The real estate market had been going strong in the South Jersey Shore region until mid-March, when the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic began closing businesses across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. As stay-at-home orders were issued and many companies moved to teleworking status, the impact on the real estate market was seen toward the latter half of the month.
These numbers, which are reflective of the entire month of March, tell part of the story, and Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate, share their expert insights on broader effect that Covid-19 is having on real estate.
“There’s still demand for housing, although many consumers have hit the pause button on purchasing or selling a home,” said Scott. “Properties that are temporarily off the market, for example, have increased, but consumers continue to browse online for homes. For example, traffic and inquiries to Long & Foster’s website, LongandFoster.com have increased dramatically the past couple weeks.”
Scott noted that one of the biggest challenges that consumers who are in the market today are facing is getting to closing successfully. As a result, he said using Long & Foster’s integrated network of services makes a difference, now more than ever.
For those consumers who are currently buying or selling a home, Long & Foster family of companies—real estate, mortgage, title, insurance and moving—are leveraging technology to support their customers, while following CDC guidelines for social distancing. From virtual tours to online closings, the company is helping consumers find their way home, from home.
While some mortgage companies have closed their doors or greatly restricted their lending policies, Long & Foster’s partners at Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC, are still offering the vast majority of loan products available in today’s market. Although mortgage guidelines are rapidly changing, conditions are favorable for qualified buyers and interest rates remain low.
Likewise, the teams at Long & Foster Settlement Services are going above and beyond to reach closings on time for their clients. Depending on the market, they’re deploying mobile notary services or using remote online notarization to settle transactions. Similarly, Tailored Move, Long & Foster’s moving partner, and Long & Foster Insurance have procedures in place to serve buyers and sellers in today’s continually changing markets, too.