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'A complete slowdown': How COVID-19 is impacting the real estate market

Some people who planned to list their homes for sale are now waiting.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Spring is normally a busy time for the real estate market. However, things look very different right now because of COVID-19.

Michelle Maida, a Principal Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate, said this is unlike anything she has seen in the past.

“Nothing nearly like this, not even 9/11, not the 2008 to 2010 recession, nothing like this, so it's really interesting,” Maida explained. “This time of year, I probably would have a dozen listings going on and I have a couple and I've got some coming up and I don't know if they'll go on the market or not because people are really hesitant to let people walk through their houses right now and I don't blame them.”

Maida said some people who planned to list their homes for sale are now waiting.

“Well, I am seeing a complete slowdown,” Maida said. “I mean we still have some houses on the market, but this time of year most of us are so busy and we have multiple listings and I've got people putting them off for various reasons.”

With social distancing recommendations, home owners do not necessarily want groups of people walking through for an open house. While others are not in the same financial position because of the drop in the stock market.

“I have some people putting them off because they were going to sell and buy, but now they've lost so much money in their 401(k)s or their IRAs that they just have to wait,” Maida said.

That being said, Chad Chaney, a loan officer with Willamette Valley Bank, said it is a good time to buy or refinance. Mortgage rates have fluctuated, but are still low.

“The rates are very low, so it's a great time to get out there and just get more information about how it could benefit your situation with respect to refinancing or increase your buying power because the cost of money is a little bit less than it was before,” Chaney said.

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