Coronavirus and the North Carolina Real Estate Market: What You Need to Know

A sleek, modern living room.

COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, continues to affect our economy and the North Carolina real estate industry in unprecedented ways. That doesn’t mean it’s time for panic! Instead, find ways to remain level headed and begin planning for how you can alter your business operations to encourage safety and healthy practices.

Contrary to what any scary, click-bait articles you’ve probably seen online might say, the real estate market is not shutting down. It’s merely adjusting to new rules and recommendations set forth by the CDC.

Need title insurance fast? Check out our Tryon Express service. Please know that all of us at Tryon Title are here for you as you work to assist your clients in buying, selling, and investing in North Carolina real estate during this time of change.

Here’s what you need to know:

How is Coronavirus Affecting the Economy?

Economists agree that we’re likely headed towards a recession. It’s important to remain calm at this time: the real estate industry has seen many recessions before, and always manages to adjust, shift operations, and come out on top.

Are Mortgage Rates Going Down Because of Coronavirus?

In early March, the Federal Reserve cut mortgage interest rates by half a percentage point. Since then, rates have fluctuated but have actually risen slightly overall thanks to a massive influx in refinancing requests by current homeowners.

At their lowest point during the week of March 5, 2020, the average mortgage interest rate was 3.29%. Currently, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.36%. Interest on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage sits at about 2.77%.

According to Joel Kan of the Mortgage Bankers Association, rates will likely stabilize soon and remain low. This is ideal for home buyers with cash reserves looking to purchase a home soon.

How Will NC Real Estate Change as a Result of Coronavirus?

The North Carolina spring home-buying season will almost certainly be less busy than usual. But that doesn’t mean sales won’t happen! Many buyers are still prepared to purchase a home in North Carolina this spring—though they are taking extra precautions to stay safe while doing so. Plus, with mortgage rates at a near all-time low, buyers have an extra incentive to buy a home now.

The fact of the matter is this: a home is an essential need. People will still need to buy homes even in the midst of a pandemic. That won’t change. What will change is the way the home is bought—and that’s where real estate agents and other industry professionals can step in to help their clients make smarter moves.

How Can Real Estate Professionals Adjust Their Practices for Coronavirus?

Here are some tips and ideas for how to sell homes at present:

  • Encourage virtual showings whenever possible
    • Real estate agents across the country have begun hosting Facebook or Instagram live tours of their active properties.
  • Opt for private showings instead of open houses
    • Before the showing, open every door and window of the property so the buyer won’t be required to touch anything. When they arrive, offer protective booties or slips for their shoes, and make sure a hand-washing station, or at least some hand sanitizer, is available.
  • Be mindful of what you (and your clients) touch
      • Avoid shaking hands
      • Ask buyers to refrain from touching any doorknobs or kitchen appliances.

Will the Closing Procedure Change?

Closings will need to be optimized to eliminate any touching and speed up the process as much as possible.

The faster a real estate transaction is completed, the less likely germs are to spread from person to person. In a world where social distancing is the new norm, closing real estate transactions will be a little trickier—but not impossible.

Tryon Title Is Here for You

These are unprecedented times, and professionals across every industry are living day by day. As such, Tryon Title is committed to providing excellent title insurance services in a quick and timely manner. For fast title insurance, rely on our Tryon Express. You can easily request title insurance online, and we’ll deliver your policy in record time.

Have a question about the real estate industry or title insurance? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. On behalf of our entire staff at Tryon Title, we’re here for you.