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The Impact of Coronavirus in Austin

Posted by Ryan Rodenbeck on Friday, March 13th, 2020 at 8:00am

Posted: March 12, 2020 | Updated: March 17, 2020

In the recent events worldwide, a new strain of coronavirus has been detected which has caused a global health emergency, threats on recession and on the economy, cancellation of events, and the number of infected around the globe grow. Headlines and misinformation are causing panic to people that's why it's always best to get your information from trusted outlets such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, the Texas Department of State Health Services, AustinTexas.gov website, and other reliable sources.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus comes from a large family of viruses that causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrom (SARS-CoV). The outbreak is caused by the novel (new) coronavirus, now called COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), which was first detected in the province of Wuhan, China in late December 2019. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced COVID-19 as a Pandemic.

As of March 17, there are 174,772 confirmed cases worldwide, 7,924 lives claimed, and 81,683 patients recovered. This is according to WorldOMeter and John Hopkins CSSE Live Tracker. The current worldwide mortality rate is estimated to be 3.4%.

In the U.S., there are 5,723 cases with 106 confirmed cases in the State of Texas. On March 13, 2020, Austin has confirmed its first 2 cases. Four more cases were then reported bringing the current total to 6 confirmed cases as of March 16. City spokesman David Green said that these cases are travel related, although no information on where these cases traveled from. Green stated that travel related cases present a low-risk of exposure for Austin-Travis County.

According to Austin Public Health as of March 17, we are in Phase 5: Sustained (Person-to-Person Spread in the Community). 

How Does COVID-19 Affect the Austin Market?

Aside from being a health threat, the coronavirus is also putting the global economy at risk. The U.S. stock market had the Dow Jones dropping nearly 1,900 points or 7.3% in value. There was also a historic decline on Monday morning, March 9, with the 10-year dropping below 0.5% for the first time in the history of the United States. If this continues, it will affect the U.S. financial market and even the real estate market. According to an article from the U.S. Chamber when it comes to the near-term and long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, this is no evidence that the virus will cause recession although it will certainly slow economic growth to about 1.5%.

On March 17, 2020, Austin Mayor Steven Adler implemented a partial shutdown of bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, and in-house restaurant services to halt the spread of the virus. The city’s interim health authority, Mark Escott stated that restaurants will be open for pickup and drive-through. Exemptions to the shutdown include “critical infrastructure” such as some government buildings, schools or colleges, grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals. This is one of the latest blow after the cancellation of SXSW. Understanding the economic harm from the shutdown, the city is working with local banks to help local businesses to stay afloat and requesting vendors and landlords to extend grace during this period.

For the Austin market, it is projected that there will be an increase for homes to be in the market, but as of today, there is no impact on the sales. For long term impact, it might be too early to determine how the real estate market in Austin can get affected.

Is it a Still a Good Time to Buy or Sell a Home?

Spring season is known as the hottest time in real estate whether you are buying or selling a home. Buyers are aware of the competition since more homes are being listed during spring, but with today's current events, you might be thinking if today is a great time to buy or sell a home? If you want to take advantage of today's season, get your home listed. If you are looking into buying a home in Austin, mortgage rates have hit a historic low this week at 3.29% for the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale says that these rates are more likely to dip further.

Finding the right real estate agent that will guide and motivate you throughout the process is one of the best solutions when it comes to deciding on buying or selling a home in the Austin market. Talk to the right agent that will help you effectively no matter what the state of the market is. Fill out the contact form to talk to a consultant today to know more.

Canceled Events in Austin

One of the ways to prevent the further spread of the virus is to avoid social gatherings such as concerts, festivals, sports events, and anything alike. One of the biggest events in Austin has been canceled due to COVID-19 that has "evolved rapidly". South by Southwest, SXSW. This is one of the largest events for the tech and entertainment that has been scheduled to run from March 13 to March 22 in Austin. Large tech companies including Netflix, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and TikTok have pulled out their participation prior to the announcement made by SXSW. It is said to cost a fortune to Austin's local economy as it has brought an estimated economic impact of $355.9 million in 2019. Freelancers and small businesses are also suffering at these times. It is the first time in 34 years that SXSW will not take place.

Another nearby event is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, also known as the Houston Rodeo, which was also canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is one of the biggest events in Houston that won't continue this year. Houston, Texas currently has reported 18 cases as of March 12, 2020.

Colleges and universities have extended spring break amid coronavirus concerns. Some other events that have been canceled in Austin, suspended, or postponed are the NCAA Tournament, NBA Regular Season and Playoffs, Round Rock Express and other Minor League Baseball, Urban Music Festival, Rodeo Austin, ABC Kite Festival, Bass Concert Hall performances, and Frank Erwin Center performances. MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas has been postponed to November.

 

More Information About COVID-19

In light of the recent events in the U.S. and around the world, being prepared and informed important rather than fear and panic. Here is some information that may be useful that we gathered only from reliable and trustworthy sources.

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illnesses such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing which may appear 2-14 days after exposure from the virus. It was originally spread from animals to humans and has been confirmed that it can also be spread between humans via droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus may also spread once it gets contact with objects and surfaces. Seek immediate care once you experience any of these symptoms.

Is there a treatment or vaccine available for COVID-19?

There is currently no medicine of vaccine that can treat or prevent COVID-19. However, people should receive appropriate care to relieve symptoms and recover from the virus.

How can I protect myself from the coronavirus?

Be prepared and updated. Here are some basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds You may also use an alcohol-based rub that that is about 60%.
  • Social distancing
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, nose.
  • Avoid gatherings, maintain social distancing at least 1 meter.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a bent elbow or with a tissue. Discard the tissue ASAP.
  • Get enough sleep, exercise, eat healthy to strengthen your immune system.

Austin-Travis County health authority is ensuring everyone's safety amidst this rapidly evolving situation.

If you have inquiries or concerns on the Austin real estate market when it comes to buying or selling a home in Austin, fill out the form below and talk to a consultant today!

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