The effect of COVID-19 on the Cleveland real estate marketMichelle McQuade | May 6, 2020
Despite strong market data at the start of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a decline in home buying interest in Ohio due to uncertainty. According to a survey conducted by the Ohio REALTORS, 75% of respondents say COVID-19 has decreased their interest in purchasing homes. This is NOT the case in 44022 and 44023 zip codes!
Buyers that are in desperate need of a home are buying and inventory is LOW! Many real estate professionals however, believe the effects of COVID-19 on the housing market are not yet fully realized, as many Ohioans are only starting to get used to this new reality.
And while local realtors say there will be a downside, many still believe it’s not going to cause such a devastating impact compared to other parts of the US, as the Cleveland market is closely tied to hospitals and universities.
Reaction of home sellers
In a recent survey from the National Association of Realtors, nearly one in four home sellers are changing the way they showcase their homes to prospective buyers.
In March, many sellers started requiring potential buyers to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, or remove their shoes before entering their homes, while some sellers decided to stop hosting open houses completely.
Most local realtors say they are more concerned about the impact of the virus on sellers than on buyers. In addition to concerns about welcoming people into their homes, they might also be concerned whether this is an ideal time to put their home on the market. Home sellers might feel anxious that buyers are holding off their purchasing decisions, which could keep homes on the market for an uncertain amount of time, which lowers their value.
Using technology to safely showcase homes
Many real estate brokerages are now taking advantage of virtual tours or video presentations of homes in order to limit in-person showings, although many still acknowledge the possibility that buyers may still want to schedule a personal visit before they decide to purchase.
Real estate websites now have a bigger role, as they allow buyers to view homes and communicate with real estate agents all from the safety of their own homes.
Key findings from Ohio REALTORS
Here are some of latest findings from Ohio REALTORS’ Flash Survey conducted from April 28 to 29:
- 75% of respondents indicated that COVID-19 has caused a significant decrease in buyer interest.
- 90% of respondents say the virus has impacted the number of homes on the market.
- 51% said home sellers have removed their homes from the market.
- Changes in seller behavior that remain consistent are: No longer holding an open house (84%), requiring buyers to wash hands or use hand sanitizer (71%), sellers not allowing buyers into their homes or requiring use of disposable shoes (61%).
- 54% of respondents indicated that there were no issues in regards to tenants paying rent on time. 33% said there was a delay, but there were certain accommodations made. 11% noted a delay. 2% said leases were terminated.
- 86% of respondents said there was a significant decrease in commercial/industrial purchases.