Friday, January 15, 2021 / by Steve Ticknor
All across the country, businesses have closed due to the pandemic and industries across the board have suffered a loss to some degree (except for delivery services, online retailers, and the like). Yet, of all those industries that were affected, the real estate market has continued to thrive - or at least experienced very little troubles.
If you’re a believer in resolutions and one of your 2021 New Year's resolutions was to save up to buy a house, you’re going to want to pay attention to the real estate predictions highlighted in HomeLight's 2020 Q4 survey - you’ll be glad you did!
There’s no shortage of qualified buyers looking to buy a house, unfortunately, 84% of real estate agents who participated in the survey say inventory is much lower than they expected. This is alarming because buyers are going to be chomping at the bit when they find a house they like. They’ll be eager to make offers above asking, ask for fewer concessions, or even forego home inspections (we don’t recommend this!).
Once COVID-19 reared its ugly head and states began to shut down businesses, sellers got cold feet and either pulled their homes from the market or they didn’t list at all. This resulted in a sluggish market because people didn’t want to risk getting sick. But, now that there are two vaccines available, 50% of agents say they are seeing buyers and sellers feel confident to dive into the market.
The homeless problem in this country, with there being over half of a million (567,715 to be exact) people without a home in 2019. That number could see a significant increase at the end of January if mortgage forbearance or the eviction moratorium aren’t extended. Why 40% of real estate agents are worried that they’ll see a big increase in foreclosures in their market alone!
Although the economy isn’t doing so well at the moment, there are still people who need (or want) to buy a house. Who could blame them when interest rates are still incredibly low? In fact, low rates are a huge reason 97% of agents are seeing a big influx of buyers in their market.
The Pacific Coast is an area where folks are considering relocating because their remote jobs have become permanent. Of the surveyed agents in this area, 19.8% say California is the most likely to see a mass exodus. But, on the other side of the coin, 8.3% of agents say remote work isn’t a reason for relocating in their markets in the South Central region.
Real estate is an essential business and real estate agents have had to scramble to adapt to CDC protocols regarding social distancing and safety. As a result of this, real estate agents began using tools like virtual and 3D showings and open houses, signing documents digitally and using video conferencing for meetings. Should there be another outbreak, clients can rest assured that their agents will be prepared!
First-time buyers often struggle with trying to save enough money for a down payment, let alone the ideal down payment of 20%! In an effort to make housing more accessible to first-time buyers, President-Elect Joe Biden issued a proposal to extend 2009’s Recovery Act under the Obama administration. This extension would allow first-time buyers to use a $15,000 tax credit toward their down payment at the time of buying a house instead of claiming it when they file their taxes the following year.
Venturing into the world of real estate can be intimidating, to be sure. But when you stay up to date on the housing market trends and consult a trusted real estate agent, you can do so a little more confidently!