viewing less homes before deciding on the one.
What specific effects has Corona had on the real estate market ?
In the first quarter of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic reached the Hungarian housing market and caused significant upheaval in the market conditions.
The spread of the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictive measures implemented at the end of March due to safety reasons, resulted in an abrupt and drastic fall in market activity.The pandemic made its impact felt also on the rental market immediately. Based on market data, compared to the end of February, by the end of April the number of flats for rent in Budapest rose by 22 per cent. According to the experts of the Housing and Real Estate Advisory Board (hereinafter: LITT), a large number of dwellings, which had formerly been rented out short term to tourists, may have been redirected to the long-term rental market. The average asking prices for flats to let also declined in most districts of Budapest, particularly in the downtown districts.
Banks tightened their lending conditions both for housing projects and loans to households. Access to credit, in addition to the income position of households, may be key to the maintenance of the housing market demand. Stability of house prices is supported by the fact that due to the moratorium on loan instalments, also urged by the MNB, those in stretched liquidity situations are not necessarily forced to sell their property.
Is it worth thinking about selling or buying a property at all at the moment?
NOW is always a good time to buy or sell a home, this is because the decision to own or sell a home is truly based on the individual circumstances. There are those who have a loan or mortgage and have lost their income due to being let go from their employer. Selling now until they find suitable employment may be the best option. Access to credit helps those who may have been looking to own a new property but had concerns about the payments feel more at ease with making a purchase. Then there are a large number of people who are now able to work from home permanently. Many of those that are in states where owning a home is challenging due to pricing are able to move to suburbs where housing is more affordable!
What do you expect for your property market in the future?
I don’t think anyone knows what to expect in the real estate market ever. The majority of people are convinced the housing market would crash due to the pandemic, and yet it did not come true. I do know that whatever happens in the market I have the tools and resources to guide my clients to make the best decisions for their personal circumstances.