To say it has been an interesting year so far in real estate would be akin to saying it’s interesting to see cats chasing dogs. It does happen from time to time, but it’s rare.
We are still in a seller’s market as we enter this selling season in real estate, and few are suggesting that anything is going to change anytime soon. Inventory is still low, demand is still high, and multiple offers are still common on most properties that come onto the market. So, where are the sellers?
A series of things have happened this past year, setting the table for our current market conditions. The big one, of course, is COVID. As 2020 got underway, the real estate market showed some energy coming off a relatively flat year in 2019. But then, in March, along with everything else, our entire industry hit the pause button. Meanwhile, interest rates began to decline from already historic lows, and buyers started stacking up, eager to jump into the market. It seems like yesterday that Rebecca and I held our first “virtual” open house after those initial restrictions came off, and we quickly learned that buyers were ready and willing to link up, mask up, and do whatever they could to engage during that crazy time.
Maybe a bit dramatic, but this past year in real estate has almost looked like a contemporary version of the homesteaders racing their covered wagons across the plains toward one of those coveted pieces of land. Why the race? Because many wanted a piece of land, but there was only so much available. Sound familiar? So, where are the sellers?
There seem to be multiple answers to that question, and it is likely a combination of things, but a big one is the COVID scare is easing back. Vaccinations are up, reported cases are coming down, and we better understand its transmission. Second, sellers may be in the driver’s seat when they sell, but then they have to enter the market as buyers. The unprecedented risk of having potential buyers in their homes during this global pandemic is receding for sellers. Then, of course, we are entering the “selling season,” which we hope would bring more sellers out.
Buyers are still in a very competitive market, but there is some expectation that the market may begin to normalize soon. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com, recently stated that surveys indicated; ” more homeowners than normal are expected to list their homes in the next 12 months…we might see the intensity of buyer competition diminish.”
At the same time, Freddie Mac says that they expect mortgage rates to continue to rise through the end of next year. “We estimate a 30-year fixed mortgage rate will average 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, rising to 3.8% by the fourth quarter of 2022.”
If you are interested in seeing market reports for all cities here in Ventura County, you can check out our dedicated page. We update this page monthly, usually around the 5th, so remember to check back. And, of course, we’d always welcome the opportunity to speak with you about any of your real estate needs.