The current pandemic situation has created challenges for the real estate market which is providing new, innovative opportunities for both buyers and sellers. If you’re a buyer or seller of residential real estate, here are the current trends in residential real estate you should know.
Home prices continue to rise
Despite what’s happening in the market, home prices across the nation continue to rise. The reason is that in general, COVID-19 has paused many real estate transactions, so there are less listings available on the market, yet demand has not diminished. Less supply and more demand results in home prices continuing to rise. That’s good news for sellers, while buyers may struggle to find affordable housing.
Home sales are going down
With all the uncertainty out there, such as possible job loss, illness, etc., home sales have continued to be on the decline. Social distancing is also putting a damper on home sales as buyers are hesitant to enter strange homes and homeowners prefer not to have people touring their home. Job uncertainty has caused buyers to put their purchase on hold until they become more financially stable. Fannie Mae is predicting a 15% drop in home sales for 2020 over 2019 numbers. REALTOR®.com’s March housing report shows that the year-over-year decline in inventory softened, the number of new listed properties declined and house prices dropped.
Home features in demand have changed
In response to the current market, home buyers’ demands have changed when it comes to home location and home features. People are moving away from crowded city areas and again looking for homes in suburban areas that give them more space. People are also looking for homes that provide more self-sufficiency, such as in-home gyms, gourmet kitchens, and better air filtration systems. In-home gyms replace the need for gym memberships, gourmet kitchens provide an elevated dining experience with more time being spent at home, and high-end air filtration systems provide a sense of protection against viruses. An interesting trend to note is the return demand for dining rooms. In fact, a separate dining room is among the top 10 essentials for first- and second-time home buyers according to an NAHB report.
Real estate professionals are rising to the challenges of home buying
Prices are up. Demand is the same. Number of listings have dropped. It’s a challenging time for real estate professionals, whether they’re on the selling end of the transaction or the buying end. Impressively, many real estate marketers have risen to the challenge of these trying times, and have created innovative ways to buy, sell, trade or exchange real estate. Realtors are shooting virtual home tours, so buyers don’t have to see a potential home in person. Others are holding virtual open houses to accommodate multiple interested parties. Paperwork is being done electronically.
Companies like Exchange America have created virtual options for the real estate buying and selling process, from virtual home tours to private chats and online meetings with potential home buyers. Sellers can list their property for free, helping showcase their home to many more potential buyers. Buyers can share their “wants” for sellers to make offers or request help with things like seller financing. Buyers and sellers looking for real estate assistance can find a real estate professional here too. Those seeking to find a new home can search properties online. Even those looking to trade or exchange property can do so from this robust online real estate marketplace. All these activities can be done from one platform here, all online.
It’s difficult to predict when and if the real estate market will ever get back to “normal”. These trends showcase how the industry has changed and how real estate professionals are rising to the challenge. Some of these trends are here to stay and companies who are innovative in residential real estate will continue to rise to the occasion.