In February of this year, the first reported case of COVID-19 hit the United States. Just a short month later, each of the fifty states had reported cases of the virus. Now entering November, the pandemic plays a continuous role in our everyday lives.
Its impact has been seen everywhere, from people's health and well-being to the operation of the systems that keep our economy and country going. Today, we'd like to break down how COVID-19 impacted the real estate market, and the systems put in place to ensure your health and safety during these times.
COVID-19 and the Economy
Before the pandemic, a time that we feel so far removed from, the United States was in the midst of one of the most vital economic runs in recent times. But of course, we all remember the devastating hit our economy took in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak, as the global stock market experienced its fastest fall in financial history. Not only did global markets take a hit, small businesses lost a total of 20% revenue, leaving many with no choice but to close their doors for good. Across the country, unemployment claims hit a peak of 22 million Americans back in May. People lost their jobs and, in turn, their livelihood.
A Sense of Normalcy?
While nobody is sure if and when things will go back to normal, the economy is beginning to get a taste of this normalcy again. The hiring rate has increased steadily since the summer, small business work hours have risen, and the stock market has seen what looks to be a full recovery with the Dow Jones reaching 29,000 points in September, for the first time since January.
And the Housing Market?
Simply put, the housing market is hot. While inventory is still low, homes are being purchased sight unseen and often selling above the asking price. This limited inventory is in part to sellers riding out the current health crisis; however, this market's momentum has surprised many.
Through patience and the extensive research of health professionals, procedures were put in place at both the national and state levels to ensure safety for those participating in the housing market. In May, "Real Estate Transactions" were deemed an essential service in the State of New Hampshire by Governor Chris Sununu. Practices included remote or socially distanced closings, single party showings, and the continuation of inspections and appraisals with appropriate social distancing.
This enactment was a crucial step to maintain the balance in the health of both our community members and our housing market. At Century 21, we have worked diligently to set necessary boundaries to keep our clients safe. Those individuals taking advantage of a historic seller's market have the assurance and comfort, knowing that we will handle their transaction with care and respect for our current climate.
We believe that we need to keep our clients and audience informed. Vulnerable times, such as that we live in, can create confusion, especially with something as serious as homeownership.
Navigating these unchartered waters isn't easy; for advice on how to get through it from a real estate perspective, we're here to help.
Please be sure to protect yourself and those around you. We will see this through.