Wake County Realtors cautiously optimistic as COVID-19 creates uncertainty in home-buying market

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Nationwide, mortgage applications to purchase a home fell about 15 percent in the last week. That's a major drop and shows that in general buyers are hitting the pause button during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, Wake County real estate brokers weighed in on what they are seeing so far in this market, where three weeks ago, it was a seller's market.

Chris Crumpler spent part of Wednesday getting a house ready to list in Knightdale. He said the $300,000-and-below price point remains hot.

"Really, we're still seeing multiple offer situations," Crumpler said. "We had multiple listings this past weekend where we had three, four, five offers."

For Realtor Rosalyn Hines, it's more of a mixed bag. She said some buyers are on hold to see what happens next.

"Everybody is kind of nervous," Hines said. "I have some sellers who were thinking of selling later on. Now they think they want to sell now. For whatever reason, they feel like their home is going to lose value."

Hines says the Covid-19 concerns have created trepidation for buyers when looking at a house and many prefer to see it virtually taking away a personal connection.

"I'm working on a lot of videos," Hines said. "I'm actually doing a lot of FaceTiming, which helps."

Crumpler is proceeding with caution - and optimism.

"Really the number of showings hasn't stopped," Crumpler said. "I am erring on the side of caution. We are looking at vacant homes first. A lot of the buyers are requesting to look at vacant homes."

Coincidentally, Crumpler worked in pandemic response -- manufacturing vaccines before becoming a Realtor. He sees light at the end of the tunnel.

"I feel confident," he said. "The market isn't showing any signs of slowdown. Interest rates are low. The inventory is still extremely low so we're pushing forward, and we'll get through this."

Both brokers said they believe that Raleigh and the suburbs will continue to see a growth in the population and the housing market, which will help the housing market stay on pace.
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