The COVID-19 epidemic has turned the world into a very scary place. Millions are infected, thousands have died, and both of those numbers will increase over time before this is all said and done.
Unfortunately, no place is immune, and that includes the state of Florida, which has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. As of April 3, 2020, 9,248 Florida residents had contracted COVID-19, and 163 residents had died. Pinellas County, home to St. Petersburg, has seen 289 positive cases and at least seven deaths.
It goes without saying that these numbers will continue to get worse in Florida, and it is already clear that COVID-19 is going to have a massive impact on the worldwide economy. Virtually no sector will be untouched, and this certainly includes real estate.
As such, we wanted to take a look at just how COVID-19 is affecting the St Petersburg Florida real estate market.
St Petersburg Florida Real Estate Market Before COVID-19
Petersburg is the 5th largest city in Florida, home of a quarter of a million people. Before COVID-19, it’s real estate market was growing at a healthy rate of 5.5% over the past year, and available forecasts had it roughly continuing that trend. It’s the median price per square foot and rent prices were both slightly higher than that of the surrounding area, and the housing market had been described as “very competitive,” meaning prices were likely set to continuing increasing before the pandemic. Furthermore, home sales were selling at an average of 97.4% of their list price – a relatively high number. Furthermore, even going into 2020, real estate prices in the area were steadily increasing.
As such, it can safely be said that the St Petersburg Florida Real Estate Market was both robust and in a good position before the COVID-19 outbreak.
COVID-19 Impact on the Real Estate Market Across America
The COVID-19 outbreak is still relatively new, but it’s clear it is already having a negative impact on the housing market. The weeks of 3/21 and 3/28 saw a massive decline in newly-listed properties, with the numbers of new properties declining 13.1% and 34%. This is likely because people no longer believe that their homes are likely to sell. During this time period, list prices also showed virtually no growth, and mortgage applications also declined. It is very likely that this is only the beginning of the impact that COVID-19 will have on the real estate market.
Unfortunately, as many stories have indicated, buying a home during this period has become extremely difficult. People are less likely to leave their homes or sell their homes during this period, and people are less likely to go on home tours. While virtual tours are possible, they clearly aren’t the same as an in-person tour.
How is the St Petersburg Florida Real Estate Market Being Affected?
It’s tough to say specifically, but it does seem clear that the St Petersburg Florida real estate market will suffer during this time period. While the Department of Homeland Security has said that local real estate sales are essential services, that won’t necessarily convince consumers or interested buyers that it is safe to go out and purchase a home. It is clear that we are entering very troubled economic times, and people may not have the money to buy a home.
It may take time for specific information to become available, but it does seem clear that the Real Estate market in St. Petersburg will be negatively affected.