LAKELAND, Fla. -- The coronavirus is impacting many industries, including the housing market.   New home sales already dropped in February and economists say they expect much sharper drops for March.

  • New home sales dropped in February
  • Economists expect sharper drop for March
  • Lakeland Realtor says business isn't declining
  • Jen Lay says this is the time to sell
  • Latest coronavirus news

A Polk County realtor said so far, she’s not seeing a decline in business. 

Realtor Jen Lay now works from home due to COVID-19 sweeping the nation.

“I thought this week would be a little slow and no it’s not even close to slow,” Lay said. 

In fact, she’s expecting seven closings by the end of the month. 

“From March 9 to today [March 25],  there’s 613 new homes on the market. So that shows that still means that real estate is really, really active,” she explained. 

While the work hasn’t slowed down, Lay said there have been a lot of changes in how she does business.

She now Facetimes or uses Zoom to virtually interact with homeowners wishing to sell their homes. 

“The biggest change is that face to face interaction. I miss that. I miss seeing my people,” Lay expressed. 

For those in the market for a home, she now uses FaceTime to show them homes instead of traditional open houses.  Those were cancelled March 23. 

Despite the changes to business operations, Lay said it’s a great time to sell.

“If you want to put your house on the market, you need to do it right now. There’s no inventory and buyers are still looking. It might take a couple days more than it would have because our average days on the market ever since this started went up,” Lay explained. 

Lay said interest rates are low too.

According to a United States Department of Commerce report, the median price nationwide for a home sold in February was $345,900, up 6.3 percent from January. It’s unclear how the coronavirus will impact numbers for March.