2021 has arrived! Can I take my mask off yet? No? Dang it! Well, there does appear to be some hope on the horizon with this whole COVID thing. Maybe a little more patience is the key.
At least what has been the case till now, the housing market keeps chugging along.
What is encouraging is, according to many experts, the real estate market will continue growing in 2021, and it’s largely driven by the lasting impact the pandemic is having on our lifestyles. As many of us spend extra time at home, we’re reevaluating what “home” means and what we may need in one as we look forward.
Here are 4 reasons that we believe people are reconsidering where they live and why they’re considering a home a home purchase this year.
In 2020, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage hit a record low 16 times, continuing to fall further below 3%. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed interest rate today is 2.65%. Many wonder how low these rates will go and how long they’ll last. Len Keifer, Deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Mac, advises:
“If you’ve found a home that fits your needs at a price you can afford, it might be better to act now rather than wait for future rate declines that may never come and a future that likely holds very tight inventory.”
This sense of urgency is driving many to buy this year.
Remote work is a new normal for many businesses, and it’s lasting longer than most expected. In fact, the term “new normal” suggests that the pandemic may have bullied us into a permanent (and inevitable) change in the way many of us of view our work lives. As a result, many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live close to the office anymore and now need to revisit what they are looking for in a home. David Mele, President at Homes.com, says:
“The surge in the work-from-home population has rewritten the playbook for many home buying and rental decisions, from when and where to relocate, to what people are looking for in their next residence.”
But the reality for some people is that working remotely in their current home is challenging given their current space, especially when there may be other options available.
Another new priority for homeowners is having more usable outdoor space. Being at home is driving those in some areas to seek less densely populated neighborhoods so they have more room to stretch their legs. In addition, those living in apartments and townhomes are often looking for extra square footage, both inside and out.
According to the State of Home Spending report by HomeAdvisor, of the households surveyed, almost half reported spending more on outdoor living space over the past year. This is a trend that’s expected to grow in 2021 and beyond.
It’s recently come to light that many homeowners would also rather buy a new home than go through the process of fixing up the one they have. According to the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 44% of home buyers purchased a new home to “avoid renovations or problems with the plumbing or electricity.”
It’s clear that homeownership needs are changing. As a result, Americans are expected to move in record numbers this year. If you are selling, inventory is low. This means there is no time like the present to make that move. At the same time, you would then be looking for your next home in an extremely competitive market. And if you’re a new buyer trying to break in, it can be overwhelming and frustrating without the right kind of representation. Either way, give us a call. We have just spent the past year helping buyers and sellers achieve their dreams in this unique market and we are ready to help you achieve yours!