Coronavirus and Real Estate Transactions

The coronavirus is causing all sorts of issues with in process real estate transactions. Everything from physical & engineering inspections, title review and transaction financing is running into delays, if not outright being cancelled.

The term “force majeure” is now becoming more apparent in real estate contracts, allowing for extensions and / or terminations of agreements for unforeseeable circumstances or “acts of God”. 

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Housing and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The housing market statistics for February 2020 were recently published and it showed that the market continues to remain strong with not only price appreciation, but increasing sales volume.  Existing-home sales improved by 6.5% (year-over-year) which was the strongest amount for the month of February since 2007.

The market across four counties in the greater South Florida area also remained quite strong with gains in the number of homes sold as well as the median prices for both single family homes and townhomes / condominiums.  The following table highlights the individual county statistics as of the end of February 2020 (year-over-year). 

 FOR FEBRUARY 2020 (Year-Over-Year)
 No. SFR SalesSFR Median PriceNo. Th/Co SalesTh/Co Median Price
Palm Beach County12.30%6.80%12.50%3.30%
Martin County1.20%13.80%21.40%3.20%
Miami-Dade County9.80%7.20%4.70%2.00%
Broward County7.00%10.00%3.80%12.80%

As of mid-March 2020 with the coronavirus in full swing, a number of states now have ‘Shelter in Place’ orders and significant restrictions on businesses across the state of Florida.  This will of course have massive implications on the economy as a whole, but how specifically will it impact the housing market?

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