“It’s a lot like internet dating: A property can look very attractive online, and be an entirely different situation when you see it in person,” said Halstead Real Estate President Richard Grossman in a recent webinar hosted by StreetEasy and Curbed. “Nothing will replace the live experience. That said, we are doing everything we can to replicate that experience in our marketing, and that will continue going forward.”

The spread of COVID-19 has dramatically affected the New York City real estate industry. Not only have social distancing rules changed the way we find homes, but uncertainty around the virus’s long-term effects have, at least temporarily, upended the local housing market — halting construction, causing renters, buyers, and sellers to rethink their plans, and altering decisions about where and how to live.  

The webinar discussion addressed how the virus has impacted the world of NYC real estate, and featured a panel of experts including Nancy Wu, StreetEasy economist; Grossman, Halstead president; and Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program. Moderated by Curbed editor Caroline Spivack, the conversation covered how New York City real estate professionals and residents are responding to the effects of COVID-19 on their work and the search for homes. It offered insight on the future of the city’s housing market, and answered some of today’s most pressing questions.

A couple of notable insights and highlights from our panelists: 

“The good news is, we’re not at the top of the market anymore, and buyers who are striking now could find good deals. Those who can wait may see lower prices in the coming months.” – Nancy Wu, StreetEasy economist

“There are vacant units out there, but not a lot of follow-through on virtual tours. It remains to be seen if virtual tours are a viable substitute for real tours.” – Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program

“NYC will recover. It’s just a matter of time, and being as prepared as we can by examining both best- and worst-case scenarios.” – Richard Grossman, president of Halstead Real Estate

>> Watch the full conversation

Join us for our next discussion, “How NYC Agents Are Staying Nimble and Still Closing,” happening Wednesday, May 13, and open to any agents who’d like to hear about how their peers are getting creative to keep deals moving and clients safe.