What Real Estate Investors Can Expect In Summer 2020
Just a few months into 2020, the world changed rapidly. The way many of us live, work and interact with one another evolved to contend with a global health crisis. Large, in-person gatherings were limited, demand for telework increased and entire industries were forced to adapt to unprecedented circumstances — particularly those dependent upon face-to- face interaction such as sales, hospitality and retail.
Real estate has had its own reckoning in response to the crisis. Just days into the spring season, typically real estate’s busiest season, unemployment claims rose by as much as 6.6 million in a single week. With the sudden spike in unemployment, fewer open houses and a trend of hesitant buyers, the National Association of Realtors projected a 10 percent reduction in home sales in 2020. HUD declared a ban on foreclosures and evictions for single-family homeowners with federally-backed mortgages in April. Foreclosure initiations were delayed for at least 90 days for affected borrowers whose ability to pay their mortgage was hindered by COVID-19. Social distancing and shelter in place orders have led to a decrease in all in-person activities, including guided home tours and live auctions, making the industry’s need to embrace technology more crucial than ever before.
Now, we’re left to ponder how the industry has been, and will continue to be, affected. Let’s examine a few things investors can expect this summer.
Low Interest Rates
According to lender surveys conducted by Bankrate, interest rates this year have been as low as 3.75 percent. Residential real estate investors can capitalize on this in multiple ways.
The dip in rates may encourage banks to pursue property sales with more vigor, potentially multiplying your chances of finding and purchasing assets. Lenders also tend to relax their requirements when interest rates are low, so there may be more opportunities to borrow the funds you need to finance your investment. While financing hurdles are lowered and the bank-owned market is active, it may be a good time to invest in an auction property with the potential for long-term profitability.
As an added bonus, a federal stimulus package was put forth in late March in which individuals earning less than $75,000 annually or married couples (filing jointly) earning less than $150,000 annually were expected to receive direct payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The additional funds could help investors put a dent in a bid deposit or repairs on a fixer upper.
Starting in March, gatherings of 10 or more people were heavily discouraged in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Thus, live auctions and in-person home tours slowed. However, online auctions and real estate technology have allowed transactions to continue during this crisis.
Platforms like Hubzu provide users with the tools to virtually browse thousands of properties, find upcoming auctions and place bids online. For those buying properties with or without an agent, you can find property details on the site, communicate with the seller and in some cases set up a self-showing to access the property on your own via a lockbox. Even making or accepting payments and signing documents can be done electronically.
Taking advantage of these digital resources offers a safer alternative to conducting business in-person and can even make the process more efficient once we start to return to a new “normal”.
A New Peak Season
The future remains uncertain and the impacts of COVID-19 may change what we’re accustomed to across the economy and various industries. In real estate, investors, agents and the average home buyer are used to the market heating up as the seasons do. Spring and summer are typically the industry’s highest performing seasons but COVID-19 will likely change this expectation, at least for 2020.
If the nation has seen significant improvements by the end of this year, investors may enjoy a busier, more competitive market come fall time when ordinary home buying and selling behavior resumes. With this year’s delayed foreclosures, future investment opportunities may include an increased number of occupied properties. This type of foreclosure comes with its own unique set of regulations, so sprucing up on the requirements today can help you prepare for tomorrow’s possibilities.
This year has been a whirlwind for the real estate industry, but knowing what to expect can help you gear up for the future. With these insights, you may be able to capitalize on forthcoming trends and secure investments that add value to your portfolio.
Visit Hubzu.com/ThinkRealty for more market insights and to find properties in your area.