Let's get real for a moment. 2020 has been, well, a challenge. No one was anticipating a global pandemic, nor its subsequent impact on the economy, businesses, schools, real estate development, and the housing market.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, or maybe because of it, people are still looking to buy and sell homes, relocate, and invest in real estate. So, while you're sheltering in place and looking at available inventory on mobile apps, we're going to highlight some of the highs (and lows) of the California housing market in 2020.
A Dismal Early Spring for the CA Housing Market 2020
There's no argument that the current COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on California's housing market. Record-low interest rates had just boosted home sales across the state in February. Then, in March, came the virus. Over the next two months, times were tough for California homeowners who wanted to sell, with May producing dismal statistics that lacked hope and discouraged sellers from selling and buyers from buying. Open house events were canceled, and hundreds of buyers backed out of deals to which they'd previously committed. If you were a hopeful home seller or prospective buyer in the early spring, the California real estate market was likely discouraging.
A Late Summer Rebound
According to the California Association of Realtors, the housing market is expected to recover rather quickly. The virus is still around, and a second wave could be detrimental. It won't, however, change homebuyer incentives. People are still looking for their starter homes, growing families continue to seek larger homes, and young adults are still seeking to move out of their parent's homes.
In addition, the pandemic has even increased the need for people to buy or sell their homes, including:
- Moving away from the Bay Area or other tech hubs due to remote work opportunities
- Moving closer to families or expanding their homes to accommodate more family members
These needs are not expected to change throughout the remainder of the CA housing market 2020 and into 2021, though they'll be more of a challenge with the elevated levels of unemployment. Interest rates are currently at attractive lows for those who are able to do so. Sales were up in June after near-record lows the month before, and the market is slowly rebounding.
Construction Picking Back Up
COVID-19 slowed new home construction in California. But it hasn't stopped it completely, and new housing projects are picking up speed and starting to move forward again. In Sacramento, the long-awaited Railyards infill project announced in August that it broke ground on a 345-unit mixed-use residential project in the historic district adjacent to Downtown Sacramento.
A Virtual World Going Forward
With the social distancing made necessary by COVID-19, agents could not hold on-site events such as showings or walk-throughs. Many turned to virtual technology to introduce prospective buyers to newly listed properties, to protect the safety of buyers and sellers alike.
Many realtors are expected to maintain many of their current selling methods. And virtual showings and plots of land that have been augmented with virtual homes may become the future norm, allowing agents to reach prospective buyers and investors 24/7, anywhere in the world. COVID may have ushered in the end of in-person showings and on-site walkthroughs. Instead, agents are likely to arm themselves with tablets, laptops and private links to share with prospective buyers. More online sales and closing are anticipated, even after the virus situation ends.
By fall, experts anticipate that the CA housing market 2020 will have rebounded, and they predict actual growth. COVID has had a huge impact on the housing market in California, but that doesn't make the Golden State any less desirable as a place to live and there are still golden opportunities for anyone who wants to buy, sell, or make a move in California.