|Just the Peaks
This newsletter, at a glance
COVID-19 has transformed the real estate market seemingly overnight
Should I list—or should I wait? Everest makes a case for selling
Even with quarantine restrictions lifted, life as we know it has been forever altered. In a surprisingly short amount of time, the novel coronavirus has made a profound impact on the way Americans view work, travel, leisure, communication, health, spending, and beyond. Priorities are rapidly shifting, and so is our collective definition of home.
Before, ‘home’ was a nightly retreat. A place for refuge, relaxation, food, and family. But now, people are putting much more stock in their properties. Beyond a safe haven, the home now serves as an office, school, health clinic, and entertainment hub—all in one.
So, what does real estate’s existential reckoning mean for the market? Is the pandemic a cause for pause—or the reason people are looking to move?
While coronavirus has slowed our summer plans, experts say home sales are anything but stagnant.
A seller’s paradise
Making any big decision during a global pandemic seems rash—let alone listing your property. But in an unexpected twist of fate, the real estate market is really heating up.
“Given the pandemic and the uncertainty it’s caused, the general [presumption would be] that now is not a good time to sell your home,” says Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com. “Yet so far, the data suggests the opposite—that buyers outnumber sellers in the housing market, which means it’s better to be a seller than a buyer.”
Other industry insiders have also expressed confidence. Following the publication of Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI), researchers were surprised to see how positive the public is about the prospects of buying a home.
“The share of renters who say it’s a good time to buy a home is now at its highest level in five years, suggesting favorable conditions for first-time home buying,” says Doug Duncan, Senior VP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “[This is] consistent with the recent rebound in home purchase activity.”
Votes of confidence
Fannie Mae HPSI, June 2020
61% Americans who said it’s a good time to buy a home in June (up from 52% in May)
41% Americans who said it’s a good time to sell a home in June (up from 32% in May)
34% Americans who believe home prices will increase in the next 12 months (up from 26% in May)
25% Americans who believe home prices will decrease in the next 12 months (down from 35% in May)
Visit Fannie Mae for the full report
Make your move
If you’ve been struggling with the decision to sell over the past few months, you’re not alone. Many families have been hesitant to move (or make any major life changes) until the pandemic winds down. But if you consider the numbers, you’ll realize that now—more than ever—is the time to sell.
Here’s a handful of compelling reasons why selling is a smart idea.
6 reasons you should sell right now
- Inventory is down
Supply has been dwindling for a while now, and the pandemic hasn’t helped matters. In June, year-over-year inventory was down 27%. Experts also say the average family stays in a home for 13 years before moving, which is longer than previous generations. Today’s high demand and depleted inventory make it a perfect time to sell.
- Demand is high
When COVID-19 first hit, the market came to a standstill. But once states got a handle on the situation, homebuyers came back quickly. People have been eager to get out, shop around, and buy—especially in suburbia. In fact, reports that pending home sales went up 44.3% from April to May.
- Prices are up
Today’s market conditions have resulted in overnight sales and countless bidding wars. If you’re looking to sell, it’s almost guaranteed you will get top dollar (depending on location, of course). During 1Q2020, the national median single-family home price went up 7.7%, clocking in at a healthy $274,600.
- Rates are low
Mortgages are so affordable these days, you’d be crazy not to sell! Homebuyers who have been waiting to enter the market finally have a reason to take the plunge. On July 16th, Freddie Mac reported that average interest rates reached an all-time record low (for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage). As a result, the number of applications have soared.
- Recovery is imminent
Not only have government stimulus checks helped to boost homebuyer confidence, but Trump’s economy is also slowly recovering. Businesses are coming back, unemployment numbers are on the rebound, and coronavirus spread (generally speaking) has been mitigated. The nation’s overall positive forecast gives sellers even more reason to list.
- Needs are changing
These days, a move isn’t solely motivated by financial factors. Families are hunting for homes for other ‘life and death’ reasons, whether they’re escaping densely populated cities, violent protests, or a region seeing a significant coronavirus surge. People are also looking for lockdown essentials, such as dedicated offices and big backyards. Your home could be the answer to their prayers!
—List inspired by Realtor.com
Everest says: list today, close tomorrow