Real Estate & Economic Insights for the week ending May 8, 2020

COVID-19 continues to dominate the headlines as the financial markets react to the US economy losing more than 20 million jobs in April. As businesses start to reopen there is a watchful eye on how many will be able to return back to a meaningful level of operations.

The real estate market in South Florida remains fairly static as Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade county have not started “Phase 1” of reopening unlike the 64 other counties throughout the state. According to Governor DeSantis the South Florida counties were not included as part of the initial reopening as they have much higher rates of COVID-19 cases and related deaths.

To learn more about the residential and commercial real estate market in Palm Beach County as well as throughout South Florida, please visit the Market Reports page on our web site. Every month it is updated with the latest published reports on the housing market in Palm Beach, Martin, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties as well as commercial real estate information which is provided by data providers and local market experts.

During this past week we found the following articles related to real estate and the economy that are useful in highlighting both where things stand and where we are headed.

Where the Market Has Stalled: 10 Cities With the Steepest Drops in New Listings

By Sara Ventiera,

“Springtime in the United States looks a whole lot different this year. No kids playing on playgrounds or filing into classrooms. No groups of friends sitting at sidewalk cafes to enjoy the warmer weather. Beaches and public parks? Roped off.

But few areas are more altered than the process of home buying and selling. In some places, real estate agents can’t even visit a client’s house until stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Since it became apparent that COVID-19 was spreading across the United States, many of the usual spring sellers have opted to hold off listing their properties—whether real estate has been deemed an essential business in their state or not.”

Distress signals are flashing in U.S. commercial real estate. But will it need a TALF rescue?

By Joy Miltermuth, MarketWatch

“Hotel rooms, office buildings and other commercial properties were lonely places last month as much of the nation operated under stay-at-home orders.

Being a property owner might have made the lockdowns feel even lonelier.

But as regions of the U.S. begin exploring ways to lift restrictive measures to contain the coronavirus and resume business, there is still plenty of uncertainty around what the toll will be on commercial properties, particularly since new protocols for returning to work, visiting the dentist and dining out are still being formed.”

What You Need To Know Right Now About Real Estate Investments

By Shimon Shkury, Forbes

“If you’re like many real estate investors or brokers right now, morning meetings have evolved into updates on lender forbearance, the tenuous state of rent and predictions that can shift with the next headline. Normally, you can expect capital and investor diversity, especially in New York City, one of the most liquid real estate markets in the world. Now we’re seemingly at a standstill—with some exceptions, like opportunistic investment, buyers transferring tax-deferred status to new acquisitions (i.e. 1031 tax deferment) and some less traditional lending avenues.”

Consumer confidence in housing falls to lowest level since the subprime crash

By Diana Olick, CNBC

“The economic free fall from Covid-19 is taking its toll on what had been very strong housing demand and sentiment just a few months ago.

After falling sharply in March, housing confidence among consumers took an even deeper dive in April, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index. It was the lowest level since November 2011. Back then, the market was reeling from the subprime mortgage crisis, with home prices cratering and foreclosures rampant.”


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