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COVID-19 and the Brooklyn Real Estate Market: What We’re Seeing

Brooklyn real estate is very resistant to crystal-ball pronouncements, much to our disappointment. It seems like right now everyone is asking the same questions about clarity, preparedness, and the future. And the truth is that we just don’t know what to expect in the coming months. 

COVID-19 has been an unprecedented experience for our borough (and the world), rendering any best guesses just that—guesses. That said, we can tell you that in our experience through 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and the 2008 financial crash, Brooklyn has always rebounded. We hope (and expect) this to be the case again. In the meantime, we’d like to offer you an overview of what we’re seeing in the market right now. Please know that these are only our anecdotal experiences and should not be taken as professional or financial advice. That said, if you’d like more specific information catered to your situation, please get in touch and we’d love to be a resource.  

Buyers

What a time to be buying right now! With record-low interest rates and high mortgage approvals, it can feel like the world is at your fingertips (can you practically hear the rumble on an in-unit washer/dryer right now?). Unfortunately, there’s a real shortage of homes for sale at the moment and those on the market are getting snapped up quickly or prompting bidding wars. However, we’re still helping people find dream homes every day and it can be done! We also expect the market to become much more steady so it may just be a matter of waiting until your personal comfort aligns with that window of opportunity. 

Bottom Line: The best thing you can do right now is get the conversation started with a mortgage loan officer and your real estate broker. Once you’re approved, your approval is good for a specific period of time (discuss this with them to find the right window for you) and you can pounce when the opportunity is right. Check out this info on how to choose your broker and the kinds of things they’ll ask about.

Sellers 

More than any other player in the market, Brooklyn sellers are positioned well during this current crisis. A few things are working in your favor: many people want to move; many of those able to move right now are the most-resourced, meaning they are willing and able to pay for what they want; there is a shortage of properties on the market, driving up demand and sales figures (we’re increasingly seeing unexpected bidding wars); and low-interest rates mean that not only are more potential buyers considering a home purchase, they may also be approved for a higher loan amount than they may have been in the past.

Bottom Line: Even if you’re in your dream Brooklyn home and would never dream of moving, it might be a good time to consider refinancing with new lower interest rates. If you’ve been thinking about leaving or finding a new (and better) place, get in touch. We can discuss your options. 

Renters

Anecdotally, we’re seeing a lot of moves based on comfort. It’s not surprising that people seem to want more space while we’re all at home for the foreseeable future. While we initially thought Brooklyn rents might drop, instead they’re holding steady. Why? We suspect it’s because Brooklyn is (once again) seeing an influx of new residents from Manhattan seeking some more breathing room. 

That said, we don’t know what the next several months will bring—particularly with a frightening eviction crisis looming. If you’re worried about making rent, please check out this program and these resources

Bottom Line: If you don’t have to move right now or don’t have a strong desire to move, stay put. We believe the city will recover and we intend to be a part of that and hope you will be too. 

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