What is Opening & What is Staying Closed
Restaurants have already been allowed to reopen at 25% capacity. However, under full Phase 1, restaurants and retailers can open at 50% capacity and must adhere to safety protocols.
Gyms and fitness centers
Under full phase 1, gyms and fitness centers can reopen. Many gyms in Central & South Florida sent out letters during the week announcing the possible reopening. Fort Lauderdale officials have given gyms in the area the greenlight to reopen as well, defying the county’s ordinance. Gyms will set indoor capacity at 50%, and must arrange workout stations to allow 6-feet between people.
Museums and Libraries
Museums and libraries will be able to open at 50% capacity at the discretion of local governments.
Barbers, Hair and Nail Salons
Barbers, Hair and Nail salons will be able to reopen at the discretion of local governments.
Elective surgeries have resumed at hospitals across Central Florida and South Florida soon to follow.
Bars and Nightclubs
Bars and Nightclubs must remain closed until at least Phase 2.
Theme parks are still closed, but they are pushing to reopen during Phase 2. Gov. Ron DeSantis said theme parks will be able to reopen if they submit a plan that is approved by their county.
How is Phase 1 Affecting the Real Estate Industry?
States are reopening and loosening social distancing restrictions across the nation, therefore homebuyers are rushing back out to explore what the housing market has to offer.
Rising weekly mortgage applications point to a significant recovery in home buying nationwide.
“THE WORST IS OVER” according to NAR Chief Economist Lawernce Yun.
What are the Indicators of Recovery?
Purchase volume was just 1.5% lower than a year ago, a rather stunning recovery from just over a month ago, when purchase volume was down 35% annually.
Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 6% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
As states reopen, buyers have been coming out in force, even if they have to put up with all the safety precautions.
Record low mortgage rates, combined with strong demand from before the crisis and a new desire to leave urban downtown areas due to the pandemic, are driving buyers back to the single-family home market.
Refinance applications fell 6% for the week but were still 160% higher than one year ago, when interest rates were 92 basis points higher. That is the lowest level of refinance activity in over a month.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 64.3% of total applications from 67% the previous week.
The share of adjustable-rate mortgage activity increased to 3.2% of total applications.
What are Real Estate Professionals Doing to Help?
The pandemic had a great effect on real estate, as it did on nearly every industry, but in their effort to overcome the challenges, top real estate brokers and agents displayed resilience, creativity and drive.
In South Florida “virtual home selling” has been the norm during the crisis as we had to adapt and work harder to keep sales on track and inventory moving. Those solutions are likely to be a bigger part of real estate sales moving forward in Phase 1 and further on.