As of the date of publishing this story, there have been over 115,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases around the world in 110 countries that are now reporting over 4,000 deaths.
This global disease has sent tremendous psychological and economic shockwaves across the world, hitting many business sectors hard like airlines, hotels, the cruise industry, and now the real estate economy.
In California, where there is traditionally strong U.S. real estate buying activity each year from Chinese property investors, some Southern California Realtors have privately commented that their real estate business activities have been cut in half in early 2020 from the impacts of the Coronavirus hitting China, and now the U.S.
The National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun tells The World Property Journal, "The coronavirus is leading to fewer homebuyers searching in the marketplace, as well as some listings being delayed. In the latest flash survey, 11% of Realtors indicated a reduction in buyer traffic and 7% are reporting lower seller traffic when asked directly about the coronavirus impact on the market. Given that a home transaction is a major commitment, the uncertainties on how the economy will play out and the spread of the virus itself are barriers to home buying and selling."
Yun further comments, "The stock market crash is no doubt raising economic anxieties, while the coronavirus brings fear of contact with strangers. At the same time, the dramatic fall in interest rates may induce some potential buyers to take advantage of the better affordability conditions. It is too early to assess the likely impact as to whether lower interest rates can overcome the economic and health anxieties. But the survey is implying in the short-term at least that home sales will be chopped by around 10%, compared to what would have been the case, due to the spread of coronavirus."