Typically, I provide 2 market updates a year: one in January and one in early July. Typically, I review the sale numbers as well as sales prices compared to prior years. THIS IS AN ATYPICAL YEAR! For this year, the numbers are skewed. January, February, and early March were incredibly busy with what I would call a robust market. Then the pandemic, and real estate here in PA shut down for 2 months. Since the reopening in late May the market has picked up right where it left off. Even the very high-end price points above $700,000 home sales are stronger than pre pandemic. A shortage of inventory and low interest rates continue to propel sales despite record unemployment numbers.
Surprisingly, interest rates have been decreasing over the past 12 months. The average 30-year conventional rate is now almost 1% less than last year’s low rates. Buyers are securing interest rates below 3% for 30-year mortgages.
Inventory levels typically rise starting in late winter and through the Spring and summer months. Since the first of the year inventory levels have remained flat and have not increased as we normally see.
Finally, sales prices are moving up dramatically with increases as much as 10% in some price points. Depending on price point and location we are seeing many homes command multiple offers sometimes with 8 or 9 or 10 offers. In addition to full price and over asking offers, buyers are also making the terms more attractive to sellers by waiving inspections or paying cash.
Clearly it is a strong market. My expectation is that the market in the lower price ranges will remain strong through this year while the very upper end market has actually shown signs of improvement also. Homes priced over $700,000 are drawing traffic and selling even though inventory levels remain high. With all the above said, properly preparing a home for sale and pricing it correctly remains very important in all price ranges.
Paradoxically, it is a great time to both sell and buy. Although the Spring and Summer months may see an increase in activity, the most important factor you should look at is whether or not the time is right for you. Regardless of national trends or local trends, the most overlooked area when deciding to buy or sell is whether you and your family are prepared for this life changing event.
Please contact me if you, or someone you know, have any real estate needs or questions or if you want to discuss market conditions. I look forward to working with you or your referrals in the future.