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CEO Robbie Briggs: 'The pandemic is fundamentally altering how people see their shelters.'

Each Friday, Robbie Briggs, president and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, writes about luxury, trends, business and more in the advertising pages of the Mansion section of The Wall Street Journal. Below is his letter of August 7, 2020.  FROM MY PERSPECTIVE How the market is moving These are unprecedented — and historic — times. Here, at the end of the second quarter of 2020, I want to bring you some insight into the North Texas real estate market, given the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the world. While the stock market has made a recovery and interest and mortgage rates are lower than ever, unemployment has risen exponentially while consumer confidence dropped between February and July. And yet, for perhaps the first time ever, low consumer confidence is not a reliable indicator for what’s happening in the real estate market. While we experienced a slowdown in sales in April and May, a virtual tidal wave washed over us beginning in June. The market shook off high unemployment and a rising number of infections in our area as buyers with pent-up demand — some motivated by record-low interest rates — seized on all kinds of opportunities. We have seen apartment renters seeking more space, young families moving to the suburbs and many people deciding to buy the home they have always wanted. This robust housing market has been a bright spot for what is expected to be a weak second quarter for the economy. As builders ramp up construction and new homeowners buy furniture and/or renovate, the economy could get a boost. However, a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and continued high unemployment could weigh on demand in the coming months. We believe that buyer demand will remain strong in the months to come. But, the supply of homes is becoming limited. We need more listings. Sellers who choose this moment to list will likely experience a level of buyer interest unmatched in recent memory. You will see, in our exclusive mid-year market report, available at briggsfreeman.com/market-moves-report, how most areas have seen the days-on-market drop, while prices have remained stable or, in some cases, have risen higher. The coronavirus pandemic and concurrent social changes are fundamentally altering how people see their shelters. For many, the close confines of a city are suddenly less appealing — and the spacious environs of the suburbs are suddenly more attractive. There are other factors at play, too, such as uncertainty surrounding future school closures and more flexibility to work from home. At Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, we stand by — with our 400-plus expert agents — to work with you to navigate this highly unusual market. More than ever, the knowledge and experience of a professional real estate agent can make all the difference for you. Robbie Briggs President and CEO Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty rbriggs@briggsfreeman.com

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