Southern California home buying has not yet been slammed by coronavirus fears

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Real estate investor Celine Yan and her agent, Jeff Brager, look over a North Hollywood house she is purchasing. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Real estate investor Celine Yan and her agent, Jeff Brager, look over a North Hollywood house she is purchasing. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

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Sports leagues have suspended their seasons. Organizers have canceled conferences. The novel coronavirus is starting to inflict economic damage as Americans hunker down to stop its spread.

So far, though, home-buying demand — spurred by generationally low mortgage rates — has held up in Southern California, real estate experts say.

That could quickly change if the economy shuts down for a prolonged period. Low mortgage rates don’t matter if people don’t have jobs to pay their mortgage.

“It’s kind of a tug of war: interest rates on the one side and some of the business fundamentals on the other side,” said Stuart Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA. “How we are going to sort of muscle through this depends very significantly on the path of the virus, the severity of the incidents and the related cycle of fear.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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