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How coronavirus is impacting the Indianapolis housing market

Posted at 7:32 AM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 07:32:04-04

INDIANAPOLIS — If you are looking to purchase or sell a home right now, you may be wondering if it's the best time. Local realtors are paying close attention to the coronavirus outbreak and the impact it is having on the housing market.

Jason Krause, a real estate agent with Remax Realty, says it's all about timing. The amount of time this pandemic lasts will directly correlate if there is a major impact on real estate in Indianapolis.

So far, Krause says what they are seeing is a change in foot traffic and people who would typically just be starting their search. Krause says Spring is usually the time they begin to see more activity.

"This time of year, a nice day like we had yesterday… if that was a Saturday or Sunday and we had an open house, we would have some neighbors through; you'd have people who are just starting their home purchase process and wanted to get a look at some homes in areas they are interested in. You're not getting that cross-section of buyers right now," said Krause.

Those people that are buying or selling are doing so because of particular needs. Whether they have tight timelines, had started the process before the coronavirus outbreak, or are relocating due to work changes.

Buyers are also an option to view homes that are already vacant for safety reasons. Real estate agents are going into the homes ahead of clients to turn on all the lights and open all the doors to limit the need for any unnecessary contact. Agents are also wearing gloves when possible and masks often.

However, Krause says a lot more buyers are opting to do virtual and video tours online or facetime. Some people are buying property before setting foot inside.

Krause says as of now he thinks the market will be okay, but if the pandemic continues for too long, there may be bigger problems.

"The idea is if we are able to get a handle on everything in a relatively short amount of time, housing will pick back up. We'll have buyers and sellers ready to go again, and it will be more of a pause button," said Krause, "However, the longer that people are out of work, the less likely they are going to be making a large purchase or a large move like a sale. It may be more comfortable to stay with the mortgage, you know. So I can see the longer that this goes on, we may have sellers who had the luxury of moving ... out of necessity, they'll stay a little longer."

Right now, Krause says it's leaning towards a seller's market because of a lack of inventory. He also says that one thing they have lost since the coronavirus outbreak is negotiation power. Before the outbreak, they may be able to sell a home for well above market value, that's no longer the case.