Monday, April 13, 2020

MARCH RE Numbers

March Housing Strong Despite Arrival of Pandemic

Even with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and a month capped by Governor Walz's "Stay at Home" Order, sales of residential real estate were up across the state in March. New listings increased +13.6% over a year ago, and closed sales went up by +10%

Governor Extends Minnesota's "Stay at Home" Order Until May 4


Real estate transactions were again considered "critical sector" work in the new extended order. 

Q: Are photographers contracted by licensed real estate professionals deemed essential under the executive order?
A: Following additional discussions between MN Realtors® and the Department of Commerce, Minnesota Realtors® can confirm that, according to the Department of Commerce, photographers contracted by licensed real estate professionals are considered "critical sector" workers under the extended "Stay at Home" order.


How does the Order Extension (Order 20-33) impact real estate services? (added 4/9)


On April 8, 2020 Governor Walz rescinded his Executive Order 20-20 and implemented a new order (Order 20-33).  This new order began April 8, 2020 at 11:59 PM and extends the governor’s order to Stay at Home through Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 11:59 PM.
The governor indicated this Order 20-33 is a continued effort to slow the community spread of the disease and ensure our healthcare facilities remain able to accommodate persons in need of intensive medical interventions.
Similar to the previous order, the governor has limited activities of all Minnesotans to only those that are most essential and has stressed the importance of complying with the practice of social distancing at all times.
EXEMPTION TO MOVE: Order 20-33 adds a provision to permit individuals to move to a new home or place of residence, provided that they follow the MDH Guidelines to the maximum extent possible.
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS EXEMPT:
Real estate transactions have remained on the governor’s list of Critical Sector work.
Real estate transactions. This category is limited to workers who facilitate and finance real estate transactions and real estate services, including appraisers and title services.
“Workers” and “personnel” are now defined to include owners, proprietors, employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns.
All owners, proprietors, employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns who facilitate and finance real estate transactions and real estate services, including appraisers and title services, are exempt from the prohibition to Stay at Home if they can’t do telework or virtual work at their home or residence and/or perform work that can only be done outside their home or residence.  It also exempts workers that support minimum basic operations in business and other organizations.
Minimum Basic Operations” include (1) minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’ inventory, preserve the condition of a business’s or other organization’s facilities, physical plant, or equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or related functions; and (ii) the minimum necessary activities to facilitate remote work by workers from their residences (e.g. IT personnel who allow workers to operate remotely or personnel who support remote or distance learning)
The order does not restrict virtual or telework.
SAME RESTRICTIONS APPLY
The exemptions in this new order maintain the same restrictions to the exemption that were in the previous order.  All exempted activities and Critical Sector work must be conducted in a manner that adheres to the following.
Restrictions to the Exemption:
  1. Travel Restriction: These critical exemptions apply ONLY to travel to and from an individual’s home or residence and place of work. 
  2. Can’t Be Done at Home: They also apply ONLY when an individual’s performance of work duties CANNOT be done at their homes or residence;
  3. Must Follow Guidelines:  Any facilitation of real estate transactions must be done to the maximum extent possible, in a manner that adheres to the MN Occupational Safety and Health Standards and the MDH Guidelines and CDC Guidelines related to COVID-19.The MDH Guidelines state that events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.