Dear MCAR member,

Please take some time to view the latest virtual events, webinars, and news from MCAR, C.A.R., and MLSListings, Inc. I highly recommend registering for the Top Producer Panel today as it is likely to fill up.

All the most recent updates are available on MCAR's COVID-19 Information and Resources page .

Top Producer Panel:
How to Keep Business Moving During Uncertain Times: Top Producers Share Their Stories
Moderated by C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer
Tuesday, June 16 th
10:30am – 12:00pm

The coronavirus outbreak has caused many buyers and sellers to reconsider whether now is the time to make a move, but those agents who have put the right strategies in place have maintained momentum through the disruption. Join some of California’s top-producing REALTORS® on Zoom as they share how they have been able to safely and successfully close transactions during the pandemic.
Ivan Estrada, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Marty Rodriguez, Century 21
Stephanie Vitacco, Keller Williams Realty
Ron Wynn, Coldwell Banker
C.A.R. Speaks Out for Values of Inclusion and Equality
C.A.R. remains committed to supporting the dignity and worth of all individuals. In response to the disturbing events from the past week, yesterday, C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick sent a message to all members affirming that the Association stands for equality, inclusion and acceptance.
How to Keep Business Moving During Uncertain Times: Top Producers Share Their Stories
C.A.R. is hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, June 16, with four top producing REALTORS®. Join top producers Ivan Estrada, Marty Rodriguez, Stephanie Vitacco and Ron Wynn as they share how they have been able to safely and successfully close transactions during the pandemic. This panel will be moderated by C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer. Register today for this free virtual event which is sure to sell out.
Housing Market Update Videos
C.A.R.'s Research & Economics department has released its updated Economic & Housing Outlook, which touches on how COVID-19 is impacting the housing market, future outlooks and scenarios, and resources for members. There are four videos available – statewide, Bay Area, Central Valley and Southern California.
Update on Coronavirus Market Impacts
The economy and the housing market continue to see signs of improvement—particularly in terms of buyer demand. The labor market impacts continue to shrink while mortgage applications and showing appointments continue to improve. More REALTORS® are closing deals and helping their clients to purchase homes. And all of this is happening against a backdrop of the lowest mortgage interest rates ever. However, we are also still in the midst of a global pandemic, while at the same time grappling with the tragedy of loss and the ensuing social unrest. Thus, even as things move in the right direction, the process will be slow and we all have a lot of work to do individually and collectively before we can fully recover.
Mortgage Rates Hit Another All-Time Low
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.15 percent for the week ending May 28, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year rate averaged 3.99 percent. Freddie Mac’s chief economist said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit the lowest level in the agency’s survey in its nearly 50-year history, breaking the record for the third time in just the last few months.
Office Space Tops the Wishlist for Potential Home Shoppers
A third of respondents in a recent Zillow survey report working from a home office currently, with the rest forced to repurpose another area of their home such as a living room, dining room or bedroom into an office space. Working out of a shared space that's not designed to support long hours in front of a computer can bring distractions and other frustrations -- especially as open concept layouts have soared in popularity in the past few years -- suddenly putting a premium on a quiet, separated workspace.
A weekly digest to keep you up to speed on the California coronavirus outbreak.

June 3, 2020

In response to the disturbing events from the past week, C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick has offered a  statement that you can read here .
Please also take a moment to make sure you’re caught up on new resources from C.A.R.:
  • You can find C.A.R.'s Mandatory Government Showing Requirements including Best Practices Guidelines and Prevention Plan in zipForm®. Please note these practices are effectively mandated by State Guidelines and do not necessarily reflect rules or practices favored or created by C.A.R. We are urging state authorities to significantly change their guidelines to optimize safe, consistent and responsible industry practices during the current pandemic.

  • As cities and counties have started reopening, we have been updating our list of local ordinances governing the practice of real estate. To ensure compliance, be sure you review your local, county and state guidelines.

  • On Tuesday, June 16, we're hosting a Zoom panel moderated by CEO Joel Singer: "How to Keep Business Moving During Uncertain Times: Top Producers Share Their Stories." Join top producers Marty Rodriguez, Stephanie Vitacco and Ron Wynn as they share how they have been able to safely and successfully close transactions during the pandemic. Click here to register.

  • Check out this week’s webinars, plus find recordings of the many COVID-related webinars we’ve held since the crisis began.

In This Issue:
  • The Economy & Your Finances: Unemployment, consumer confidence beginning to stabilize
  • The Market & Industry: Mortgage applications rebounding, eviction moratoria extended
  • Around the State: Reopening accelerates
  • Health Check-Up: Pandemic picking up speed across the globe

The Economy & Your Finances: Unemployment, consumer confidence beginning to stabilize

Nationwide unemployment claims since the start of the pandemic in mid-March exceed  40 million , representing around 25 percent of American workers. California lost  2.3 million  jobs in April alone,  76 percent more  jobs than the state lost during the entire Great Recession, pushing the statewide unemployment rate to 15.5 percent for April. Even so, things appear to be slowing down, with  new claims  falling to their lowest levels since the pandemic began.
As unemployment rose,  consumer spending plummeted  by 13.6 percent in April. But the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index did show a  slight uptick  in May. This indicates that while consumers are still pessimistic, they are a little less so than they used to be — a sign the economy is beginning to stabilize.
With California facing a $54.3 billion budget deficit, Governor Newsom revised the  state’s budget , calling for  $14 billion in spending cuts  unless the federal government sends further assistance.  State legislators have pushed back , rejecting most of the governor’s cuts to healthcare and education in favor of drawing from reserves and delaying payments to schools.
Last Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the  Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act , which would ease restrictions on small businesses seeking loan forgiveness, by 471-1. The bill now heads to the Senate.
Sources: The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, C.A.R. Research & Economics, CNN, CNBC, California Department of Finance, KTLA, Forbes

The Market & Industry: Mortgage applications rebounding, eviction moratoria extended

Buyer demand continues to rise , home showings have improved dramatically from mid-April, and fewer REALTORS® are reporting having experienced buyers or sellers backing out of transactions.  Mortgage applications are rebounding  faster than experts predicted — up 54 percent since April — and  mortgage forbearance requests have slowed  considerably. Still, even with these positive signs, it’s important to remember the toll of the pandemic is unprecedented and full recovery will likely take a long time.
On Saturday, Newsom signed an  executive order  allowing local eviction moratoria to be  extended through July 28 . A recent UCLA study has estimated more than  350,000 renters will be evicted  in Los Angeles County alone once the moratorium ends, although landlord groups strongly disagree. To help both renters and homeowners navigate relief options,  Fannie Mae  and  Freddie Mac  have released new digital tools and resources.
Affordable housing advocates say as much as  79 percent  of California’s existing affordable housing is currently at risk due to the economic fallout from the pandemic. Many of the people living in those units would become homeless.
Meanwhile,  Zillow Offers  is reopening in five more markets, and  Offerpad  is launching a new service that would give sellers a choice between a quick-close sale and a more traditional listing process.
Sources: C.A.R. Research & Economics, REALTOR® Magazine, HousingWire, Office of the Governor of California, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Real Deal, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, The Sacramento Bee, Inman News

Around the State: Reopening accelerates

The United States leads the worlds in  coronavirus deaths , which now top 100,000 nationwide. And some researchers are estimating the  reported numbers are low  — that 100,000 mark may have actually been passed weeks ago. In California, as of yesterday at 1:12 p.m., cases numbered 115,908 and deaths had hit 4,235. California as a whole is the fourth-largest outbreak in the country, behind New York (371,711), New Jersey (160,918) and Michigan (121,234).
On Friday, just a few days after California saw its  highest one-day total of positive COVID-19 cases , Governor Newsom allowed Los Angeles County — the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in California — to reopen  restaurants, barbershops and hair salons . Newsom  justified the move  by noting that approximately 50,000 Californians are tested for coronavirus daily, a little over 4 percent of those tests have been positive, and hospitalizations for COVID-19 have remained stable statewide. Meanwhile,  Sonoma County  — one of the first to begin the reopening process — scaled back their reopening after recording a spike in cases.
Public health officials in the  Bay Area  are holding firm on their lockdown orders, pledging to stay with a “slow and safe” approach. Last Thursday,  San Francisco  officials unveiled a new plan for reopening that confirms the stay-at-home order will be in place indefinitely, but provides some guidance for when other activities — like religious services — will gradually be permitted. On Friday, the  Supreme Court  ruled that California is justified in enforcing certain restrictions on religious gatherings.
While public health officials fear the  protests  surrounding the death of George Floyd — who died in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes — will further spread the coronavirus, protesters have maintained the fight for racial equality is worth the risk. The CDC has released new guidance for  how to engage in political protest gatherings as safely as possible .
Sources: Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Mercury News, KTLA, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health Check-Up: Pandemic picking up speed across the world

The pace of the  pandemic is speeding up  worldwide, with 700,000 new cases reported in the last week. To date, over  6.2 million  people have been infected. For those who have been infected, The New York Times has a  guide on how to recover at home  — including how to assess when you need to go see a professional.
Gilead Sciences Inc. announced results from a new study showing its  antiviral drug remdesivir  helped patients with moderate symptoms improve from COVID-19. While positive, these results indicate remdesivir may not be the silver bullet the world was hoping for, and  Gilead’s stock has fallen  following the announcement. Even so, remdesivir remains the only existing drug proven to treat COVID-19, however effectively, and concerns are mounting that  California will run out  of the drug.
For many patients, COVID-19 comes with  no symptoms  — CNN has estimated around  35 percent of patients are asymptomatic. For others, the disease can cause  debilitating long-term illness . If you are not experiencing symptoms and wondering if you should get tested anyways,  NPR has a guide for you .
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