At a press conference on Monday, April 27th, Governor Greg Abbott announced his intentions to reopen the Texas economy and allow the shelter-in-place order to expire at the end of April. As of Friday, May 01, Texas businesses that were once shuttered as a result of the coronavirus will be able to reopen. The news comes as a welcome development for many reasons, including concerns that extending the shelter-in-place ordinance could continue to have devastating effects on the state economy.
“I will let it expire as scheduled,” Abbott said. “Now it’s time to set a new course; one that responsibly opens up business in Texas.”
Texas Economy Reopens: Phase I
Businesses permitted to open safely on May 1 — with protocols to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in mind — include retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls. Restaurant and retail activity have been halted in the Austin area before May 01. The effects of the closures are being felt not only by the business owners and employees who draw their livelihood from the businesses, but also the public who rely on the services they provide. As with many other communities throughout the country, restaurant and retail activity is a major part of the local economy.
Now, as coronavirus rates of infection have slowed throughout Texas, the Governor and his team of trusted experts have devised a plan to reopen the Texas economy and allow the businesses to reopen this weekend. It couldn’t have come too soon, as the first day of May kicks off the Cinco de Mayo weekend, which is traditionally a busy weekend for restaurants and bars in the Austin area. Moreover, this is the height of the home selling season when more listings tend to go on market as home sellers seek to take advantage of an increased number of buyers looking for a new home.
Austin Real Estate Activity During Shelter-In-Place
During the period of sheltering-in-place in Austin, real estate activity slowed a bit due to concerns of spreading the virus. While real estate transactions continued, fears of infection caused delays in the real estate process. For instance, longer wait times for home inspections during the closing process caused some delays on home sales. Additionally, sellers who were concerned about health issues chose to delay selling their home, which negatively affected inventory. Add to that the temporary halt to construction and the subsequent slowdown in building as a result of health regulations and many buyers were left with meager supply to choose from.
The announcement that Texas will begin to reopen its economy will likely bring hesitant buyers off of the sidelines as more homes hit the market. Homeowners who were concerned about health risks will likely consider listing their homes to take advantage of the expiration of the sheltering regulation and the hot Austin real estate selling season.
Austin Home Sales
According to a study recently conducted by Zillow, the best time to list a home in the Austin area is the beginning of May. The online real estate company analyzed the history and outcome of millions of home listings over the last several years. According to their data, listing a home in Spring in the Austin area is the most profitable time to sell. The numbers show that homes can fetch almost $3,000 more when listed in early May, which they determined the best time to sell a home.
According to an Austin CultureMap article about the study, “Early June is almost as profitable in Capital City, but as soon as the calendar hits late July the numbers start falling, with sellers taking a sizable cut from early October through January.” Listing a home this May could take advantage of both the hot selling season and an influx of buyers who have been held up on purchasing a home due to the complexities of navigating the Austin real estate market during the shelter-in-place order.
Buyer Demand in 2020
While it’s too soon to tell how the national economic turmoil will affect the Austin real estate market and economy this year, it’s likely that buyer demand will increase as the Texas economy reopens. This year, the Wall Street Journal named Austin the hottest job market in the U.S. in 2020. It’s the second-consecutive year the Texas capital has earned the designation.
“There are a lot of folks within and outside of Austin who need jobs right now,” said David Brodsky, broker/owner of David Brodsky Properties. His boutique real estate brokerage offers real estate consultation services in the Austin area. With his background in corporate finance and mergers, Brodsky excels at analyzing economic and financial data to develop sound guidance.
“Austin’s job growth has been strong and steady over the past several years. Since our diverse economy is reopening now, we’ll likely see unemployment drop and job growth start to happen in the not-too-distant future,” he said. “As a result, people will continue to move to Austin to take advantage of our economy.”
“This is also just a great place to live. People want to live here,” he added.
Read more about Austin real estate.
Search Austin Area Homes for Sale