The Monterey County Health Official has revised the Shelter in Place Order while also extending it until May 31st. The new order can be found here
There are some significant changes in what is allowed, with certain restrictions, with two that are especially important to real estate here on the Monterey Peninsula.
Real Estate In-person Showings
First, there is a significant change from the earlier stance that the only properties that could be shown were those that were vacant of people and furnishings. The new order reads as follows:
…Residential viewings should occur virtually as much as possible. In person residential viewings shall be by appointment only, with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit. In person visits are not allowed when the occupant is still residing in the residence unless cloth face coverings are worn during the visit, there is no contact with staging items or personal property during the showing, and the seller or landlord cleans and sanitizes the property after the visit [emphasis mine ]with products on the Environmental Protection Agency's approved list of disinfectants, paying attention to any areas that may be commonly touched, such as light switches, door knobs, handles, counter tops, appliances and staging items;
As I write this post, the order is a little over an hour old and we have already scheduled multiple showings in the next few days, consistent with this order. How much pent up showing demand there is isn’t clear, but this change will give us some insight into the level of buyer activity that has been constrained by the order.
Second, residential construction is an important component of our market. Construction is now broadly defined as an Essential Business. Construction projects have to abide by a number of requirements that are outlined in an addendum to the order, The Small Construction Project Safety Protocol Addendum can be found here.
While recreation and exercise were allowed under the previous order, golf courses were closed. That has now changed.
...Use of golf courses and golf driving ranges, for the express purpose of promoting physical activity. Golf shall comply with Social Distancing Requirements and the Golf Safety Protocol listed in Appendix A.
However, it won’t be back to normal at golf courses quite yet. The clubhouse, pro shops, and locker rooms must remain closed. No rental clubs are permitted. Reservations and payments must be made by phone. And, no caddies with players carrying their clubs or using carts, with one player per cart. The full golf addendum can be found here.
We have a long way to go, and the citizens and visitors to Monterey County have reason to celebrate our success so far. These changes are important. As is the community's continued commitment to limit the spread.