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Impacts of COVID-19 on the real estate industry

Real estate is considered essential, but showings are down, and REALTORS and others are taking extra precautions.

DENVER — Buying and selling homes can still happen throughout the stay at home order, but the market looks different and real estate agent's practices have changed. 

"It's challenging all of our regular rules," said Kelly Moye, the spokesperson for the Colorado Association of REALTORS.

Moye said more sellers are marketing with 3-D views and videos. Appraisers don't have to go inside homes, and title companies can use a remote notary. 

Realtors can still show a home in person, but numbers show buyers are staying away. 

"There are buyers who are still willing and needing to buy but no they're not looking at them," said Moye. "They're looking at them online." 

According to the company ShowingTime, showings in Colorado have gone down by 45.8% compared to this time last year. 

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In a news release, the Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage applications to buy a home are 24% lower than this time last year. 

"The people that didn't need to buy, they're holding off, they're waiting," said Moye. 

After the stay at home order went into place in Denver, Moye checked the listings and found they had actually increased from 1,100 homes to 1,200 homes in the metro area, which suggests sellers didn't immediately take homes off the market. 

The Denver Metro Association of Realtors has asked agents to stop all open houses for at least two weeks as explained in this video

Inventory of homes was already low in the Denver area, and Moye predicts there will be a surge of buyers when this is all over. 

"We'll have this pent up demand that is going to explode once we get back out there," she said. "So I think we're going to be a pretty robust market once this comes back on, it's just a question of when that will be." 

The Colorado Association of Realtors will release their report on March next week. 

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