How will coronavirus impact economy and housing market?

Mar 5, 2020, 8:19 AM
Stock market, coronavirus...
The stock market continues to fall worldwide. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Is the Fed’s announcement on lower interest rates considered an emergency? Matthew Gardner is the Windermere Chief Economist, and joined Seattle’s Morning News to discuss the coronavirus’ impact on the economy and the housing market.

“Yeah, I think the market was certainly expecting something to happen. You’ve certainly seen interest rates drop across the planet,” he said. “My concern, quite frankly, is not so much the validity of it, but is it going to have any real impact other than creating more paranoia and more concern?”

Washington to lift restrictions on coronavirus testing

“Another thing about it is if you look at when the Fed has reduced rates between meetings, it’s been for essentially far different reasons than this. It’s never done it because of any form of pandemic, it’s always been financial, like post 9/11 and during the dot com crash.”

This is by no means the first outbreak of a contagious virus, so how will the economy respond?

“Markets essentially have handled it [contagious viruses] and handled it quite reasonably. I think this is very different here. Here’s the reason why: I think the stock market actually has been overboard for quite some time. Why has that been going on? Well, interest rates have been very low. Everyone’s chasing a return so they’ve been putting money into the stock market.”

Ross: Coronavirus is perfect argument for universal health care

“So the market, quite frankly, knew it was overvalued. It was looking for some kind of speed bump to allow itself to pull back, but rather than finding a speed bump it met a brick wall. So it’s obviously a tremendous drop in equity values over the course of the last week or so.”

What’s the impact going to be on housing? For Gardner, it depends on how much fears of coronavirus alters how people behave when looking for housing.

“Are we going to see slowing down in terms of open houses, of people not going to go looking for houses? That’s the big uncertainty. Now, even if we do see some slowing down, the market is still very buoyant, very resilient, still very tight,” he said.

“This too will pass. Housing is resilient. It’ll be just fine.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Ross: The real reason people don’t want to return to work

The extra unemployment benefits were cut off in September and most states elected not to continue them. Yet, millions of workers are still holding out.
3 days ago
Shatner, space...
Dave Ross

Ross: Shatner’s emotional response over trip to space exactly what we needed to hear

Space travel is a trip that every billionaire who thinks he’s a master of the universe needs to take as soon as possible.
4 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Choosing the fully-vaccinated airline that makes you feel safest

Two airlines – Southwest and American –both based in Texas, have decided to stick with their plans to require employees to get vaccinated.
5 days ago
Jan. 6, US Capitol...
MyNorthwest Staff

Committee investigating Jan. 6 pushes for details from White House aides

Washington Post's David Fahrenthold discusses the investigation into Jan. 6, with subpoenas now sent to some of former President Trump's closest aides.
6 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Down the rabbit hole as TikTok challenges take on life of their own

Just remember kids, you’re responsible for your conduct no matter what website put you up to it, whether it's TikTok or somewhere else.
6 days ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Mercer Island MD: New accessible COVID treatment is ‘necessary step’

A new COVID-19 treatment is on the horizon. Merck’s new COVID treatment — available in pill form — has been submitted to the FDA.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles


How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
How will coronavirus impact economy and housing market?