Like almost every other part of the economy, COVID-19 has rocked the home transaction market. But at least in one point things are going back to normal.
Travis Farese, CEO and founder of Offerd, says multi-family listing activity increased with 125 assets in the market in August. He selected various sources to develop his analysis. This is the largest number of new listings since 175 assets in February – before COVID fully reached the US.
"While this is public property, not outside of the market, each is related," Farese says. “As a rule, increased listing activity is an indication of the willingness of the sellers to sell in or outside the market. This increase coincides with what we've seen in our company outside of the market. "
According to Farese, Offerd is more receptive to off-market transactions, which constitute a significant part of market activity in the sector. "We saw an increase in activity, possibly related to the pandemic," he says.
The interest in off-market activities has several causes. Offerd recently announced a number of client partnerships with investors, ranging from large corporations to smaller startups, to identify multi-family facilities that meet exact criteria.
"We have a client who is a large institutional buyer and developer and the strength of their balance sheet opens the door to the opportunity to conduct transactions of larger institutional size," says Farese. “We have some smaller clients who tend to focus on assets that better fit into the syndicate-sized transaction. I think anyone can be opportunistic. "
Many investors have sat on the sidelines during the pandemic. But Farese says that is not universal. He believes that those who buy are more likely to disappear from the market.
"The more savvy operators have been in business and will be there for the long term," he says. “You are still active and have a longer-term perspective. These older buyers can be a little more targeted, direct, and not need a big, bubbly marketing process. "
According to Farese, COVID has made it harder to view properties and run large-scale marketing campaigns. "For these reasons, we've seen the more direct transactions," he says.
When COVID hit it was definitely a seller's market in the housing world. "This market has probably become a bit more neutral," says Farese. "Sellers may feel a little less confident that they can raise the asking price by running an extensive marketing campaign to sell their assets."
Farese also believes that sellers might prefer to get off the market because they don't want any of their dispositions to be painted with the "emergency brush".
"Most of these sophisticated groups, which are institutional and private investors, have a horizon of when to leave their respective assets," says Farese. "The pandemic or market disruption doesn't change that much."