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COVID-19 impact on the housing market

Posted at 8:30 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 22:33:07-04

TWIN FALLS — Industries and markets geared towards sales continue to struggle during this pandemic, and the housing market is starting to experience some effects of COVID as well.

Construction of new houses are still underway, yet the number of homes is much different in comparison to this time last year. In April of last year, Twin Falls was constructing nearly 60 homes. This year they are only building half of that amount.

Throughout the Magic Valley, listings are decreasing, President of the Western Magic Valley Realtors Jordan Beard stated, “So last year we had three hundred forty-three listings, right now we’re at two hundred forty-six.”

Fewer homes on the market are partly to do with the fact the ongoing pandemic is not an ideal time for people who want to sell. Despite the decrease in listings, the demand has resulted in the cost of many homes on the market to go up by 8.1%. In terms of numbers, a house that cost 225,000 dollars last year would now be worth over 240,000 dollars.

The market is also experiencing a significant loss in the number of showings to those interested in a house. Western Magic Valley Realtors has seen forty-five to nearly fifty percent of viewings decrease. Realtor companies and members of the public are following the CDC guidelines to limit exposure, which is why viewings have gone down.

Western Magic Valley Realtors have had to adapt and go virtual, offering zoom tours. The realtor office is also attempting to have a greater online presence so that buyers can access other forms or papers that would typically be signed in person.

The greater online presence is also being done because the process of completing the transaction has slowed down. As the state slowly re-opens, typical services such as inspections and loan offerings are taking much longer than usual.

Jordan Beard said, “It generally takes thirty to forty-five days to close a transaction. So I think the real test to what we’ve been going through, we’re just now starting to see.”

Economic loss is expected down the line, but the market is sustaining itself now because those looking for homes are on a need to buy basis.