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      Blog :: 11-2020

      Covid Fatigue

       

      I'm so over COVID-19. I hate it! It has been too long, too depressing. It makes me sad at times. It frustrates me, restricts me, annoys me. At times it drives me nuts! I want to see people's smiles again. What I thought at first might be a few weeks' lockdown has extended itself well beyond anyone's expectations. And now a massive surge of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths is enough to make anyone want to give up.  I think most of us are suffering from some form of COVID fatigue - or COVITIGUE - but now is NOT the time to quit or let down our guard.

      "It is not enough that we do our best; 

      sometimes we must do what is required."

       ~~ Winston Churchill

      In fact, now is the time to be even MORE vigilant and disciplined about doing our small but important part in slowing the spread and keeping our fellow humans - and ourselves - safe. Why? Because we - the lucky ones who did not get sick or die - have the CERTAINTY that the path to resolution has begun with last week's announcement of the first effective vaccine. The POST-COVID ERA has officially commenced. Now it is up to us - everyone - to participate in the really 'dumb, basic' actions that we know are effective in slowing the spread: masks, hand-washing and distancing. While we may be 'over it' or depressed or fatigued, let's remember those before us who fought wars and at the time when all others may have quit, they did not. They persevered under much, much worse circumstances. They continued fighting. They did their part. Everyone participated for the greater good.


      This all too shall end. We can now see a finish line on the not-too-distant horizon. But we must exercise patience, prop one another up and encourage one another to persist to that finish line.  Six months ago we could not see this finish line, but now we can. Let's not squander a golden opportunity - and our responsibility - to help minimize the damage from this awful moment in time. Let the incentive be the remarkable coming 2021 economy and life we will probably enjoy and appreciate much more than we could have in 2019.


      Have a MAGNIFICENT Monday!

      Compass Contemplations for Thursday

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Nearly 25% of homebuyers between April and June bought houses priced at $500,000 or more, up from 14% of buyers during the preceding nine months, according to a report from the NAR. Most jobs lost during the pandemic were lower-paid jobs, an audience that usually does not qualify to buy a home. (WSJ)

      “The mortgage buyers that we’ve worked with have really unfortunately been cut out of the deal in many cases on the homes that they’ve wanted,” - Jack Sarsen, COMPASS Greenwich, speaking to how in a super-heated market all-cash buyers have had a tremendous advantage over those seeking a mortgage. (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW?  If you wanted to watch three important economic touch-points over the next few weeks, look closely at:

      1.  The potential for a constitutional crisis around the contested election.

      2.  The massive spike in COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths. 

      3.  The Senate. The result could impact the size of a new stimulus bill that appears essential to weather the next few months before a COVID vaccine has been widely distributed.

      DID YOU KNOW?  Of the 10 largest cities in the USA, Dallas has the most workers returning to the office, around 41%. (Bloomberg)

      DID YOU KNOW?  There may be a workaround to the $10,000 SALT deduction cap on state and local taxes when it comes to state and local taxes paid by pass-through entities.   
       

      DID YOU KNOW?  Goldman Sachs is forecasting 5.3% US GDP growth in 2021 versus the wider consensus of 3.8%....mostly due to the vaccine news.

      Real Estate Market Gridlock

      What is worse in real estate than a market where buyers feel prices are too high and don't raise their bids and sellers think prices are not high enough and are not willing to negotiate?  Gridlock markets are possibly the most frustrating for agents.....and the consumer.


      In the past few years in numerous areas around the country negatively impacted by the SALT tax deduction limitation, many homeowners were simply unable to sell their large home with high real estate tax bills. The devaluation that happened by this gridlock - mostly in some suburbs - was astounding. It also put lives and planning on hold. New COVID-related demand re-awakened and unlocked these stagnant and de-valuing markets, a combination of new interest in larger homes outside of large cities as well as pricing that had become super-attractive....and much lower than three years before when the valuation decline began. There is one upside to gridlock: With far fewer actions/transactions, no clear pricing trends register.  Unfortunately, the few transactions that do happen can often register large price declines and sway averages, something that drives valuation perceptions. This too can create demand. Like all gridlock moments, sooner or later they end too and after a period of gridlock, a wave of activity can be unleashed, mostly via perceived value. 

       

      Gridlock is frustrating for everyone: buyers, sellers, and agents. A free-flowing market with a healthy balance between buyer and seller expectations is the best kind, but very rare. So is gridlock good? I don't think so. Holding up people's lives is never a good thing in my humble opinion. Unfortunately, these gridlock markets do and will continue to happen....and then like all markets they too will unlock.

       

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