Since mid-March, so much has changed, not even considering the Athens real estate market and COVID-19. Things that used to be taken for granted are now seen as risky. We wear masks for shopping and are way more cautious even visiting with friends. The public parks were closed for several weeks and public pools have just closed again. Many restaurants that have offered inside dining have ended up closing again due to active cases of COVID-19.
2008 Housing Market Crash
After going through the 2007-2008 housing market crash, I think many people figured we’d see the same thing with the pandemic. That has not been the case, in fact, for the lower price ranges, sales are stronger than ever. It has been very frustrating for buyers looking to buy their first home. With insanely low interest rates, most buyers see it as a good time to buy. Many sellers have decided to wait to put their homes on the market so this just increases the demand for available homes.
Using the local MLS for active listings and sales in 2020 for Clarke and surrounding counties including Jackson, Madison, Oglethorpe, Oconee, and Barrow, there are 435 active listings of homes for sale. There are currently 294 homes under contract and since January 1, 1,653 homes have sold. That’s an average of 236 homes per month. Right now, we have 435 active listings, which is less than a 2 month supply of available homes.
If you’ve thought of selling your home, this is a great time to reconsider. The shut-down during March and April slowed sales a little but now, we’re seeing an increased demand.
The standard procedure for showing homes now is for everyone entering a home to wear a mask. Some homeowners require that agents and prospective buyers wear gloves and shoe covers. When they require them, homeowners typically provide at least gloves and shoe covers. Most buyers have already been pre-approved prior to looking for homes but that is more strictly enforced in the current market. If a buyer is serious about entering the Athens real estate market and COVID-19, it just makes sense to have the pre-approval letter for financing in hand prior to viewing homes.