What does the Green Phase Mean for Philadelphia Real Estate?

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Philadelphia’s green phase for reopening businesses and reinstating events originally included the following:

1.    restaurants and bars with indoor seating

2.    gyms and indoor exercise classes

3.    large outdoor events of more than 50 people

4.    theaters and indoor events

5.    in-person conventions/conferences

6.    large indoor social and religious gatherings of more than 25 people

7.    senior services involving gatherings, such as adult daycare

Unfortunately, these re-openings under the original green phase will all be delayed.

Why Has The Green Phase Been Modified and Delayed?

While progress has been made in Philadelphia, the city’s number of positive COVID-19 cases is no longer dropping. The city has over 26,000 positive cases and the number of new cases is averaging at 100 a day. Because of this increase in cases, the city has had to delay many re-openings and modify its plans. The original green phase has been adapted to fit the experts’ recommendations of what needs to be done to prevent an increase in positive cases.

Philadelphia will be entering a modified, restricted green phase of reopening on Friday, July 3rd.

The full green phase won’t be implemented most likely for another month, which leaves gym and restaurant owners at a loss, among others.

For now, gyms, fitness centers, and indoor dining will all remain closed. Gyms and fitness centers cannot open until August 1st, and the city will re-evaluate this decision on a weekly basis.

There are 4,200 restaurants in Philadelphia that have indoor dining under normal circumstances. If people were allowed to dine indoors and without masks, that could dramatically increase the number of cases. The good news is that delivery, take-out, and outdoor dining are still allowed. The coronavirus has impacted the restaurant industry in another important way. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to stockpile red meat, which has increased the prices and made reopening even more difficult for restaurants.

The city also recommends a halt on travel to certain states that have a high number of positive coronavirus cases. If you’ve travelled to any of the states with a high number of cases, you should quarantine yourself for 14 days.

There is concern about the rising number of cases. Some are asking: were the protests the cause of the increase? The answer is most likely no. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Farley said he would have expected the spike in cases to have occurred earlier if the protests were the cause of the increase.

Under the modified green phase, some businesses and event types will be re-opening under new restrictions. Volunteers with the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps have passed out posters with tips for safely re-opening to business owners.

Only July 3rd, the following locations and meeting types will be allowed to re-open:

1.    Museums and libraries

2.    Indoor shopping malls

3.    Casinos (with strict requirements and no indoor dining allowed)

4.    Small indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people

What Does It Mean for the Philadelphia Real Estate Market?

The Philadelphia real estate market was competitive before the coronavirus, with rising home prices, limited numbers of listings, and many buyers vying for their dream homes. The novel coronavirus has affected the economy in many ways. Because of COVID-19, the market has become even more competitive. Even though many are experiencing financial uncertainty because of the coronavirus, there is still a high demand for new homes. At the same time, very few new homes have been listed for the past several months. Currently, even during middle of a pandemic, the demand for real estate is high and the supply is low.

How Should Buyers Manage Bidding War?

This tension has caused an increase in bidding wars among buyers looking to secure their next home. It’s important to keep a cool head during an intense and emotional event like a bidding war. Buyers need to remember to stay within their budgets and make sure they are paying a fair amount for the property, a mount that matches the property’s value. If you are a buyer in this position, consider writing a personalized offer letter to the current homeowner explaining why purchasing their home is so important to you. Also, if possible, make your offer all-cash. If that’s not possible, offer a larger down payment. Lastly, you can consider waiving contingencies (like home inspections – make sure you are certain before you do this, though) and being flexible on the closing date to sway the seller to choose you as the next owner of their home.

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