Local housing market squeezed by COVID-19 concerns

The pandemic is having drastic effects on the real estate market
Posted at 6:13 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 19:17:46-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — At a time when interest rates are low, COVID-19 is having a drastic effect on America's housing market.

It's forcing people hoping to realize the "American dream" of home ownership to change their minds about buying or selling a home.

There's a contract on a four-bedroom, two-bath home on the city's south side.

A real estate sales contract.

A military family is being relocated, and has to be out soon.

It’s a family with four small children and three big dogs.

So being a mom and keeping her children and family protected from the coronavirus is of paramount importance to Briana Mangold.

“No amount of what the value of our house is, is worth the life of losing one of our family members,” she said.

Mangold’s housing agent, Kimberly Becker, says at least twp dozen prospective buyers have walked thru the front door of this house aware of strict COVID-19 guidelines ever since Gov. Greg Abbott loosened restrictions.

“Mandatory masks. Gloves. No shoes or booties to enter a home,” Becker told Action Ten News. “And then when they do, you can’t touch anything. One person at a time. No children or infants.”

Becker says COVID-19 has forced many prospective home buyers and sellers out of the market.

She says she’s lost business because of it.

People have lost jobs. Families have lost a second income.

“Who would have thought that COVID-19 would have changed their pocketbooks. Their income. Their job security," she said.

People who were once in the market for a $220,000 home are now having to look at less expensive homes, if they can afford to look at all.

And home sellers, concerned about the spread of the virus, are having second thoughts as well.

“A huge market of Corpus Christi, which has houses for sale, simply take them off the market because of the COVID-19 because they can’t take that risk," Becker said.

Mangold has even gone to the extent of providing masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment for visitors to her home, because you just never know.

“They might be sneezing or coughing or grabbing some tissue to blow their nose," Mangold said. "Washing their hands. I don’t know what they’re touching.”