The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is still going strong in the U.S. But various industries are currently surging back from its initial effects. The real estate market is one of these sectors.
This especially holds true for specific regions, such as Washington’s Franklin County housing market. With low mortgage rates and elevated buyer urgency, the area has become one of the hottest markets this year.
The Market Has Been Doing Well Despite Initial Uncertainty
The current situation of the economy, a tight struggle for jobs, and a general sense of panic points to difficult conditions. But that hasn’t affected the current state of the Franklin County real estate market.
After the first few weeks of the pandemic’s appearance, the housing market did go through a period of uncertainty. But as soon as the Evergreen State reopened for business, it got right back to work. In some cases, it observed even better results than last year. For instance, the average home sale price increased from over $191,000 in 2019 to above $206,500 in 2020.
Despite the few weeks of inactivity following the initial outbreak, the annual statistics also showed great promise. According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Franklin County sold 1,018 homes through January-September 2019. It lagged by just a few units in 2020, where it sold 985 homes until September 30.
Low Mortgage Rates Have Played a Major Role
According to local realtors, much of it has to do with low mortgage rates. When the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate in March, the action had a massive impact on lending products. With the Fed’s subsequent decision to keep its rates near-zero, mortgage rates started recording all-time lows pretty quickly.
This also affected the Franklin County housing market, where buyers started to flock towards suitable listings with serious intent.
As a result, it has increased market activity, boosted showings, and quickened the pace of closings. With the inventory selling out like hot cakes, sellers have also become more active in putting homes on the market. This has also filled the void of low inventory that the area faced before the pandemic.
In fact, the market has been moving forward at such a speed that local realtors are noticing record personal transactions. At over 70 deals a month, this doesn’t seem like a small number for a local realtor either.
People Aren’t Willing to Wait a Day to Close Transactions
According to those who deal in Franklin County real estate, buyers are exceptionally eager to close on their dream homes. Some aspiring homeowners don’t want to wait even a day to schedule a showing.
This is for good reason too. If they wait to get the ball rolling, someone else can quickly nab the listing in that time period. As a result, digital showings have emerged as a good alternative especially due to COVID-19 risks.
But the level of interest isn’t limited to home sales. It also holds true for existing constructions, where renovation and expansion has become another hot market. Those who want extra space or more comfortable dwellings are investing heavily in their homes. Some of them may even put these renovated properties on the market in the future.
With this heightened activity, it’s safe to say that the Franklin County market may reach its pre-pandemic sales goals easily. But even if it trails behind its performance in 2019, the market is a clear winner during unprecedented challenges.
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