In the current sellers’ market, many homeowners wonder what, if anything, needs to be remodeled before they list their house. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. We can help you think through today’s market conditions and how they impact what you should – and shouldn’t – renovate before selling.
Here are some considerations we will guide you through:
Many elements went into creating our current strong seller’s market, but things could shift towards buyers in the future. This year, high buyer demand coupled with low inventory elevated home prices and continues to cause stiff competition when new listings hit the market. Overall, new home construction hasn’t kept pace with demand for the past decade. It didn’t help that the lumber industry was severely affected by the pandemic, driving up home building costs. When you look at all the factors, we are likely to see a seller’s market remain so for much of 2021. But, there are certain aspects that could turn the tides and make it a more favorable time for buyers.
If you are in the market for any type of wood—from plywood or sheeting to standard 2x4s, be prepared for a massive sticker shock. U.S. lumber futures contracts for May 2021 delivery were priced at $1,645 per 1,000 board feet, about 60% higher than they were a month ago and 374% above the $347 contract price average in May 2020. This marks the fastest rise since the housing boom that followed World War II.
With a shortage of inventory of homes for sale in pretty much every U.S. market, the construction industry had risen. But with lumber prices soaring, starts are well below their previous highs.
While a public health crisis gripped the country for the last year, the housing market for some stayed red hot. Most areas of the country remain in a solid seller’s market. Homeowners have seen their home values appreciate and equity grow. Housing inventory was already down at the beginning of the pandemic, and remains low. However, demand remains high. Not everyone was hurt bad enough by the downturn in the economy to hold off buying a home. With historically low interest rates throughout the year, there have been plenty of buyers ready to snap up just about anything that appears on the market. At the same time, people that want to move, especially those looking for affordable housing, are having a difficult time, because there are just not enough homes for sale.
Most investors know the basic premise for success: “Buy Low and Sell High.” Seems simple, but in practice it is not. In real estate, we really don’t know the best time to buy until years past the purchase, when we see if purchase prices have gone up or down.
Savvy investors look at certain market indicators to help increase their investment success. However, we are in an extremely unusual market. Even though prices are high, it actually may be a good time to buy. Here’s why.
2020 was an odd year for the mortgage industry. Instead of a market crash due to the pandemic and economic turmoil, home prices and sales actually rose. At the beginning, low-interest rates, low unemployment, and rising rents drove the housing market up. As the pandemic wore on, people fleeing urban areas, or looking for more space to work from home, plus historically low interest rates kept demand for housing high. The important question is, where will interest rates go now?
Industry experts expect mortgage rates to rise in 2021. If you are not planning to buy or sell in the coming year, then hopefully you have refinanced, or will soon. We strongly encourage those thinking about selling to list now. There are still many people looking to buy, but the market will be changing. No one can predict with certainty how high mortgage interest rates will go or when, but four top experts weighing in with their thoughts and rationale, giving us a pretty good glimpse of where we are headed in 2021.
Instead of just relying a crystal ball, there are some facts that help predict what will happen to home buying and selling in the coming year.
Throughout the pandemic, residential real estate markets across the country have remained steady, and most have even seen growth. While we feel for those that are truly suffering due to COVID-19 related losses, there are positive economic indicators for the future. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data released a consumer survey of responses in September 2020 entitled Survey of Consumer Expectations showing less pessimistic views about personal financials in the year ahead due to improvements in the labor market and spending expectations.
We often receive questions about whether this is the right time to buy, considering COVID-19 has hung around longer than expected. It’s understandable—both buyers and sellers are worried about making a move right now. However, for those in a good position to buy or sell, the timing is very good. Here’s why.