With Kids Back to School, What Does That Mean for Real Estate?

September 11, 2020


School, coronavirus, and real estate – what’s the latest? Here’s what we know.

Schools are in the process of resuming in California either via in-person learning or by adopting distance learning, making this year’s back to school season something totally different than what we’re all used to. The reopening of schools marks a new chapter in the post-pandemic recovery period, as many people didn’t expect to see classes go back into session so soon.

One thing is for sure: things are obviously changing quickly again. Here’s what you need to know about the connections between local schools and the California real estate market:

Real Estate’s Recent Revival 

As the pandemic raged on, California’s real estate market had everyone on their toes. The picture being painted in April and May was alarming, to say the least. However, June and July both solidified growth for the state’s local housing market.

In July, unemployment lowered by 13.3%, the statewide sales volume rose 28.8% MTM and 6.4 YTY, and sales began progressing towards closing once again. Buyers’ demand resurged and sellers gained confidence about listing their homes – and active listings declined by nearly 50% as properties were eagerly swept off of the market in an average of 17 days.

These positive gains weren’t limited to California, either. The real estate outlook brightened immensely across the entire country. Today’s market conditions are more along the lines of normalcy, with year-over-year growth present in many areas. This extreme upturn seems to show that the worst of 2020’s COVID-inspired challenges to real estate may be over.

Approaching 2021  

Now that markets have reopened and we’re navigating the ‘new normals’ – albeit precariously – people are back to work and some schools are set to reopen.

However, the lessons learned during the worst of the pandemic aren’t being forgotten so soon. Many professionals, homeowners, and families are seeking active changes to their lifestyle to pivot against the potentials of future disruptions resembling what happened at the beginning of this year.

The real question is, how will these new movements impact the real estate market? Let’s take a look at what’s happening and what to expect:

Parents Looking to Relocate

As we’re quickly approaching the introduction of the 2021 school year, many parents are actively looking to relocate… before the school year is in full swing this Fall.

That leaves little time to spare, but with transactions progressing at incredible speeds, it’s not impossible to achieve. Meanwhile, there’s a large volume of pending sales that are at the brink of closing or recently closed deals that have yet to be reported.

Many of these deals may actually be sellers waiting on their closing to move, and out-of-state buyers waiting on the sale to relocate. Some parents are even preparing to move abroad.

“I have these three little humans, and my one job in life is to keep them safe and healthy,” said a father of three, “And with this pandemic, I have the ability to take them to a country where COVID is not going to be a threat. I would be bereft as a parent if I didn’t take that opportunity.”

Mid-Year Moves

Experts are prospecting that the next year will observe a new real estate transaction pattern. Typically, people plan their moves to line up with the usual schedules – with real estate’s high seasons being Spring, and more recently Winter.

But, COVID will be interrupting that, too.

Since nearly everything was put on pause back in April, it was impossible to follow the normal movements of real estate. As such, mid-year moves are set to become more common – and the recent spike in buyer activity is backing up this prediction.

Parents will be included in this group as they’ve expressed interest in moving before the school year starts. In June, 62% of public school parents and 75% of private school parents were considering changing schools and/or moving.

Migration’s Effect on Cities 

According to Pew Research, nearly a fifth of American adults had moved or relocated due to COVID-19 by early July. Of these, many were city occupants that fled at the introduction of the pandemic.

However, the current market reopening period will be welcoming them back home. The end of 2020 will demonstrate an adaptive response to the pandemic, and as health and safety regulators become more commonplace, people will be more willing to re-adopt their previous lifestyle.

Months ago, people were fleeing from metro areas – and it’s easy to see why. The whole family was suddenly free from the obligations of school and work, and it was more comforting to be away from the crowds while shelter-in-place was effective. While some are adopting permanent WFH and sticking to the suburbs, others are eager to get back to work, school, and the city.

The upcoming school year will mark a turning point that will attract a wave of migration back into big metro areas around the country. For more California market updates, tune into the Reali Blog!