With Austin's Economy Opening - What's Next?

I hope your are well and safe. We've been hunkering down and enjoying the kids more (ages 3 and 9). Home schooling has had it's challenges but we've done a bang-up job with the Spring cleaning and purged the closets! To help connect, we're sharing thoughts on what to expect this month in the real estate world. 

As our economy begins to rebound, our real estate community is anxious to see how the upcoming months shake out. We're cautiously optimistic to say the least. The inventory shortage from March and April has home shoppers primed for new inventory and motivated Sellers. The month of May will be big test and hopefully brings positive data on many fronts. 

On our wish list, we hope to see: 

a) A gradual return to normalcy: This will be apparent in restaurants and retails outlets opening yet operating at a much lower capacity as they push to stay relevant with consumers. The positive impact would help home buyers/sellers feel comfortable returning to their routines and feel good about making a real estate decision. 

b) Inventories surge: We saw inventories shrink in March while April numbers will be dismal. We advised clients to wait for the shelter-in-place ordinance to lift which was the right thing to do in hindsight. It's very possible May - July months will experience larger-than-normal sales volume. 

c)  Few suprises for Wall Street: Next week, our first round of unemployment figures arrive. We know they'll be high and some have suggested 14-16% unemployment is expected. The large blue chip stocks have their Q2 earnings sprinkled about these weeks and so far the losses are bad but expected. Historically as the Stock Market dives, so does home buying sentiment - especially during uncertain times (like a pandemic). 

d) Less COVID:  Local experts have said COVID peaked last week. We're much more prepared and can respond faster should flare-up of cases happen. The medical community believes the access to testing and speed to contact tracing should help limit the public's exposure and reduce threats gradually over the summer. We can't wait to see this play out. 

Interest rates should remain low (I saw one lender today was at 2.875% for a 30 year fixed) giving good reason to get locked into a longer-term loan. Pricing should be softening this summer as anxious Sellers won't have the luxury of over-pricing their home while Buyers will likely have less competition across the board. 

As we continue to stay connected and keep our sanity, we encourage you share your concerns and perspective on the market. Don't hesitate to reach out as we're available to help as this too shall pass. We are all in this together. 

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