As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is safe to say that there has been nothing in our lifetimes that has consistently occupied our minds, lives and endeavors to this extent. On that basis, we reflect that there will be lasting changes beyond the end of the pandemic to almost all industries that will range from incremental to substantial.
There will be certain changes to real estate markets across the United States and beyond. As a result, many realtors and real estate investors will be considering their next moves and how they can pivot their operations to adapt to such an uncertain market climate. With many in the industry having very traditional methods to success, it is vital to understand local and national market changes and adapt accordingly to stay present, relevant and proactive.
Louisville Real Estate Market Statistics
As shown in the past, the Louisville real estate market is notoriously resilient during times of financial unrest. During the financial crisis of 2018 the average drop in home values across the United States was 12.4%, but Louisville came in at just 6.8% (CNN).
A similar trend is emerging during our current economic decline. According to the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors, in March of 2020 there were 1,355 single-family residential sales transactions. This number is down only 2% from March 2019. However, a sharper decline of up to 17% is expected when sales volume is reported for April 2020. This is measured by the reduction in accepted purchase contracts received in March, since a portion of those transactions will likely close in April.
Interestingly, the median sale price has seen a year-over-year increase of 4% to $231,999. Click here for full report.
COVID-19 Complications on the Real Estate Market
COVID-19 has introduced a competitive market in which qualified buyers are looking to purchase while inventory remains low. These buyers are pre-approved by their lender and have had little-to-no recent change to their financial situation, with many starting the process pre-coronavirus. We have several guests staying in our corporate rental properties because their primary residence sold yet they have not found a new house because of the limited inventory and competitive market.
Owner-occupied properties have added complications because scheduling showings can be more challenging by helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. Vacant properties reduce these complications and can have a larger amount of showing traffic. Rest assured, good Realtors are working hard to protect the physical health of all parties on both sides of the transaction.
Another noticeable change to the real estate sales market is that no open houses are being scheduled as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of COVID-19. There are many opponents of the Sunday 2-hour open house that argue this activity adds little-to-no benefit to the transaction. I concur with this assessment and offer that a thorough video tour or 3D Matterport Tour is equally as helpful.
Have you considered the fact that an open house could actually be hurting your home sale? Read the report here.
COVID-19 Impact on Louisville Short Term Rentals
In a time and a market that has demanded creativity and flexibility, we have been able to pivot and short-term rentals into corporate rentals. Progressively, more and more of our properties are being filled through 30+ day and month-to-month agreements to meet the needs of the local housing market and to fill the calendars of our clients.
In considering the longevity of this strategy, it can be assumed that the corporate rental consumer does not have a budget to sustain this type of investment. It is merely a band-aid solution until the short-term rental market returns.
Upon reflection, short-term rentals continue to be the most volatile of all real estate endeavors. They are not, nor will they ever be, for the faint hearted. Purchasing a short term rental property is the equivalent of getting a new puppy. They require more work than you expect, but they are also very rewarding. If you are willing to put in the work and have the right mindset you will enjoy being a host and will reap the associate rewards.
You can track the impact of COVID-19 on the Louisville short-term rental market with data from Transparent. Click here to view.
For further information on COVID-19 Real Estate Legislation and relief, click here.