SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global economic impact. Every business, no matter the industry, was affected by the economic shock that came from it. However, here on the Suncoast, the real estate market has found a way to already bounce back.
“It did not stop, but it dropped fairly dramatically,” David Clapp, President of the Realtor Association Of Sarasota & Manatee, explained.
The housing market did experience a downturn when the economy hit the brakes in March. In Sarasota and Manatee counties, there was a 48% drop in buying and selling. However, just like every other business, they had to adapt - shifting to virtual open houses. Plus, with the help of very low mortgage rates houses started selling in May and into June.
“We’re already in some measures back to where we were in the beginning of 2020,” continued Clapp, “We saw kind of a V take place. We were riding high, we dropped, then we started bouncing back up and we have now bounced back. We’re now doing weeks of under-contracts. The properties that were put under contract each week, those are starting to exceed what they were pre-COVID.”
This, of course, has also positively impacted the construction industry on the Suncoast. Buyers are back, and they’re also remodeling or building new homes.
“Now that people are out, and are beginning to work on investing and living their lives. In about six months, we’re going to start seeing those permits come in and it’ll really get the ball rolling,” Jon Mast, CEO of the Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association, said.
Business experts say out-of-state buyers have also fueled this recovery because not only of location, but also because of Florida’s loosening of pandemic-related lockdowns.
“A lot of people in the Northeast and the Midwest have finally looked at themselves and thought ' why are we still living and doing business here?' At the Chamber this week, we’ve already had several calls from businesses who are looking into relocating here,” Heather Kasten, the President of the Sarasota Chamber Of Commerce, tells us.
Realtors say there’s such a big demand in people wanting to buy that if you’ve ever considered selling your home, now is the time to do it. Especially because property values have not dropped once this year.