Market uncertainty is on the minds of many as we navigate these unique and unchartered
times. Unlike the Great Recession that impacted Nashville’s real estate market in 2008, the
coronavirus is different.
A team of Goldman Sachs analysts recently told Barron’s Magazine the housing market will not
be hit as hard as it was in 2008, because the underlying economic conditions are very different.
Our economy is in much better shape today. Job losses due to COVID-19 will hopefully be short
term. We currently have a low inventory of homes, limited foreclosures, and stricter lending
standards than we did going into 2008. Additionally, mortgage providers are taking steps to
keep people in their homes.
Like Nashville, Seattle is a fast-growing city. However, Seattle is at the epicenter of the
coronavirus and under stay-at-home orders. Yet this month, housing in Seattle was still
experiencing bidding wars, multiple offers, and cash-only deals hours after listings go live.
My real estate team, The CityLiving Group, is actively selling and launching new construction
projects. Last week, my team had eight contracts. We have protocols in place to keep buyers,
sellers, and agents safe. You can read about the safety measures we’re taking here.
Some developers we work with are questioning the market. Some are bullish, knowing that
Nashville is one of the strongest cities in the country. Some are cautiously optimistic, preparing
for product delivery times that should coincide with a comeback. Those concerned have slowed
their development cycle to a presale only construction schedule.
Developers with condominium projects in the works should note the Nashville market is not
overbuilt. Of the 15,000 multi-family residential units built in the urban core the past 10 years,
most have been rental units. I believe Nashville has been training these new urban dwellers
how to enjoy city living in walkable neighborhoods. When their current leases end, they will be
ready to transition into homeownership with a condominium purchase.
People want the safety and security of owning a place, but we can expect homebuyers’ needs
to change as we emerge from the coronavirus. They may want a separate space, removed from
the family activity hub, for a dedicated office to allow for working remotely. Condominium
buyers may want packages to be accepted and delivered into their residence and cold storage
available for grocery deliveries.
Many of the developers I talk with are stepping up and doubling down, while others are slowing
down. Everyone is talking about what might be different in this time of social distancing, but
most agree there is a continued need for housing in our fast-growing urban area.
Sales may slow, but condos and single-family homes are still selling here. Nashville will continue
to be a strong residential real estate market for the long term, and The CityLiving Group will
continue to be your informed and available resource.