The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on the United States economy as a whole and a major impact on the residential real estate market. The pandemic affected rental vacancy rates and prices and home sales in different ways. Major cities and suburbs were affected in vastly different ways.
David Ebrahimzadeh explains the effects that the global pandemic has had on the real estate market across the country, naming some of the problems that have come up and offering an outlook for future months.
Economic Disruption Leads to Distressed Landlords
Many people lost their jobs and were unable to pay their rent or mortgage, though temporary eviction and foreclosure protections did help. There were far fewer protections for landlords, and many landlords are on the verge of losing their properties.
David Ebrahimzadeh advises landlords to carry cash reserves to get through these difficult times. It may be too late for many landlords today, but those who are still holding stable properties should start saving today.
COVID’s Effects on Home Prices
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a noticeable drop in home sales across much of the country and a corresponding drop in prices. Economic uncertainty and stay-at-home orders stalled the home sales market, though as the pandemic eased thanks to the introduction of vaccines, the housing market has begun to recover.
Urban Rental Disruption
As the COVID lockdowns began, many residents of densely populated urban areas began to realize that their environment was putting them in danger of catching the coronavirus. People who had the economic means to do so and the flexibility to work from home began to buy homes in suburban areas 50 to 100 miles from the city they were fleeing.
Rental vacancy rates in the inner cities rose significantly while rental prices sunk to unprecedented levels. This caused real estate prices to soar in areas like Westchester, New York as Manhattan and Brooklyn’s residents departed. This also caused younger renters to be able to move into cities like New York where in the past they would have been priced out. It will be interesting to see whether the flight from the city will persist past the COVID-19 pandemic and whether these fleeing renters will come back after the danger has passed.
The primary effect on the suburban real estate market from COVID-19 was the sharp rise in home prices. Since there was a small supply of homes available, competition and prices spiked. The mobile and well-off people who were able to leave the cities could afford to pay higher prices.
As real estate sale prices jumped in the suburbs, rental prices escalated as well. A low supply of affordable rental units was strained as people moved away from the cities.
Overall Economic Movements
The real estate market often falls prey to general economic fluctuations. The major law that governs real estate markets is supply and demand. High demand and a low supply will lead to the highest spikes in prices. This situation happened during the spring and summer of 2020 in many areas of the country.
Unemployment rates soared due to the pandemic, and wages went down. Many people in the hospitality and retail industries lost their jobs entirely, while others were forced to take significant cutbacks in hours.
Inequality in the Housing Market
The COVID pandemic has caused the wealth gap between the haves and have-nots to expand even further. While homeowners with stable jobs saw significant increases in their wealth thanks to burgeoning equity in their homes, the working class largely fell victim to economic disruption.
Possible Outlook for the Real Estate Market
The National Association of Realtors predicts that the economy will rebound in 2021. Interest rates will remain stable while the annual unemployment rate will dip to 6.2 percent. Housing prices across the country may climb by as much as 8 percent in 2021.
It will be fascinating to see whether the short-term effects of the pandemic will continue. If people are continuing to be able to work remotely for a permanent time span, they may stay in the suburbs and rural areas.
Understanding the Housing Market
David Ebrahimzadeh recommends that property owners keep close tabs on the economy and on real estate prices in their area. While it is best to hang onto properties in the long term, it is a good idea to judge whether it is the right time to make an investment purchase.
As COVID fades, its long-lasting impact on the economy may continue. It will take decades before some industries fully recover. The housing market will continue to be affected by economic shifts, unemployment rates, and the mobility of American workers. Taking all of these economic movements into account, this may be a great time to invest in real estate.
Choosing a Reliable Roofing Contractor: 10 Questions to Ask
The durability and safeguarding of your home are heavily reliant on the state of your roof. Whether you’re confronted with repairs, a full replacement, or the installation of a new roof, the selection of the perfect roofing contractor holds paramount significance. Determining whether you’re selecting the best option among the abundance of choices available can be difficult. In order to help you with this crucial decision-making process, we have painstakingly put together a list of 10 crucial inquiries to ask potential roofing contractors.
1. Are You Licensed and Insured?
Verify the contractor’s eligibility to operate in your locality by scrutinizing their credentials, and be sure to demand evidence of insurance. The significance of this step lies in its role as a protective shield, guarding you against potential liability should any accidents or property damage transpire during the course of the project.
2. How Long Have You Been in Business?
Experience matters in the roofing industry. Contractors with a long history of successful projects are often more reliable and capable of handling various roofing issues.
3. Can You Provide References?
In the process of choosing a contractor, it is imperative to request references from their previous clients. A trustworthy contractor will not only furnish you with a roster of contented customers but will also supply their contact details, affording you the opportunity to reach out directly and delve into their firsthand experiences. This direct feedback will provide invaluable insights into the contractor’s performance, professionalism, and dependability, empowering you to make a well-informed decision.
4. What is Your Specialty?
Roofing contractors may specialize in specific types of roofing materials or projects. Make sure they have experience with the type of work you need, whether it’s asphalt shingles, metal roofing, or commercial roofing.
5. Do You Offer Written Estimates?
To foster clarity and preempt potential misunderstandings, it is strongly advised to refrain from solely relying on verbal estimates. Instead, it is prudent to seek a thorough, written estimate that encompasses all critical facets of the project. This written estimate should include a complete analysis of the necessary materials, an estimate of labor expenses, and a clearly defined schedule outlining the project’s key checkpoints and the anticipated completion date. By employing this tactic, you can provide the groundwork for good communication and guarantee that all stakeholders are aware of the needs and parameters of the project.
6. What Warranty Do You Offer?
Inquire about the warranties they offer for both materials and workmanship when choosing a contractor. An honest and reliable contractor will always stand behind their work and provide thorough warranties that shield you from any potential flaws or problems that might develop later. These guarantees not only give you peace of mind, but they also show how dedicated the contractor is to producing top-notch outcomes and assuring your pleasure throughout the entire process. So, don’t hesitate to ask about the warranties and make an informed decision that gives you added confidence in your choice of contractor.
7. Do You Have Proper Permits and Documentation?
Ensuring that the contractor you hire will manage all the necessary permits and paperwork on your behalf is of utmost importance. This proactive approach not only conserves your valuable time and effort but also serves as a protective barrier against potential legal complications or entanglements that could surface down the road. By entrusting these responsibilities to a dependable contractor, you can enjoy peace of mind and dedicate your focus to other aspects of your project or business with unwavering confidence.
8. What Safety Measures Do You Have in Place?
Ensuring safety should always be a paramount concern when undertaking any roofing project. It is crucial to inquire about the contractor’s safety practices, which encompass not only the equipment they utilize but also the extent of their training. By doing so, you can help guarantee the well-being and security of all individuals involved in the project, fostering an environment that prioritizes safety above all else.
9. How Will You Handle Unexpected Issues?
When embarking on roofing projects, it’s essential to acknowledge that they can occasionally unveil unforeseen issues that were not initially apparent. Engaging in a candid conversation with your contractor regarding their contingency plans for addressing these unexpected challenges is of paramount importance. Furthermore, it is prudent to inquire about the potential extra expenses that might arise due to these unanticipated circumstances. Establishing a transparent understanding of how the contractor intends to manage such situations contributes to a more streamlined and prosperous roofing project.
10. What Is Your Timeline for Completion?
To maintain a seamless workflow, it’s essential to gain a thorough grasp of the project’s schedule. Delays can be a source of significant frustration, which underscores the importance of having a precise understanding of what lies ahead. This knowledge empowers you to plan and allocate resources with precision. Being well-informed about the project’s timeline enables you to anticipate and address any possible challenges or obstacles that may emerge, ultimately contributing to a more successful and efficient execution.
*Bonus Tip: Check Online Reviews and Ratings
Prior to reaching a final decision, it’s advisable to conduct an online review and rating check for the roofing contractor. Platforms such as Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau can furnish valuable insights regarding their reputation and levels of customer satisfaction.
Selecting the appropriate roofing contractor is a momentous decision that holds the potential to influence the long-term structural soundness and overall value of your home. By posing these 10 critical questions and undertaking comprehensive research, you’ll be fully equipped to choose a dependable roofing contractor capable of delivering top-notch workmanship and providing you with peace of mind throughout your roofing project.
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