The Real (Estate) Ramifications of Coronavirus

Stay Calm, We Will Bounce Back

Unless you’ve literally been living under a rock or “off the grid,” you’ve heard about how Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been spreading across both the United States and the World. From the stock market crashing and halting all trading for a 15-minute period this morning, to talks in the NBA about playing basketball games without fans in attendance — the news about this epidemic continues to create concern, pause, and uncertainty. (In fact, the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all plunged)

But I challenge you to stay focused. Ensure you are the voice of reason. In terms of Real Estate, it’s important to remind people in the coming days and weeks that there will be plenty of buyers, and this is not permanent. It won’t last, we will rebound, and ultimately we simply need to be patient and trust that history will repeat itself. 

History is actually very useful for this purpose. Since becoming a nation in 1776 we have endured 47 recessions, and every single one (besides the Great Depression) lasted between 10 and 22 months. Why does that matter? According to the most recent U.S. Census data, the average American moves 11 times. Given life expectancy, that equates to one move approximately every 7 years. Ultimately this should bring peace of mind to everyone: agents, buyers, and yes, even sellers. For buyers on the market, these statistics illustrate that you have nothing to worry about. Even IF the worst happens, and somehow our country dips into another recession, it will only last 10 months, and you’re going to LOVE in your home for years. 

Our current situation will improve, and history isn’t the only thing that indicates hope. The numbers demonstrate that we have plenty of reasons to maintain a positive outlook.

Here are a few facts and figures: 

  1. We are at 3.7% unemployment, which is historic for the U.S.
  2. 10-year treasury bonds are at 0.5, which means those looking to borrow money, can do so at incredible rates.
  3. Cash is more readily available than ever, borrowing power is above average right now
  4. Tight supply and steady demand in Los Angeles County means good news, ie. a healthy market (something we examined in our blog last week: here)

It’s important that we do not panic. Yes, the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and California is on the rise. Yes, people are buying toilet paper and water to prepare for prolonged quarantines. But it is vital that you take a more reasoned, measured approach and project a sense of calm rather than panic.

Will you encounter push-back from buyers? Yes absolutely. Undoubtedly you will come across those who are resistant, and it’s incumbent upon you to remind and reassure them that the rebound is on the way. History proves we bounce back, but it’s up to you to push forward and not be discouraged by those who resist.

Please do continue to heed warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about this virus, including:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Consider postponing travel to Alert Level 3 countries, and do Cancel nonessential travel to Warning Level 3 countries
  • Defer all cruise ship travel at this time (especially those with underlying health issues)
  • Call your doctor if you develop symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19

Refer to the CDC website for updates and consult this Traveler FAQ for further information. 

About Harout Keuroghlian

After working with, and for, many different real estate firms, it became apparent to Harout that there was a major disconnect between what consumers needed/wanted and the service that was being provided to them. It was upon this realization that Harout founded and opened JohnHart Real Estate; and as the CEO/Principal Broker he has continued to break from the norm and redefine real estate with an insatiable appetite to give his clients the service and attention they deserve.

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