Home supply dips amid pandemic but demand still high

LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- Everything has certainly changed all around us and it’s no different for the real estate market.

If you need to buy or sell right now, realtors say the industry has adapted and you can do it in a safe way.

Newlyweds Neil and Michelle Gowler recently moved from their Lynnwood home all the way to Austin, Texas. it’s hard enough to leave a place you’ve called home for so long, it’s another to try to sell it during a pandemic.

“They said no open houses, so no open houses that leads us to not have that many viewings,” Gowler said.

Despite less exposure, a buyer put an offer on Gowler’s home very quickly but then backed out he says after the state banned inspectors from physically walking through a home.

The state has since changed the rules allowing inspectors to do walk throughs. The experience for anyone in the market can feel like a roller coaster.

“Patience every day is different make sure you are taking care of your mental health while you are doing it because you will pull your hair out,” Gowler said.

Broker Kristin Frosaker with Compass feels like everything has changed where virtual tours are now the new normal.

Frosaker says some of her clients are even making offers without setting foot into a home.

But if you need to see a home in person you still can. But the rule now is that only two people can go into a home at the same time.

Despite all the changes Frosaker says she is still busy competing against multiple offers.

“Put an offer in, there were 5 other offers we got beat out and this is the heart of a quarantine and it’s bizarre,” Frosaker said.

It comes down to low supply and high demand.

Zillow says there is a 20% drop in the number of new listings this

April compared to last April in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

“Yes people are being cautious, yes people are pulling back,” Bentley Properties Broker George Moorhead said.

But when you look at the number of sales Moorhead says the market is doing relatively well overall so far.

“Our market with all things considered is doing amazingly well because we still have a massive pent-up demand for homes,” Moorhead said.

Moorhead says in the last in the last 24 hours in King County  there were 222 pending sales.

Gowler is hoping to close on his Lynnwood home by mid May after getting a second buyer.

“I am still in the waiting process,” Gowler said.

When it’s all said and done, the one regret he will have is that he couldn’t say 'bye' in person to all of his friends.