Last week, in contrast with the nearly unanimous optimistic forecasts coming from the financial and economic think tanks, Southeast Michigan news consumers were exposed to a single worrisome detail. The cloud on the horizon was called “coronavirus.” Like the 21st century’s first pandemic—SARS—early reports from its point of origin were covered up by Chinese authorities. The World Health Organization is sending a team to China early this week.
So far, Southeast Michigan has escaped direct manifestations of the new strain—and it’s been reassuring that American health services have been quick to take stringent precautionary measures to slow down its spread from Asia. But there’s little doubt that we won’t be able to contain it completely. It’s widely thought that its spread in the U.S. will most likely follow the earlier SARS pattern. That virus was effectively stifled here through similar containment efforts.
At least where Southeast Michigan real estate commerce is concerned, it seems unlikely that this is a
cloud on the horizon that will wind up affecting this spring’s home buyers and sellers greatly, if at all.
Locally, expect more disinfectant wipes to be offered in Southeast Michigan stores and offices (and
possibly at this spring’s open houses, too). To date, medical investigators have yet to determine if the
coronavirus strain is any more virulent than the influenza strains that annually hit the U.S.
Nonetheless, it’s odd but true that thus far, the only apparent effect on local Southeast Michigan real
estate may have been to boost activity. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage
applications and refinances jumped on fears that the coronavirus was spreading overseas. “That may seem far-fetched,” according to Money magazine, “but it highlights the amazing interconnectedness of the global economy.” That’s certainly true—as is the reality of home loan interest rates even lower than last year’s.