(321) 278 8433 laura@thelermateam.com

The COVID-19 and all its awful consequences have without question affected health, employment, investment, saving, and every aspect of our lives. We could never think of any event that could touch broadly all nations, economies and each person at the same time. As an immigrant from Venezuela’s socialism and having experienced the 2008-2009 recession both in a personal and professional level and a couple of devastating hurricanes in Florida. Believe me, we will all grow from this and we will all be stronger, just wait a few weeks…at home.

I am not in the health industry, they are doing a terrific job. My respects to all the nurses, doctors, pharmacists, cleaning staff and the first responders who have been assisting us for the last months.

I applaud my good high school friend Dr. Karina Arias, an anesthesiologist from Venezuela, who lives now in Manhattan with her husband and her two daughters. Karina signed with the Disaster Volunteer Privileges Program to be a volunteer in the New York City Heatlh + Hospital network, and she is anxiously waiting for the phone call to be authorized to go on and help. Karina you are brave!

You probably know me as a Real Estate Professional and but I am also an Economist. Therefore, if I am trying to help now as Karina is, but from a different place, my call is to give a responsible forecast on the area that I am familiar with and where I have worked for the last 16 years: Real Estate and Economic-Behavioral responses.


By March 15th, 2020, the Housing Market started to react negatively due to fear and uncertainty and in my opinion for at least the next five months it will still be affected. However, it will correct itself, and most likely and due to economic causes different that the virus itself prices will progressively move higher than when they started dropping by March.

Today, the lending industry is healthy and strong, we do not have excess on inventories nor overbuilding and the nationwide stimulus aid is the largest ever. The housing demand has been increasing over the last three years and there is not reason for it to drop. Tenants want to be homeowners and banks want to lend money.

According to data from Goldman Sachs the number of home owner with no mortgage (cash buyers) currently is 57 percent. It is clear that cash sales have been a much bigger factor in the housing recovery than on previous housing surges. We can also assume that an investor who bough a property cash will be more rational and tolerant to the market short term risks.

While all this sounds great, in the short time, obstacles on each transaction are still a real problem in our field as a Real Estate Brokerage. To name a few: fear, unemployment rates, the foreign national sellers not able to notarize documents on their embassy, the IRS offices working at less capacity slowing the verification on borrowers, and we could also add sickness or even depression causing lack of communication between the parties. All those factors, and I am sure many other more personal will be around for certain time dropping the housing prices in the short term.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors, collected interesting facts for us:


In 1970’s after several recessions- the home prices increased.

In 1982 with 18% mortgage rates – the home prices increased.

In 1987 with the stock market correction- the home prices increased.

In 2001 with an economic recession- the home priced increased.

In 2005 after Hurricane Katrina with the Disaster Relief Money and even more than 20% unemployement, home prices increased by 9% the following year.

However, in 2007-2008 with the sub prime lending blow up – home prices declined 30%.

In the 1930’s at the Great Depression – with government small size stimulus, cut spending to balance the budget, and overall less understanding of counter-cyclical economic policy, a decade of struggle consequently. The home prices declined.

From 2010 until now with rigorous lending practices and stock market corrections home prices has consistently increased.

There are great opportunities for our investors in the next months. The Sellers who need to move forward are eager to sell even at a discount, the builders that have alliances with us are offering HUGE cash benefits to move the inventories. But make no mistake, with more than $350 billions injected on the economy, the Real Estate industry will resume stronger once the short term obstacle are resolved and lenders keep expanding their products.

Another big lesson from this insane pandemic is that owning a home gives an extra layer of protection to the families. Owning a home, no matter what size or where is it, keeps being part of the American Dream.


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