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How is COVID-19 impacting Iowa real estate?

While business isn't being conducted "as usual", the real estate market in central Iowa seems to be powering through the coronavrius pandemic so far.

Like most sectors of the economy prior to the arrival of coronavirus, real estate was booming. 

The number of homes sold in February was up nearly 4% year-to-year and the median sale price was also up nearly 3%. 

That's a trend agents haven’t seen a big drop from due to COVID-19, at least not yet. 

“Houses are going on the market. It's still hot," said Shannon Salmon, a realtor with Re/MAX Concepts. "Buyers are active, sellers are excited. Interest rates are phenomenal. So that is something that is still driving this market to be a strong real estate market this spring."

As more people find hardship through job loss and furloughs, agents may be more essential than ever to help impacted Iowans make necessary changes.

But safety remains the number one priority for buyers, sellers and agents handling transactions. 

3-D Virtual tours are popular, open houses have been scaled back and most realtors are conducting showings by appointment only and with pre-approved buyers who are serious about the property they're considering.

"When we take buyers through a home, a lot of sellers are asking us to fill out a safety health questionnaire to make sure they are not sick, they haven't been around anyone who has been sick, they haven't traveled," Salmon said. "So as a buyer's agent, we are signing off on that. The one main thing sellers are doing that is huge is they are leaving all the lights on, doors are open so we can show a home without touching anything.”

Housing stats for the month of march should be out soon, and those should be very telling as to where the trends are headed with the second half of last month finishing with new coronavirus guidelines.

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