We are living in turbulent times as we work together to shelter each other, our businesses, and our loved ones from the COVID-19 “Coronavirus” pandemic. Many people are experiencing stock shock as the market is on a roller coaster of gains and losses. March 10 opened a bear market as the Dow dropped 1,400 points. Then on March 24, the Dow experienced a rally of 2,100 points as the U.S. waited for a contested stimulus package. These drastic swings of ups and downs in the market put life-long retirement investments and years of financial planning at risk. Of course, it is the shared hope that once life returns to normal and our country gets through this pandemic, the stock market will come back stronger than ever.
One investment that is safe is your real estate. The value of your home has not plunged with the lows of the stock market and buying is still at a high. It’s still a seller’s and a buyer’s market for different reasons. For sellers, property appreciation has made ownership an excellent investment and the relatively low numbers of properties available provides a position of selling power. For buyers, mortgage interest rates are at low, low numbers, allowing buyers the opportunity to acquire more home for the dollar and have lower monthly mortgage payments.
According to the most recent monthly publication of the “Tri-Cities Insider” a real estate market report, which takes its data from the MLS, the area market remains strong. The active properties listed included 477 homes, with an average list price of $396,788 and an average price per square foot of $175, with properties remaining on the market for an average of only 68 days. Under contract were 388 properties that had been on the market an average of 93 days. Sold properties accounted for 2112 properties that averaged $165 per square foot and were on the market for a mere 33 days! Windermere Group One allows you easy access to this information by signing up for a monthly market report, here.
Governor Jay Inslee has recently given specific instructions to keep the real estate market rolling. While your agents are following all dictates to help avoid any spread of the COVID-19 virus, they have been offered safe mechanisms to assist buyers and sellers. Real estate and lending activities have been approved as essential activities. The limitations allow in-person meetings between agents and customers when it is necessary to view a property or sign documents. Open houses are not permitted, but the ability to carry out inspections, conduct appraisals, and perform final walk-throughs are allowed as long as they are arranged by appointment and no more than two people are on site at any time. So, while your agents can work with you remotely for a significant part of your sale or purchase, they can also make in-person site arrangements that you may need to keep a smooth process going.
While our offices are presently closed to protect the people of our communities, Windermere Group One agents are available to professionally assist you with your real estate needs. Please feel free to reach out to any of our agents— we are here to help!