Here’s a recap of our 2020 market and a preview of things to come.
There’s an old Chinese saying that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Well, 2020 was one for the record books. So many things happened that most of us have never experienced. The global pandemic forced a lot of us to work from home and shelter in place. On top of that, community activities were limited, schooling took place online, sporting events were called off, movie theaters were shut down, cleaning products were hard to find… we even ran out of toilet paper!
Luckily, we have things to celebrate in 2021. COVID vaccines are being distributed, and a woman of color has been sworn into one of the top two offices in the U.S. for the first time. Hopefully, things will get back to normal shortly, but if they don’t, what does that mean to you as a homeowner?
Inventory is low, so there aren’t a lot of homes for sale. At the same time, a lot of people are wondering whether they should upsize or downsize for a variety of factors. Perhaps they’re home a lot more now and may be working from home indefinitely. Perhaps their college-age kids are living with them and schooling online and their parents have moved back in with them, thus making their properties multigenerational homes. Perhaps they live in a city and need more personal and outdoor space.
In any case, home search criteria are changing, and interest rates are at an all-time low. They’re currently hovering between 2.75% and 3%, and they’re only forecasted to rise to just 3.4% by the end of the year. For those of us who saw 12% to 15% rates in the '80s, a 3% rate is still a killer rate. This has given first-time millennial homebuyers and/or anyone looking to upsize or downsize the perfect opportunity to buy the most house for the least amount of money out of pocket. Therefore, a lot of them are asking themselves how much home they can buy. They know their mortgage payment will be lower, and they’re looking at homes in a new way—our lifestyles have been limited, so “home” is no longer just a place to store your things while you visit other places.
This is a good thing because, at the end of the day, we’re looking at what’s most important in our lives. Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t look at our personal relationships as much as we should. When you spend more time with the people in your household, those relationships become more important. I think that’s something positive we can take from 2020, and in 2021 I expect to see more homes being built.
The bottom line is that now is absolutely the best time to sell and buy a home. Choices are limited for buyers, and I don’t see that situation changing for another month or so, but we’re seeing more homes hit the market. If you are a buyer, soon enough you’ll have more homes to choose from and be able to get a great price for your new house.
I know you’re probably asking yourself how to keep safe when buying or selling a home. The good news is that a lot of home sales are done virtually these days. In fact, a lot of things we used to do in person can be done virtually to keep clients safe. If we do show a home in person, we follow every safety standard (wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, etc.).
Here at The Graves Group
, we’re committed to making your home buying or selling experience safe and stress-free. If you’re looking for a local expert to help with your real estate needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.