As we know, the housing market is forever changing. And this year, it's the 2020 pandemic that plays a major role in driving the market. When considering whether this is the year to sell and/or buy, keep these 3 things in mind: Interest rates, inventory and internet access.
If you haven't heard yet, interest rates on home loans are low! Many households are jumping at the opportunity to lock in a low interest rate on their new home or through refinancing their existing home loan. But, there's uncertainty of how long the interest rates will remain this low and the expectation is that they will rise again, perhaps in sooner than later. And it's driving quick decisions for buyers. “Over the past year, people re-evaluated what they wanted in a home and many decided to move or upgrade,” says Nick Bailey, Chief Customer Officer for RE/MAX. “Low interest rates helped increase budgets for first-time homebuyers, and sellers are getting top dollar for their home.” Many renters are also taking advantage of low interest rates to buy.
With the surge in homebuyers and home refinancing, it's put this market into a tough spot with inventory. In other words, there's not a lot of inventory out there. Refinancers are holding on to their homes and renters are looking for something. There are just not enough houses available to go around. Criteria in what buyers are looking for has also changed dramatically thanks to the pandemic. Buyers are looking for more space and aren't necessarily concerned about a commute or proximity to their office. They want room in their home for an office, a gym and a classroom. Space is at a premium now. Buyers are looking for lots that can accommodate space for an in-law suite, ADU or a duplex for their parents, grandparents and other loved ones to move in to. Extended familes are investing in homes together.
Office spaces are clearing out and people have learned that as long as they have a strong internet connection, they can work from anywhere (mostly). Some buyers have relocated to a place they choose to live rather than need to live to be near their office. They rely on the internet and smart technology to stay connected to colleauges and clients.
All of these factors make working with an agent when selling and buying a home even more critical in 2021.
“Now more than ever, working with an experienced agent can make the difference in getting the house you want, the most money for a home you’re selling, or even feeling secure and confident throughout the complex process of real estate,” says Bailey.
(Stephanie Visscher, Communications Manager, RE/MAX)