Information for Home Buyers & Sellers
Our virtual office is open, and we’re blessed to be busy! While working virtually, we are still delivering the highest level of service to our buyers, sellers, and investors. Each and every person needs a place to call home, and our mission is to make sure that we’re serving you and our community by ensuring that the home buying and home selling processes are seamless and stress-free.
Over the last few weeks, we have individually answered questions for those who have inquired about how the current crisis may affect this Austin real estate market. So, we’ve taken a few of the most frequently asked questions and are sharing the responses with you below.
No matter what happens, we believe that there’s so much GOOD in the world around us. This is a time where we can help one another and show kindness and love. We’re in this together, and we will overcome it together.
– Square Move Realty
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the pandemic affecting the Austin housing market?
The short answer: The housing market in Austin is incredibly active, as buyers are still competing over a low number of homes available.
The longer answer: For many years, the housing supply has been incredibly low in the Greater Austin area, fluctuating between 1.9 – 3 months of available inventory. In February, that figure dropped to only 1.5 months of inventory. For comparison, a balanced market is six months of inventory/housing supply. This means that we simply don’t have a supply of enough homes on the market to meet the current demands of buyers. With historically low interest rates, and an incredibly low housing supply, the market is still very active.
How will the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 affect home prices?
No one really knows the answer to this. However, by taking a historical look at recessions, we know that a recession does not necessarily equal a housing crisis. In fact, home prices appreciated during 3 of the last 5 recessions. In the Austin area, this could certainly be a possibility if fewer sellers decide to list their homes right now, causing even more of a strain on the supply; thereby increasing the demand for those homes that are actively on the market.
Also, keep in mind that the market today is vastly different from 2008. Housing is not a catalyst that could spiral us back to that time or place. From easy-to-access mortgages to skyrocketing home price appreciation, a surplus of inventory, excessive equity-tapping, and more – we’re not where we were 12 years ago. None of those factors are in play today.
Are we going to see a new wave of foreclosures?
In spite of the difficulties facing many industries, there are reasons we won’t see a surge in the number of foreclosures like we did during the housing crash over ten years ago. Here are just a few of those reasons:
- During the previous housing crash, the government was slow to recognize the challenges homeowners were having and waited too long to grant relief.
- Today, action is being taken swiftly. The Federal Housing Administration indicated it is enacting an “immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages” for the next 60 days. (Source)
- The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it is directing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for “at least 60 days.” (Source)
What is the Texas Association of Realtors doing?
As always, Texas REALTORS® is committed to advocating for a strong real estate industry, advancing a culture of continued learning, and staying ahead of issues concerning members and their clients. Among other things, the Texas Association of Realtors has issued a COVID-19 Addendum that may be used as an addendum to a new contract or to amend a currently executed contract. The Association is providing continuous support to its members with Coronavirus FAQ: on Brokerage Issues and Closings, and Leasing & Property Management.
What is Square Move Realty doing to help current home buyers and sellers?
Our highest priority is safety for all parties involved. Here are a few things that you can expect from us:
- Interactive floor plans on every listing
- Virtual Tours for buyers and sellers
- Live Video Walkthroughs (may be limited by county)
- Virtual Listing Presentations
- Restrictions in overlapping showing appointments
- Increased screening of potential buyers
- Partnering with Title Companies who offer Mobile Closings
Concerns about the global impact COVID-19 will have on the economy are real. And they’re scary, as the health and wellness of our friends, families, and loved ones are high on everyone’s emotional radar. We thank you for your trust and flexibility as we navigate this situation together.