REALTOR® Info After NY PAUSE: Navigating the First Steps Post Lockdown
Now that we’ve passed May 15th, certain businesses and activities will be able to open back up. There will still be safety guidelines in place, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and limiting the amount of people allowed in or near a business, in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we start to move back to normal life. While everything is still up in the air as to whether or not we will be able to move in phases, here is some REALTOR® info after NY PAUSE as we navigate the next chapter post COVID-19 lockdown.
As the state has been grouped into areas by the state to monitor and ensure they hit the state mandated metrics to begin the re-opening process, Ulster County is in the Mid Hudson Valley Group along with Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Putnam, Westchester and Rockland Counties. As of May 9th, the Hudson Valley Group had only met 5 of the 7 metrics needed in order to begin the re-opening process. This means that while certain recreational activities, such as tennis and golf may open up, the Mid Hudson Valley is not yet ready to begin the Phase I re-opening process. Phase I allows non- essential workers, such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry and fishery and some retail with curbside pickup to start opening their businesses under safety requirements such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and having a limited number of people in offices and buildings.
Once the Mid Hudson Valley meets the requirements and is able to begin Phase I, this does not mean that Real Estate is able to start back up with in person showings and open houses. The Real Estate Industry is part of Phase II of re-opening the state which means we need to sit tight a little longer. Once we do start Phase I, and are able to successfully navigate having certain businesses reopen with safety restrictions in place, this gives hope that Phase II will not be too far behind Phase I and our REALTOR® info after NY PAUSE helps as you get your business going again.
While there was a decline of real estate sales versus last year at this time due to the virus, as we start the reopening process, this is a great opportunity to start lining up houses for clients and giving them video tours and photos of listings to then arrange showings once the state deems it safe to do so. Reopening the state also provides hope for the economy to begin to recover from the past few months, and clients might be in a better position to once again start looking at houses. Because of the devastation COVID-19 caused in New York City, many companies are looking to continue being able to have part of their workforce continue working remotely for the foreseeable future. This move towards a more remote workforce allows people to move from densely populated areas to upstate. We think that this trend will continue, and that the Mid Hudson Valley will see an increase in buyers wanting to relocate out of the city and into the country. This area still allows easy access to the city if people need to go in for meetings, but gives them space in a less densely populated area.
While COVID-19 has been a difficult time for everyone, hopefully REALTORS® will come out of the lockdown with opportunity due to many people wanting to change their lifestyle and where they live. The Mid Hudson Valley and Ulster County are one of the most desired upstate locations, and likely a popular area in the coming months for people to consider making the move upstate. While it is important for REALTORS® to abide by the state mandates until it is safe and legal to start in person showings and contact, this is a great time to start gathering video and photo tours of houses to show clients, and make a short list of properties to see in person once it is safe to do so. We hope it will be a busy summer!