Much has been learned from COVID-19 about how consumers value their homes, but there’s more. Here’s an analysis of the importance of real estate.
The year 2020 won’t easily be forgotten. In the broader sense, as a people we faced an unprecedented—in modern times—pandemic. Many Americans still have to reckon with personal financial stress from lost jobs and income. In the midst of this, one of the most contentious presidential elections ever was held.
Meanwhile, after a sharp decline in housing sales from mid-March until roughly the end of May, housing sales rose to heights not seen since the record years of 2005-2006. Tens of thousands of families moved to the suburbs and flooded second-home regions across the country. The reasons were varied. In fact, how big this wave is and how long it may continue are still being debated.
Record housing sales, strong home-price gains and roaring equity markets were all indications of parts of the economy that brushed off the decline in the general economy. At the same time, unemployment remained well above where it was before the pandemic caused an economic shutdown. And major parts of the economy, such as tourism-related businesses, dining out, sports, education, and many state and local governments all suffered, and continue to suffer.
Even with all that, the country muddled through. Families and communities supported each other in ways seldom seen before. Despite civil unrest in some urban core areas, people did the best they could to stay safe. Importantly, we learned that maybe we are stronger as a nation than we thought. The middle held. From our view, here is what we learned in our business.
We have much to be thankful for despite the ordeal of 2020. Readers have their own top things they learned this year. We invite you to share them with us. Send your lessons learned to Tracey Velt, managing editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Murray is a partner in REAL Trends Consulting, a brokerage consulting, M&A and valuation service. He is also a senior adviser for HWMedia, the owner of REAL Trends content, rankings and more.
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