Across the country, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing the way we live and work by the day, and many property managers and community managers are looking for advice on how to best manage their teams, maintain business continuity, and continue to deliver high levels of service to their residents and owners.
In times of crisis, education and preparedness are key when it comes to taking the right actions for your company. Here’s a list of top industry resources and timely articles that we will update weekly to help you navigate through these uncertain times:
If you are buying, selling or looking for a home, you are not alone in having questions right now. Or in being a little shaken up.
Restrictions to movement, a plunging financial market and uncertainty about future income, all because of the coronavirus pandemic, have upended plans to buy and sell homes overnight. Real estate activity has slowed considerably as buyers, sellers and agents try to figure out the path forward.
Properties are still going into contract, but few new listings are coming on to the market, said Katerina Wilkerson, a real estate agent at Keeton and Company in Richmond, Virginia.
"People are nervous," said Wilkerson. "They don't want to put offers in. What do these rate cuts mean? People who were going to sell are wondering whether they should."
Buyers she's working with were set to close on a home this week, but the house they are selling is not scheduled to close until next week. "They are asking, what if we can't close next week?" she said. "They need that money. They can't be stuck with two mortgages."
The sizable increases in prices over the last five years raises the question of whether a housing price bubble is building. A 48 percent increase in five years is extraordinary. But this increase must be set in the context of the four years of declining housing prices. For 16 consecutive quarters housing prices declined in Salt Lake County. That was a unique period in Salt Lake County’s real estate history. There had never been more than four quarters of declining prices. The return of prices to pre-recession levels should not be confused with a housing bubble.
Related Article: Census: Utah is nation's fastest-growing state - Deseret News
The price recovery has been aided and abetted by the historically long stretch of low mortgage rates, a necessary condition for the recovery Figure 4. Other factors, however, were at play as well, demographics and jobs. From 2010 to 2016, Utah was the third fastest growing state in terms of population change, surpassed by only North Dakota and Texas. And Utah has consistently been in the top five states in employment growth over the same period.
A housing bubble also carries some special characteristics that currently are not present in the Salt Lake County and Utah housing markets. Housing bubbles are preceded by rapid increases in debt. Prior to the Great Recession household debt in Utah increased by 35 percent in three years. Much of this increase was driven by mortgage refinancing, second mortgages, and home equity lines of credit. There is no sign of a build-up in debt in Utah. Household debt levels have returned to sustainable pre-recession levels.
A housing bubble is also characterized by lack of affordability. For example, in the Salt Lake Metropolitan Area in 2007 the median income household was able to afford only 30 percent of the homes sold in the county. Hence the Wells Fargo housing opportunity index stood at 30 for Salt Lake. Certainly it was a sign that housing prices had become untethered from normal economic relationships, housing prices and household income. Currently the housing opportunity index for the Salt Lake Metropolitan Area is 70; that is the median income household could afford 70 percent of the homes sold in the county in 2016, a sign of an affordable housing market. A housing opportunity index number of 50 or above denotes an affordable market.
Source: 2017 Salt Lake Housing Forecast (SLC Board of Realtors)
Click HERE to download the full report (PDF)
More market reports you might be interested in:
- 2016 Provo-Orem Housing Market Analysis
- Utah County Apartment Report