Real estate market on upswing despite COVID-19 pandemic, experts say

Realtors say current market climate surprising considering their fears 3 months ago

Real estate market on upswing despite COVID-19 pandemic, experts say
Real estate market on upswing despite COVID-19 pandemic, experts say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Experts say real estate is making a stunning comeback as demand for housing is on the upswing despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While numbers of COVID-19 cases are rising in Florida, the housing market locally is still doing well.

Local real estate agents told News4Jax that they are pleasantly surprised and happy about what the market is doing. One referred to this time-period as the light at the end of the tunnel.

Nicholas Eklund, a realtor with First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty said a lot of buyers are coming from down south and from Connecticut, New York and the upper East Coast.

“There’s definitely movement (in the market),” Eklund said. “I think there’s a few things that explain it. We are seeing inventory going down. Driving factors: properties really aren’t coming to market at times, people don’t want them coming through the house.

Cole Slate, a realtor with The Cole Slate Team agreed, saying buyers are having to make the move, but sellers are considering questions they didn’t have to before.

“Do they want to have all these random people in and out of their house? What kind of precautionary measures are they buyers and buyers’ agents making for the viewing of these homes?” Slate said.

Both realtors said a big attraction right now is low mortgage rates.

“I think you’re seeing first-time homebuyers, especially, driven by the rates. Those loans are a little lower,” Eklund said.

Another change for the market: buyers’ wish lists.

“Down here it seems to be more of a lifestyle,” Eklund said. “Just had one at the beach, the people aren’t going to see the place before they move in.”

Slate said more people are interested in homes with pools.

Eklund said how things are shaping up now is a far cry from what things looked to be headed toward three months ago.

“All of us were bracing for the worst. You already naturally had the softening of the market going into everything, with the addition of coronavirus,” Eklund said. “We’re very happy. I think buyers and sellers are both very happy with how things are moving. From the buyers’ perspective, I wish we had a little more to work with.”

Of course, this could all change if Florida’s numbers continue to rise like they have been in recent days.

Realtors said they are confident right now, but they remain watchful.

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