Happy Independence Day America! The 4th of July is symbolic of so many things, including the middle of summer and summertime activities. I have so many great memories of large gatherings on the 4th of July and sitting on a lawn with a crowd of people watching the fireworks, but this year was quiet.
The Shell Freedom Over Texas canceled the live concerts and City Centre canceled both the concerts and the fireworks. It was a quiet 4th of July, and I found myself wondering if this holiday will ever be the same again. With Covid-19 cases surging across 32 states, and Texas leading the charge, the Governor announced no more social gathering of more than 10 people again, and masks are now mandatory in every county that has reported 20 plus cases of COVID-19.
These are unprecedented times in world history and the impact may be far greater than we originally anticipated. When Houston first went into lockdown mode in March, we saw home sales slow by 20% for the month of April and then slowly rebound in May when Houston started Phase 1 of re-opening the city. By the end of June, home sales were surging alongside of the pandemic, and many of our agents reported being “busier than ever”!
As the COVID-19 cases were surging, the Governor announced the closure of bars across the state a week before the 4th of July, and the market reacted again. It is too early to tell how the real estate market will be impacted by the latest surge of this pandemic, but there was a definite slow down in showing activity in the last week of June.
At the beginning of May, I predicted that our Summer market would be hot with home sales as housing needs changed and many people started looking for more space as a result of spending more time at home. I also urged many sellers to consider that the market could shift again after August so it was important to price homes to sell by the end of the summer, or we could see more inventory sitting on the market this fall. However, I can only speculate, and if we have learned anything, one event can cause our market to shift overnight.
The good news is that mortgage rates are at historical lows, so homes are more affordable. As we all spend more time at home, our homes are becoming the center of every activity. This is our new normal, and the good old days of large gatherings may not return until we find a vaccine. Energy Realty is committed to assisting our clients during these difficult times, but we ask that everyone stay safe, wear a mask, and help stop the spread.
Writer – Sherry Campbell