When we asked Joseph Rand, chief creative officer, Rand Realty to comment on the state of real estate during the pandemic, he shared Rand Realty’s special report, What’s Next for the Housing Market in the Pandemic Era? Case Studies of Housing Market Resiliency. In the report, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are compared to 9/11, the 2008 economic crisis, and Superstorm Sandy. Here are some excerpts:
Now that restrictions have eased up, agents and brokers are able to get back to business relatively quickly. As terrible as the pandemic is, it hasn’t caused any damage to infrastructure that would impair business or government operations.
Although the pandemic’s overall devastation of the economy could spread to the housing market, we see no reason to think that the pandemic will have a particularized effect on housing. This is not to minimize the severe impacts that the pandemic has already had on the stock market and unemployment, but only to say that those impacts are not specifically related to housing as an asset class.
In early March, the economy had been enjoying an unparalleled 10-year streak of job and GDP growth, with the stock market reaching a series of all-time highs. Given what we see in previous crises (9/11, the 2008 recession, and Superstorm Sandy), that’s a pretty good indicator that the economy could bounce back after the pandemic eases.
Similarly, the housing market was in robust shape. We had experienced over 10 years of sales growth, to the point that transactions had reached the heights of the last seller’s market. And even though prices weren’t all the way back to their historical highs, they were up sharply in the first quarter of the year.