Washingtonians are getting a bit restless these days. The Governor's iron-fisted lock-down is losing support faster than the devil on Sunday morning. Several of Washington's counties are already in Phase II of the Governor's planned re-opening ahead a schedule due supposedly to favorable new cases and such. Locally Clark County is now eligible for an early move to Phase II making us the first of the urban counties to be so granted.
Governor Inslee is up for re-election and I can only imagine he intends to win. Pissing off 75% of the voters is not an ideal way to win an election that is but five months away. The governor has to balance public safety with the will of that public to comply and compliance is starting to run thin on patience.
Phase II will allow for a partial reopening of restaurants with strict guidelines to keep with the notion of social distancing and general safety. This move into Phase II will definitely help economic conditions and that of course will help keep real estate stable through the summer.
Our market continues to be stable despite a massive overall slowdown in activity. I have been on about this since the dawn of this pandemic. Real estate is not unlike most economic models in that it is largely driven by supply and demand. In a typical economic cycle demand is the driving side that moves the market up or down. A slow economy tends to slow the demand for housing by reducing the number of qualified buyers. But this pandemic has actually led to a reduction in both willing sellers as well as qualified buyers. When both the supply and demand drop simultaneously then the market tends to be flat rather than drop. Real estate agents are feeling it because there are less sellers and less buyers which in turn reduces the number of transactions taking place in a given month. But buyers should not expect to strut around like a rooster in the hen house because sellers are holding their ground. Well priced homes are still seeing multiple offers.
So long as this remains the case we have a very good chance of seeing a nice recovery in real estate because the the end of COVID-19 will likely lead to a rise on both sides of the supply/demand chain.
I really hope that this Corona virus settles down so we can all get back to work and back to being productive and in a healthy environment.