Tuesday, March 31, 2020

April Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update


Coronavirus Impacts Lake


     Due to the uncertainty of how long Covid-19 will be affecting our nation’s health and economy, we have seen an increase in the number of contracts across the lake area and including all property types falling through the last two weeks of March.  At the same time, properties continue to go under contract at a good rate and closings are happening daily.  I have not seen an unusual increase in new properties on the market.  My office is talking with buyers and sellers every day at about the same rate.  We are handling more initial home viewings via video and in person showings have dropped considerably.

     Currently, my staff and agents are working primarily from home.    We are screening everyone prior to physical meetings. When viewing homes, my clients and I have been taking separate vehicles and meeting at the properties.    I unlock and open doors and turn on lights throughout, wear gloves and ask that everyone refrain from touching anything in the home.  I also hand sanitize before and after and maintain a physical distance of about 10 or more feet in order to protect my clients and my family.   At closings, title companies are allowing only the buyer or seller into their offices and are encouraging anyone that can close electronically to do so.

     With school and extracurricular activities suspended, plus so many people working from home, the lake area has seen the early arrival of second homeowners taking advantage of their lake homes. With other areas of the country experiencing high infection rates, people are also booking vacation rentals and coming to the lake to shelter in a much less populated area.   The lake itself has seemed to respond with beautiful Spring days and perfect boating weather.  It feels more like June than March lately.  I don’t have any hard data to share but, anecdotally, I have spoken with grocery providers who say the supply orders are closer to summer numbers than amounts they usually experience this time of year. 

     Area restaurants have switched to curbside and dockside service.  Owners are doing all they can to continue to provide their employees with income and many are also assisting them with food for their families.  At least one local distillery has switched to making hand sanitizer – and is giving it away at no charge.  Local food pantries have adjusted their procedures, but volunteers are still helping keep lake area families fed.  Keep them in mind if you are fortunate enough to be able to help with financial donations.   There is no other community I would rather be a part of in a crisis.

     The Lake of the Ozarks is both safe haven and happy place for so many people across the country.  At this point, the market is holding its own and I feel good about the outlook of where we’re going to be in three to six months.  I think we will see a similar effect to what happened after 9/11.  Families pull together and take stock of what is most important to them.  The lake is a safe and enjoyable place to create lifetime memories and it’s a solid investment. 

     I hope you are well and safe.  It will be interesting to see how much or how little has changed when I see you here next month.

      Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com