While May’s numbers still remain a question, early reports seem promising, area real estate professionals have said. Earlier this month, Texoma home closings beat 2019’s numbers for the same week.
As the COVID-19 pandemic causes economic uncertainty across multiple industries, it could be months before the full effects to the local real estate industry are clear.
One of the looming factors in determining the damage to the market will be how quickly workers are able to return to their jobs or find new employment.
“If you anticipate that, that is going to be an issue. Let’s get that house listed and discuss with your agent about the options or what to do to ratify that rather than letting that go into foreclosure,” GTAR Association Executive Lindsay Wright said. “Be proactive and do something now to protect your credit rather than going into foreclosure.”
However, the same market may be fortuitous for those who have remained employed throughout the pandemic. With interest rates near record lows, it could be a good time for those with good credit to move up.
“People with jobs are looking to move. This is their time to buy something a little bigger,” she said.
The epidemic may also lead to a rise in tele-community for work, Wright said. If this occurs, it would not be out of the realm of possibility for people who normally work in the Metroplex into move north to less congested areas.
During the slow-down, Wright said area Realtors continued to work as essential workers due to housing and shelter remaining a priority.
And, they took a variety of strategies throughout the pandemic, including using virtual tours for perspective homeowners.
Still, some homes were removed from the market as the owners did not want people entering their homes during a pandemic.
“Texas has been stated to have one of the best economies of the world,” Wright said. “I think if people come back to work, and the market is able to stabilize, we won’t have the same effects as Illinois if you will.”
Representatives for the Greater Texoma Association of Realtors said 2020 started with a bang, but it could be the third quarter before representatives get a full view of the aftermath of the pandemic.
“For the first quarter of 2020 when all this started, the first quarter still ended with a moderate increase in housing numbers,” Wright said. “So, the first quarter at the end of the March, and the first effects in March , really didn’t see any signs of negativity.”
That takes us into April and second quarter, which gives us a bit of a snap shot of what’s going on, but I really feel it won’t be until third quarter until we get a real pulse on the effects of COVID-19 and its effects on our market.”
In March, Wright said 2019 proved to be the latest in a series of record-breaking yards. Housing prices increased by about six percent to an average of $184,000. By comparison, 2018 saw a 5.8 percent increase in values.
According to January reports, there were about 171 homes on the market in Sherman, and 178 for sale in Denison. By comparison, there were only 650 residential listings for all of Grayson County.
For the month of April, Wright said numbers continued to increase with regard to average home price, which rose by 6.2 percent, and number of listings. The one exception was a decline in the number of closings, which dropped by about 45 from April 2019 to about 139, Wright said.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.