The current spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the efforts to contain it have impacted almost all aspects of daily life – and real estate transactions are no different.
When it comes to COVID-19 and real estate, no one can accurately predict what the future holds. But in the current moment, I am seeing a small movement in the Durango market. We have had 62 residential properties going under contract/sale pending, and 89 residential properties sold in La Plata County since March 20, 2020.
Under the Stay at Home order Attorney General’s office in Colorado does not consider in-person showings and open houses to be a critical business/service. We are seeing a few buyers writing offers on homes sight-unseen. Once the properties are under contract/sale pending then we can proceed with showings, home inspections, appraisals, and final walkthroughs. The Stay at Home order is currently issued until April 26th.
I anticipate that we will see buyer interest pick up over the first couple of months, proceeded by a slow re-adjustment period once we re-open the economy.
I am expecting that there will be a movement of people looking for more space, or people will hate their current home after being locked inside for eight weeks. People will be looking to move closer to work to avoid commuting, or if they realize they can work remotely, they’ll be looking to move out of cities. We are already seeing website inquiries from buyers from bigger metropolitan cities (Southern California, Washington DC, New York) contacting us with questions about the Durango real estate market and lifestyle.
The lending industry is changing rapidly, and I am finding out that different mortgage brokers and banks have are offering different programs. If you are thinking about refinancing or purchasing a property, be sure to talk to a few lenders. It may be surprising how their requirements vary (amount of down payment, interest rates, credit score requirement, and the loan cost). We have never seen such variety in the mortgage industry before in this unprecedented market.
Here are a couple points I received from Danielle Anderson from Waterstone Mortgage:
Misconception #1: Jumbo Loans aren’t available anymore
Truth: Some lenders have pulled out of jumbo loans starting 04/08/2020 (Suntrust and BBT are two I know of) However, JUMBO LOANS ARE STILL AVAILABLE. Some options that Waterstone Mortgage has.
i. Minimum Credit score on jumbo options is 680 (Higher credit scores necessary for lower down payment/ loan to values)
ii. Loan options up to 2 Million (reduced loan limits depending on down payment/Loan to value)
Misconception #2: Minimum credit scores for all loan options are 680
Truth: Some lenders have increased their minimum credit scores to mitigate risk. However, there are still loan programs available for credit scores above 640, Waterstone still has 640 credit score options for borrowers.
Where are interest rates at? Interest rates for highly qualified borrowers (great credit and 20% down) have been staying in the mid to low 3% range for several weeks (Jumbo loans have been priced a bit more conservatively – higher than conforming loans). What’s unprecedented is the dramatic swings in rates on any a given day and how they’re not following normal pricing patterns. Checkout interest rate averages for the last month here. Interested in learning more about what’s going on with interest rates during Coronavirus click here for another article published by Mortgage News Daily this week.
Please feel free to contact Danielle with any lending questions at:
1120 Main Avenue Suite 3 Durango, CO 81301
O: 970.290.7494 F: 480.635.3144
Visit Danielle’s Website
Finally, here are the 1st quarter statistics released by our Durango Association of Realtors: