Over the last two months, we’ve seen a sea of unprecedented changes wash over us all. We can’t eat in restaurants, go shopping for a new pair of jeans or get our hair cut. Though we’ve seen many changes, there are also a few constants: We all need to eat. We all need human connection (even if it’s through video chats these days). And we all need somewhere to live.

Shelter is a vital component of human existence. While we’ve seen the real estate market drop over the past couple of months, activity is already starting to pick up, especially here in Ohio, where buying and selling homes is considered essential. We are seeing increased web traffic as people look for homes online, and our real estate agents, who are able to show homes in Ohio by safely following social distancing rules, are getting more calls every day. As I like to say, every day is one day closer to the end of this.

With the number of layoffs that took place, the recovery in real estate may take longer than anybody would like. But low interest rates along with a huge demand for housing will lead to an uptick in business. The slow v-shaped recovery curve means the market may not bounce back immediately, but we will begin to see more and more people buying houses through the rest of 2020. I expect that by the third and fourth quarter of this year, we’ll start to see activity get closer to where it was last year in that same period.

We expect to see those typical spring buyers delay their purchase, but ultimately will wind up buying a home – just a few weeks or months later than they may have planned.

Buyers who were thinking about buying a home this spring but are delaying don’t have to wait to start the process. In Ohio, real estate agents are able to help buyers and sellers in person, provided they are following safety precautions and social distancing rules.

In addition, today’s virtual tools mean you can complete almost the entire home buying process online. Virtual video and 3D tours give you options to preview homes. And talking to a real estate agent about what you’re looking for is a great first step, even if you may not be ready to buy tomorrow. Your agent knows the market and is there to keep an eye on what’s out there so you don’t miss out.

The real estate market is still here and waiting for those who are ready to buy or sell a home. It’s not a matter of if the market will pick back up, it’s a matter of when.


Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna, IV is president of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

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